I have very little love for nostalgia because, to be frank, the auto auctions I visit every week are overflowing with it.
As the Rivethead, Ben Hamper, was fond of saying, “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence until you start cutting that shit down.”
For me that fecal threshing consists of repairs, recon work, and getting a car from yesteryear in the hands of someone who loves it far more than yours truly.
But I do have one tender spot in my heart when it comes to true automotive works of art. Especially when they’re loaded with old school kitsch and delusional fantasies.
I recently found three original Oldsmobile dealer promos from the glory days of the late 60′s.
Now keep in mind we’re not talking about the type of retro art that makes most folks “oooohh” and “aaahhh” with wondrous amazement at one’s buying prowess. No, this was just typical kinda cool kitsch that I found at the nearby Blue Chicken Auction in Dallas, GA on a Friday night.
For some reason these classic Oldsmobile posters and hang-ups appealed to me in a way no Roger Smith era wall art ever could.
Elementary school arts and craft designs intermingled with the promise and potential of space age technology and powerful thrusts of American made glory. All for your joy Mr. Customer!
An outer circle, an inner circle, and a golden rocket taking us ever upwards to the glories of future Oldsmobiles.
There was one other thing I bought in that grouping which may have indeed given ol’ Roger a little inspiration for his demonic Saturn spawn.
That other, other, other import fighting division in GM’s seven headed monster that ended up cannibalizing itself.
There is just something “awe shucks!” inspiring in that classical space age, paperboard, mega sized poster that spoke to me at the Blue Chicken Auction that evening. For once, I had to give in to my frugal nature. If for nothing else, than the sheer joy of owning what once was an American icon.
The bidding started at 5 dollars from yours truly.
About five seconds grinded by, the auctioneer was within a hair whisk of the hammer going down.. when all of a sudden…
I popped back in at 7. A brief bidding war with the shadows came and went, and I soon became the new owner of all three Oldsmobile Futuramics for 11 dollars, times the money.
11 times three came to 33. Add the 7% buyers premium and 7% tax, and the final real total came to 37.55.
Did I get a good deal? Well, who knows. For now it is occupying my man cave next to the last known skinny picture of John Travolta and an old play called “Hair: the American Tribal Love Rock Musical.” The only two things I still have in my life which date all the way back to the Reagan era and my 16th birthday.
I can’t recall a time when I ever bought a piece of automotive art that didn’t have an engine attached to it. But the Futuramic Oldsmobile artwork just seemed so simple, so hokey, and so well aligned with the neighboring art at my office, that I just couldn’t resist the seduction of that moment.
Besides if I get the urge to drive my only Oldsmobile on the lot. The Cadillac of minivans no less. What better way to memorialize that experience than by leaving behind three more pieces of Oldsmobile history to keep the skinny Travolta and super-afro hallucinogenic man company.