I started to research the history and trends of vehicle paints before I got bored and realized I don’t care too much about the history. I did know Henry Ford started with “any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Somewhere down the line this quote was cut in half. Today people spend way too much money on machines that spray off the dirt and lather on the soap.
Now cars are made to sparkle. Clear coats and waxing and buffing to drive the crows wild.
Before I got bored of my research, I found that in the 1950’s GM changed the paint to acrylics in order to save time and money. In 1960 the reverted to the earlier resin because it was shinier(more shiny?). People were buying cars based on the sparkle. High gloss was followed with metal flake paint followed with clear coat followed with two and three stage clear coat and so on.
So I ask myself, ‘Do I like things that sparkle?’ I wasn’t opposed to diamonds on my wedding band (my wife was). I do like clean windows and clear headlights – but those are functional. Do I wish my car had more chrome? Nope. The commercials with the setting sun reflecting off the smooth pristine edges of a new car are appealing to my inner crow. Have cars and jewelry been symbols for power and wealth? Or is it the rarity of something in nature to sparkle, where everything gets dusty and worn?
As a missionary we abstained from television- that was easy where there were no televisions. But I couldn’t believe how in an airport with news on that I wasn’t interested in my eyes were continually drawn towards the bright light and flickering images. Is this the gene from my ancestors that loves to stare at fire?