Whenever a car company comes out with a new model, it commissions photos to be taken of it. They’re for internal use, they’re for the press, they’re usually pretty boring. And then there’s this Mitsubishi Cordia, and it has a cat.
These press photos, as they’re called, are actually sometimes interesting in their own right. Sometimes car companies elect to truck their cars out to some glamorous location for its debut photo work. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz started its own space program to send the SLR McLaren to an alien planet populated by plant-people for its press photos. You can see them here:
Sometimes it is the lack of any effort at all that makes a press photo a joy. Here, for instance, is Ferrari’s official photo of the 348 GT Competizione. There is a little hair on it:
This is what you could call sprezzatura. The lack of attention is a style in and of itself. The 348 GT Competizione is one of the most hardcore road cars Ferrari ever produced, and the level of detail lavished upon its photo shoot was something along the lines of “Is it in the frame? Yes? OK we’re done here we have other things to do.”
Does this photo of the Mitsubishi Cordia XG, published in the Spring 1982 issue of Car Styling posses sprezzatura? Did somebody’s cat just leap up onto the car and the photographer snapped away? It’s possible!
Was there something about the Cordia, hatchback twin to the Tredia sedan, that inspired the cat addition? Was its front-wheel-drive layout, new to Mitsubishi at the time when the Lancer was still RWD, somewhat catlike in its reflexes? Was it the designer’s cat? Car Styling makes no mention. “Cordia 1800 SE featuring a hatch with interlocking shelf” is the photo’s caption, as if the interlocking shelf was what’s interesting here.
It is hard to imagine that even an accidental or unplanned cat photo would have made it all the way to publication without some thought, or care. Certainly it wouldn’t have gone out without a deep appreciation for cats on cars. It’s a good look.