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Was Anyone Here Actually There?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tony Bones, May 8, 2005.

  1. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 766

    George Klass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I was there. I remember the 1950's very clearly. Went to Saugus drag strip when I was 13 or 14, watched them shoot the Observatory scene for Rebel Without a Cause, drag raced my '40 Ford Coupe at Santa Ana on my 16th birthday ('55), got out of high school (Fairfax High, in Hollywood, CA) in '57, I was there...
     
  2. choffman41
    Joined: Oct 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,267

    choffman41
    Member

    Yes, the car scene in the L.A. area was something to remember with fondness. One thing I've learned in my 75 years is "you can't go back home". It will never be the same as you remembered it. Those of us who were there can look back at what were really THE GOOD OLD DAYS never to be repeated.
    40ford.jpg
     
  3. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 840

    Dave Downs
    Member
    from S.E. Penna

  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,226

    jnaki

    Hello,

    Much has been said about “being there” in all parts of the USA during the 50’s and early 60’s. It seems to us that by the end of the 60’s, the whole scene changed with a different outlook from our society. The gov't was more stringent, very inflexible, people were out for the “Me” generation things, and the hot rod scene changed from mild cars to expensive show quality cars with a ton of new tech being used.

    Of course, growing up in Long Beach during the early hot rod growth, HS fast car scene, Lions Dragstrip nearby, and very little money made modifications a real pick and choose thing. Watching all of those cool, fast cars at Lions made everyone want to be able to hop up your own daily ride. Gas was cheap and long drives to all points north and south happened all of the time. Gas guzzlers were abundant, but at the time, who cared? But, the 70’s government clamped down to no end and slowly the everyday car culture took a detour for quite sometime. Only the hard core stayed involved on a daily basis.

    But, looking back, you had to be there to really enjoy the care free 50-60 lifestyles that led into the happy, “peace/love” era and war protests. That was a time for a lot of reflections in your own ideas and life. We all loved cars and motorcycles. The freedom they gave us to just mess around enjoying what was offered at the time was a giant stepping stone to our future.

    Jnaki

    It was a great time to be growing up and living. We could deal with the rest of what the society was offering, but cars still remained the center of attraction for us early hot rodders. For us, So Cal seemed like it was the center of the action. We were living right in the middle of it growing up and learning how to get along in this fast paced society.

    But, how can we still feel guilty about not having a clean car after a muddy, snowy, rainfall season all of these 65+ years later? Cars are our culture.
     
  5. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,362

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    Being east cost,Miami Fla. teen in the 50s,ya things were same but def. but not much. We didn't have very many east cost little car mag.s,only a few local,mixed with others at news stand.yet we did have lots of rods an customs,indoor car shows at 3 def places,lot of racers an around Miami a lone there was 4 oval tracks an a drag strip and the home of landspeed records just up the cost Daytona{ we didn't think Calif. was the hot spot,we were{Point of view you know. Those extra thoughts as I was looking at how close some photos of 50s an early 60s match up,I'm 74. Choffman41's is fairly close,to one I have of me doing some extra work on my #2 car,full custom Olds Rocket V8 powered "J"{ it made CarCraft in Jan 63. Both made local mag.s. My #1 first was 28A with Tbird Yblock V8 I completed 59,I still have an drive. Driving back,now only the street names are the same. Image-27.JPG 51020015b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  6. ghornbostel
    Joined: Jan 3, 2012
    Posts: 131

    ghornbostel
    Member

    Late 50s and early 60s in fly over land. Cruising Lincoln Ave, Hebron NE Saturday night and later in trade school the Kings drive in circuit in Lincoln, NE in a 40 coupe with a full house 322 nail head. Drags once a month at Lincoln or GI. Uncle Sam caught up to me in 65 and when that was over so was that era. If you weren't there or was there and didn't do it, no amount of money will build that experience.
    Greg


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    47ragtop, warbird1 and dana barlow like this.
  7. IMG_1485717041.918061.jpg that picture is awesome. Shoulda been a movie star.
     
    Stogy and dana barlow like this.
  8. I was born in 1946 and began participating in the car scene in the 60's. The only thing I never saw was tattoos. Maybe occasionally some guy returning from overseas duty displayed them. Women never had them where I grew up.
    Muscle cars obliterated the hot rod scene by the time 406's,421's, 409's, and Chrysler 426's arrived.
    It took better than 2 decades before I saw a number of street rods reappear on roads in my area. Still muscle cars, pro-street and 'Vette's out numbered the old school rods.
    The way kids dressed too has been highly embellished today. Bowling shirts, poodle skirts and outrageous makeup is more a later thing today.
    We did have plenty of leather jackets, white T shirts, pencil skirts, and interesting hair styles back then.
    The 50's & 60's were great times. By the 70's and Vietnam it rapidly changed the youth and car scene here in my little corner of the North East.
     
  9. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 798

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I turned 16 in 1960, in SW Iowa there were few really old cars, a friend had a 38 Ford Sedan for awhile with a later flat motor but it wasn't too long before he upgraded to a 53 Ford. A cousin had a 58 Chevy Impala drop top, 348 and a three speed, lowered with lakepipes, just a cool car. A local guy, just a few years older had a 32 Ford Coupe, with a Vette motor, I saw it once actually being driven, all straight tin, it sat for 40? years, the block had cracked and he sold it a few years ago for good money (or that is what I was told). Being in rural Iowa there was a lot of street racing going on, 390 and 406 Fords, 350 horse Vettes and 409's, I wasn't in that clique, I was a lower horsepower occasional racer with limited
    success:( After probably 1960 there was lots of drag racing up through the early 70's in the area I grew up in then the gas crunch came and loud radios took over. Most were factory muscle cars.
     
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  10. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,052

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Great thread.Brings back a lot of memories.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  11. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,375

    Gman0046
    Member

    If we had digital cameras back in the day just think how many neat pictures we would have. To be honest back then, I never even thought of taking pictures. How dumb was I? I don't even have pictures of some of my cars from the last 10-15 years.
    There is so much I'd like to share. I don't even have a smart phone to take pictures. I still have a flip phone

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
    dana barlow likes this.
  12. Graduated in 63, had many cars and a few airplanes, been quite a ride so far in this journey!!
    1966.jpg
     
  13. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,585

    Bill Rinaldi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Im old. When I was 14 I discovered Hot Rod magazine and really thought those cars were SSOOO cool. That same year I saw my first REAL HOT ROD. It was a 27 T coupe. Chopped (of course), channeled and flat head powered. As I think back on the car, it was really a pretty nice car, cleanly done and had a white rolled and pleat interior. It was parked at the curb and I did a couple of walk arounds. A few years later when I was 16 I got my first car. A 46 Packard Clipper. NO HOT ROD---no way. But it did turn out to be a pretty nice custom. It was a clean car, black, with maybe 60k on it. I had it nosed and decked, 50 lincoln "tri-bar" tail lights, "tear drop" fender skirts and Wide Whites. I had an awful lot of fun with that car, even packed 10 of us in it to go play foot ball. Lasted me long enough to move on to my time in the Navy. That was #1----There have been 9 COMPLETE/FINISHED HOT RODS and 2 CUSTOMS since then, plus probably another 15 or so that didn't get completely finished. Good for me ----I've enjoyed it, and I honestly think I've got at least one more in me. Bill Rinaldi
     
  14. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,585

    Bill Rinaldi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Im old. 78 actually. When I was 14 I discovered Hot Rod magazine and really thought those cars were SSOOO cool. That same year I saw my first REAL HOT ROD. It was a 27 T coupe. Chopped (of course), channeled and flat head powered. As I think back on the car, it was really a pretty nice car, cleanly done and had a white rolled and pleat interior. It was parked at the curb and I did a couple of walk arounds. A few years later when I was 16 I got my first car. A 46 Packard Clipper. NO HOT ROD---no way. But it did turn out to be a pretty nice custom. It was a clean car, black, with maybe 60k on it. I had it nosed and decked, 50 lincoln "tri-bar" tail lights, "tear drop" fender skirts and Wide Whites. I had an awful lot of fun with that car, even packed 10 of us in it to go play foot ball. Lasted me long enough to move on to my time in the Navy. That was #1----There have been 9 COMPLETE/FINISHED HOT RODS and 2 CUSTOMS since then, plus probably another 15 or so that didn't get completely finished. Good for me ----I've enjoyed it, and I honestly think I've got at least one more in me. Bill Rinaldi
     
  15. I love a story that's so good you have to tell it twice.:D......Just messin' with you, Bill.;)
     
  16. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,362

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    Miami/Homestead,1962,we're at the sat nite midnites with about 30+ rods and sleepers plus maybe 50 others came to see,out on south Chrome Ave,just farm feilds [pole beans this time of year,] each side of the road. This nite the cops set up sneeky raid on the drags. Well when the coppers showed from out of a dirt farm road and closed off the north end real fast=were you ended up after a run.

    We were in Tim Liard's "Blue Spook" 55 ford/1961 390 FE from a fairly new wreck,packed into it,and about 1/2 way in a run,Tim sees the cop lights flashing way up ahead and makes sliding right turn into a pole bean field,bean's and pole sticks going up over the car like mad and he's holding speed about 50 that feels like 900mph as we're cutting that field and wondering if we're gonna fine a drainage canal or well standpipe,but kept cutting that field for what seemed like a mile+ tell we found a dirt farm road and head south,came out after a lot of wondering around near A&W US1,stopped and cleaned sticks and beans off and out of the Spook so we could go into A&W with out looking like a trash pile from were we'ed been.
    Ya, the cops came in about 10min. later looking hard at all the car there as they drove slowly by,fewy, we did a good job cleaning,cleared there eyeballing ,no beans showing. Did start to small even funnyer after we left,so open hood,yup cooking beans in there now.
    The news paper said next day they got 5 drag racers,but no talk about that there were about 30 racers there,HA Ha
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
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  17. So that's where cooking a meal (beans this time) on the intake manifold all got started!!, eh Dana.:D;)
     
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  18. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,052

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Hi Dana.Just a little history/snicker about Chrome Ave.Like you said a whole lot of nothing out there.Well,one day some coppers set up the RADAR trap.They soon got a hit,and they saw dollar signs.130mph shows on the readout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They was getting ready to move out and their smiles turned to frowns.They had just clocked a low flying crop duster.:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  19. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,226

    jnaki

    upload_2017-2-3_9-30-33.png
    Hello,
    I knew I was there back in those days. Sometimes I did not want to lug around the movie camera, looking like a tourist, so I lugged around a tripod looking like a photojournalist or at least a helper. Luckily, my brother did some nice things. (Very rare, but,usually tricking me into doing car stuff for him) He took this movie clip of me looking at a 32 altered coupe in the pits. I did not know it was me when I first edited the original clips.

    Recently, going through my films editing a final edition, I found this one in the pits of Lions Dragstrip in 1959 folder. Yup, that is me (verified by me !) with the blue nylon jacket and those popular Dickies pants. (Levis in the wash...what?) It goes in the 59 folder as it matches the race clips of the same altered coupe from that day. "Organization is not about perfection, but about efficiency in your life..." paraphrasing from somebody.
    Jnaki
    Last year, I gave away that "Hollywood" brand tripod to a teenage girl just getting started in photography. After being with us for about 60 years, those internal gears still worked like new and the black paint shined like before. She was happy it was free and mounted her 35mm digital SLR on it. No Iphone photos for her...

     
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  20. 1gearhead
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 463

    1gearhead
    Member

    I am not sure that I would call them the good old days. A different time and a different place for sure. It all seems simpler and more laid back in retrospect. Unfortunately youth today will never know what it was really like no matter how hard they try to recreate it. Saw my first drag race in Kansas city in 1958. Totally unorganized. Raced my first car on a strip in 1960. Lots of crusin in the south Seattle area during the early 60's. Fond memories, but don't think i want to go back.
     
    Gary Reynolds likes this.
  21. choffman41
    Joined: Oct 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,267

    choffman41
    Member

    I'd go back in less than a heartbeat...............
     
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  22. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    In 1959 there were about 150,000,000 people and that number has more than doubled in the past 58 years. I used to go dove hunting near Encinitas where there is now a row of import car dealers. Bragging rights were determined by how long in it would take you to go from 101 at Torrey Pines to 395 on Miramar Road. There must be at least 20 traffic lights on the same stretch today.

    Times were simple back then, but there was a different kind of stress like the draft and the beginning of the division of America that has brought us to where we are today.
     
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  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,375

    Gman0046
    Member

    For me it was the good old days. Cruising, street racing, drive in restaurants, looking for hide and the drag strip on the weekends that was what we lived for. I don't believe I've ever had that much fun doing anything as our teenage car related activities. I can't tell you how much time we spent working on our cars all hours of the night in my Grampa's garage. He'd look at our 36 Ford drag car and just shake his head. I'll never forget him saying "you kids are crazy, you spend hundreds of dollars to win a 59 cent trophy". He was right, today it would be thousands of dollars. Like others have posted, I to would go back in a heartbeat. Remember the cruising scenes in American Graffiti? Thats truly the way it was.

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  24. choffman41
    Joined: Oct 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,267

    choffman41
    Member

    Everyone who made one or more of these scenes, stand up and take a bow.


    Bob\'s_ca1949.jpg la-ca-st-0607-art-laboe-kday-pg-020.jpg
    Bob\'s_1949.jpg
    Scrivners_ca1952.jpg
     
  25. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,226

    jnaki

    Hey Chuck,
    Don't forget these classic places and cars...So Cal in the Long Beach area. Our teenage years were groomed at these locations.
    upload_2017-2-4_6-21-41.png upload_2017-2-4_6-21-58.png

    Junji Nakamura
    And... can't forget our all time favorite, Grissinger's in Bixby Knolls. upload_2017-2-4_6-22-32.png
     
  26. choffman41
    Joined: Oct 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,267

    choffman41
    Member

    Can't remember where it was, but there was a place that had burgers 10 for a dollar. Maybe McDonalds. We used to go to a Winchells donut place that had coffee and a donut for 15 cents.
     
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  27. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,226

    jnaki

    Hey Chuck,
    Re-reading this whole thread from the beginning was fun. I wanted to post a photo of our other hanging out place that was around the corner from Grissinger's, but for every historic website, people talk about it, but no one has photos. It was Ken's Burgers on Long Beach Blvd. Their prices were pretty affordable for growing teenagers with the need for multiple burgers. So, maybe that was the place of the 10 for a dollar deal.

    The parking lot was huge and the back row facing south was the place to be seen with your car. The row required to be backed up, looking out at the people and cars coming into the driveway. Dates usually ended up at Grissinger's for the fries and gravy deals, but for out and out hamburgers at prices that we could easily afford, it was Ken's Burgers. It looked like an old McDonalds with arches and a red/white paint scheme.

    Right next door in the same parking lot was the Ken's Family Restaurant owned by the same guy. This was a little higher up on the dress code scale. It was a fancy dinner place. The managers always frowned on Levis, t-shirts, Pendleton shirts or blue/black nylon jackets as attire. People always remember this place for having a huge brown Grizzly Bear just inside the glass entrance. That brown Grizzly (as impressive as it was) moved and was replaced by a larger white Polar Bear. What a contrast.

    But, for us, it was the streaming in/out of the local Long Beach hot rods into the inexpensive hamburger joint parking lot for food, a free car show, and bragging rights. It did not hurt that all of the local girls came here as well.

    Junji
    We followed the older guys in the Bixby Knolls hot rod scene. When their time was over and they moved on, it was our place. When we graduated HS, it was the next generation that had their tons of stories and hot rods. I still wish there was a photograph of this place somewhere...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  28. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,884

    El Caballo
    Member

    This reminds me of that saying, "If you remember the 70's, you weren't there."
     
  29. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,226

    jnaki



    Hello,
    There was a post in the So Cal thread about this Ken's Burgers and the huge Grizzly Bear. Post 283 PAGE 10 A fun read...

    Jnaki
     
  30. Excuse me but I thought that was the 60's,Drugs,Sex & Rock & Roll,there are some parts I don't remember,the long haired young guy in the circle is yours truly,the guy with the headband was my friend Dennis and fellow band member... less that one month after the Love Valley concert he died
    of a drug overdose,I hate Drugs!

    upload_2017-7-25_13-31-10.jpeg

    I bought my first car,a 1932 Ford 5-window coupe in 1962 but my dad was not impressed and I had to return it,I didn't even have a permit,shortly thereafter I bought a 1954 Ford sedan and learned quickly that a teenagers size 12 and a engine that has been babied since new are not compatible.

    I blew up the poor old Y-block within a week of taking possession of the car and out of necessity had to learn how to remove the engine and seek out something to replace it,with the aide of a neighbor and a junk yard a 390 Police interceptor found it's way under the hood.

    My next car in 1966 was a 63 1/2 Falcon Sprint,followed by a 1967 GTO & a 66 Dodge Van with a 340.

    I had a ball in the 60's with cars and I'm still having fun with them
     
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