Polistra has often used
Nash and its Rambler as a shining example of corporate 'squareness'. Charles Nash had worked his way up to CEO of GM, and got tired of the high-roller antics of GM's founder Billy Durant. Nash started his own company, vowing to run it the square way. Never borrow, always save, don't throw away workers, don't throw away designs and tooling. Over the decades, his belt-and-suspenders principles gave Nash a strong advantage. It survived 30 years longer than the other 'independents'.
Spokane is a square town. Hipsters and rich fuckheads have their special areas, but most of the city is relentlessly square, a place where the 1950's never disappeared.
Spokane was also a Rambler town. When I moved here in '91, AMC cars were notably overrepresented. Everything from 1959 Americans to 1980s Eagles were common. The Eagles made sense: a low-priced 4WD station wagon is an obvious choice in snowy country. But the dominance of earlier Ramblers didn't make sense.
I just made the connection. Square and Mormon go together. Spokane is a Mormon place. Mormons are square in the best sense. They have big families, work hard, and do innocent things. And they make it look fun.
Square and Rambler obviously go together. And of course George Romney and Rambler go together.
Romney, Mormon, Square, Rambler. Completes the square of squareness.
Back in my hippieshit years I thought I was cool.
Of course I wasn't, but I kept trying. And one aspect of coolness was mocking squares, which included mocking Ramblers. Cool people drove VWs and Saabs. Squares drove Ramblers.
Well, those square Ramblers were actually a whole lot greener than our cool VWs. Consider a Gremlin. Same size as a bug. Same gas mileage as a bug. Consumed less oil than a bug. Consumed less metal than a bug, because the Gremlin's belt-and-suspenders engine
lasted 3 times as long before overhaul. Drastically safer than a bug. (If you die in a crash, you won't continue being cool.) (Hmm. In a strictly thermal sense the oxygen-free lifestyle
is the coolest of all alternate lifestyles, but it's a kind of cool that the chicks don't appreciate... and even if they did,
you wouldn't know it.)
Wanna get political? OK. Gremlin traced its heritage to Charles Nash, a poor orphan who escaped from slavery and later started his own company to escape Wall Street trickery. VW traced its heritage to Hitler.
So why did we mock Gremlins? Because we were idiots.