By David; McConville, Chris Davison Graeme; Dunstan
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Extra info for Car Wars : How the Car Won Our Hearts and Conquered Our Cities
It saves a lot of trouble and bad feeling. On the other hand it gets more difficult to travel in Melbourne without a car. Bus fares are high and trams are chaotic. Trains are in many instances sadly out-of-date and altogether travelling by public transport is very wearing. 52 Car Wars pages 20 29/10/03 8:22 AM Page 20 CAR WARS Accustomed to the good train and bus services in more compact English cities, Walker continued to hanker for them in the midst of Melbourne’s sprawling suburbs. He considered the average suburban garden extravagantly large, and the average suburbanite’s obsession with gardening and home improvement excessive.
Women were believed to be more susceptible to the considerations of looks and status, although contemporary market surveys, which seldom analysed female buying attitudes, offered little evidence on the point. 33 The motoring housewife emerged only slowly from her husband’s shadow, but she was a stock figure in advertising long before her actual appearance on the road. At first she shared the family car with her husband, but by the early 1950s the ‘little woman’ of the household was depicted with a small car of her own.
42 The most publicised, if not the most powerful, weapon in the new car war was style. Styling enabled manufacturers to reconcile the standardisation required for mass production with the demands of an increasingly status-conscious motoring public. 43 Rather than fretting about the gulf between boss and worker, the suburban family man was offered a new dignity based upon his status as defined by the style of his own home, car and repertoire of consumer goods. The more alienated his working life, the more frenetic his pursuit Car Wars pages 29/10/03 8:22 AM Page 17 DREAM MACHINES 17 of status symbols.