Cold Start: Familiar And Unfamiliar

Cs Pudash

I like this two-page spread from this 1980 Peugeot 604 brochure because, for me at least, it’s an interesting mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. The unfamiliar part is likely the sensation of driving on a highway and seeing a flapjacking Concorde streaking across the sky. In fact, I think you can argue that a view like this should be pretty much unfamiliar to anyone, because the Concorde never really would have flown like that, at that altitude and angle, right over a highway.

The Concorde took off at quite a steep angle; here, look:

…so a level-flight Concorde that low just isn’t something that happened, because it would be loud as hell, a problem that the Concorde dealt with throughout its career.

And yeah, I get this is early ’80s photo retouching and this didn’t happen, but I don’t see why we should let Peugeot off the hook 42 years later.

You know what part is familiar, though? The way this car is driving down the highway with all the dash lights alarmingly glowing angrily, and having a big yawning hole where the radio should be.

Those parts I’ve experienced.

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21 Responses

  1. Text is in Dutch, “driving pleasure”. It’s about combining comfort and driving pleasure for city and long distance travel on motorways and twisting back roads. Ending with a full sentence on how the the central locking covers all 4 doors, boot and gas cap. That’s comfort for you.

    1. Fun Concorde thing;
      Male pheasants announce their territorial rights by puffing out there chests and stretching out there wings while emitting a loud squawk before clapping there wings back down. This produces an ultrasonic ‘thump’ that carries a long way.
      When Concorde was flying out of Heathrow it did not go supersonic until crossing the coast, when it did it sounded to all the pheasants in southern England like pheasant god! You could tell when Concorde had done its party trick because all the pheasants replied in kind!

  2. Also breaking your car to a stop, in the middle of 2 lanes on the highway, and at an early winter sunset (clock shows four), where visibility isn’t the greatest, is no smart move. Or did the car do that by itself? It is a Peugeot after all..

    – But I guess I would do the same, if I saw a Concorde going past like that!

  3. A car so forgettable that the only reason to talk about it is that one time when the manufacturer tried to link it to an engineering marvel.

    I might be looking at this the wrong way though. Maybe the point of the ad is to have you look at a mode of travel for rich people, and then remember you drive a comparatively plebeian car. Accept your lot in life and buy our car!

  4. My first thought was that this was a driving simulator. The screen in front showed all the hazards to watch for with newbies driving.

    Take note! Fast moving cars in distance, your car having trouble staying in a lane, low flying aircraft above, blinding sunset, and then all the lights on dash blast off at once. AHHH!

  5. In the early ’90’s, I had to go to a freight warehouse at Heathrow to pick up a package from Toronto. I was at the counter waiting for them to get my package when all hell broke loose. There was a deafening roar and the entire building shook. I thought a plane was crashing on our heads and I instinctively ducked. The guy behind the counter was completely nonchalant.

    “What the hell was that?” I asked.

    He said, “Oh, not to worry, it’s just Concorde taking off”.

    A few years later, I was back in London when the last few Concordes came home for the final time. I joined the thousands who went to see the arrival and flyby. What a plane, I wish I had a chance to fly in one…

  6. Braniff had a Concorde service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Washington, DC for one year and half from January 1979 to May 1980. During that time, Dallas/Fort Worth had almost no residence or business within five-ten miles radius back then so Concorde was allowed to take off at full throttle all the way to the cruising ceiling, which didn’t take much longer than any slowpoke airplanes.

    My father and I went to the Braniff terminal (2W as it was called back then) to watch the Concorde taking off. Being a 12-year-old deaf boy, the sight of Concorde suddenly taking off in front of 2W and zooming with the flame cones along with the thunderous noise and shake was something of unforgettable experience for me. Normally, I couldn’t hear at all without those “instruments of torture” (hearing aids), but I heard the engines clearly. I still have gooseskins to this day every time I think of that day. The whole sight was like straight from the Star Wars film with Star Destroyers switching on the hyperdrive and zooming into the vanishing point.

  7. The car is not stopped. The advertisement imagines a future where supersonic aircraft cruise along level a few hundred feet above the ground, while drivers have their hands in their laps manipulating their future phones/communicators while unsure of what lane they are in. Airbags in the steering wheel would not have been included in this vision as GM had already proven them impractical. Yay Peugeot!

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