- Barry (the Carguy) Thomas
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
May 9: Pity the poor chauffeur
What's this all about, Barry, in days gone by these guys got to drive the very best cars. Why even in the lunch bucket town, that I grew up in, a senator's wife had a chauffeur driven Cadillac Fleetwood. So why the pity party for these servants of the rich and powerful? Ok, let me tell you why. Not every car was the beautiful, enclosed luxury mobile, that we currently associate with a chauffeur. There was a time period, when the elitist, capitalist class wanted to be separated from their staff (servants), by more than a mere glass divider, between the back and front seats. Oh yes, friends, there had to be more of a class driven design for these folks.......
Of course, here is the perfect answer to a question that maybe nobody asked.......the Town Car. Let's show those lower classes where they belong. In this case, they belong out in the sun, the rain and the cold, while their "rolling in it" employer rides in the cozy back compartment, separated from the reality of the outside world. Ah, what a life.
A beautiful late thirties Cadillac, with that open to the elements front section. The only good part, might be the leather seats, since that durable material had to stand up to all sorts of real world misery.
Even Chrysler had a custom Imperial done up for the owner, Walter P. Chrysler. Not enough that one owned the company, one had to show every Tom, Dick and Archie, that you were numero uno.
Even as recently as the 1950's (now you are really showing your age, BT), Cadillac showed a concept Town Car. Literally thrown away after doing its auto show rounds, this Caddy was found in a Detroit junkyard. It has been restored to its Motorama condition by well known Chicago concept car collector Joe Bortz.
Not just an American idea, Roll-Royce also did a model or two to show the lower class their place in the world.......
This car is so gorgeous, that maybe, just maybe the chauffeur would be happy to be rained and snowed on, just to be behind its steering wheel. Well, actually, all these cars all had a flimsy little canvas top that rolled out to give the driver a little (just a little) protection.
My favorite is this last one........
Complete with its little top, this hearse let its high class owner show their status, while taking their final and I do mean final ride. Maybe if the wife died first, she got back at hubby, by suggesting that he drive her to her grave (or maybe he was happy to do it). Either way, this was certainly an impressive vehicle to take one to their final reward.
So once again, I say, pity the poor chauffeur. Visibly outcast in the high society circles in which the owner was involved. Ah, the good life, 80 years ago.
Until next time......