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Not What It Appears To Be

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Chevrolet Chevelle Topics:  Drive

Not What It Appears To Be

Geoff Maxted
November 26, 2013

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle
A visit to your local movie store will offer up a massive choice of films for you to watch, most of them ‘straight to DVD’ tripe. The covers will try to entice you to taste the delights within. After a few years of this the discerning viewer will not be fooled by images of decorative ladies, pictures of explosions or muscular chaps armed to the teeth with imaginative weaponry. We want something more from our movies.

In the highly regarded 2011 film ‘Drive’, Ryan Gosling’s character spends a lot of his time in an old car. Most female viewers wanted Mr Gosling and most guys wanted that car. Some ladies (including the one in the next room) wanted both the car and the driver which is just plain greedy, frankly. Whatever, it is hard to see why because, in fact, that car was a 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and, even new and in sporting guise, it wasn’t very good or very fast.

It missed the true muscle car era and was introduced just as America really started the draconian rules of the road that exist there today. The best model was probably the Laguna Colonnade Coupe version with a V8, sports suspension and a four speed 'box, which is possibly what we see in the movie. The only really interesting thing about it though was the fact that it was designed by John De Lorean who left Chevy soon after to do other things of historical notoriety. Anyway, back to the future.

The point is that most DVD covers promise more than the product can actually deliver. Despite the sainted presence of Ryan, the Chevelle was not, in reality, all it appeared to be. This is true of most things. The burger you buy is not really as tasty as it looks in the picture. In short, you can’t judge a book or indeed a DVD by its cover.

So it is with all cars. Motor makers have always embellished their offerings with subtle targeted advertising, bold statements and sparkly additions to the trim, but it is what’s underneath that counts as any poor benighted Alfa Romeo owner will tell you as he weeps copiously into his next drink.

The way things are at the moment, it would appear that motorists are ceasing to be beguiled by glitz and glamour. It’s what’s inside that counts and what really counts with today’s car buyers is economy, reliability and price. This is why we are seeing the rise and rise of cars like the new cheap and cheerful Dacia Sandero. Not so long ago, as it used to be with Skoda, cheap meant awful; but not any more.

If the Dacia Sandero or the Skoda Octavia were DVD's, there was a time when you probably wouldn’t bother because there’s no big bangs on the cover to really tempt you. Now though, we know better. Open the box and what’s inside will be much better than you expected.

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