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so seriously.. who was really there?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gromit, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726


    I was born 1964.. I assume that makes me HAMB friendly :)

    Always loved cars, My interest initially in classics and British ports cars, then when Mom remaried in the 70's.. Hotrods (step bro influence) My views are based on 70's magazines, what I saw (had relatives into rods) and what I saw in movies and heard on Beachboy/Jan and Dean records.

    So.. how close was pop culture to the real deal?
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,149

    Jalopy Joker

    1927graham likes this.
  3. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,427


    IF you're talking of the American Grafitti "pop culture"'s accurate...for my 'take' on it, from an Iowa perspective, purchase my first two books: "Bangin' Gears & Bustin' Heads" (late fifties and early '60's) and "Fast Cars, 4-speeds and Fist-fights" (mid-'60's and the muscle-car era)...

    In the seventies, I was out of it, what with marriage, kids and etc...

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  4. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726


    Not a hard question JJ... For those of us interested in this time period it would be good to get an accurate take on what we missed out on.

    Thanks Stude dude

  5. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Born in 51, so I missed what I and most hambers feel is the most popular time span; 55 to 62. Yes, I was alive, but did not see my first old school rod, an emerald green metallic 40 deluxe coupe with what I now believe was a 57/58 Olds rocket, in about 62-3? I had $1.50 saved for a new AMT model, so I was a little short on the $600 price.
  6. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    There is a very long thread on this if you do a search.
  7. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Born in '61 so i missed alot of it. I was born into a motorsports family (my dad raced bikes, seriously enough to ride dealer-owned/prepped equipment) I was immersed in it from day one, was a regular at the local drag strip and car shows by the time the sixties was done. Regular at westwood earlier than that, local racers/engine builders around our kitchen table was a regular deal from the time I was born.
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,254


    I can't remember either.
  9. 1928chevycoupe
    Joined: Jun 4, 2012
    Posts: 217


    born in 1961, but the time I was in high school, everyone was cruising with 69 camaro's, 65 mustangs, el caminos, etc (muscle cars)
    When I was 16, bought a 69 firebird, suped-up 400 & 4-speed for $1200.
    By the time I was 16 sometimes saw 55 chevy's on the boulevard but nothing older than that.
  10. eaglebeak
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,130


    I was born in '37. The fifties were absolutely the best years of our lives.
    What you see in the movies, we were doing.
  11. like eaglebeak said the 50's were a Blast hanging out at
    the ice cream parlor, or the Diners crusing around Town in
    your Hod Rod or Custom Car Rasing Hell
    them were the Days

    just my 3.5 cents
  12. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,659

    Larry T

    Was real life similar to The Beach Boys take? Sure, all us guys in North Texas were running around with surfboards on top of our Woodies. Couldn't put them inside because of "Two girls for every guy", doncha know.

    As far as the American Grafitti deal, I was born in 1949. That put me with a valid drivers license in 1965. There was LOTS of street racing (drag and top end), but only a very few pre 48 cars doing it. Mostly 50's Chevys and Fords with a little work done to the engines or newer, hotter engines swapped in. It was the start of the factory horsepower wars, so new stuff started showing up shortly after that.

    There were customs running around, but the custom guys (mostly "older" guys) and the hot rod guys didn't really have much to do with each other.

    Going to the sanctioned drags was one of the top 5 things to do for just about everyone, closest track was about 30 miles away.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  13. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king

    I was about 10 when my family started racing in '63. So I saw what I think were the best days of it.
    American Grafitti did put it in proper perspective, I think. I think the movie almost single handedly saved hot/street rodding at a time when the eco terrorist first started flexing their muscles.
    Hot Rod Deluxe magazine consistantly provides a great pictoral history of the early days. Most rodders were pretty clean cut kids, a lot of them working with police to keep things safe and legal, for the most part.
    I see these poeple all tat'd up and car that couldn't drive over an expansion joint and just shake my head. That's not anything at all like it was, it's just counter culture bullshit. IMO, I might add, which is worth exactly the same as anyone else's. Just sayin'.
  14. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    I was born in 1946, drafted in 1966 so most of the vehicles I was around for 7 years were OD Green.
  15. Great thread. Born in '56,licensed for mayhem in '72. So yeah,I missed the good shiz. Heard about the post-war era from Dad and the uncles,the 50's-early '60's from younger uncles and older cousins and actually got to experience some of the late '60's with some sympathetic cousins-THANKS GUYS!!! I consider myself very fortunate to have had the exposure,albeit word-of-mouth,to the earlier eras. Not the same as experiencing it,for sure. The constant throughout the eras? Fun with cars. Very simple. Different perspectives on the basic theme. But the focus was always the same.
  16. Stu55
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 82

    from Dallas Tx

    Born in 46. Had a blast. Lots of hot cars and hot rods runnin around. Crusin every weekend, and "scoopin the loop" looking for girls. Hittin the drive in movie. Going to the drags at Great Lakes Dragway. Blockin the street off to get a few quick drag races in before the cops came. Lots of vintage tin around just for the asking. Back then seemed like you never kept a car long, there were too many cool ones or new hot models to choose from. Heck, when my buddy went into the Coast Guard he just signed the title to his factory 2x4 57 convertable , and left it on the street. CRAZY!! Then came Mr Norms, Nickey Chevrolet, Grand Spaulding Dodge etc. My uncle worked for a Ford delership back when you could buy a Shelby Cobra off the showroom floor. He bought one, gave me a ride in it,WOW!! He didn't keep it too long tho, his mistake! I could go on and on.
  17. way back when, every hamb friendly car you see or own today were just simply used exceptions....stock 55, 56, and 57 Chevys could be bought for $50.00 or so...depending upon your negotiating skills...we would take them home and bolt on four barrels, Hurst shifters, dual glasspacks and then go cruising...picking up girls, drinking beer, going to the beach or drive in was a real happy time in our formative teen years....It hasn't gotten any better than this....not here at least!! memory that sticks in my mind is a high school class trip to New York City....our bus passed a building near the Lincoln Tunnel and parked in front of this building were eight ( 8 ) silver 427Ford Cobras!!...All bumper to bumper....Never did find out why they were there...My guess is maybe they were shooting a movie...There were hotrods and muscle cars like you can only dream of Japanese cars whatsoever...a few VW beetles and busses, maybe a Fiat or two, and a Renault here and there...That was it !!
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  18. Ashcraft
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 39

    from Colorado

    I was born in 1949, got my license in 1965. Our town really was like American Graffiti, at least until the 1970s, when cruising Main could get you shot at. We cruised probably four nights a week, and saved our lunch money for gas. There were several tri-five Chevies at school, and one '40 Ford coupe with a Merc Flathead (his older brother had one with a Nailhead). One guy had a hopped up Model A sedan, and another had a thirties Packard coupe. My poor boy ride was a '51 Ford coupe.

    My cousin was about six years older than me and lived north of Denver. He was into hot rods in a big way. He would haul my brother and I around to see his friends' projects. He had a mild custom 1953 Ford hardtop, then sold it and bought a 1958 Corvette. He's into restoring antique cars now.
  19. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    I paid 10 bucks for my first 56 BelAir 2dr hardtop rustbucket in 66 or so, before I could drive. It was a six/3sp. In HS, I actually already installed a whipped out smokey 283 in it, but the car failed inspection, so I ran a 348 tripower in it, 3 sp stick shift, with a $50 fiberglass 55 dragcar tilt nose. I knew the W motor was like having cooties in 68, but I thought it looked cool in there :) The car really was a POS..but.. Great times, even though we could not afford a 4 speed.
  20. Music is about what sells as well as the box office.

    Pop culture, The Mamas and the Poppas did a song about San Francisco, I lived there at the time and for a fact you were not "sure to meet some gentle people there." If that helps any.

    There is a very long thread somewhere that actually surfaced recently maybe give it a look see.
  21. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I was born in 1945, so pretty much I was there through the "good years" in America. It was after the depression and after World War II, so times were very good. Jobs were plentiful, when you came out of HS you pretty much had no worries about finding one. You could pump gas, or, if you were lucky, you scored a job in one of the steel mills. Being out of work was something you just didn't worry about, you could leave a job today and be working somewhere else tomorrow.

    Wages weren't great (most entry level were at a buck an hour) but stuff was cheap. I bought a bunch of Model A's, 38 Fords, 50 Fords, etc and the going rate was between $ 25 and $ 100. The parts aftermarket was starting to really take off, so lots of speed and custom accessories were available everywhere, and pretty cheap.

    The early 50's to the mid 60's were the best IMO. We were at peace, and you were safe in your home. I never knew anyone who got shot, and we never even locked our homes at night. Hell, we didn't even know where the key was kept. :D We did what most young guys did, we hung out with our buddies, went cruising the burger joints at night, and generally were trying to get lucky with some cute chick and maybe score a quart of beer or bottle of Ripple wine .

    Hot Rod wise, most of us had mildly modified cars of the times, and the older guys who were 30 ish and up had the really cool stuff. Our cars might have some mods like baby moons, or flippers, but at a buck an hour we really couldn't do the serious mods and didn't have the skills to do them yet anyway. Every area had some "legend" who was the big dog and a lot like Milner, and we younger guys thought of him like a God.

    In the mid 60's things got really good with the introduction of the muscle cars, and lots of us got away from old cars. You could go down to any Chevy, Ford, Pontiac, etc dealer and for $ 99 a month drive away in a Chevelle, GTO, Mustang, etc that was faster than anything we could build, and it was so nice that girls would actually go out with us in it ! :cool: During the muscle car era a lot of old cars became available very cheap.

    In the late 60's things went to hell in a handbasket, IMO. It kinda started when President Kennedy was shot. Up until then we lived in a bubble where stuff like that just never happened in America. Suddenly, we were no longer the innocent people we once were and America began to change. Social unrest hit in the mid 60's with race riots, and Viet Nam. Young guys were being drafted out of their safe and secure lives in small towns all over America and sent to fight and maybe die in a jungle no one had ever heard about before that time.

    At home the Hippy movement was underway at that time and it was a VERY strange time. Suddenly girls were exploriing their sexuality and we were smoking things our friends shoved in front of us. It was a crazy period and I remember going to nightclubs where the walls were all painted black and dancing to groups like Sly and the Family Stone, then blasting along in my GTO convertible at 100 mph with some chick sitting on the top of the seat with a bottle of Jack Daniels in her hand. How we came out of it alive I will never know. :eek:

    So, while the true America in those days wasn't exactly Ozzie and Harriet, it was pretty close to being that way, especially if you grew up in a small town. I have said this a million times and mean it.........if you told me I could start my life over now and give up growing up when I did, I would have to turn you down. I am SO happy I grew up in those years and have the memories that I do.

    Sorry for the long tale.

  22. snaptwo
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 696


    Born in '40 and grew up in Vegas when it was a small town , yeah we had the mob/cowboy sheriffs and all of those things, we also had cruising down Fremont St, drive inns with real carhops, drive in movies( cherry bowls,passion pits ,whatever) beer busts and cops. Drags in Henderson, speed shops and street racing. If you can remember the late 60s and 70s man you just weren't there !!
  23. WortRod
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 292

    from california

    With being born in '83 I missed the "good days " by a long shot however I was fortunate to grow up near Modesto , where American graffitti was based on( even though most of it was filmed in Sonora) . I was even more fortunate to have a dad that engulfed me in all the coolness of days gone by. I Rember countless trips all over the valley including to cruise mchenry in his bucket with the group of rods , all of which where daily drivers,these guys would wrench cruise or race all night and drive to work then next day in their cars. You can't change what era your born in so make yours and your kids count!!
  24. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    Born in 41, was there for the whole deal, and I do remember it;)
  25. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 889


    In the cheap seats, we could only read about it in Hot Rod. In the summer of 1964, I worked a hot, hard, dirty shift as a steel fabrication helper at Nashville Bridge in Bessemer, AL. The pay was $1.65 an hour. That didn't build many hot rods and they were thin on the ground in our end of the county, because nobody had any money. That experience, plus the threat of being a draftee in Viet Nam, kept me in college and in ROTC. I ended up in Viet Nam, but as a captain, after two good years in Europe.

    I did get a great driving education playing Thunder Road on the rural back roads late at night. It was a time when I could hang around and wash parts for Bobby Allison while he was winning the NASCAR Modified National Championship.

    Bottom line, there are ten times more better rods and muscle cars today than there ever were in the '50s-60s. There's just no place to drive them fast.

    jack vines
  26. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Me too, maybe we didn't drink enough. :D


  27. I was born in the "good days" and have the legs to prove it. We also seem to forget that there were a couple of recessions in the '50s.

    But there were lots of folks that really got into cars, without them you could not get into the drive in and no one at the local A&W would give you the time of day, unless of course you were one of those chicks that everyone was after.
  28. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,427


    Guess it all depends on what "there" you're referring to...

  29. Tsquared
    Joined: Feb 5, 2005
    Posts: 522

    from Pratt, Ks.

    I was born in ` my first model A when I was 12, started driving when I was 13, and drove the back road out of town till I got my license...

    I traded my old trusty `49 ford pick-up in on a `60 Impala convertable...348/factory 4-speed was changed to a saginaw 3- speed before I got it...Paid about 450$ difference...traded the rag top for a `40 coupe with 324 olds and 3-spd.Drove it during high school,,traded it for a `57 chev2-dr HT.283 / muncie 4spd.

    I was always buying and trading cars...drove my mom nuts

    I bought 2 other `40 coupe sback in the middle `60s one was a stock roller with no engine or trans for 50$ and the other was burned on one side where they parked too close to the trash can 75$. bought a `31 ford coupe ofr 30$ with a stuck motor...bought a running and driving `29 ford / murray 4dr sedan for 135$ drove it 90 miles to get it 60 to 65 mph with a stock motor.

    cars were cheap and plentiful back then.

    my best buy was a chopped and channeled `32 ford 5 window powered by yblock
    ford 272. It cost 50$. who knew???
  30. Don, thank you, and don't appologize for anything. Man, reading your story I almost felt like I was there. I was born in the mid 70's, so I missed everything, but I could sit all day long and listen to stories like yours. When I was in highschool the hot thing was mini-trucks and Fox-body Mustangs. One kid at school had a nice '64 Impala, but nothing other than that. My dad wasn't/isn't into the car scene, but I remember sitting in the front yard in Pleasant Grove (Dallas) drooling over the '57 Nomad down the street. I would sit out there with my Uncle Kevin trying to tell what the cars were by their taillamps at night time. Now days, they all look the same......

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