Only some of us will remember the days when a car might have a rumble seat or – depending on which school you went to – a dicky seat, dickie seat or dickey seat.
Alf went to Wikipedia to jog his memory on the matter, and found a dicky seat described as
an upholstered exterior seat which hinges or otherwise opens out from the rear deck of a pre-World War II automobile, and seats one or more passengers.
In a carriage, a rumble (short for “rumble-tumble”) was a seat behind the body used by servants. Roadster, Coupe and Cabriolet auto body styles were offered with either a luggage compartment or a rumble seat in the deck. Models equipped with a rumble seat were often referred to as a sport coupe or sport roadster.
Well – great news.
The Russians – you could say – have brought back the dicky seat.
Or – more accurately – a seat made from the dicks of denizens of the deep.
A Russian armoured-car builder is boasting that its latest vehicle has seats covered with “whale-penis leather”.
The €1 million (NZ$2 million) Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition armoured car has been developed by the same company, RussoBaltique, that built armoured vehicles for Tsar Nicholas, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky.
On its official website, the company says the whale-penis leather is the same as that used by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis on the yacht Christina O.
Onassis is rumoured to have had some of the barstools on the yacht, the world’s most expensive at the time, covered in the controversial leather.
For what it’s worth, Wikipedia tells us that in America, the dicky seat became largely obsolete in the mid-1930s when cars became too fast and streamlined for the comfort of passengers in such a seat.
Their popularity was further diminished by the frequent injuries, including decapitation that sometimes occurred in accidents. Rumble seat passengers were essentially seated out in the elements, and received little or no protection from the regular passenger compartment top.
On the plus side, they were spared the health dangers from inhaling the cigarette smoke that typically fugged car interiors in those days.