3.11.2011

Industrial art meets the San Antonio streets. Film, of course.....


I'm working on an ad project where I need to drop an Italian street scene into the background of a photograph.  The client is wonderful and I wanted to make sure they had a range of options to choose from.  I've been to Italy a number of times on jobs and shooting for myself so I opened up the filing cabinet and started to go thru the thousands and thousands of slides and medium format transparencies I have accumulated over the years.

My eyes wandered over to a different part of the filing cabinet to a folder entitled, "Old Street Scenes."  I fumbled around in it and found this photograph.  That car, if I'm not mistaken, is an American Motors Corporation Gremlin.  The predecessor of the AMC Pacer, and other fine cars.

It was taken on the streets of San Antonio.  When I look at it I realize that it must have been taken about thirty years ago.  It was my pleasure to take dodge work, drive down to San Antonio in my old Volkswagen Beetle, and walk around in the streets taking photographs.  In those days the streets were teeming with air force recruits who would come to one of the three or four air force bases in the area for basic training.  Downtown was less savory then.  Tourism wasn't as vital.  Some streets were wall to wall tattoo parlors broken up by seedy bars and military surplus shops.  That made shooting in the streets a lot more fun.

I'm going to be this was taken with a Canon TX SLR camera and a 50mm lens.  Mostly because that's pretty much all I had back then.  Fun to see history.

8 comments:

Dave Elfering Photography said...

Lol at first I wondered why a bunch of limo drivers were hanging out by a knacky old Gremlin. Then I remembered that I had to wear one of those "rain gear" get ups back in 1982 when I went through basic training. Brought back some memories. Wow the Gremlin might well have been the ugliest care ever made. Did you know they actually had one with a V8 engine? If there is a hell then Steve Jobs will be locked in a room with the Gremlin designer and told to create iPhone 3 :)

Nick Giron said...

The mismatched tires sell it for me Kirk.

mike said...

we had a gremlin when i was in high school. 6 cyl. and full of bondo. i remember many a day smoking the tires leaving school. with a car that ugly you have to do something to try and be cool

Michael Ferron said...

AMC made a sawed off, hot rod version of this thing with a fire breathing V8. Was a hot car for a short period of time. And btw the AMC fishbowl shaped Pacer was one of the worst syled cars ever.

mike said...

i wonder if the guy who designed the Pacer was fired

Bill Beebe said...

That guy that designed the Pacer was Richard A. Teague, who was honored throughout his career as an industrial designer.

I'd like to point out that the Pacer won a number of awards for its design and innovations when it was introduced in 1975.

I particular, it had a drag coefficient of 0.43, which was the lowest on any vehicle at the time. The Pacer got 26 m/g on the highway. The Prius' is 0.29. My Prius easily gets 50-55 m/g on the highway.

In addition to it's high mileage aspects, the Pacer was among the first production cars in the U.S. to feature rack-and-pinion steering.

The problem with the Pacer is that it attempted "too much" for a small car maker (AMC). It identified many emerging trends in the automotive marketplace, and attempted to create a vehicle that answered as many of them as possible. If it had been Ford or GM that had produced the Pacer, it would have been given more time to succeed, and it may have very well evolved into something that garners more respect.

kirk tuck said...

Let's stay focused guys. The car above is a Gremlin, not a Pacer.

obakesan said...

Kirk, to be sure, but I was interested to read what somone (not a testing agency) gets out of his Prius on the highway.