Home » Visual Convergences Of NSUs And Sonic Youths: Cold Start

Visual Convergences Of NSUs And Sonic Youths: Cold Start

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I wish I understood more about how the interaction between visual images and brains and memories worked. Sometimes I’ll see a particular image, and almost instantly some neurons are firing that are associating that image with some other image; the connection is made before the other bits of my brain, which presumably run at a lower clock speed, are able to properly identify and categorize the associated images and then apply language to the result. I happened to see an image in a 1958 NSU Sport Prinz brochure, and a detail of the image reminded me of a famous Sonic Youth album from the early ’90s. The visual association is tiny and tenuous, but it’s undeniably there. I mean, at least I think so.

This isn’t the first time I’ve shared a strange visual convergence with you; I remember not too long ago I shared how a Volvo P1800’s taillights and rear quarter reminded me of the same section on an otherwise quite different Opel wagon. I think I also shared with you another visual convergence I noticed years ago and that was run on the McSweeney’s website, one involving a goofy movie about golf and the assassination of a famous assassin:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

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Good times, right? Anyway, let’s get back to this one with the NSU Prinz Sport, which was sort of the Karmann-Ghia to the Prinz’ Beetle. These were really attractive little rear-engined cars, full of all that NSU charm and some clever packaging.

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These svelte little weasels had a 598cc inline-twin engine making a pretty respectable 36 horsepower. I think they’re quite attractive, too, especially the way the rear wheelarch extends straight back to the rear of the car, and that surprisingly tall and airy greenhouse.

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The people in this cutaway – which shows quite nicely the multiple luggage areas and how remarkably canted that engine is – feel almost exactly like the cartoon couple shown in Sonic Youth’s 1990 album, Goo. I mean, they’re not exact, but the woman, the one who stole her sister’s boyfriend and killed her parents, I think is a dead ringer for the woman riding shotgun in that NSU Prinz Sport:

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Enlarged, I’m not certain the man there is even wearing sunglasses, but it feels like he is, in the way that black ink spreads. These two seem like another view of the famous Goo couple, just in a far more interesting car than I think is implied in that original drawing. Raymond Pettibon, the guy who designed the famous Black Flag logo, drew this image, and based it on another image, a then-famous, perhaps infamous photograph of David and Maureen Smith, who were witnesses in the Moors Murders trial, which was about the sexual assault and  murder of five children by a couple near Manchester, England.

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Yikes. Anyway, look at the photograph, as it’s quite familiar:

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Huh. I must have seen this drawing a snacktillion times on albums and CDs and posters and T-shirts, but I think this is the first time I knew who it was based on or the Moors Murders or anything. Look at us, learning together!

Anyway, let’s celebrate with some Sonic Youth, specifically this song about my friend Goo:

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She always knows just what to do.

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Torque
Torque
8 days ago

100% that song sounds like it could be on the “High Fidelity” sound track and if it’s not it should be
That or “Gross Point Blank” sound track for which tat song would fit in well too

CivoLee
CivoLee
11 days ago

My favorite band and my favorite album by them! Thanks for this.

Pedro
Pedro
11 days ago

Awesome!

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
12 days ago

Wow, thanks for the background on an album cover I always loved! NSU girl also kinda reminds me of the English Beat girl on some of their covers and posters.

Beater_civic
Beater_civic
12 days ago

Great catch! What’s even more incredible is how similar they sound to each other.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
12 days ago

Uh, you did get that lump removed from your right shoulder? Right? So it didn’t turn out to be a reprise of How to Get Ahead in Advertising?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Get_Ahead_in_Advertising
I ask because in the lead image it actually looks like the driver has two heads and I’m hoping this post isn’t a cry for help, that is, a signal that the evil Denis Dimbleby Bagley has taken over.

Gubbin
Gubbin
12 days ago

And I just go dancing around the house with a cat in my arms singing, “My li’l kitty goes, mee-YEW! My li’l kitty goes, mee-YEW!”

(Yes it doesn’t scan right, cat don’t care.)

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
12 days ago

I like Sonic Youth, but it’s almost like they’re too cool for me to listen to.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
12 days ago

Yeah, me too!

I was listening to Kim Gordon’s new solo stuff recently, and despite the buzz, it sounds (to me) pretty much like…Sonic Youth.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
12 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Yeah it really hit home when my 24 year-old kid started liking them.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
12 days ago

Dude’s wearing white socks with his prissy Euro driving shoes.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
12 days ago

I just think the Sportprinz is one of the best car names ever! Right up there with Spitfire 🙂

Also I admire the honesty of 60ies car brochures, where they have the body colour mismatch (from door to front fender) already showing in the photo.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
12 days ago

The intersection of Gen X, ass engined German ‘sports’ cars and murder only The Autopian gives you. No wonder I feel so at home here.

TheNewt
TheNewt
12 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

It’s that thread that you keep pulling, not knowing if everything will fall apart, or you will come up with something interesting. Or both.

Toecutter
Toecutter
12 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

That intersection is a great place to be.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
12 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I noticed on the “how many cars have you owned” story that a very large percentage of the commenters were Xers. I think this speaks to the site’s credibility.

AssMatt
AssMatt
12 days ago

Don’t trust anyone over thirty. Unless, you know, you are.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
12 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Hey, The Autopian could continue that theme with a podcast about crimes involving cars! Loads of missing persons cases have interesting automotive details, too.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
12 days ago
Reply to  PlatinumZJ

Oh that would be so cool!

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