That's sanitary, man

That's sanitary, man

Back in the day there were customs that followed a theme termed "sanitary". The idea was to remove all extraneous trim, handles, everything so that the car was a pure smooth organic shape. Sometimes spats covered the rear wheels, completing the look.

The dash was likewise smoothed and molded and blended to its simplest possible form, removing all but one required gauge.

The upholstery was artful, often featuring very expensive leather, but very simple and without adornments like pleats, armrests, etc.

Opening the hood was a fun thing, the firewall smoothed and all lines and tubing, rubber hoses, wiring neatly hidden and everything painted and finished with as much care as the exterior. A powerful V-8 looked small in that vacant compartment.

When we saw such a car we said "That's sanitary, man".

That was a phase of automotive Americana that was never really internationalized, and certainly went away until recently, the dash of the Model 3 being a revival of that art, and it was art.

It is mostly just the Model 3 dash design for now, but there are minimalistic elements in various Tesla design details. It will be interesting to see how far they dare go with this and if others have the courage to follow. And of course if the buying public will accept this, being weaned from the comfort of kitschy complexity.

vp09 | 12 juin 2017

I vaguely remember that term. About what year?

Badbot | 12 juin 2017

shaved was also used

cascadiadesign | 12 juin 2017

I agree. Love the minimal look. There's no reason to carry over anything from cars of the past that aren't needed. GM may feel their EVs need to look familiar. Tesla begins with a clean sheet of paper.

Captain_Zap | 13 juin 2017

Life without a center console is beyond sanitary. It is liberating.

carlgo2 | 13 juin 2017

Av09: Most of this was done in the '50s and early '60s. After that customization got into the big buck territory and died out for most people.

Next to my former work is a talented guy who builds rods and customs reminiscent of that era, but using modern technology and components. His clients are mostly guys who were poor back then and couldn't afford a hot custom car, but now can drop half a mil into one!

A nationally famous customizer had a shop way back then near where the local Tesla store is now.

eeb9 | 13 juin 2017

I'm looking forward to the first Tesla Rat Rod... it's *bound* to happen sometime...

jordanrichard | 13 juin 2017

I am 50 yrs old and at least here on the East coast, I have never heard that term. I have heard "shaved", but not sanitary.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 13 juin 2017

I have heard 'shaved' as well. I think I first heard the term in relation to vehicles by Boyd Coddington. But a Google image search for 'sanitary custom automotive' is rather fruitful. | 14 juin 2017

Bump over Koreans