"Gangster lean": what's it mean?

Wilson Gray hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Aug 6 04:27:03 UTC 2004

Newsweek August 9, 2004 p.54

With its  _gangster lean_  and high-caliber name, the Dodge Magnum RT
is a station wagon ...

In 1972, Curtis Mayfield wrote a song called "Be Thankful (For What
You've Got)." It contained the phrase, "in a Cadillac, digging the
scene with a gangster lean." The "gangster lean" that Mayfield referred
to was a manner of sitting behind the wheel of a car with your back
against the driver's-side door and with your legs twisted to the right
so as to make it possible to operate the brake and gas pedals with your
legs crossed as though resting in an easy chair, a *very* cool but,
needless to say, also a very *dangerous* way to drive. This way of
positioning yourself was also known by the more-descriptive name,
"sitting to the side."

So, what does it mean to say that a station wagon is a vehicle "with
gangster lean"?

-Wilson Gray

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