Home » Nice Harpoon You Got There: Cold Start

Nice Harpoon You Got There: Cold Start

Cs 61chrysler Harpoon
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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?

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Cs 61chrysler Toga

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.

 

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Tom Herman
Tom Herman
8 months ago

Oh yeah, spearguns all over the place. In the Midwest we used to shoot trees, stray cats, almost anything. Didn’t they write about it in the Saturday Evening Post?

James Davidson
James Davidson
8 months ago

I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
8 months ago

The car is whale sized and looks like a hammerhead shark. I think the painter was having a little fun.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
8 months ago

That great, white Chrysler is as big as a whale, isn’t it Ishmael? May I call you Ishmael?

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
8 months ago

Those seagulls in the background of picture two appear to be massing for an attack. They need to find a phone booth, stat!

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
8 months ago

So the drawing does not look right to me, even with a limited understanding of “perspective.”
The left side of the wagon looks larger than the right side does.
Could be an optical “delusion” though.

And why are most older ads like this done as drawings?
Was color film too costly to use in 1961?

Last edited 8 months ago by Col Lingus
Goblin
Goblin
8 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

With sharp eyes like that you can now try to track cars with asymetrical wheelbases 🙂

Several older Renaults, to name them, with the Renault 16 having a wheelbase difference of 2.75in between the left wheelbase and the right one (the rear wheel on one side is closer to its side’s front wheel than the one on the the other side is to its matching front wheel). Same for the Renault 5 (LeCar in the US). And the 4, and the 6…

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
8 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

I’d heard this before, but can’t recall why that is.
Do you know? Thanks.

Goblin
Goblin
8 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Per the following article (in French) – because they were using torsion bars that were positioned one behind the other instead of one on top of the other, to save money (identical parts for left and right) and for a lower trunk floor. It started with the Renault 4 and carried on.

https://fr.escuderia.com/la-bataille-asym%C3%A9trique-renault-4-5-6-et-7/

Best illustration I could find is for the Renault 16:

https://renault16.com/images/afbf.gif

https://renault16.com/techniek6_fr.htm

Here too:
https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-european/car-show-classic-1973-renault-16-and-asymmetric-suspension-configuration/

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
8 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

Wow. Thanks a lot.

MiniDave
MiniDave
8 months ago

I like how the cars are just sort of floating in the air just above the sand, tires not embedded or even flatter on the bottoms like they would be if it were touching the earth…..

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
8 months ago

Man, the ’61 Chryslers were good looking cars.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
8 months ago

I am very concerned about the placement of the little blue bucket and shovel in the first pic. Did the driver plow through some poor kid’s sand castle creation in their rush to get to the water? Or is the kid still under the car? :/

Black Peter
Black Peter
8 months ago
Reply to  PlatinumZJ

Well, what would you use for whale bait?

Ben Trueblood
Ben Trueblood
8 months ago
Reply to  PlatinumZJ

Agreed. And the sandpipers are suspiciously sniffing around at the blood spill?

Turn the Page
Turn the Page
8 months ago

Hey, Torch. The speargun was probably inspired by the fairly popular 1958-61 TV series “Sea Hunt”, starring Lloyd Bridges, father of Jeff “The Dude” Bridges. I don’t believe the kid is an alien (well, I guess he could be), but that’s how snorkels for amateur users were designed back in the day.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Spear guns were as ubiquitous as quick sand back then.
They were difficult times.

10001010
10001010
8 months ago

Is that a snorkel coming off that kid’s mask or a lantern?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  10001010

He’s doing his impersonation of a lantern fish.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Which means look out for the spear fisher/

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

Mom! NO!!

SCJeff
SCJeff
8 months ago

Torch has read Moby Dick more than once? As Jerry Seinfeld once said: “Knowing you is like going into the jungle: I never know what I’m going to find next, and I’m real scared.”

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
8 months ago

You’re looking at this all wrong, Torch. The Town and Country wagon *is* the whale, and Mrs. Harpoon is very impressed with Mr. Harpoon’s manliness in catching it and wrestling it out of the water.

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
8 months ago
Reply to  Luxobarge

As the B-52s might have put it:

I got me a Chrysler, which I mistook for a whale;

I put a harpoon in its tail.

I got me a car, it seats about twenty

So take off your mask and bring scrimshaw money!

CatMan
CatMan
8 months ago

More speargun than harpoon, but I’m curious as to what happened to the child that the toy bucket and shovel belonged to?

El Chubbacabra
El Chubbacabra
8 months ago

That’s not a Roman senator, it’s Fred Flintstone in his fancy drapes!

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
8 months ago

I can tell you exactly what is happening here. Someone just took out a life insurance policy on her husband. She’s going into that water as an unhappy wife and coming back out as a wealthy widow, ready to go shopping for a boy toy.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
8 months ago

Most likely the ad guys trying to capitalize on Dr. No.

Last edited 8 months ago by Michael Beranek
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
8 months ago

Exactly! I, too, was going to suggest the James Bond effect on popular culture. These ads look a lot like Bond one-sheets of the day. If it wasn’t for the fact that the brochure is for 1961 Chryslers, I would have guessed Thunderball which featured multiple ad and one-sheet illustrations of Sean Connery posing with a speargun. That’s ‘65, though, so too late to influence this brochure, but Dr. No works.

DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
8 months ago

Sea Hunt was on CBS television 1958 to 1961. The film Dr. No premiered in U.S. theaters in May 1963.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
8 months ago
Reply to  DONALD FOLEY

I guess SCUBA really took off during that time and they were all riding the wave.

ES
ES
8 months ago

Who said anything about fish? people back then didn’t have access to silencers.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
8 months ago
Reply to  ES

Ask Cliff Booth.

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