I’m not exactly sure what it is about this page from the 1959 Imperial brochure, specifically the page for the Imperial LeBaron. That’s right, the Chrysler LeBaron spent some time as an Imperial. I know, right? But that’s not what I want to talk about right now. Right now I just want to see if you agree that there’s something about this brochure painting that feels like it should be a New Yorker cartoon.
Do you see what I mean? There’s something about the central framing of the car in the city, abut the looser brushwork of the background, about the visibility of the people inside, clearly in mid conversation, those birds– everything, really. It feels like it’s just an italicized caption away from being a New Yorker cartoon.
Should we try and think of some captions? That seems difficult. But let’s try:
“No, Claire, that’s not Minerva, it’s Athena Nike, the goddess of victory. You can tell by the size of her rack.”
“Driver, please circle around so we can check out the genitals of that horse.”
“That was my great-uncle Arthur. He was the only General in the War of 1812 to surrender to Japan.”
“No, I don’t think that’s a good Halloween costume idea, Charles. I’d want a horse, too.”
(bird 1 to bird 2) “If you want to get it right on the windshield, hold it in until you pass right over the hood ornament.”
I don’t know. Maybe you can think of better ones. In the meantime, I’m going to use this as an excuse to show my favorite Charles Addams cartoon:
Oh, it’s so good and dark. And it gets better the more you think about what’s going on! The man was a genius.
1.Clearly that car is not moving (pedestrians all have umbrellas out, stormy looking sky. No splatter or splash from the tires.)
2. That’s the Sherman Memorial in a fairly affluent Manhattan neighborhood on the southeastern corner of Central Park.
3. There weren’t a lot of parking structures/lots or spaces in 1959 Manhattan.
The driver is clearly waiting for a spot close to the passengers building while the passengers assess his ability to parallel park the nearly 18’ vehicle.
The caption should read:
“I can fit in that spot.”
A rather dystopian advert. Like it was designed in another universe, or designed by Machinegames for a Wolfenstein game. Just bleak and cold.
But they’re cozy, warm, and dry inside that enormous Le Baron.
Look dear, down that street you can see the “Bowery”.
“I love these rainy fall days. I just enjoy being driven around while basking in my whiteness.”
The Addams Family had an early ’30s Packard V12 largely because in 1966 a ’59 Imperial was just a depreciated used luxury car, the possession equivalent of an early/mid ’00s Lexus RX today. Not eccentric enough.
It’s surprising that they didn’t have a toyetic showrod like the Munsters (and for that matter the Monkees and the Beverly Hillbillies) did, that was almost *de rigeur* in the ’60s along with a tie-in model kit that probably has been rereleased if they can find the original tooling.
I love how the cars of that era were so cartoonishly long that they looked like a parody of themselves. That leviathan should have come with twin rear axles, like the version The Onion made up for their book of vintage articles.
I remember that article well. The Lincoln Monstroliner or something to that effect.
The advertising artwork always exaggerated length and width, because the marketing people believed the real things weren’t quite enormous enough. They had to make sure the heads of the people inside looked like tiny dots
Bruce McCall’s 1958 “Bulgemobile” takes that tiny-head/big-car imagery to it’s logical extreme. The best part is that he was an artist for the The New Yorker, which really brings all of this full circle.
“In France this baby is called the “The Baron!”
Not sure I ever saw a death ray that ran on wall current before. That’s some good realism right there.
It’s so perfect.
Hmm – a death ray – let’s try it out. That and .. Fiddlesticks!
The applicant doesn’t look at all like Elon Musk….
I’m sure the death ray was meant to operate on 220V, which probably wasn’t available in the attorney’s office.
(mad scientist voice)
“Curse you, WestingHOOOUUUUUUSE!”
“The applicant doesn’t look at all like Elon Musk….
I’m sure the death ray was meant to operate on 220V, which probably wasn’t available in the attorney’s office”
If it’s a Tesla it should need 50kV minimum, and DEFINITELY alternating current!
they’re going the wrong way on 5th avenue! and in front of the GM building to boot
Actually back then it would be the Savoy hotel. It had a Trader Vic’s , so perhaps that explains something?
Hard to say. Due to the hats, I can’t tell if their hair is perfect.
I understood that reference..
“Yes, I know we’re on a date! But I’ll be damned if I’ll have all this back seat space without actually using it, Martha!”
“What do I do for a living? I have rich cars, play golf, and…..”
“Right now I just want to see if you agree that there’s something about this brochure painting that feels like it should be a New Yorker cartoon.”
Yes. Should I be concerned about my mental health when I agree with Jason? 🙂
‘For heaven’s sake, Virgil! We were saving those doves for dinner! What am I going to say to the Eisenhowers now?”
“Geeves, don’t you agree with me?
Charles made such a poor decision to purchase this dreadful LeBaron. You know, the McReynolds just got a black one too. I told you I wanted a Cadillac. Now, we’re just the laughing-stock at the Country Club.”
(1 percenter First World problems)
I can’t think of any good one-liners, but that is a lovely rendering.
“Yup. Jersey plates. Fire away, Don!”
“Apparently there is this thing called ‘poor people.'”
“Is this one of the Chryslers with those weird twin disk hydraulic brakes?”
“Now that you mention it, the chauffeur’s posture *is* improved since we replaced the driver’s seat with a wooden peg.”
Curses, we’ve run over a child! Find out where he lives and sue his parents for damages.
“…LePretzel Man! Pull over, Harry.”