April 23, 2021 | Uncategorized

When restoring timberwork in cars...

When restoring timberwork in cars I marvel at the difference between cars of different nationalities. Politically incorrect if cars were people. I often feel that what people say about cars is literary Valium but what cars say about people? Let's have a quick look, eh.

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As 1960s British culture exploded with sex drugs n rock’n’roll and all its subsidiaries a new egalitarianism crept in, along with an ocean of immigrants and now to be self-made or self-assured was equal (in the minds of the self-made or self-assured) to blue blood. Paul McCartney’s first car was a 1963 Ford Consul which was an American Ford Thunderbird scaled down for the British market but still representing the values of modernity, democracy and virility of its American big brother .Within two years the Beatles had a new problem. How to appear totally English but in a rock n roll sort of way. A problem addressed by John Lennon’s much publicised purchase of a brand new Rolls Royce Silver Cloud which was promptly outfitted in an outrageous psychedelic paint scheme, apparently to the consternation of the establishment; with the back seat converted to a double bed. A precursor to that 1970s sex symbol; the panel van.

PART 1. BRITISH CARS
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The contrast between American and English car interiors has its roots in the difference between American and English social structure. English cars were made for a middle class yearning to rub shoulders with aristocracy and their behind closed doors world of timber panelling handmade ornaments and soft Scottish leather. The landed gentry's desk of French polished walnut, Stirling silver writing accessories and leather-upholstered captain's chair were reproduced and now available to the factory owner, medical professional and chain store entrepreneur in the form of a car interior presented as a mobile cigar club. Acquitted with the same eye for detail, intelligence of reserve and clarity of aesthetic famous since the time of Thomas Sheraton (1750-1770), from Rileys ornamented Mini, the Hornet; to a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud the reference or essence was somehow the same. The same sense of aspiration.

... Rolls Royce Silver Cloud which was promptly outfitted in an outrageous psychedelic paint scheme, apparently to the consternation of the establishment; with the back seat converted to a double bed...

Many of McCartney and Lennon's musical heroes were Americans, one of whom; described by Lennon as "the greatest" was the loudmouth son of a poor black preacher who shot to international stardom with his songs about love, school and cars, his "Coffee Coloured Cadillac" and "V8 Ford" were indelibly etched into the minds of millions who had never actually seen them. One of the most influential figures in music history and maybe the first to both write and perform his own songs, a man who dearly loved his wife of 69 years Themetta and his collection of Cadillac cars he so proudly profited from others enjoying hearing about and "OH MY BUT THAT LITTLE COUNTRY BOY COULD PLAY" Mr Chuck Berry 1926-2017 RIP. Berry's devastating 1972 performance of Johnny b Goode at the Lanchester Arts Festival Coventry, with all the ensuing chaos recorded on the vinyl The London Chuck Berry Sessions is documentary evidence of his impact on British youth.

Acquitted with the same eye for detail, intelligence of reserve and clarity of aesthetic famous since the time of Thomas Sheraton (1750-1770), from Rileys ornamented Mini, the Hornet; to a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud the reference or essence was somehow the same. The same sense of aspiration.
As 1960s British culture exploded with sex drugs n rock'n'roll and all its subsidiaries a new egalitarianism crept in, along with an ocean of immigrants and now to be self-made or self-assured was equal (in the minds of the self-made or self-assured) to blue blood. Paul McCartney's first car was a 1963 Ford Consul which was an American Ford Thunderbird scaled down for the British market but still representing the values of modernity , democracy and virility of its American big brother .Within two years the Beatles had a new problem. How to appear totally English but in a rock n roll sort of way. A problem addressed by John Lennon's much publicised purchase of a brand new Rolls Royce Silver Cloud which was promptly outfitted in an outrageous psychedelic paint scheme, apparently to the consternation of the establishment; with the back seat converted to a double bed. A precursor to that 1970s sex symbol; the panel van. Many of McCartney and Lennon's musical heroes were Americans, one of whom; described by Lennon as "the greatest" was the loudmouth son of a poor black preacher who shot to international stardom with his songs about love, school and cars, his "Coffee Coloured Cadillac" and "V8 Ford" were indelibly etched into the minds of millions who had never actually seen them.

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