so i always blame my mother… for the good the bad and the ugly. in my pre-teens, my mother decided to assist with the decorating of my room, which i shared with my younger brother (which already tells you who was boss). now it may not seem so radical but it had a huge effect on my delicate sensibilities. i was happy with the wood and olive green patchwork scheme, it had a kind of quaker homeliness to it. i think i might have said something about a friend’s room which was all racing cars and starships, but i never thought she’d take it to hart.
regardless of how, next appears a framed set of cars from what could only be a redundant calendar or something. now don’t get me wrong, i loved cars, i had model cars (which i kept for at least 20 years still) and although i was never the race them in the sandpit type, i adored looking at their paintwork and designs almost like a proud collector would; or a proud six year old collector would. so obviously the new calendar prints did hold some interest to me although there were some cars that i didn’t recognise, but still it jarred so much with the rest of the room that i eventually could only fall into a conflicted sleep after staring at them for hours. what i didn’t mention is which cars they were, but at least you get the picture.
where i came from a car was a very special thing, it was something everyone aspired to and could not go without. it was a symbol of freedom, achievement and status and to a greater extent still is. this was before the eco-fuel-debacle of course. engine performance and design was the basic criteria. it always baffled me how much of a person’s identity was reflected in their cars. my father had such a friend, uncle ben, who i suppose was more intimate with his car than with anyone else. he drove an alfa, an alfa that was on one of the reviled pictures from my room. i did like him though, even if it seemed his car always had some problem which he and my father would spend hours fixing and fussing about. my father had a fiat and i could never tell if he liked uncle ben more or his alfa. suffice it to say that they went on enough test-drives to make you wonder.
but back to me; the thing that finally turned the whole room-decor-dilemma around, was a new tv show called magnum pi. it turned out that uncle ben’s alfa and tom selleck’s ferrari were both designed by pininfarina… the theme of the calendar.
much later i finally found a real appreciation for pininfarina’s designs and the way it managed to influence car designs across so many brands and manufacturers in a very elegant and individual manner. i miss that.