Excerpt from The Guardian (28.01.09) by Jonathan Glancey
While it’s hard to imagine the president’s security advisers recommending a Smart car instead of Cadillac One, it would be interesting to see a read-out of Obama’s carbon footprint over the next four years as his fellows Americans replace their V8 pick-ups and SUVs (sport utility vehicle) with cars designed to use half or even tree times less gas than these politically doomed design.
The ownership of car has been a symbol of American freedom since Henry Ford launched his Model-T, or “Tin-Lizzie’, in 1908.
The cars, especially the V8-powered one, big and rumbling, have long been celebrated in film and song.
“I got a 69 Chevy with a three ninety-six, Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor, She’s waiting tonight down in the parking lot, Outside the seven-Eleven store… Tonight, tonight the strip’s just right, I wanna blow’en off in my first heat, Summer’s here and the time is right, We’re goin’racin’in the street”
The idea of Chuck Berry idly riding along in his automobile “Cruisin’ and playing the radio/With no particular place to go” will be soon anathema.
How a culture and a country whose very infrastructure and way of life has turned for so long with the wheels of mammoth automobiles is going to make do with “environmentally friendly” cars that could fit inside the trunk of Elvis’s or Obama’s Cadillac.