Download Car Wars : How the Car Won Our Hearts and Conquered Our by David; McConville, Chris Davison Graeme; Dunstan PDF

By David; McConville, Chris Davison Graeme; Dunstan

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In these hardpressed households the car could easily become a bone of domestic contention, rather than a symbol of liberty. THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MAN BEHIND THE WHEEL In the sexual politics of the postwar years, it was common to distinguish between the exercise of authority, which conventionally belonged to men, and the arts of persuasion, in which women excelled. Dad traditionally took the driver’s wheel but, as retailers and market researchers soon discovered, mum was more than a passenger when it came to the business of buying and selling cars.

Perhaps because Ron thought the second car was safer. Either that, or I’d harped at him long enough! ’Cos men were a bit funny about that too, in those days. She took lessons with ‘old Mr Ronnie Mackenzie’ who ran a local driving school. 40 Jessie Reed was marooned on the suburban fringe, with nothing but an unreliable bus service to get her children to kindergarten, and ‘going mad’ trying to cope. When Clem and Nina Harris first settled in Mount Waverley in 1956 they had only one car, an old prewar Oldsmobile.

63 They looked for different things in a car: more storage space for gloves and shopping bags, safe childproof door catches, light steering and pedals that were easy to reach. A 1972 survey by the Ford Motor Company found that while women were named as the owners of only 11 per cent of their new cars, many more were apparently bought by or for women but registered in men’s names. The company estimated that women had a ‘fairly strong deciding influence’ in nearly half of all new car purchases. Contrary to the stereotype current among motoring drivers in the early postwar years, women were much more interested in a car’s convenient size and economical operation than its high fashion colours or interior fabrics.

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