The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by kustombuilder, Apr 4, 2005.
I have now been schooled on specific genre taildraggers. This is good period correct info
Rear end Down. Front end UP
I'm putting 49 Merc tail lights on my 47. How did you get yours to fit on your fender?
My 48 was inherited from my brother, he had traded for the car shortly before he passed away, the body work was already as you see it in the pics. I am adding a close-up pic of the Taillamps, They appear to be raised up from the fender surface and molded in?
FWIW I'm pretty sure those are '40 Buick Roadmaster tail lights. They look great!
If the pencil exhaust tips are not wore 1/2 down it not a tail dragger yet… In the 50’s that was the true sign of one…
My 46 Tudor
What a topic title. It is very descriptive and clear as day as to what is coming your way down the street. When we were growing up in the Westside of Long Beach we saw plenty of “taildraggers…” But, that moniker was not used then. The older local kids had friends and cousins living in Compton, Dominguez, Wilmington, all surrounding Long Beach to the North and West. They drove all kinds of cool looking cars. Most of them were lowered and barely able to go through an intersection that had drainage dips.
Yes, some of them did drag their tails… But, for a lowered custom car driven on the streets, on level streets, they were low, but rolling without too many mishaps. A flat tire was not the owner’s best friend. At the time in the late 50s-early 60s, those lowered cars were being stopped for unsafe modifications to their street legal cars.
What was the biggest worry? A low pressure tire allowing the gas tank becoming the lowest point of contact with the ground as the custom car was moving. Then as the metal heated, an explosion or sparks started, causing catastrophic results. The later versions of skid plates covering the gas tank area, thus creating their own “sparks show” anytime they wanted to show others.
So, the custom cars had a lowered stance all around. Then some got adjustable suspension, which led to automatic lowering either end of the custom car rolling down the street. At any time, rolling or standing still at a stoplight was a show in itself.
We used to see the tail dragging shows when a single car wanted to try and impress anyone, with the ability to drive straight with some sparks flying out of the tail end of the car(s).
Tail draggers? What was the purpose? We, little kids were impressed, but as time rolled on, what was the attraction? Bad riding, worse handling, uncomfortable when going over bumps and parking was a distance away from the damaging curbs… But, what a show it was, when the sparks flew… YRMV
1959 A real “Tail Dragger”… power in action.
Separate names with a comma.