17 september 2005 — walhalla
The best part of the auto

The best part of the auto – by Erik Olde Hanhof

The best auto memories I have are visiting the showroom with my dad, when I was ten years or so. We lived quite a bit away from his work, which forced him to drive many kilometres every year. This made it very attractive for us to yearly trade-in our car for a new one. Mostly we ended up with the same car as the year before, but to get to that point we visited many weird brands for an extensive test drive.

Smell of new varnish, unlocking clicks of the doorknob, big withered plants and talkative salesmen. I enjoyed drinking my glass of Coca-Cola in the showroom, while men were playing the sales-game. The contradiction of the silent, parked cars and what they are meant for; tearing, holidays, driving through heavy weather, carrying grandpa’s and grandma’s, that’s what I liked. Whenever I entered a car and closed the door, I was inside an inside.

After the decision was made at home, I got the brochures. Filled with calculations of resale value, extra costs for accessories and additional cc’s. I stored them underneath my bed, and let myself being carried away in the stories of the images. Photos with fun, technique, pleasure, safety, family warmth and friendship.

Just recently I found those brochures again. I was back in 1980. Interiors, dashboards, settings and nonentities, all old acquaintances. Every trade his own happy world. The best part of the car remains the brochure.