Sunday, May 24, 2009

Front Row Seat

I was talking to my Uncle Clive yesterday and reminiscing with him about a car he owned in the 1970s which made him seem impossibly cool to me, and most of my young and impressionable male cousins, his black Pontiac Laurentian. It was the best part of a decade old by then but was still much bigger and cooler than your average NZ family car of the time. I remember sitting on a blue leather seat like this one, only able to see the dashboard, the carpeted floor and the shiny chrome handles on the passenger door. The front window was somewhere way above, like the sky inside the car, and the engine turned over like a tank. Uncle Clive had a Hogan-esque black cow lick back then and wore Bob Charles action gusset shirts and gold aviator sunglasses. I thought it was all so American and over time imagined a story that Uncle Clive had been playing golf in America and shipped the car back on cruise liner to power around the streets of Westmere. I found out yesterday it was purchased in Great North Road. Still, for me it remains a style icon and to this day I can still smell the Turtle-waxed upholstery.