Blog: Corinthian leather
Dave Leggett | 5 March 2005
I've been leafing through the Chrysler and Jeep customer magazine 'Freedom'. It is actually not a bad read, especially to someone such as myself who is naturally attracted to quirky trivia. Here are a couple of examples. In-car entertainment. When did it start, in terms of pre-recorded music rather than just radio? 1n 1955 Chrysler showcased 'Highway Hi-Fi'. It was a record player (for the kids out there, records are those funny black vinyl discs that us old-timers sometimes talk about) in the dashboard. Apparently, shockproofing eased the problem of vibration but the catalogue of specially adapted records from CBS was rather limited. Just six were made. The owners eventually went mad of course, unable to shake those six songs out of their heads. Tape took over in the 1960s, but imagine if that technology had stuck and someone had come up with a version that took LPs. Mind boggling thought.
And did you see Shrek 2? Good film I thought, but not as good as the first - Shrek 2 is more a motley collection of loosely linked pop video parodies, though they are well done - and it is good to see that Eddie Murphy hasn't sunk completely without trace following Beverly Hills Cop.
Anyway, at one point in the movie the almost unbearably cute Puss-in-Boots character voiced by Antonio Banderas was described by Donkey as wearing boots made from 'fine Corinthian leather'. Corinthian leather? The term belongs to Chrysler. Yes, really. It is a reference to the ad for the 1976 Chrysler Cordoba which used Ricardo Montalban (he of Fantasy Island fame - yes, boss) to mouth the line: "The seats are upholstered in rich Corinthian leather." The term Corinthian leather was invented to convey luxury and because the Chrysler marketing people felt that plain 'leather' just didn't quite cut it. It is a 100% made-up term. Well done Chrysler! That tickled my funny bone.
I can't wait to go into a furniture store and start talking to one of the assistants about the leather on the particularly fine sofas. 'That is seriously smooth leather, has a real quality feel about it, could even pass as Corinthian...'
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...