Weekend Watch: The Great Love Affair

In 1966, cars were becoming a huge part of American culture and maybe a bit of a problem. But, they were "our mess. And we're willing to live with it."

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled Weekend Watch: The Great Love Affair
Screenshot: PeriscopeFilm via YouTube (Other)

Cars. They’re big, they pollute the air and make messes of cities. At least, they did in the ‘60s, before the EPA was created, leading into the Malaise Era where automakers tried struggled to figure out how to make any sort of “efficient” motorized anything. But damnit, cars were cool, and many of our favorite American-made classics originated in the ‘60s, kicking off America’s love affair with cars, as documented in this 1966 film, The Great Love Affair.


Starting some time in the 1950s and heading into the 1960s, cars were not just something to get you from point A to point B. The car culture and culture surrounding automobiles were growing. There were drive-in diners and drive-in films. Car shows are becoming more commonplace. And a big one, cars were becoming an extension of the American persona. It was more than transportation. It was a symbol of success and status. Ever see a Cadillac from that era? It was opulence. It was a sign that you had made it.

Sure, none of these autos are considered very green-friendly, but that wasn’t the point back then. These bricks of steel were modern marvels — works of art that could roll down the streets under their own power.

We all read Jalopnik for the fact that we too, have that same love affair — 56 years later. Our worlds may look a bit different, but they are, one and the same.