Answer: Original Use of the Phrase "America's Love Affair With the Automobile."

I searched for "America's love affair with the automobile," because it seems the most concise phrasing of the idea. And yet, the phrase seems too colloquial to allow for an origin. Anyone can have a love affair with anything, and they often do when people are expressing an enthusiasm. Other quotations--aphorisms and such like--are easier to locate because they are usually attributed. However, one could probably, with much scholarship, find the earliest use of the phrase in print. I searched the Encyclopedia Brittanica and Americana, a "business and industry" database, and Bartlett's Quotations, but was unsuccessful in locating any specific research about this phrase.

In any case, someone has tried to find this out before. Here's an interesting link to a cached Google bulletin board entry.

This is the best I can do I'm afraid.