Sunday, 26 April 2009

Not a People Carrier - The Italian Motor Show, Bristol 25/04/2009

In my new home dwelling of Bristol, I was ambling through the concrete, my mind redundant, my vision filled with City shaped stimuli. The yellow sun was reflecting off home glazing and glinting in speckles through the urban trees and the liberated for the weekend office buildings, forming angular and flowery shapes on my passage. I could say that right then I was contented as pie. Quiet in sprawl. Then, as if in a 1930s red lipstick pouting, bowler hat and quick tapper tap of getaway shoes, there was a BANG! (written in a bubble). This was no kid with a plastic sheriff badge, this BANG! shook the revolving doors. ‘What the...’, I thought. Darn and Blast!!

I quickened my pace considering my recent move to City sirens, a good point fairy on one shoulder and a bad on the other. This doesn’t happen in Kernow! As my frowning walk took me down an ally, I came across a collection of men all clutching polishing cloths. I’ve walked into the eye of the BANG! storm I thought, considering putting my hands in the air. But what kind of gang is this? Polishing cloths? They were surrounded by a crowd of milling people from a confusingly wide demographic. Clearly not actually scary, this was like a family gathering. I looked beyond them, and saw, quietly shining in the sun, a series of vintage 1980s cars. One had her bonnet up, as a man of about 60 sat on its leather quarters and revved her up, BANG! Ahhh. Sense made. These were motors with perms. Maintenance required, creating fearful shootings in the sound waves. People fascinated by the wheeled metal.

I walked further on (to what I discovered was the Bristol Vintage Motor show), and found the ‘Bristol Mod Squad’, clad in ‘The’ fur lined parkas and straight trousers. Their hands stuffed heavily in parka pockets, their posture leaning back with self-assurance. Faces occupied by an expression still holding and resonating from the passionate sense of belonging and comradeship from 40 years past. I looked at the line of scooters they stood behind. The multitude of wing mirrors and lights upon them clearly labelling, and making their group statement from within their sphere of youth. Transported now to 2009 with nostalgia and continued belief in unity, the scooters continue to be an emblem of the internal workings of the squad.

I continued, and found whole spectrums of vintage. Low down cars with eyelid lights, that the ‘Avengers’ and ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ definitely chased around in. ‘James Bond’s’ smooth lined, grey ice, alluringly dangerous Aston Martin. I stroked some beautifully kept 1950s cars that I have seen in photos with my young Grandparents inside, enjoying the realms of the beginning of a love affair. I smiled at a collection of cheeky, pastel coloured Fiat bubbles, waiting to float off on riotous trips, with headscarves and fairy cake picnics. I chuckled at the famous Morris Minor, and lusted with a vampires want at the Fiat Spider sports cars. I actually KNOW one would be perfect for my regular trips to windy French mountainous roads. In powder blue. I also walked past many young men next to sports cars, engrossed in admiration and questions with their proud owners. Owners they passed on the street the day before this day.

The show of motors, (and the power of the vintage auto) bought out the nostalgic, rose tinted memories of the older, the stories from associations of the youth, the fantasies of the desiring and the affections of the belonged. To have a vintage car is to have a dream, a bubble of a fairyland. It allows the imagination to become a reality, and the characters, passions, excitements and feelings of the past to be carried to the morning suns and starry nights.


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