No.174. Crown Victoria.

H e felt he had worked hard enough and long enough to finally buy himself the car he had wanted since he was fifteen years old: a 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria--the one with the green plexiglass roof arcing over the driver's seat. As a kid, he used to haunt the new car showrooms and sometimes felt emboldened enough to climb behind the wheel of these brand new cars and sit there in fantasy-filled splendour. Sitting in a 55 Crown Victoria was as voluptuous as frolicking in a jade-green swimming pool with Esther Williams.

The Crown Victoria was all light inside. The green of the half-roof bathed you in soft emerald joy. The wraparound windshield--which had been introduced that year, in 1955--left you floating about in industrial dazzle. Even the big half-wheel speedometer was bathed, in the daytime, in natural light, the back part of the housing having been replaced by another curved plastic panel--so the sun streamed warmly and wantonly into the instrument panel. It was mechano-ecstasy.

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