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What To Do With Your Bad Car by Ralph Nader et al.

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Dec 22nd, 2021. Artwork published in .
    Cover of the first edition by Grossman Publishers, 1971
    Source: twitter.com Rachel Cole. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover of the first edition by Grossman Publishers, 1971

    What To Do With Your Bad Car: An Action Manual for Lemon Owners was edited by consumer advocate Ralph Nader together with Lowell Dodge and Ralf Hotchkiss. It was published in 1971, a few years after Nader’s bestseller Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile.

    The jacket design and photography was provided by Arnold Skolnick, who’s best known for the Woodstock poster. His lemon on wheels is a visual pun referencing the (American) English slang term for a car – and by extension any consumer product – with several manufacturing defects. According to Wikipedia, “[i]ts first attribution to mean a problematic car was in a Volkswagen advertisement created by Julian Koenig and Helmut Krone as part of an advertisement campaign managed by William Bernbach” in 1960, see this post on Fonts In Use.

    Fun aside: another term for the same thing is a Friday car – based on the premise that the involved assembly line workers had their minds already on the weekend. The German equivalent is a Montagsauto, i.e. a Monday car. Here the assumption is that the workers were still drunk, or had otherwise not yet regained their usual routine after the weekend.

    The typeface used on the cover and also for titles inside the book is Cooper Black. Text is composed in Caledonia.

    Via Rachel Cole, librarian at Northwestern University’s Transportation Library.

    Title page, featuring Cooper Black with Italic
    Source: www.ebay.com kena1956. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Title page, featuring Cooper Black with Italic

    Contents
    Source: www.ebay.com kena1956. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Contents

    Chapter Three: How Your Car Works
    Source: www.ebay.com kena1956. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Chapter Three: How Your Car Works

    Chapter Four: What Usually Goes Wrong
    Source: www.ebay.com kena1956. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Chapter Four: What Usually Goes Wrong

    Cover of a Bantam Books edition. Date and designer unknown. The font used here is , a phototype adaptation of Cooper Black with extra swash caps, by .
    Source: www.abebooks.com The Book Abyss. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover of a Bantam Books edition. Date and designer unknown. The font used here is Cooper Contempo, a phototype adaptation of Cooper Black with extra swash caps, by Photo-Lettering.

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