Sunday, October 01, 2006

They've taken my timewarp away

Driving past my neighbourhood Jeep Chrysler dealer this weekend, I discover it's undergone a makeover - new facia, new signage, Jeep and Chrysler branding joined by the Dodge ram's head looking disturbingly Satanic in red on black.

What's noteworthy is not however the new face of Chrysler, but what went before. When Chrysler returned to the UK after a long absence, along with the Jeeps and Neons, there suddenly appeared perfect simulacra of pre-Peugeot, pre-Talbot, pre-1978 Chrysler UK showrooms, with the Pentastar on its light blue and white facia scarcely different from the days of the American takeover of Rootes.
Life on Mars

For those of a certain (fairly advanced) age it's possible to imagine taking a 'Life on Mars' type step into a world of kipper ties, broad lapels, 1970s haircuts, and most importantly, vinyl-roofed Avengers, Hillman Minxes with hose-out interiors, and brand new Hillman Imps.

Of course, it's just a moment's middle-aged fantasy, but the British High Street, or more likely edge-of-town 'motor village', is a poorer place now that this unintended anachronistic throwback has gone for good.

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