Ever wonder what Richard Petty’s NASCAR ride would have looked like had he driven for Citroen rather than Plymouth? Didn’t think so. But being an aficionado of things Citroen, especially 2CVs, a question such as this is something that I just can’t ignore. So being a designer, my solution is either to pull out the sketch pad or sit down at my Mac and visualize my fantasy. One adage that I have found that applies to both cars and women is “Fantasy is Better Than Reality”. Don’t cost nuthin to sketch up a fantasy car, and you don’t have to worry about your one night’s stand actually having needs or excessive flatulence. Perfect world in my book.
Growing up in the ‘50s, and an ardent fan of Car Craft and Rod & Custom magazines, I couldn’t get enough of Joe Bailon’s (credited with inventing Candy Apple Red paint) ’52 Chevy customs. After the Miata was introduced in 1990, it naturally occurred to me, but absolutely no one else in the world, what Bailon would have done with the Miata. Buick portholes and chrome sweepspear; continental kit; Olds Fiesta spinners; and curb feelers. I felt very pleased with the result in my own little world.
Much closer to earth was this 1948 Ford short-tracker, something you might have seen at the Danbury State Fair. The last of the fat-bodied Fords.
This isn’t fantasy. It was the paint scheme that I created for Ed Mautner’s car in 1984. The perceptive amongst you will realize that this is a direct ripoff of Dale Earnhardt’s Wrangler paint scheme. Worked well for the Rabbit too. I ain’t proud.
A friend of mine ran an independent Volvo repair shop and built himself a GT Pinto. Stop sniggering, these things were fast. With minimal modifications, these cars were faster than Showroom Stock Corvettes, and many of the GT 1 cars. They really pissed off the Porsche 911 crowd. The GT Pintos ran in the same race as the GT 1 cars, but started a half a lap back. It didn’t take long before the top Pintos were picking off the slower Porsches. Why? The GT Pinto class didn’t allow many modifications—almost no adjustability. The GT 1 cars were allowed tons of adjustability. Since many of the GT 1 owners didn’t have budgets for testing, they generally wrenched in the wrong direction.
So remember, Fantasy is Better Than Reality.
All illustrations by the author in Adobe Illustrator.