Little Trees, disposable air fresheners in the shape of a stylized evergreen tree, are marketed for use in cars. Made of a material very similar to beer coasters, they are produced in a variety of colours and scents, usually seen hanging from rear-view mirrors. They are manufactured in the USA by the Car-Freshner Corporation. A handful of companies in Europe produce Little Trees under license, using the names Magic Tree (UK & Ireland), Wunder-Baum (Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Denmark & Romania), and Arbre Magique (France, Italy, Spain & Portugal). In Sweden, the Wunder-Baum brand is sometimes associated with the raggare subculture.
Found mostly in Sweden and parts of Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Austria, Raggare are known for their love of hot rod cars and 1950s American pop-culture. Today it is associated mainly with middle-aged men who enjoy meeting and showing off their retro American cars. However, the subculture retains its rural and small town roots, as well as its blue collar and lowbrow feel.
Cars are an important part of the subculture, especially V8-powered vehicles and other large cars from the USA. Statistically, the most common raggare car is the 1960s Pontiac Bonneville. They are plentiful, classic, relatively cheap and have a huge backseat so the Raggare can pile in all their friends. While hot-rodders in the US have to do extensive modifications to their cars to stand out, raggare can use stock American cars and still standout compared to the more sober Swedish models.
Due to Raggare culture, there are more restored 1950s American cars in Sweden than in the entire USA and, although only two 1958 Cadillac convertibles were sold in Sweden at the time, there are now 200 of them in the country. Between 4000 and 5000 classic US cars are imported to Sweden each year.
The car parts on ‘Wunder-Baum’ – the wing mirror, brake reservoir and spark plug – intentionally mimic those found in small-scale model kits. This adds another veneer of representation (simulacra), therefore a model of a model. They are created utilising a similar plastic process, complete with visible mould lines. The sealed end of the exhaust further emphasises the non-functioning, purely visual nature of models. Revealing the brake reservoir through a glass covered aperture on the tabletop, attention is called to the importance of ‘seeing under the hood’ engine type components by enthusiasts. In addition, a ‘go faster stripe’, formed from palladium leaf, accentuates the accessorised ethic.
ORNAMENTATION: Cast resin / Leather / Powder coated metal / Glass / Palladium leaf
TOP: Carrara Marble
Height 765mm (935mm including mirror)
Length 1007mm (1185mm including exhaust pipe)