What moves us

Differences in cultural attitudes toward automotive preservation and use between Scandinavia and the United States

Authored by: Katya O. Sullivan

The Routledge Companion to Automobile Heritage, Culture, and Preservation

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138389434
eBook ISBN: 9780429423918
Adobe ISBN:


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Far beyond a mere means of transportation, cars move us. From the moment the first mechanical conveyance transported its first passenger, automobiles have enthralled and inspired us. Through the lens of the car, we dream of mobility without limitation and construct a sense of intangible identity and agency independent of location. Even if someone professes to be completely uninterested in cars, their choice of conveyance indicates something about their socioeconomic status, financial priorities, aesthetic preferences, and even personality. Scholars have convincingly argued that cars and automobility are about more than movement or mechanics – vehicles form a key part of a “mammoth social institution.” 1 Yet the preservation and restoration of the most tangible element in this important sociocultural phenomenon – the vehicle itself – is often seen as the hobby of an elite, aging few, rather than the cultural legacy of many.

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