Back when I was semi-serious about photography— as in Pliocene Epoch photography with lots of chemicals and red lights— I scored a bunch of two-piece glass 35mm slide mounts at a camera store in Los Angeles. Most of them were empty, but a handful came with Chrysler dealership promotional slides from 1974.
This was about 1988, and so there wasn’t as much ironic distance between the era of the slides and the time of my acquisition; the slides just reeked of Chrysler’s Malaise Era desperation. I pictured the scene: a Chrysler Sales regional office somewhere in, say, Culver City. There’d be the whir and heat from the slide projector, the light beam cutting through the Pall Mall smoke, and a burly corporate axeman from Michigan trying to sound upbeat as he triggered slide after slide. Sell these goddamn Darts with the goddamn plush-cut pile carpeting, went the subtext beneath the optimistic-sounding sales talk, or the goddamn Japanese will have our asses! Cue sound of Corollas buzzing by outside…
Of course, what Dart buyers really wanted in 1974 was the Hang Ten Edition, complete with matching surfboard!
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