Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Drive, he said

You never know what you need to know until you get started on a story. Knowing it is essential too if you are to establish the right tone, setting and give a story the details that give

American TabloidImage by Pip via Flickr

it enough of an air of versimilitude.

Without details then stories have a habit of vanishing in a "something happened, someone did something, a thing happened in response and then something else happened. The End" kind of fog.

I have a feeling that the story I have just started working on is going to involve a lot of research for those salient details. Some of it is easy to find, such as the history of the US secret service, the number of US presidents that have been successfully assassinated (4) and there have been about 90 attempts to assassinate presidents. Richard Paul Pavlick threatened JFK in 1960.

Trickier though are the lifestyle questions. In particular, what make of car did federal agents drive in the 1950s and 60s? I thought it might be a Packard of some kind but they all look too old. I did an image search and thought I had found the perfect one, a Packard coupe Opera, but it turned out to be from 1925 and was seen in the TinTin stories. So, not that one then.

It's proving hard to find out. Maybe a Plymouth. It was one of the bigger car makers, had an eye for style and it has to be said that the Special De Luxe Coupe and f-door sedan h

1931 Ford CoupeImage by MyBarina via Flickr

ave the look I'm aiming for even if they are not exactly the right ones.

Ooh, this site has lots of good pictures that might help. It might even be a five-window Dodge, thgouh that did come out a bit early for the purposes of the story. What I have in my mind is a great sweeping rear of a car and the snub nose front. It'll has to have four doors too if the opening scene is going to work.

It occurred to me that it was probably Ford that had the US government contract back then to supply cars so I had a look on the same site and came across the standard coupe. There's no doubt that the Ford's have that distinctive snout on them. So maybe that's what I need to use. The Ford Coupe or the Super Deluxe. Most of them look like they only have two doors though, which could be a problem. Only a minor one, the MC could get in the front. The coupe has it. Thank you internet for sorting that problem.
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