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Posts Tagged ‘cars’

Too strange to be fiction

Won’t come back from Dead Man’s curve!

Dead Man’s Curve was a 1964 hit for Jan & Dean about a wreck involving a Corvette Sting Ray and a Jaguar XKE. Dead Man’s Curve was a curve on North Whittier Drive, Beverly Hills. In 1966, Jan had a near fatal crash in his own Sting Ray near Dead Man’s Curve. He died in 2004 from a seizure possibly a result of the wreck.

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Fastest set of wheels in town

Little Deuce Coup is one of my favorite Beach Boys songs. A Deuce Coup is a 1932 Ford Coupe modified for drag racing. The “pink slip” refers to the winner receiving the loser’s car, if I understand correctly. I got to see them live and hear this song many years ago at Michigan State University. I still love all their songs.

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Why can’t you be true?

Oh Maybellene!

Chuck Berry’s Maybellene is one of my favorite 50s songs. The V-8 Ford he wrote about was his high school wheels—a 1934 V-8 Ford. He was chasing a Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Alas, Maybellene is not real, her name a variation of Maybelline as in cosmetics. The song is a variation of Bob Will’s Ida Red_ I doubt she exists either.

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Catch that Checker cab!

Who remembers Checker Taxis? Checker Motors of Kalamazoo, Michigan operated from 1922 to 1982. They primarily served the taxicab market, but private citizens wanting a car that would last for years sometimes bought them.

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Defeat is a bitter pill

The utter humiliation of defeat

I once rode with George as he dragged-raced on Telegraph Rd, Trenton, Michigan. He drove his Chevelle SS 327 (327 cubic inches). He had won all his races when a man driving a decrepit Studebaker challenged us.

The Studebaker shot away from the green light, shifting into 2nd, going out of sight. He stopped and told us his Studebaker had a 500 cubic inch Cadillac engine.

George sold his car, bought a Chevelle SS 396. The Studebaker dude is probably still laughing.

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Tough old cars

About 1956, the elderly man across the street from our house in Lincoln Park, Michigan died. In a yellow brick garage, his family found a 1928 Chevrolet that had been sitting for years. They added some new oil, and the 4-cylinder engine fired right up, leaving me awestruck.  

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The original sports car

Stutz Bearcat was the sports model for Stutz Motors from 1912 to 1934. I never saw one, but one was in an old movie, Summer Magic. The only thing I recall from the movie is the car. (around 1990 the brand was revived so I am not the only one captivated by the car)

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Flying Teapot

Stanley Steamer operated from 1897 to 1924. At old car festivals, I got to see them in operation. They were quiet, gently hissing when they moved. They took a long time to build up a head of steam and soon fell out of popularity.

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Dixie Flyer

The Kentucky Wagon Works built bodies for the Hercules Automobile in New Albany in 1914. In 1915 they bought the company out, moving production to Louisville, calling the car Dixie Flyer. It was discontinued in 1923. I believe the Dixie Flyer factory was on Park Blvd in Highland Park, now likely part of Louisville’s airport. (Iroquois Park Lookout)

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Lizzie Borden Special

Detroit Electric Cars (1907-1939) were produced by the Anderson Carriage Company. I got to see one at an Old Car Festival. They were owned by the likes of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Lizzie Borden. (Who could pass up a Lizzie Borden car?)

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