(first posted 2/2/2015) As a newish member of the CC Forum, I often stumble upon older posts that get my creative juices flowing. J.P. Cavanaugh’s 1955 Plymouth Makeover Contest from 2012 is one of them. Collectable Automobile ran a similar competition in the ‘90s, and I was too late to submit. Fortunately, Curbside Classic doesn’t traffic in deadlines, so here’s a late, late submission.
It came to me looking at the Paul’s Wolseley 6/110 Outtake piece. That Farina swash on the front fender looks a bit artificial to me, as it doesn’t particularly relate to the sheet metal. On the other hand, slap it on the 1955 Plymouth, with its hooded headlights, and, “Ayyyyyy!”… The next thought I had was, “What if some of the legendary artists submitted entries that reflected their renowned styles?”
Salvador Dali (speaking with a Catalan accent and the merest touch of French): I was throwing a pizza one day and I when I flipped it, it didn’t come down! Dios mio. Got stuck in the chandelier. It just hung there like a wet camisole on a motel showerhead. Mocking me. I saw it in my dreams, next to that calf’s eye. I became obsessed with droopy things. Droopy flowers, droopy flags… droopy watches… you name it, I wanted to see it droop. Now, if there was ever something that looks better drooping, it’s that godawful trim on the ‘55 Belvedere. Merci y Grazias to Monsieur Cavanaugh. I have now slain the Dragon of Droop. I will droop no more, for with the sag I have added to the Plymouth brightwork, the ultimate droop has been realized. and I am Free. Poof!
Piet Mondrian (speaking with a Dutch accent): When I was a kid, Mom used to make me help clean the shower stall. So, I always notice the tiles. You know when you have to excuse yourself from the bistro table to hit the restroom, and you’re standing in front of the urinal, and you let your eyes relax…know how the tiles start to float? I see that and I have to drop everything and draw a painting. Taking the Plymouth Challenge was easy. Change the grout to stainless, slap it on a fender, and you’re rockin’ the chromium grid, Brudder.
Alexander Calder (speaking with a touch of central PA accent, but mostly not noticeable): See the side trim on a ‘58 Fairlane? That chrome lasso shape? Those jerks at Ford stole the look from one of my mobiles! So I figured, just give me a car and I’ll do it right. This Plymouth had a nice, unmolested expanse on the side so I had plenty of room. If I woulda thought of using a car sooner, I coulda saved all that expensive wire and sheet metal, and avoided those lawsuits from passers-by getting bonked by half-ton windblown mobile sails. Anything with wheels is kinetic sculpture, right? And this way, you don’t have to go someplace to see my work. It comes to you.
Andy Warhol (low talking, with an artsy downtown/uptown accent): Repetition in form, novelty in color. See that little badge in the color break of the stock Plymouth? My design has seven of them on each side. Like seven little boarding school crests, or seven little royal coats-of-arms. Mass produced royalty. Very American. A king can own a Plymouth, and a factory worker can own a Plymouth. It’s the same Plymouth, it knows no class distinctions. Those are in the mind of the guy who drives the car, safe in the knowledge that he’s got a crest on the door.
Banksy (not talking, with a Bristol accent): Editor’s note: Mr. Bansky, the celebrated guerrilla graffiti artist/activist would not be interviewed. So we will interpret this piece, Planned Adolescence. The maid sits in the back seat, taking the place normally used by children. She lifts the Plymouth’s veil to reveal the unyielding monolith of Detroit underneath. The brickwork represents the smug self righteousness of 1950s American Industry. Anyway, we’re guessing that’s what it means. Looks awesome anyway, doesn’t it?
Calvin (speaking in a snide tone): That furball I’m always trying to smack with a water balloon inspired this. My creator, Bill Watterson never licensed me, so I took over on my own. Note the anodized golden arches; I have a deal going with Mickey D. Why am I peeing on a Chevy logo? They had the better logo to pee on, because there’s no typography to complicate the purity of the act. But you Ford people needn’t worry: whenever I come across a car with your logo on it, I pee on it, too. Guess you can forget that little brat in Brussels who’s been peeing for 300 years. Calvin rules the pools.