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Grateful for the car era I was raised in

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by teejay99, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. teejay99
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 356


    Sitting in a long line of cars at the Tim Hortons Coffee drive thru , I got to staring at all the cars ahead and behind . If I didn't peek at the nameplate , I would have no clue what make and model they were . Everything seems to have the same boring design .

    I'm so thankful that in the 50's and 60's we would sit outside , or park the car and comment on everything around us " hey look at that '58 Impala " , " did you see that '63 Galaxie ? " We rarely even referred to them by the brand name because we could spot the model 50 yards away . We entertained ourselves for hours looking at and talking about cars ........I doubt the youngsters today are doing much of that . Too bad .

  2. I'm sure they do,"Hey,Look at that Prius",or "Man what a bitchin' Saturn".

    Yeah,the cars did have different personality's at one time. HRP
  3. boutlaw
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,236


    TJ, you are so right...every sedan today looks like a Lexus or Mercedes with a little different taillight. They basically all look the same. I, like you, have to check the logo to see what brand it is, dang sure not the case in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Remember the dealerships covering their windows in preparation for the new model year events?
  4. teejay99
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 356


    Yeah , around here the dealer would tape black plastic on the store windows until the "official" model launch , usually mid September . We would walk by on our way to school and wonder what the look would be , fins or no fins , new colours , motors , etc . When the big day came , we couldn't wait to get down there and have a look .


  5. Someone asked me the other day what would I buy if I had to get a new car? I thought about it for a bit and realized there is not one new vehicle that appeals to me. Not one. I bought my current daily driver when it was new.......twenty five years ago. I would much rather fix up something older.
  6. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,884


    I agree you with you completely.

    I also grew up in the late 50's and 60's and what a wonderful time it was.

    I would ride my bike by a garage that had the door open ten times trying to get a better look at a 39 Chevy Coupe gasser that the guy was working on.

    Finally the guy came out and said would you like to come in and see the car and that's when I jumped off the bike and said yes.

    To see the straight front axle and the Hemi engine with Hillborn Injectors sticking up and these great big slicks on the back had 12 year old mind racing a mile a minute.

    Back in those day's it seemed like there were many garages with either drag cars or hot rods sitting inside of them.

    I started asking if I could go with them on Sunday's to the drag strip and help out and they said sure.

    It was a wonderful era to grow up in and I would not change anything if I had it to do over again.

    Just my opinion. Jimbo
  7. gasheat
    Joined: Nov 7, 2005
    Posts: 714

    from Dallas

    All the new ones look the same but the parts do not interchange.
  8. They are even all the same color, that ugly silver-grey.
  9. dynaflash
    Joined: Apr 1, 2008
    Posts: 506

    from South

    We used to even have competitions to see who could identify the car first at night. That way it was harder because all you could see was the shape of the lights. It was hard when all you could see was the taillights but even harder when the car was coming toward you. Now days I can't tell one from another in day light until I can read the badges. Local guy has a white something it the other and he took off all badges. He then put bar codes in their place and has a tag that says "MADE BY THE GENERIC CAR COMPANY" I thought that was pretty funny

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  10. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,746

    from Canada

    TJ you are only asking because there was no Tim's back in the day! I agree, a couple of spots for car watching where I lived were Mason's Sunoco on Islington Ave. and Harvey's on the Queensway both in West End Toronto. I started to get really interested in the early 60's probably because of the emergence of muscle cars. At the time we did have many hot rods around my area as well, some really nice cars as I recall. Some great car clubs as well.

    With modern cars it seems like it is all about "branding", they want you to look at the label before looking for the model. And you are right it is tough to tell some of them apart. I recall hanging around Humberview Motors (GM) on Bloor Street hoping to be there when they reviled the 63 Split Window Coupe, I don't think we even called it a Corvette then. There was a Studebaker dealer across the street from Humberview and I remember riding my bike by one day as they were unloading a truck full of Avanti cars. Not sure looking back I even knew they were from Studebaker!

    Your right it was a great era to grow up in. Such a variety of great cars and you did not have to travel far to see hot rods, race cars, sports car, muscle cars and on and on.

    Can you get me a coffee just cream and an apple fritter please.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  11. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,385

    from Oregon

    I grew up in the 50's, and didn't start driving until '65, but I was always captivated by cars in general. Don't remember being caught up by any new models coming out back then, as I had a love affair with hotrods, and drag cars even then.
    I did get excited about some of the factory performance cars, just because they were approaching performance that the hotrods guys built had. But I wasn't excited by new cars in general, even then. Anything that went fast interested me, and if it didn't go fast I always wondered what could make it fast.
  12. 302aod
    Joined: Dec 19, 2011
    Posts: 275

    from Pelham,Tn.

    I was born in 1954 and remember even trains covered the new cars so you couldn't see the new ones. The Chevrolet premere was on Bonanza on Sunday evening. Like was said before you have to see the emblem,but some of us don't know some of the foreign symbals and don't care to learn them. I worked for a Ford dealership in the mid seventys and it was almost over by then.
  13. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,455

    Ned Ludd

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    I was at my wife's office the other day. Her boss had found an old photograph of a view over a nearby square that has long served as a parking lot. The photo was probably taken around 1952-3 from one of the upper floors of a building on the square. Even the nearest cars are quite small on the print, but I was surprised at how many of them I could identify. And I was born in 1963 and only began really to know cars in the '70s.

    I doubt if I'd be able to identify half as many cars walking across Riebeeck Square today. But it's not so much that they all look the same as that there is nothing about them that causes me to give a shit. They all have the same cynical opaqueness, the same plastic-shrouded unpossessability ...
  14. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,151

    from Rolla, Mo.

    I'm 60 (born in August of 52) I always watched cars and trucks even from an early age. Our dad was a a teacher. Sometimes he would take my brother(WZ-JUNK) and I to the auto shop. I remember chassis and engine projects, coupe and roadster bodies sitting around. Kids were building hotrods in auto shop class in Poplar Bluff, Missouri(a small town). We also went to a number of the Senior class fund raisers (for the Senior Trip). There were always cool cars around. I was in High School when the short run of the Muscle Cars hit. I sure have lived in a good time. Sam
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,848

    Atwater Mike

    Born in '42, Santa Clara, CA. At age 8, wondered why the hot rods had big wheels in back, asked an older rodder (Al Marceline) who took an interest in my interest. His '32 Hiboy was a 'staple' at Little Bonneville, San Jose's airport drag strip.
    Today a Video game might pique a kid's interest, but oversize rear tires hardly get center stage on front wheel drive tin cans...

    My Mom wasn't impressed with the new '49 Ford design, she and everybody else called 'em 'crackerboxes'. (everybody did, I never heard 'shoebox' until the '70s)
    In those days, ('50-'55, anyway) there was pride of selection. Cadillac owners cruised by with their Blue-Coral wax jobs, Fords, Chevys, and Chrysler products cruised by with equal recognition...
    Hudsons, Henry J's, Nashes...they had proud owners as well, but not so 'mainstream'.

    Then there were those that sought 'higher recognition'. Dual exhausts began appearing...where previously only 'hot rods' had 'twin exhausts', stock cars were being refitted with dual systems, Belond Equa-Flow and pairs of Steel-packed 'Smittys'!
    If your car had 'pipes', it was now a hot rod! '49-'50 Fords, same year Mercs, and Chevys, manifolds split 3-ways, 3&3, 2&4, even 1&5! The Chevy guys mastered the 'crackle' on deceleration.
    There were Dodges and Plymouths that got that 'rumble', we used to hear something coming and could tell if it was a flathead Chrysler product, Chevy 6, or Ford/Merc flathead.
    Are the 'tuners' of today quite the same? I only see and hear one large stovepipe, and though 'clear', it just doesn't sound as 'alluring'...More buzz-saw than hot rod.

    My Dad's pal Melvin had a '40 Plymouth Coupe. Dad queried him about putting 'pipes' on the car, Melvin claimed it added 30 H.P.! (and way better mileage)
    Dad was even more curious when Melvin came over to show off the new skirts he had installed. "I made a girl out of it," he stated. Dad shook his head.
    My cousin Ronny came home from Korea in '53. He bought a 1-owner '50 Merc, in a week it was dropped, flare-skirted, pipes, dual Appletons, and had the nose, deck, and handles shaved, and an Eastern Automotive grille centerpiece...I thought he was a star...
    Another cousin (older than Ronny) bought a Crosley station wagon. Very recognizable. I thought he was nuts.
    I didn't know a 'Smart Car' when I saw one! (and didn't wanna see one!)

    I don't look forward to a 'cruise' in today's traffic. It's just not the same...
    I hated it when rear wheel drive changed to front wheel; V8 changed to V6, and nylons and garters switched to panty hose.
    Billetproof looked like our salvation, but by year 4 it was a haven for critics that walked by and knew more than the builders. These critics, if followed, went across the foot bridge to the parking lot, and left in front wheel drive non-descripts after enlightening us with their superior knowledge and 'cultural awareness'....
    But I'm still grateful for my era. I can remember... LOL
  16. Pharouh
    Joined: Sep 18, 2008
    Posts: 437


    I know what you guys mean. There isn't one new car I would like to have. Not even the Corvette.
    You mentioned when the new cars were debuted,usually in September. I always looked forward to that.
    They don't even have that now. It's like "here it is,and oh yeah,it's just like last years but it has a new emblem and costs $4,000 more'.
    Even the TV ads are boring. It's all about mileage and what the payments are That's it.
    OK I'll get off the soapbox. Thanks.
  17. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,129

    from Tampa, FL

    Sure, all that baby boomer stuff was cool, but how about living at the beginning of the 20th century? When cars and aircraft were INVENTED. Imagine how fired-up you could be about piloting aircraft or driving and even racing autos after you saw one for the very first time? Our great grandparents got to see all that. And with no horses or steam engines at all. And unlike trains or boats, you could make turns and go just about any place you wanted! As fast as you dared. Gary
  18. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,956


    Born in '52,and remember waiting for the new models each year. Parade magazine ( in the Sunday paper) would run pics of what was about to come out every year. I was a paperboy, and always waited for that issue each year. Years later, whenever a flatbed would go by with crushed cars, my ex thought I was some kind of freak for being able to identify most of them. She didn't understand that for guys like me, if I could see a little bit of trim, or a taillight, those 50's or 60's cars weren't that hard to name.
    I barely know what my neighbors drive anymore. All the same.
  19. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    I worked at an Olds dealer in the early 60's.

    When the new ones came in, we would unload them at night or under tarps. the windows in the dealer shop were covered and the day of the unveiling was like a big party, free drinks, hot dogs, balloons, hand outs.

    Good times.
  20. Gerry Moe
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 498

    Gerry Moe

    Used to watch Bonanza on Sunday and every year they would have one episode that during all the commercials they would showcase the new Chevrolet line. Always watched that episode to see the new year models.
  21. 55Belairman
    Joined: Jan 11, 2013
    Posts: 414


    I also was born in '54. The woman who lived next to us worked at the Ford plant that built the Mustang. When it was introduced, she brought home a red convertable for a weekend. She took all of us for rides for the time she had it. I , at the age of ten, lobbied hard to my Dad, that we needed one of these new Mustangs. As much as I tried, he ended up buying a new '68 VW Beetle.
  22. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,674


    Amen brother.
  23. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 628


    I am 65. Not only did we see the best car times but I think we saw the best the United States will ever be. I look and my Grandson who is 8 yrs old and I wonder what the future will be for him.
  24. 33sporttruck
    Joined: Jun 5, 2012
    Posts: 532


    Hi Guys, I was born in 1947 and will be turning 66 very soon. The 50's, 60's and a few years in the early 70's was the greatest of times that I have ever known.
    I grew up in Decatur Ga. and had many chances to stand outside of Dyno Don Nicholson's Shop in Decatur and listen to all the COOL Sounds from within. Don moved his shop to Stewart avenue in Atlanta sometime later. Lamar Walden was in Decatur also. We had a lot of Drag racing influence in the area.
    It is hard to forget the Drags at Yellow River Drag Strip in Covington,Ga. We also went to Newton Co.Drag Strip (later named Atlanta Speed Shop Dragway. Every once in a while we would venture down to Houston Bros. Drag Strip in Fairburn, Ga.
    The reason that I mentioned the above is that those events and the dealership displays in Mid-September set my young ass on fire.
    Finally in 1966 I bought a 39 Chevy 2-dr with beam axle. Soon the old 6 was replaced with a 283, Glide and 55 Chevy rear end. I was determined to make a statement.
    At the time many of my friends were driving new Mustangs and such and I caught a lot of FLACK over my OLD CAR. In 1966-68 the 39 Chevy was not really considered a Hot Rod. I guess it was just and old car after all but it was all mine and a labor of love.
    I never got hooked on the Factory Muscle Car Thing, although I have owned several very collectible Chevy Editions. I still get severe "Heart Burn" when I hear Loud Pipes and the Screech of Tires.
    I have to agree with all of you that have posted on this Thread. It appears that by the time 1975-78 got here it was really all over. Things started getting LIMP in the car market. The last new car that I bought for myself was a 78 El Camino. I finally sold it in 2005 after 4 engines,2 transmissions,2 interiors and one hell of a custom paint job.
    To bad that the current car situation is what it is. I really would like to see all of the excitement again when the new cars came out "Back In The Day"
    I guess the best we have is "Good Memories" and the chance to build/finish one more "Old Hot Rod" My project is a 33 Chevy Pick Up...............Jeff
  25. I also remember the excitement of the new models, but my friends and I were ahead of the game, because at about age 14, the dealership's owner's son could get us into the storage area to look at the new models before the debut. I remember my first look at a '58 Chevy and not really liking the quad headlights. Too modern for me. What was really cool was when you could talk somebody into giving you one of the promotional diecast models of the new cars. Wow!
    And I remember always being able to spot a Model A at night with the big round headlights just so far apart. Then after WWII, Jeeps came along and you couldn't tell them from Model A's. What a bummer.
  26. I agree that all the new cars are boring and look similar. I really have to give kudos to Chrysler corp in the past few years to have the balls building different looking cars like the magnum, Chrysler 300 etc. Very far from the norm. Even with giving them that credit they are now boring to see too after seeing umpteen million of them.
  27. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    The shapes are the same and the badges are stupid. Like, Mercedes XLTSUVSSMNi 4.3
  28. OldColt
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 504


    Absolutely grateful here (Age 63). Fords looked like Fords, Chevy's looked like Chevy's etc ... In that era you still saw quite a few old neat looking fat fendered 30' and 40's cars on the road. In the 50's I got to ride in brand new cars with stylish fins, and in the 60's see the new compact cars rolled out. Jan and Dean were singing about going to drag city on the radio. The ledgendary 409's, 413 Max Wedges, 406 Fords etc ... were appearing in the early 60's, and each year brought new styles and bigger engine options. You could fix those cars with the stuff in a standard toolbox. No $200 dollar computer diagnostics charges at the dealer required.I could go on and on. It's past my bedtime.

    --- Steve ---
  29. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I was born in 1945 and really mean it when I say that if I were offered the chance to start my life over again I would pass on it because I was born and raised in the most perfect time period ever IMO. The 50's were so great in so many ways, but especially wonderful for a car lover.

    Every fall when the new cars were unveiled we would drive down to the dealer to see the new models, it was like an event. When a neighbor got a new car everyone in the neighborhood walked over to see it. Cars were so distinctive you knew every make, model, and engine they had in them, and knew every detail about them.

    I worked at a Ford Dealership in 63-64 when the new Mustangs rolled in on the trucks and it was a mob scene. It was like the Pope had arrived. Cars were exciting and were more than steel and rubber, they were a big part of our lives.

    I don't think there will ever be a time like it again ever, and I am so blessed to have been there and been a part of it. :D

  30. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    Atwater Mike---We share a lot of the same memories as well as our birth year. I think we are fortunate to have been raised in those times. Our generation seems to have a better appreciation of things. Thanks for your post--

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