In almost every quantifiable way, modern cars whip the pickles out of older cars. They’re faster, more efficient, more comfortable, last longer, require less maintenance, and their defoggers actually work. And yet there’s one really glaring way that old cars are hectares better than new ones: repairability. That’s why I picked that image above: because it shows not just that cars were once vastly easier to repair, but also that carmakers actually gave a shit about that, to the point of including it in their brochures, like in this 1961 Citroën ID brochure. Can you imagine any modern carmaker showing off how easy their body panels are to remove in a modern car ad? I can’t.
I think this is a big deal because we have cars driving around now that are absolutely financially devastating to repair, even in minor-seeming incidents. I hate that. I’m a forgiving person, and I like that quality in my cars, too. We’re all fuckups, sometimes, aren’t we? And why does the price have to be so dear for every time we do something stupid? Headlight units on modern cars are vulnerable on the corners and can cost thousands of dollars. Compare that to the price of a sealed beam headlight, which is often less than a burger at a fancy restaurant. And brighter, too.
Those ID fenders would pop off with just a few bolts! And that was an advanced, premium car, too!
This brochure is full of other great art, too. I love when carmakers would show interior space with line drawings like the one up there. It makes it all so damn clear! Literally, I guess.
I also love this iconic Citroën illustration, where the ID/DS becomes a hover-car. Citroën had a real one of these – well, physical, it couldn’t really hover, you’d have heard about that– that they used to bring to car shows:
Man, mid-century Citroën must have just had their own independently-operated coolium mine in some French colony.
Speaking of cool, this is a pretty cool way to show the available colors of your car. Also, who knew accessorizing with a car door worked so well? Put your stuff in the door pockets and it’s a perfect, hard-to-lose handbag!