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Four-Links – stuffed-away Studebaker, Barthes on the DS, Nepal’s EVs, Americanized gullwings,

Published in blog.hemmings.com

For more than 50 years, a 1948 Studebaker has resided on the second story of the Greider family’s garage near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At least, it did until this month, when it was removed for a restoration, according to LancasterOnline.

The Greiders raised five children. Mary Henning, 67, of Delaware County, was in her early teens the day her father put the Studebaker in the garage’s second floor. It had been sitting since 1958 at his father’s farm.

“My dad called us out and lined us up,” Henning said. “We were called to our stations to learn about how a block and tackle works.”

One time, Henning happened to mention to her father how the Studebaker sat forlorn and forgotten. “It wasn’t one of my better ideas,” Greider told Henning.

* The Citroen DS has often been hailed as a stunning example of modernity. Indeed, as Open Culture noted this past week, one of those who lauded it was philosopher and critic Roland Barthes.

“Cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals,” writes Barthes in an essay on the DS that appears in 1957’s Mythologies, many of whose editions bear the car’s image on the cover.

“I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object. It is obvious that the new Citroen has fallen from the sky inasmuch as it appears at first sight as a superlative object.” Possessed of all the features of “one of those objects from another universe which have supplied fuel for the neomania of the eighteenth century and that of our own science-fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost a new Nautilus.”

* The fact that Nepal was, for a brief moment in the 1990s, the electric-vehicle mass-transit leader of the world likely has less to do with Nepal’s leadership in EVs than it does with the rest of the world’s utter disregard for EVs at the time. CityLab has more on how the situation came to be.

Safas were introduced in Kathmandu in the mid-1990s, long before the current generation of battery-powered buses. Originally introduced as a pollution-fighting measure, by 2000 the city had more than 600 of these zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs). Locally manufactured and backed by government policies designed to encourage adoption, Safa Tempos constituted the largest fleet of battery-powered public transport vehicles in the world, and they turned one the world’s poorest cities into a pioneer for an extraordinary new idea in public transit—but only briefly.

* The latest entry in Frank Peiler “what if” drawings envisions the Mercedes-Benz gullwing as American car companies would have designed it.

the original form-follows-function body looked like a half-used bar of soap with a cap stuck on top. Let’s say that in this post-WWII era of rebuilding, there wasn’t much of a design department at Mercedes-Benz that the company could turn to.

So, what if Mercedes-Benz management had looked to American shores for styling help, and gave each U.S. company’s designers a crack at the 300 SL design?

* Finally, in Beryl Swain’s neighborhood of Walthamstow, a mural celebrating her racing career at Isle of Man recently went up, inaugurated by an all-female motorcycle ride to the mural.