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I don’t know when it was that stand-up comics began telling clown jokes. I want to say I was fully an adult before it was brought to my attention—by those stand-up comics—that the whole clown thing is pretty weird. I recall a local shock jock dedicating considerable attention to the whole clown-as-a-career thing.
Say the word “hardtop” and any vintage-auto enthusiast knows what you’re referring to: a closed-roof car with a pillarless roofline (i.e., no door posts to break up the flow of the styling). Though there were earlier examples of the basic concept, General Motors kicked off the hardtop as we know it by introducing a pillarless-coupe body style in its Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile product lines midway through the 1949 model year.
Question: What would large-coupe drivers of the Seventies and Eighties drive today? Answer: Not large coupes, because there aren’t any. I suppose there’s still the Bentley Continental and the BMW 8-Series, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here.
Sometime in the middle of the Eighties, Americans developed an appetite—albeit a modest one—for pint-sized sport-utility vehicles with legitimate off-road capability. Early on the scene were the Suzuki Samurai and the Daihatsu Rocky. Few people actually recall Daihatsu’s brief flirtation with the U.S. market—briefly, Daihatsu sold cars Stateside between 1988 and 1992. Only two models were ever offered here: the aforementioned Rocky, and a subcompact car dubbed Charade.
As far as colors go, pink is a relative newbie. Per Wikipedia, pink was first used as a color name in the late seventeenth century. As a car color, pink’s use has been sporadic at best, though for a brief moment in time (really just the mid Fifties into the early Sixties), pink cars were all the rage.
Fun fact: 90 percent of Canada’s population lives with 100 miles of the U.S. border. That said, it’s an awfully long border—about 5500 miles long, actually. Looked at another way, Canada’s population density is only about 10 percent that of America’s, meaning there’s a lot of Canadian land with very few people living on it.
It’s sort of like a strange dream. Everything feels familiar, but somehow changed, in strange and wonderful ways. That’s how I feel whenever I revisit the cars of Australia, and also the vehicles of South Africa.
As Collectible Automobile Editor-in-Chief John Biel has pointed out, a good number of vintage car ads were staged alongside swimming pools. As a swimmer, I appreciate the positive association between aquatic fun and cool new cars. But pools aren’t the only bodies of water automakers liked to feature in their advertising.
Fun fact: Most car dealers pay a small amount into a regional advertising fund for each vehicle they sell. That money is spent on ads and promotions tailored to reach would-be car shoppers in a given area. In many cases, manufacturers contribute additional cash to the fund. And, depending on the franchise, some of that money may be spent by the dealer on store-specific ads.