"Wherever I found myself, kids bought [cars], talked them, drew them, and dreamed them -- hopped them up and dropped them down -- cruised them on the drag and dragged them on the highway, and I did, too. Thus, of necessity, I learned car math and car engineering, car poli-sci and car economics, car anthropology and car beaux-arts.Even my first glimmerings of higher theory arose out of that culture: the rhetoric of image and icon, the dynamics of embodied desire, the algorithms of style change, and the ideological force of disposable income. All these came to me couched in the lingua franca of cars."
"All of us who partook of this discourse [...] understood its politico-aesthetic implications, understood that we were voting with our cars. [...] We also understood that we were dissenting when we customized them and hopped them up - demonstrating against the standards of the republic and advocating our own refined vision of power and loveliness."
"My optimum set of wheels, then, looked and sounded like a high-performance production model from a company you never fucking hear of -- as if I had walked into a Dave dealership one afternoon and bought it off the showroom floor--and now you wanted to buy one, too. That was my idea of cool."
"Works of art, after all, had been commercial objects for two hundred years, but commercial objects, like the cars we loved, had only recently become works of art -- and they did so in response to the market conditions that would ultimately create the post-industrail world. As Warhol was fond of telling us, the strange thing about the sixties was not that Western art was becoming commercialized but that Western commerce was becoming so much more artistic."
"The tailfin technology, say, that had become stylistically obsolete on the Cadillac, could be retooled and used to produce Oldsmobiles, then Buicks, then Pontiacs, then Chevrolets, by which time it had been totally redesigned. From a marketing point of view, it was heaven. It bound consumers to the parent company and invited them to make incremental steps up the price ladder, as the exquisite, finny grail gradually descended toward their aspiring spirit."