Old Modern Technology

When I attended the Ontario College of Art in the early 70’s, one of my teachers was an interesting guy named Richard Beal. He taught design.

One day, when I was heading into the school, I noticed Richard parking his car in front of OCA on Beverly Street in the Dundas and University Avenue area. His car was a stunning and quite rare 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible.

As he was walking away from his car I said, “Richard… I love your car. You better put the top up, as it looks like it’s going to rain.”

Richard smiled and said, “Don’t worry Tom, my car is equipped with special rain sensors in the seats. If it starts to rain, the roof will close automatically.”

How cool is that? I thought Richard and his car were awesome.

A few years later in 1978, Richard and his business partner, architect Alan Brown, hired me to design their graphics and architectural presentation materials in their nifty design offices located in an old building on Bedford Road, near Avenue Road and Bloor. My job only lasted about six months. They later relocated to a coach house in Riverdale. I haven’t seen or heard of them in 30 years.

Once in a while I think of Richard’s Cadillac and it’s hi-tech rain sensors, which, by the way, didn’t work. So on that overcast day 40 years ago, I’m guessing that more than Richard’s car seats got wet.


Tom Coucill

Freelance Columnist & Track Instructor