Thursday, October 11, 2007

Speed Wheels

Let's talk about real memes for a moment; specifically, memes that circulate within our automotive culture. One is P*O*W*E*R and the other is SPEED!!!

Any driver with hair on his chest (and these are, after all, pretty much guy-type memes) wants his ride to reflect real he-man concepts.

And so the designers build the look of P*O*W*E*R and SPEED!!! into everything from the window outline to the wheel covers.

Mauger the fact that this has absolutely nothing to do with reality. Make the lines of the car angle down as your eye moves from the rear to the front.

This presumably creates the illusion that the vehicle is built for speed and is moving faster than it is. Or so it appears -- even when the machine is still or just ambling along.

Ditto for wheels and/or wheel covers, which have become a fascinating bit of Everyman's bling. They beg for pictures -- and I've been collecting them.

That's when I noticed the subset that was designed to suggest forward motion -- especially when at rest. The forward motion feel also shows up when the car starts up but disappears in a blur as soon as the motorist hits street speed.

Somehow all this reminds me of the fad for streamlining around the time of WWII. The new diesel trains. Cars, of course, and even toasters, which didn't really need to go faster, but, by gum, they were Modern and Modern meant Streamlined. That's the way of the world in which marketing man has the big say. I have to admit I find it all funny, pathetic, and reassuring at the same time.


Olivia Kroth said...

"Pathetic" - well said.
You can tell I am not a big car fan (because I do not wear any hair on my chest). I had to laugh at your description of the typical male playthings.

quilteddogs said...

How about the wheel covers/hubcats that continue to spin even though the car is stopped. Now there's some bling for ya.

Granny J said...

Olivia -- not much of a car person here, either, except that the obsession makes for wonderful photos.

QD -- I've seen those at Wal-Mart, but never in action. Now that is true bling!

sheoflittlebrain said...

Is it my imagination or is there a sinister, almost evil cast to each and every one of those metallic creations?

Granny J said...

brain -- I don't think so -- each & every one is much too busy admiring its handsome, shiny SPEEDY!!! self.

smilnsigh said...

I LUV YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC EYE! Yes, I mean the caps. I love how you hit on ideas of things, to take a series of pics of.

It must be like style. Isn't there a saying which goes; "You've got or you haven't got style." With you, you've got "an Eye."


Granny J said...

SnS -- Now that is truly a compliment! I'm just glad to be able now to picture life's absurdities and beauties that I've often noted in the past but had to way to share.

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