Baby let’s cruise.

So, every year in August there’s this thing in Detroit called the Dream Cruise. People in classic cars take over the outside lanes of Woodward Avenue between 9 Mile and… I dunno, a few miles beyond that. Loop around, rev their engines, etc. It’s very grass-roots; it went on for a while before it became an official event, and they don’t even shut down Woodward to non-cruise traffic. (Although you’d be a fool to try to drive anywhere in the area for the whole weekend.)

My friend Michael has his office on Woodward, and while in past years he’s avoided the place like nuclear waste, the last couple he’s decided to embrace it, and hold a client-appreciation party Friday and Saturday. We went on Friday. You can find Dream Cruise photo galleries all over the web, but I give you but one:

I guess this is a 1957 Chevy custom job. The year of my birth! A friend of mine got one — not the limo, heh — from her classic-car-crazy father, for her 16th birthday. I drove it a couple of times, although its totally cherry condition made me nervous; if my friend’s dad knew how much she liked to party during her lunch breaks, he never would have given her the keys. If you ever saw a turquoise and white ’57 Chevy tooling around northwest Columbus and environs in the mid-’70s, that might have been us.

Truth be told, I don’t really get classic-car restoration and cultivation, but then, my husband has a boat, so I guess I really do.

A few years ago I did a story on hybrid drivers who “hypermile” — try to get the best possible gas mileage out of their vehicles. One was a big domestic-industry booster, and drove a Ford Escape hybrid. He and a few of his hypermiling friends put a little unit together and rolled in the Dream Cruise, and got booed. He was genuinely stung, but I think he underestimated the douchiness of the local boosters. Classics are a tricky business, as thousands of inheritors of lovingly restored Packards or Model Ts have discovered when they tried to put their dad’s baby on the market and were greeted with a parade of yawns. The classic-car buyer is middle-aged or older, and interested in recapturing his lost youth, i.e., the car he seduced his girlfriend in when he was 17. For people who are 45 today, that was only circa 1980 or so, and I’m sorry, but for my money that’s when the magic went out of the market for good. The Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla of that era were great cars, but it’s hard to imagine anyone getting teary-eyed over a restoration of one today.

I once interviewed a guy in Fort Wayne with an underground garage, a real Batcave with secret entrance and everything. He was into Corvettes, and had at least a dozen down there, all medal-winning restorations. He didn’t do them himself, but wrote the checks for others to do so, then drove away to the car shows. “Let me show you something,” he said, raising the hood on a 1970s-era monster, one of those with a 427 or 454 or some ridiculous V-8 like that. He pointed to spots inside the engine compartment with sloppy paint overspray. There was also a big, splattery drop of a totally different color.

“I saw that, and about hit the roof,” he said. “And my guy tells me, no, this was the quality of workmanship for the mid-’70s. When they’re judging, they look for those details.” Someone tell the UAW. This cracked me up.

Lots of Corvettes in the Dream Cruise, needless to say. About a million Mustangs, of every shape and size. Chrysler Plymouth Barracudas, Super Bees, all that rumbly muscle stuff. I looked in vain for a ’66 Corvair, the car I learned to drive in, the car my mother (and I, and all of us) loved, the reason she never trusted Ralph Nader again. And then I looked at Kate. Bored. To. Death.

I have to teach this girl to drive a stick shift in a couple years. It would be nice if she would show at least a minimal interest in the pedals.

So, some bloggage? Let’s see what we’ve got:

The stem-cell ruling. Sigh. Conservative jurisprudence — proudly marching backward! I hope this guy is right.

Miners trapped for months, a 60-mile-long traffic jam that hasn’t moved in more than a week — and so the human race plods onward.

Man, I’m gonna kill the inventor of the gas leaf blower. For now, though, I think I’ll go to the gym.

Posted at 9:50 am in Detroit life |

48 responses to “Baby let’s cruise.”

  1. Dorothy said on August 24, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Barracudas were Plymouths, not Chryslers. Mike’s dad had one (a hand-me-down from his sister). I believe it was a ’67, aqua colored coupe. That was a sweet car. We were rear-ended in it in 1974 as he was driving me to the mall to pick up the shoes I had dyed for my brother Greg’s wedding. It was never the same after that. Damned drunk driver.

    edit: Mike confirmed – it was a ’67 coupe. Looked just like these:

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  2. Jeff Borden said on August 24, 2010 at 10:12 am

    It’s a Plymouth Barracuda, my dear, a late entry by the Chrysler Corporation to the pony car field, originally based on the frame and running gear of the lowly Plymouth Valiant starting in 1965 or 1966. Dodge didn’t respond until 1970, but it was the classic Challenger, fondly embraced for its starring role in the existential car chase film, “Vanishing Point.”

    Chrysler did kickass in the mid-size niche. The Plymouth Road Runner and GTX, the Dodge Coronet 500 and, later, the Super Bee. Those vehicles ate Malibus, 4-4-2’s and GTO’s for breakfast.

    I’ve always lusted after one of those beasts, but it has nothing to do with seducing anyone during my high school years, which were dateless, hopeless, clueless. Rather, I come from a sensible family of station wagon and four-door sedan owners. We had one cool looking car –a used 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 XL, which was fire-engine red with a black vinyl top and had bucket seats and a console. But it was powered by the V-8, so it was a dog. The cars on Woodward Avenue are the cars I wanted my dad to purchase, but of course, he never did.

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  3. coozledad said on August 24, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Thank God I never scored in the 78 Grenada. But it’s not difficult to conjure up a mental image of myself riding around in one with a big tuft of hair growing up the back of my neck from my collar. Leather jacket, track suit…

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  4. brian stouder said on August 24, 2010 at 10:30 am

    “When they’re judg­ing, they look for those details.”

    See, and if batcave-man couldn’t afford all those ‘Vettes, the “detail” he’d probably screw onto the back of his Caravan would be a set of those polypropylene genitals

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  5. Dorothy said on August 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I forgot about Granadas! We borrowed a friend’s to go to the prom in 1975. It was a pretty, rich brown-ish rust color.

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  6. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 24, 2010 at 10:34 am

    My family’s cars growing up were a hapless collection of crap. After my dad bought his 1968 Buick LeSabre (he’s still, of course, a Buick man at 83, driving around in his black Lucerne), it was all downhill. Two brown Ford station wagons (one with paneling), two gigantic Buick Electras (one we inherited when my grandfather died, and another my dad actually bought — it got like 6 miles to a gallon), a fucking Chevy Monza (it was like the clown car arrived anytime we went in it as a family, which thankfully wasn’t often), and a Delta 88. I actually liked the Delta 88 until, of course, it caught on fire after conking out on the Kennedy Expressway one day.

    After that, it was crappy car time for myself. A Plymouth Colt (my wife’s — it broke down late at night on July 4 near Rockford and were waiting for my brother to come rescue us in the Delta 88. It never made it — see above), a Hyundai Sonata, two Dodge Caravans and a Buick LeSabre (of course, a hand-me-down from my dad), which someone actually tried to steal from in front of my house over the weekend. Oh, and a 1989 Volvo. Used, natch.

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  7. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 24, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hey, this dude has an awesome car collection. Related to yesterday (feel free to ignore, because it’s a bringdown.

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  8. LAMary said on August 24, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I have a 2002 VW Beetle, white with grey interior. I live on a steep hill with tiny winding streets and sharp hairpin turns. The houses are built very close to the street so there is no room to park.
    Yesterday, my son called me from home at about 4:00 to tell me there was a police car chase going on on our street and the car they were chasing looked like my car. There was a big pickup truck between the beetle and the cops. I have no clue how the chase ended, but for just a moment, when my son saw the beetle hit a dip, bottom out and get a little airborne coming off the next hill, he thought his mom was simultaneously nuts and extremely cool.

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  9. nancy said on August 24, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Mary, you mean he doesn’t think that already?

    Stupid error fixed. Maybe if Borden has time today, he’ll tell the story about his Plymouth Fury or whatever-it-was, the one with the trunk light.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on August 24, 2010 at 11:28 am

    A ’67 Corvair was my first car and objectively it was a piece of crap. What little heat was produced mingled with the exhaust, so I always had to crack the windows a bit, no matter how cold. My dad bought it at a police auction for $25 and we put $3 of gas in it every week (gas gauge didn’t work either). I loved it anyway.

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  11. prospero said on August 24, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I thought this story about the Chilean miners very rich in some fascinating and poignant details. Byline: Seattle Times news services (one of my favorite papers online).

    So then I came across this piece in NYT, with a decided similarity to the Seattle Times report.

    I’ve had little active involvement with journalism in 20 years. I’d be interested if y’all could explain how this worked and who produced this fine writing and reportage, as we used to love to say presumptuously back at the land grant JSchool.

    (Both of these articles are accompanied by stunning photos, and the editors managed not to pull a Time/Newsweek fiasco, which is a whole other story.)

    In high school, my brother and I used my mom’s midnight blue ’63 TBird convertible for social engagements, frequently on Woodward Avenue, where we also may have participated in some acceleration-related illicit activity from time to time. When the first Camaro ZCar came out, I think in 1969, Chevy ran magazine ads with “Meet you on Woodward Ave.” for copy. I always figured some dad was set up at JWT for life by something his kid told him, hypothetically speaking.

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  12. mark said on August 24, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Your friend wasn’t applauded for crashing a classic car event with a decidedly non-classic car? “Douchiness” does apply. We all have the right to demand favorable attention whenever we want it, which is why I enjoy giving political speeches in the middle of wedding reception toasts. I figure, it’s my party too.

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  13. LAMary said on August 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Now that you mention it, yes, probably. This incident was more exciting proof than I usually provide.

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  14. prospero said on August 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I haven’t had a chance to read this list of road songs from NPR, so no imprimatur. Sure I’ll find some omission or inclusion annoying. Still, it ‘s a nice coincidence it’s in my email today, considering what y’all are talking about. 95 rather than 100 is a clever touch.

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  15. nancy said on August 24, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Prospero, the “Seattle Times news services” must include the NYT wire. No foul.

    Mark, the Dream Cruise, as I said, isn’t really an “event” in the sense that it has barriers to entry. Show up, and you can cruise. (Note, in the photo, the distinctly ordinary Pontiac two spots behind the Chevy.) Besides the usual suspects, it includes rolling billboards and other crass commercialism. On the continuum of offensiveness running from 1 to 10, I’d put a domestic hybrid at about a 2.5.

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  16. Dexter said on August 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

    nance? Julie? Right down the pike from me, near Sherwood, Ohio, on Rt. 127, a party has a Corvair for sale. Move quickly, or it’ll be gone. Uh-Huh. Yep.

    Thanks to Jolene for tipping us off to HBO’s Katrina postscript, Spike Lee’s new docu. I woke up this morning and grabbed my little digital recorder and gave my review to it, because the show moved me so much. No sense in sharing it here, because it mirrors, less eloquently of course, Hank Stuever’s WaPo review, also shared with us by Jolene in yesterday’s thread comments.
    I think it’s Spike Lee’s greatest piece of journalism; it has a rhythm to it, as when you start to think this is a feel-good piece on how the N.O. Saints cured the city, the docu shifts gears and WHAM…the real shit starts to unfold. I was just mesmerized, engulfed, slack-jawed … not moved to tears, just moved to go outside and curse the sun , the moon, and the fates in the name of the poor people of New Orleans, Louisiana, who just keep going crazy and struggling. If there’s a four-star rating system, it gets 5.

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  17. beb said on August 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    That stretch Chevy probably came from the Limo service next door to the Boneyard restaurant on Telegraph. We saw it (or one like it) there last December when we were doing our annual Festival of Lights tour. First we dine at the Boneyard than view the amazing lights display Wayne County put on. The car was parked out from of the limo service. It was too back to see with it was a real ’57 stretched or one faked to look like a ’57 Chevy. But it was nice.

    My parents actually owned a ’57 Chevy station wagon, from about 1960-1963. Don’t remember too much about it, never was much of a car man, but always though the shape and lines of the car were really nice.

    My wife is always talking about her mother’s car, a Corvair, so you two have that in common.

    Good luck teaching Kate to drive stick. Good luck finding a stick to teach her in!

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  18. adrianne said on August 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I learned to drive in my grandmother’s 1972 Ford Maverick, which, unbelievably, my family (mom, dad, four kids) also took on a long road trip to Disneyworld. Talk about getting out of the clown car! It was ridiculous in the extreme.

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  19. paddyo' said on August 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    PS for Prospero re: similar stories: At the bottom of The Seattle Times’ piece, they list the sources from which the story is “compiled”: NYT, AP and Deutsche Presse Agentur.

    Re: Car talk — Growing up, we had a succession of station wagons: A green Ford wagon (with red metal dashboard and interior details) in the late ’50s (when there were five kids), then a sleeker, light-blue Ford nine-passenger wagon (when the last two came along) and finally, the classic Ford Country Squire with the metal fake-wood paneling on the side. Why, yes, we DID go on a few summer vacation trips in those wagons, including camping trips from L.A. to Lake Tahoe, with a canvas water bag slung over the front of the radiator for the trek north through the Mojave Desert. A mid-20th-century pioneer wagon, as it were . . .

    The unexpected “second car” (in which Dad commuted to work), after his tan Ford Falcon and silver-blue Corvair, came after the family moved to Reno in the mid-’60s:
    A light yellow ’67 Ford Mustang fastback.
    W-o-w. LOVED the couple of rare times I got to drive that thing (I was away at high school seminary most of the time), until my sister got it in a T-bone wreck. It was repaired, but at some point not long after, my folks moved on up to some kind of grownup sedan, maybe one of the early (for the U.S.) and somewhat narrow Audis, ca. 1969-70 or so.

    God, we all talk about these old cars like they were first crushes, old flames, don’t we? And . . . I guess they were, weren’t they — even the goofy, Kelly-green, four-door Morris Minor sedan that was the first set of wheels I owned — bought for $200 and sold (in a week of unusual sub-zero January 1973 cold during which It Simply Would Not Start) to a collector, of all things, for $180.
    After that, the new 1973 baby-blue VW Beetle was heaven, and I owned that damned Bug for 22 years . . .

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  20. kayak woman said on August 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I think my husband is out of the driver’s ed “business” these days but he taught our girls (and their friends and a most of the cousins) how to drive stick in his now dead ’92 jeep wrangler on the abandoned Raco air base in the eastern UP. He started taking them out there when they were about 8.

    The last car I bought was a stick: Honda Civic SI, 6-speed. Thinking the old boy needs another wrangler…

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  21. Dave said on August 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Nancy, I hope when she starts learning to drive the stick, she doesn’t make life as exciting as I did when I nearly ran straight into our living room. Somehow, downshifting, turning into the driveway, operating the clutch, braking, was all too much for me and my ever-alert father saved the day by putting us in a big u-turn in the front yard. Truly, one of my most embarrassing moments and one my sibs love to bring up from time to time.

    I was in a ’62 Corvair in high school when we rear-ended a Electra 225. Scratch on the bumper on the Electra, major front-end cave-in on the Corvair, lots of explaining for the driver.

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  22. nancy said on August 24, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    You forget the reason the Corvair’s front end caved — the engine was in the rear. It was a VW with leg room. We loved it because that’s what gave it stability in the snow, still a regular occurrence in Columbus in those days. And you had that great feeling of being pushed, not dragged, through the corners.

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  23. Dorothy said on August 24, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t know why I’m enjoying this car talk so much but it’s sure bringing back lots of memories. When Mike went to Gannon for about a year and a half, one of his buddies there had a yellow 1970 Olds 442 with a Hemi (am I spelling that right?). The shifter looked like half a silver banana is all I remember. He let Mike bring it home one weekend to visit me (Erie to Pittsburgh) and that was one sweet car!

    My dad was always selfish about his vehicles – he didn’t buy his first one until I was in middle school I believe. He got a station wagon (duh – 10 kids in the family). Then in the mid-70’s he lost his mind temporarily and bought a red and black 442. Of course he was a grey-haired man in his late 40’s by then and drove like he was 20 years older than that. I am not sure I ever was allowed to drive it, even though I got my license three months after my 16th birthday.

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  24. alex said on August 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Mostly GM products in our household when I was a kid. My dad had a ’57 Chevy and sold it for the princely sum of $100 to a friend’s kid sometime during the ’60s. We also had some fake-wood station wagons and dull geezer sedans, but the best cars I remember were a Monte Carlo and a Cutlass, both of which were worthless on snow and ice but were among the handsomest cars the General ever produced.

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  25. basset said on August 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Didn’t have a Hemi if it was a 442, that was a Chrysler Corp. engine found in the Road Runner, Super Bee, Charger, etc.

    and did that red & black 442 have the red front fender liners?

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  26. Jolene said on August 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Most remarkable part of our family’s car-owning history was a three-year period in which we got new station wagons each year because, you guessed it, there were daughters learning to drive. We had a ’64 Ford station wagon of some sort that was totaled in an accident w/ my older sister as driver. The next year, I was driving our ’65 Oldsmobile Vistacruiser, when I was hit from behind, something a more experienced driver might have been able to prevent. The result, a ’66 Vistacruiser, which, as I recall, lasted several years, perhaps because of a gap in the string of youthful drivers.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on August 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Alex hits the nail on the head. The cars of my youth had sex appeal. . .well, a lot of them did. . .but they were not particularly good cars. I learned this the hard way when I bought a clapped-out 1968 Pontiac Le Mans convertible that was totally Bondo from the belt-line down. I’d paid only $1,300 for it. The car had drum brakes that faded fast. . .after two or three aggressive stops they just didn’t work. I remember driving back from Myrtle Beach when I lived in Charlotte through some heavy traffic, using the brakes a lot. I was finally on a clear stretch of highway when the light up ahead turned red. I hit the brakes and pretty much nothing happened. Luckily, there was no cross traffic or ka-boom.

    But even my beat-up Poncho was a great-looking car. The Coke bottle shape along the sides, a sneering grill, tail lights recessed into a huge, shiny chrome bumper. My favorite American cars are the mid-sized models from about 1965 through 1972. Chrysler, Ford and GM all had some really pretty cars in those years.

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  28. coozledad said on August 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    My wife says her folks had a Borg Worg station wagon. The only thing I can find about them is “if it broke down, you had to fly a mechanic in from Sweden”(I bet this is only partially apocryphal).

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  29. MarkH said on August 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Cooz, your talking about this car, a Borgward:

    The Isabella, like many classic cars has a real cult following.

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  30. LAMary said on August 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I just got a call from a neighbor asking if I was the one the cops were chasing yesterday.

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  31. coozledad said on August 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Mark H: Yeah, I just found it myself. I don’t know why the first reference I looked at had them built in Sweden. They were built in Bremen. My wife said it required a whole lot of attention.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on August 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I love cars, but I’ve never heard of a Borgwarg. It looks a lot like the older style Saabs and Volvos, so there must’ve been a “Scandanavian design” thread up in the fjords.

    On reflection, I’m not sure I can buy the idea that today’s younger people, especially of the male variety, will not recall the cars of their youth fondly. One of my nephews can spout all sorts of specifications, gear ratios, horsepowers, etc. of various and sundry rice rockets. He’s very keen on the Mitsubishi Lancer these days. And the original “The Fast and the Furious” showcased a score of souped-up Japanese cars.

    What’s missing to this old fart is the sound of the exhaust. The low rumble of a big-block V-8 will never be equaled by a four-cylinder engine, no matter how high it revs.

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  33. Dexter said on August 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I guess it’s no wonder I had a Kharmann Ghia, about a dozen other VW products, a Volvo DL wagon, even a goddam International Harvester Travelall, a Honda CVCC, and a 1964 Ford Falcon amongst many other cars and trucks I drove at different times.
    See, I learned to drive in a Studebaker Lark, a 1962. Before that, Dad drove a 1956 Studebaker sedan, finally breaking away from the Auburns and Fords he had driven before. Later, he bought an old Datsun, which Mom hated and Dad loved. Dad enjoyed enraging the gas station guy who gave Dad hell every time the Datsun needed another thimbleful of petrol. “Goddam Jap JUNK!! They’d never buy nothing from US!!!” the grease monkey would scream…and Dad would say, “yeah, well, I don’t know what to say, Bud.” And next week, same scenario…and the next, too.

    My Kharmann Ghia was sweet, I loved taking 90 degree turns at 45 mph with no sway or fear. What a great car.
    You never saw such a piece of crapola like that Travelall, though. You can just imagine…this was the first SUV ever…it got 7 miles to the gallon. I drove it 15 miles and manifold to tailpipe, the entire exhaust system fell off on Route 37 just outside Harlan, Indiana. I turned around, back to Fort Wayne, and traded it even-up for the Kharmann Ghia.

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  34. LAMary said on August 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I had a Karmann Ghia and yes, you could take turns in fourth gear with no worries.

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  35. jcburns said on August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    hey, we drove by that very Corvair on US 127 in Sherwood, OH back in early June, on our way back south from Michigan.

    I’m smiling at the prospect of someone googling “polypropylene genitals” and getting this page.

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  36. Dave said on August 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Jeff Borden, you’ve really stirred the memories with the tails of your mostly-Bondo car and the deep rumble of a big-block V-8 engine.

    My brother and I had a 1955 Chevy that my dad bought from a man who was transferred to California. His name was Herman so the car became Herman and is fondly remembered as such today. It had a considerable amount of a Bondo-like substance, I’m thinking it was called Black Magic or Green Magic or some such thing.

    My father had a Pinto that he drove to work, probably about a 70 model, as I recall. Another car that got a lot of bad press because of exploding gas tanks but I thought that little car was fun to drive, it would also take corners real well. My sister finished it off by putting it on its side one night, she and my other sister and their two friends walked away from it. I don’t recall how she happened to do that, maybe her corners weren’t like mine.

    I don’t recall ever hearing of or seeing a Borgward, either, but we had neighbors who had a Citroen, I believe it was a mid-fifties model. One ugly car. I recall it looking very similar to this.

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  37. Catherine said on August 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    A Karmann Ghia is still my dream car. That’s what I wanted but my dad talked me into a ’76 Chevette. That POS, I promise, will never be in a restored classic car parade. Despite which, some fun was had in it.

    Here’s my current porn:

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  38. moe99 said on August 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    For me the original clown car was the AMC Pacer. I worked with a woman who had one. Roomy inside, but no get up and go.

    My paternal great grandfather (WH Cullen) and grandfather (Seth Cullen) sold Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles and Graham Brothers Trucks as the Armory Auto Co. in Paulding, OH in the 1920’s. But I remember my grandmother, Helen, and Aunt Bebe driving Cadillacs when I was a kid in the 50’s and 60’s, those ones with the big fins and the multi textured horn sound. She and my Aunt loved to go for Sunday drives in the country around Paulding. I and my sister would sit in the back seat and fall asleep. Sometimes they’d stop for an ice cream at Charloe.

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  39. Deborah said on August 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    My first car was a 1962 Ford Falcon, stripped down no extras. My family had a 1953 Pontiac before that. They bought the 62 Falcon new, then in 68 my Dad passed it on to me and my sister. We used it through our college years, only when we were home from college that is. When I graduated in 1972 a year after my sister, my dad sold it to a grateful kid for $500 it was in perfect condition. I wish I still had that car. In my subsequent car owning life I had a series of small, convertible sports cars. I had 3 MGs in a row and then 2 Miatas, one following the other of course. Now that we live in Chicago we have my husband’s BMW, and it’s 10 years old already. I hardly ever drive anymore but every once in awhile I think back about that 62 Falcon.

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  40. Joe Kobiela said on August 24, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    66 Mercury Comet was my first, 69 ford galaxy 500 fast back was #2 71 Pinto was #3 Passenger seat was non adjustable in that one. #4 was a 78 chevy 4×4 pickup i drove it over 120,000miles. One buddy had a 71 ford torino super cobra jet, 429 cid, hurst factory shifter, not fast in the quarter mile but it would run over 140mph down I 69 we could make it from Auburn to lake gage in under 20 minutes,or 3 black label beers.
    Pilot Joe

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  41. Dorothy said on August 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Basset I can’t remember any details about the red and black 442. And forgive me about the Hemi mistake. I’ll have to ask the DH what it was that I mixed up with a Hemi.

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  42. Kim said on August 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    A few years ago my husband bought a 1966 Ford Falcon – said it would be a great project with our then-early-teen, pre-driving eldest. It was, until the eldest discovered hotter things than installing sheet metal flooring in the car (like girls). The Falcon has been a source of discord in the marriage almost from the moment it arrived (towed, because the car’s engine ran but the brakes did not stop it). The interior looked like dingos had lived in it for a couple of weeks without food or water. The seats were in my living room for a couple of months, before getting toted to the attic. Our youngest and a friend were picked up from soccer practice in the Falcon, which at that point had two front bucket seats and two lawn chairs in the back. The latest mishap occurred after the scoring of a most awesome deal on craigslist: some ’66 Mustang engine in great shape for 40 bucks. My husband got a stand for the engine, set it up in a friend’s mac daddy garage, spent a couple hours with the friend on the setup. Then, in their first act of examining the engine on the stand, decided to spin it so they could look at the bottom. The engine somehow slid off the stand and crashed into the ground, breaking. They. Broke. An. Engine. Amazing – I had to laugh. Now our daughter is driving it as she learns, and I have to just crack up every time I see her in it and hear the pathetic Bozo horn.

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  43. basset said on August 24, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Dorothy, did it look like this one?

    And here’s an example of a Hemi:

    Even more ridiculous, though… a 440 wedge stuffed into a Dart, the notorious “Mr. Norm’s GSS”…

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  44. Dexter said on August 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Karmann Ghia…has it been so long I forgot how to spell it? Guess so.
    a little gee-tar shredding

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  45. jerry said on August 25, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Dave at 36 – I’m sorry but the Citroen DS (pronounced de-esse like goddess) was a marvellous car very far ahead of its time and still much admired. It came third in the “Car of the Century” for the most influential car – it followed the Model T and the Mini.

    If you want a wierd looking Citroen try the “CV or Deux Chevaux which was designed to allow farmers to carry sheep etc by taking out the seats. It was in production for a very long time (1948-90) and even ended up as something of a cult in England. I still occasionally see one driving around. See

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  46. prospero said on August 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

    If this isn’t enough evidence that Republicans are sleazy enough to team up with Fox and they’re not lying lying scum bastards it’s at least evidence that many of us are too fucking stupid to be allowed to vote.

    And a list of road songs that doesn’t include Highway 61 and Get Out of Denver, and ignores Tennessee Plates might have good songs but it’s lacking. I would have liked to hear more comments, I mean, posting a list is just asking for it. Anyway. Thanks, y’all. And with that, I’ve probably worn our my welcome.

    And Nancy, back in the day, to use a spent phrase, nobody in Detroit cared a shit about Iggy. MC5 and SRC and Bob Seger. Still good music amd Iggy’s still sort of exhibisionist rehashed drivel.

    And where is the respect for the two-horse. Ugliest car ever built, but it chugs along.

    I learned to drive with a manual transmission with a Ghia and I drove one through a total flood in a Storrow Drive tunnel flood. You’d have to know Boston, but we made it floating. They float and you can sort of steer. Then I drove a Triumph Spitfire around in the Blizzard of ’78. Didn’t clear the snow. Cars are amazing if you know how to drive them.

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  47. Peter said on August 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

    My cousins had two Deux Chevaux; one was a real rust bucket; the other was the canvas top model with the snaps on the sides. The beauty of the car was that you didn’t really care if you hit or were hit by anything – what’s to ruin?

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  48. prospero said on August 25, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Manual transmission isn’t rocket science. You feel the gears engage, the car starts to move. You let out the clutch. Let out the clutch and step on the gas. My kid got this almost immediately.

    Her mom rides the clutch in reverse to this day. We’re divorced and it’s not my car, so I can just make fun.

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