Home » Here’s An Interesting Convergence I Want To Show You: Cold Start

Here’s An Interesting Convergence I Want To Show You: Cold Start

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Do you know the website/literary magazine McSweeney’s? They’ve been around since early early internet days, and they’ve always had good stuff. They used to do this thing (it looks like it stopped in 2011?) called Convergences where people find two things that somehow form this tenuous connection and then they’d feature it for the world to see and nod their heads sagely at. Once, way way back in 2006, they picked one of mine! I bring this up because I felt that same sense of mild yet persistent recognition when I saw this old Opel station wagon brochure, and now I’m showing you! The cycle continues!

By the way, if you don’t want to click that link, here was the convergence I found: I saw this picture of some of the cast of the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance and it reminded me of that famous picture of Lee Harvey Oswald getting shot:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

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You see it, right? The pictures are of course not the same and there was zero intent by the Bagger Vance-ers to remind anyone of the killing of the guy who killed President Kennedy, but here we are.

Anyway, this very specific sort of hey-that-feels-kind-of-like-that sensation is how I feel about the Opel Car A Van’s (see, Chrysler wasn’t the first to come up with the Caravan for a combined car/van name) rear quarter/taillight styling and the Volvo P1800’s rear quarter/taillight styling.

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For such different looking cars, it’s funny how close that bit is.

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The shape of the fin with that chrome strip, the way the taillight pod has that tapering bulge on the side, the twin-round lenses of the taillights – it’s all the same.

And, okay, the P1800’s taillight lens combines the two lamps into one unit, but the prototypes didn’t:

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The Opel is from 1960, and the Volvo P1800 didn’t go into production until 1961, but I don’t think Volvo was looking at German station wagons for design inspiration for their new sports car.

I think it’s just a funny convergence.

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Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
1 month ago

The 1953 Packard Caribbean predates them both, though they went heavier on the chrome. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on the mood board in the Opel studio.

Eric W
Eric W
1 month ago

As a joyous owner of a ND MX-5, if they made the same car bits with a P1800 shell I’d take that any day. If I could get a glove box, even better

05LGT
05LGT
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric W

Didn’t someone recently do a P1800 restomod with modern performance?

Eric W
Eric W
1 month ago
Reply to  05LGT

Not for Miata money they didn’t.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eric W
Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

Frua did a lot of design work in that era – so it’s not surprising that the detail with the taillamps of the P1800 was done similarly to the 1958 Lloyd Alexander 600 TS Frua.

But remember too that Frua was a subsidiary of Ghia for a time – So have a glance at the 1955 Jaguar XK140 Ghia

Also recall that Chrysler had a lot of custom work done by Ghia in that era – So if the chrome spear on top of the fin is important to you, just move forward to 1964-66 Imperials.

Last edited 1 month ago by Urban Runabout
WaxhawFive
WaxhawFive
1 month ago

Clicked just to soak up the 1800 content!!!!

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
1 month ago

This must have deeply excited you, Jason, as you didn’t even mention the repeater or whatever that is on the wagon’s B-pillar.

YourMedic
YourMedic
1 month ago

I have to say I’m really a fan of that all-metal load bay in the wagon. Carpeted interiors are probably more practical for most uses, but I love the simplicity and ruggedness of it.

Jj
Jj
1 month ago

Don’t be so quick to dismiss that Oswald link as a coincidence.

Remember that Matt Damon is a Masshole, just as Kennedy was. We can assume he is now in the Hollywood Illuminati, and that his position in the photo indicates that he (as a stand-in for the coastal elite) killed JFK.

Do your research.

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
1 month ago
Reply to  Jj

Birds aren’t real.

Jj
Jj
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Pritts

^^This guy gets it.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Pritts

But some birds are teal.

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
1 month ago

Is that a full-sized and a mini spare tire in the back of the Opel? Talk about belt and suspenders.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

The forward of the two is a wheel well. It’s clearer with fewer artistic liberties:

https://www.fahrzeugbilder.de/1200/opel-p2-caravan-gesehen-bei-127744.jpg

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Thanks!

David Iuliano
David Iuliano
1 month ago

I adore Volvo, and have had an 1800ES for over 20 years. BUT, they weren’t above peeking at someone else’s paper. See: Volvo Philip.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
1 month ago

Wow, I’ve never thought of that!

But on the other hand, it was quite common for the time, at least over here in Europe, here’s the Vauxhall Victor of the same time

(I’m sure the cheap asses at Vauxhall (GM) also had one with chrome on the top of the fin, called something completely diffrent, and aimed at a whole other market segment… but this one is close enough for the point making)

Last edited 1 month ago by Jakob K's Garage
FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
1 month ago

Perhaps all three designers were fans of the taillights of a shoebox Ford.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
1 month ago
Reply to  FuzzyPlushroom

I knew I had seen it somewhere else before!
The ’49 Ford truly is one of the greatest car designs ever, IMHO.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago

There is a great Instagram account for this kind of thing with art and sports:

https://www.instagram.com/artbutmakeitsports/

He’s got a huge mental art-history library and great visual recall.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
1 month ago

I applaud this observation.
I’d like to add one of my own. The 1st gen Saturn SW2 and Geo Storm hatchback look like they share taillights:
Saturn SW2
Geo Storm

But they don’t! The Storm is squat and wide with some funky vents. The Saturn’s is taller and narrow. But, goddamnit, why do they look so similar?? Was it the same designer?? This has been floating around in my brain for decades. DECADES.

Last edited 1 month ago by Trust Doesn't Rust
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago

Jeep Comanche taillights really look like they’re the same as Dodge Dakota taillights but aren’t. Annoying too, considering Comanche lights are extremely rare and expensive.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rust Buckets
Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

Was 6 yrs old when JFK was killed. Saw the killing of Oswald live on TV. It all was a really shitty way to learn about how stuff goes in America. There is no Santa Claus anymore…

But at least 60 years later, things are better, and we don’t have to deal with “alternative facts”, lies, and conspiracy theories anymore. WTF?

Thankfully the Warren Commission cleared it all up, and the truth came out. Right?
YMMV, but sometimes our country really sucks.

Last edited 1 month ago by Col Lingus
David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago

Great, just when I thought I was almost caught up with the internet Jason throws McSweeney’s at me.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

In another strange case of convergence, I am willing to be shot if I can get roughed up by Charlize Theron.

Slower Louder
Slower Louder
1 month ago

Differences among human brains are a wonder. Musical talent, for instance. Where does that come from? (I don’t have it.) I have always been aware that I live through my eyes, but not like you, Jason. Your occipital lobes must be huge. Which fits; they’re at the rear of the brain, positioned like taillights??

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
1 month ago

Thanks for reminding me about McSweeney’s. Somehow fell off my list of faves with the new phone.

Man, I love that Opel wagon!

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago

Somehow I knew you were a McSweeney’s reader without knowing. Dave Eggers is one of my largest literary influences(still writting), and it does show in your writting that he is an influence.

10001010
10001010
1 month ago

TIL that Torch was internet famous even before he grilled the Pixar folks!

Ottomadiq
Ottomadiq
1 month ago

I approve of this content.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

A rear view of the 1800ES would have really driven home that convergence, too.

Ottomadiq
Ottomadiq
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

in theory, yes, but the style had evolved just enough for it to start to depart from the original simplicity. Plus it came several years later.

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