July 23, 2016

YE OLDE AMERICA: "The American Look" and the Design of the 1959 Chevrolet Impala

Posted by gerardvanderleun at July 23, 2016 12:47 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Its ironic you posted this video Gerard. I have been waxing nostalgic the last few days, and I keep going back to Trumps acceptance speech. After watching it I had a feeling about America I hadn't had in over 40 years... Somewhere deep inside I remembered America sent men to the moon, we saved the world twice in the first half of the 20th century and then came home and built shining cities across the continent. Trump's message is so compelling because he actually believes our best days are yet to come..

Who knows.. maybe my flying car isnt so far out of reach anymore..

Posted by: bill Henry at July 24, 2016 12:04 AM

From your lips to God's ear.

Posted by: vanderleun at July 24, 2016 9:37 AM

I could almost hear the 16mm projector whirling away at the back of the room. I have loved all this stuff ever since I was a kid. The space age lines, and rocket ship themes just vibrated with excitement for the Future! And check the '59 Chevy. it *still* looks futuristic. (As a side note- to my eye, the only car that tops the '59 Chevy is the 61-63 Thunderbirds.) Even the streamlined stuff from the Art-Deco period now looks 'old fashioned'. None of this stuff looks 'old-fashioned' even today. It was optimistic stuff. It had vision. We were going into space. We'd have plastic dome cities under the sea, and yes, Bill Henry, you damn sure bet- GM would hire Ed Roth as designer in chief, and we'd be flyin' around in bubble top cars that would look like hot rod UFO's. But it didn't happen. Progress or progressives. We made the choice.


Posted by: jwm at July 24, 2016 4:01 PM

I was born in '70 but love this stuff. The sound quality is actually quite good. Going to show my kids this. (If they can get off their Kindle and Tablet long enough!)

Posted by: EricTheRed at July 25, 2016 9:09 AM

In '59 I wore underwear which allowed one the freedom to eschew the use of plumbing fixtures, but it probably wasn't a bad time to be an adult. The women dressed like such and you could probably get a job if you looked like me. Ten years later, holy crap, everything was sliding off the edge.

Posted by: Will at July 25, 2016 3:10 PM

William Gibson wrote a short story called The Gernsbach Continuum, in which he highlighted The Future That Never Was. Those things which we were promised, that didn't come to pass. It's a bit sad to contrast the things we got with the things we might have had, and to know that the waveform of potential has collapsed and we can never again approach the future with the same degree of innocent optimism. Too many things have changed, and much that might have carried us forward and upward has now been shown to be inadequate to those tasks, since our needs have become untenable.

Posted by: Mike in Canada at July 30, 2016 3:30 PM