The sight of this 1952 Chevy made me wonder what it was like for my mom to grow up around cars which look like this. It was made the same year she was born, so it was hard not to make the connection. I never associated my mother with such cars as these but rather thought of her more in line with the very lightly built, ultra-practical and frugally-conceived cars of the mid ’70s and early ’80s, so this Chevy made for quite an instructive basis of comparison. In the United States, this car embodied the hopes and dreams of my mother’s parents’ generation. What cars do you feel most typify the aesthetic context into which your own parents were born?
It’s not unlike car enthusiasts to consider historical events alongside the appearances of common, everyday objects. I imagine fashion designers do the same with clothes (“She saw The Challenger explode? I’ll bet her hair was crimped.”) while film buffs think of contemporary movies; continue and ad lib to suit given predilection. Vehicles, passenger jets, twentieth-century architecture and consumer electronics help me frame my view of modern history, with passenger cars obviously taking precedence. If I have children, a very big if, they’ll associate daddy coming home from the hospital with the 1978 Nova. What will your kids say about their parents?
Come to think of it, I never asked my mother just where she was born. I can’t imagine it was in a hospital as her family moved all through rural Iran in those years, but I imagine a midwife was involved. So more accurately, my mom didn’t come home from any hospital in any car; maybe I can track down the midwife and ask how she arrived at my grandparents’ home.