The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sawbuck, Mar 17, 2008.
any one no where the word JALOPY came from?were it all started?
Jughead?or was it Gomer?
Actually God gave it to us in a box labeled "Things you can't live without". Also in the box were steak and boobs!
From World Wide Words:
My guess is it's an example of onomatopoeia, naming something after the way it sounds... like and old banger car sounds like "jalopy jalopy jalopy."
A lot of "not so well known" terms became "well known" when used in motion pictures.
In the 50's it meant RAT ROD
Today it means COOL OLD CAR
I don't want one that sounds like 'jalopy jalopy jalopy' I want it to say 'VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM' but be called a Jalopy. (Note CAPITALIZE the J because it should be)
Any car or truck I have ever owned
J - junk
A - aluminum (making it lighter weight)
L - loud
P - patina
Y - yours (built by own hands)
Slang term for an obsolete, worn-down machine or hardware device. Derived from the misspelling of the word "Jalapa", which is the name of some town in Mexico that is famous for the Jalapeno pepper, and its former junk-car-scrapping industry.
In the ghettos and the trailer parks, you will even find some people living in jalopies.
This is a bit of a conundrum.
I was talking with my upholsterer today - he's nearing 60 & hails from Texas but has been here in England for 35 odd years.
Anyway, I mentioned I visited various forums whose main subject matter was hot rods & customs & he asked if I could clear this up for him.
He is under the impression that the term 'Jalopy' is indeed named after a small Mexican town by the name of Jalapa, but not for the reasons already given.
He seems to think that it's because once the early rodders (who lived close enough to the border) had got their rides roadworthy, they would drive down to Jalapa to have the interiors made & fitted - cost of labour & materials being a major factor in this.
It seems reasonable to me, but can anyone confirm one way or the other please?
not to "nay say" but that seems pretty far fetched....... jalapa, mexico (xalapa) is way the hell down in mexico. its not exactly like going to jaurez, those guys were pretty desperate if they drove that far to get interiors put in their cars.
Thanks for that.
I did a Google map search & thought the same thing. Hell of a way down there...
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<!-- start content --> For other uses, see Jalopy (disambiguation).
<table class="metadata plainlinks ambox ambox-style" style=""> <tbody><tr> <td class="mbox-image">
</td> <td class="mbox-text" style="">This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please improve this article if you can. <small>(March 2009)</small></td> </tr> </tbody></table> Jalopy (also clunker or hooptie) is an old, decrepit, unreliable and often nonfunctional car which has limited mechanical abilities and is often in an unmaintained and usually in a rusty or dented shape. A jalopy is not a well kept antique car, but a car which is mostly rundown or beaten up. As a slang term in American English, "Jalopy" was noted in 1924<sup class="noprint Template-Fact" title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from November 2008" style="white-space: nowrap;"></sup> but is now slightly passé. The term was used extensively in the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac, first published in 1957, although written from 1947.
When a jalopy gets to a state in which its maintenance becomes too expensive, its owner would be required to make a decision about its fate. Some owners abandon it in the street as a parked car (an action forbidden by law in most jurisdictions).<sup class="noprint Template-Fact" title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from October 2008" style="white-space: nowrap;"></sup> If it remains parked, the local authority commonly tows it to the junk yard. Other people may then sell it (or deliver it) to be stripped for spare parts for use in other vehicles.
During the 1930s, this word was used frequently when the market for used cars first started to grow. Cheap dealers could obtain the cars for very little, make aesthetic adjustments, and sell the car for much more.
<table id="toc" class="toc"> <tbody><tr> <td> Contents
3 Racing class
4 Popular Culture
5 See also
7 External links
The origin of the word is unknown. It is possible that the non Spanish-speaking New Orleans-based longshoremen, referring to scrapped autos destined for Jalapa, Mexico scrapyards, pronounced the destination on the palettes "jalopies" rather than multiples or possessive of Jalapa.<sup id="cite_ref-0" class="reference"></sup>
We find a definition in print in 1929: "Jaloppi--A cheap make of automobile; an automobile fit only for junking." The definition has stayed the same, but it took a while for the spelling to stop bouncing around. Among the variants have been jallopy, jaloppy, jollopy, jaloopy, jalupie, julappi, jalapa, and jaloppie.
John Steinbeck spelled it gillopy in In Dubious Battle (1936): "Sam trotted off toward the bunk houses, and London followed more slowly. John Weir the Great, King of the Nords and Jim circled the building and went to the ancient Ford touring car. 'Get in, Jim. You drive the gillopy.' A roar of voices came from the other side of the bunk house. Jim turned the key and retarded the spark lever. The coils buzzed like little rattlesnakes."
Jalopy seems to have replaced flivver (1910), which in the early decades of the twentieth century also simply meant "a failure." Other early terms for a wreck of a car included heap, tin lizzy (1915), and crate (1927).
Others terms that have been used with the same or similar meaning include "clunker", "bucket", "beater", and more urban "hooptie", which gained some popularity from the humorous song "My hooptie" by Sir Mix-a-Lot.
 Racing class
A jalopy was an old-style class of stock car racing, often raced on dirt American ovals.<sup id="cite_ref-Prescott_1-0" class="reference"></sup> It was originally a beginner class behind midgets, but vehicles became more expensive with time.<sup id="cite_ref-Prescott_1-1" class="reference"></sup> Jalopy races began in the 1930s and ended in the 1960s.<sup id="cite_ref-RacingWest_2-0" class="reference"></sup> The race car needed to be from before around 1941.<sup id="cite_ref-Prescott_1-2" class="reference"></sup> Notable racers include Parnelli Jones.<sup id="cite_ref-RacingWest_2-1" class="reference"></sup>
 Popular Culture
The character Archie Andrews of Archie Comics was well known for his jalopy, which has been referred to as an "1812 Maxwell"
Chet, from the Hardy Boys series of books also drove a Jalopy.
The popular pinball game Junkyard by Williams features the creation of a 'Flying Jalopy' as its central plot.In it, the player character must create a flying machine from common junkyard items including a bath, an old television set and wheels.
In the 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard, the main character played by William Holden uses the word in the line; "Once back in Dayton, I'd drop the credit boys a picture postcard telling them where to pick up the jalopy". The vehicle in question was a 1946 Plymouth convertible that was three payments behind. At the time of the making and first screening of the movie, the car being spoken of was only 4 years old and looked to be in good shape which makes the remark tongue-in-cheek.
Owner of said jalopy =jalopier, Zenor says so.
Hmm...The plot sickens...
I first it heard I from Jack Kerouac.... On The Road...
was always of the mind ,,it ment warn down old car,
That ol jalopy
I would agree with Royal Shifter ,,as that would pertain best to this subject
Muchos Gracias, guys.
Jalopy racing was not invented in California but the first West coast jalopy race did take place on August 21, 1938 at Southern Ascot Speedway in Southgate, California.
SAWBUCK...i've heard that term all my life, and yes it mearly means old car or truck...POP.
My Mom used the term Jalopy to describe all the old cars (pre fat-fenders) that I would point out when I was a kid back in Brooklyn circa 1955. Which tells me it was a well known/used term even then.
i first heard the word jalopy in a mickey rooney movie. he had an old beater car complete with a fox tail on the antennae..he called it a jalopy,,he was very young in that movie.
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