Additional Lines in the K Series of Molybdenum and the by Davis B., Purks H.

By Davis B., Purks H.

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By the early 1950s, as wages rose and vehicles became more affordable, the cyclists quickly became drivers again. For the family man, an old car was better than a new bike. 27 For more than a decade after the war the old bomb was almost as common a sight on the city’s roads as the new ‘dream car’. 28 A few enthusiasts professed to prefer their old bombs to the shiny new models. Harry Pollock, a keen fisherman, boasted that his old prewar tourer ran better on unmade roads, and was cheaper to run than a newer model.

When he did take the family on a train excursion to the Dandenongs, he acknowledged the inconvenience—‘a major undertaking as we have no car’—but consoled himself that it was ‘more exciting as an expedition’. Besides, he could see that if the cars multiplied and the suburban sprawl continued, there would be little bush left for them to visit. By the accumulation of small frustrations—missed trains, hours shivering on tramstops, late-night taxis home from the Friends Meeting House on the other side of town—he was inching closer to the moment of surrender.

23 The ‘family car’ was a concept that chimed nicely with the ideals of the 1950s, when prosperity, domestic privacy and the postwar baby boom had refocused people’s aspirations around the suburban family as a unit of consumption as well as social organisation. The seating plan of the family sedan—dad in the driver’s seat, mum beside him, and the kids in the back—was as powerful a symbol of domesticity as Australians had known since the 1850s when father had taken up his traditional place at the head of the dining table to carve the Sunday joint.

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