I’m a bit late with Cold Start today because my kid’s school just moved the bus stop further away so, predictably, my kid missed the bus, and I had to ferry him to school. It’s part of the American experience, though, isn’t it, the occasional bus-missing? Sure it is. More importantly, I have to ask: was spearfishing a popular thing for people to do in mid-century America? Is that why Chrysler was trying to sell New Yorker Town and Country wagons in 1961 by showing a woman holding a freaking harpoon? Is this just my sheltered, late-20th/early 21st-century upbringing talking, and back in the day every other couple you’d talk to would go on and on about how much they love the sensation of skewering a 200-pound marlin with their harpoon? Was that a thing?
I mean, is nice and dramatic looking for the ad painter, and I guess there’s a lot of equipment, so it’s a good reason to have a wagon? Maybe I’ve read Moby Dick too many times, because I see a harpoon and all I can think of is Queequeg and whaling, and I’m not sure Chrysler was targeting the amateur whaler market with the New Yorker. I mean, maybe? Amateur whaling is probably the sort of hobby only pretty well-to-do people get into, and wouldn’t they appreciate the sumptuous luxury of a New Yorker?
This same brochure also has this picture, which I like, because if you’re not thinking too much about the context, can look, at first glance, like an ancient Roman senator chatting up a child dressed as some kind of alien with his mom, a woman who finds dashboard knobs hilarious.