Car Coolers

All the current global
warming stuff may lead
you to believe that
previous generations
didn’t get hot, but the
truth is very different.

And, how folks in
automobiles before
air conditioning found
comfort from summer
swelter is our topic today
on the Saturday Car Post.

Before the 1939 model
Packards, Air Conditioners
weren’t available in
domestic cars even as an
(very expensive) option ….
and they remained rare
amenities in cars up to
the 1960’s.

Of course, auto makers were
always looking for ways to
help their buyers beat in-car
heat, by designing large
windows and vents into
them , and even making
rear and front windscreens
openable on some models
to provide cross-draft.

A lot of pre-1960 car
owners chose to cool
their cars with an after
-market product called
a “Swamp Cooler” –
an evaporative air cooler
which would fit over one
of the passenger side

The principle was a
simple one: air forced
into the front intake
of the unit would flow
over a reservoir of water,
vaporizing some water
molecules and carrying
them into the cabin of
the car as ‘cooled’ air.

Aside from the fact that
the air was simply moist
and not really cooled,
there was also the issue
of outside humidity….
despite being called
‘swamp coolers’, they
actually worked much
better in dry climates
because the vaporized
air would present
more of a contrast to the
passenger and feel ‘cooler’.

Also, in some models,
the car had to be moving
in order to stream the air
through the unit.. although
later motorized-fan units
(called “Ram Air”) resolved
this issue.

The coolers were marketed under
several large brand names, like Sears
(Allstate), Firestone, and Thermador,
but were also made by smaller
companies and for custom uses.
( one was only
made for VW Beetles ).

!! HOY !!





The Jaguar ‘E’ Type

The great car engineer
and designer Enzo Ferrari
called it : “the most beautiful
car made

The Museum of Modern Art
in New York City recognized
the E-Type’s importance by
adding a Series 1 XKE to
its permanent design collection-
one of only six automobiles
so distinguished.

It is no overstatement
to say that one cannot
consider a list of the
landmark top 10 sports
cars of the 20th century
without including the
Jaguar ‘E’ type.

Available between
1961 and 1975,
the ground breaking
Jaguar ‘E’ type (known
in the United States as
the ‘XKE’) was truly a
performance icon.

Series 1 : Made
between 1961 and 1968,
it was available in three
body styles, all two doors-
a fastback coupe,
a roadster, and
beginning in 1966,
a 2+2 coupe with an
optional automatic
All were equipped
with a straight six
engine, originally
a 3.8 liter, but in late
1964, a 4.2 liter making
about 265 horsepower.
Type ‘1.5’ designates a
1968 series 1 car with
modifications anticipating
some of the changes
made in the upcoming
Series 2, like the twin
carb set-up.

Series 2: Made between
1968 and 1971, this series
was largely Jaguar’s response
to new automotive regulations
in the United States –
it’s performance was de-tuned
and the three SU carburetors
used in Series I models were
replaced by two Stromberg
carbs, reducing horsepower
to just over 260. The front
grill was widened for cooling
purposes, headlight covers
were removed, and a
wrap-around rear safety
bumper was added.

Series 3: Made between
1971 and 1975, this series
is primarily remembered
as the “E” types with the
new Jaguar V-12 engine
and quad Zenith carbs,
making about 270 horsepower,
although a few series-3 cars
were ordered with the 4.2 liter
straight 6. (WHY?) The E-Type
was no longer available in a
two seater fastback coupe –
but the 2+2 coupe and the
roadster were still offered.
The redesign had several
advantages to buyers-
more comfortable seats,
better grip from wider tires,
faster acceleration and top
end than the Series 2, and
improved interior spaces.

The E-Type ended
production in 1975-
49 of the last 50 cars
made received a
dashboard plaque,
and a black paint
scheme with chrome

According to automotive
sources, in 2020, Jaguar
will release it’s “Concept-Zero”
E-Type to the marketplace .

This car, based on a revival of
the 1968 E-Type 1.5, will be
an all electric, zero emissions
vehicle, able to accelerate
from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds,
and have a range of over
160 miles before recharging.

!! HOY !!


Plymouth Valiant – 1st Generation – 1960-1962

valiantThe Plymouth Valiant,
built by the Chrysler
Corporation for the
U.S. market between
1960 and 1976, never
received much attention
from critics or auto
fanatics – despite
Road & Track calling
it “… one of the best
all-around domestic cars. “

(not to be confused
with the Australian
made ‘Chrysler Valiant’)

Today’s post deals
with the
“first generation”
of Valiants –
from 1960-1962.

Originally planned as
a stand alone brand
and ‘compact car’
competition for the
Rambler, Corvair and
the Volkswagen Beetle,
the first generation
Valiant debuted at the
International Motor Show
in London in 1959 and
introduced a brand new
6 cylinder overhead valve
engine, called the
“Slant 6”, which, in
it’s several versions
(170 c.i. standard,
225 c.i. optional)
earned a reputation as
sturdy, dependable, and
easy to work on; even
after aluminum blocks
(challenging in
several ways)
were made available
(as options) around

1960 saw
2 body styles
for Valiant –
a four door sedan
and a station wagon,
available with either
2 sets of seats or three.
(The third was rear facing.)

A popular option was the
all-new Torqueflite A-904
automatic transmission,
(with push-button control
on the driver’s panel )
but a 3 speed manual was

There were several trim
packages available in
the early Valiants,
usually delineated
V-100 and V-200;

— the V-100 a base
trim level with little

— the V-200 ‘Signet’
as a fully dressed
model with chrome,
stainless steel,
and brite-dipped
aluminum trim.

In 1961, two-door
variations of Valiant
were added to
the line-up –
a hard top and a sedan.

Buyers found the Unibody
construction of the
Valiant created better
handling characteristics-

– this led Chrysler to
release a “Hyper-Pak”,
a tuning package for
upping the performance
so the car could run in
stock car racing; upping
the compression ratio in
the 170 c.i. slant six, &
a single four-barrel carb
adding horsepower
to 148.

The 1962 models
brought certain
cosmetic alterations,
like rounded tail lights,
and a flatter grill,
but the real changes
came by way of mechanical
changes in the alternator,
starter, new gear boxes
and gear ratios, and the
new high-visibility
dashboard – which was
wildly popular .

Next time:

Second generation
– 1963 -1966
Third generation
– 1967 – 1973
Fourth generation
– 1974 – 1976 .

!!! HOY !!!

James Bond’s Aston Martins

bondToday’s post is
another edition
of “Vintage Cars
of TV and Movies ”

A car that always
took my
breath away
in movies
belonged to 007 –
– James Bond.

Oh yeah.

Aston Martin DB-5 – “Goldfinger “

All those cool,
gadgets didn’t
come standard
with the car
from “Goldfinger”…

but it was still
a brilliant car –
-the Aston Martin

The “DB”
represented the
initials of
David Brown,
who acquired
Aston Martin
after WW II,
and was a

Equipped with
an all aluminum
DOHC 4.0 liter
straight six engine
making 282 horsepower,
the DB-5’s top end was
somewhere around
145 MPH.

The “DB-5” is
the most
iconic of the
James Bond cars,
appearing in a
total of 9 films–

Aston Martin Vanquish V-12

“Golden Eye”,
“Tomorrow Never Dies”,
“The World Is Not Enough”,
“Casino Royale”,
“Skyfall”, and

It wasn’t the
only Aston Martin
to have appeared
in the Bond
films, however.

In “Die Another Day”,
the “V-12 Vanquish”
was featured;

Aston Martin DB-S

And the “DB-S”
made it into a
total of 4 films.

A project car called
the “DB-10”
(developed as a
promotional vehicle
for the Bond series)
was featured in the
2015 “Spectre” as well.

The current model
in the “DB” series
is the Aston Martin
DB-11, starting in

Aston Martin DB-11

– with the V-12
5.2 liter engine
it is capable of
speeds of over
200 MPH.

And I’m told that
the newest Bond film
will feature an
all-electric car
from Aston Martin
called the “Rapide-E”.


!!! HOY !!!

This Isn’t Nova – Or: Songs About Cars

Creative ideas
for this program
were provided
by :
my friend Jules.

( I see you watch
PBS, too, dontcha. )

For those who
Mitch Miller,
you’ll be
relieved to hear that our
post today doesn’t ask
you to follow the
bouncing ball or
sing along off-pitch
with Mitch.


However, while
signing along with
the music in this post
is not at all required,
you may well find
yourself doing just
that – –
-I know I will be.

Hey, maybe you
think I’ve got my
calendar watch set
on the wrong day
( again ) –
since we usually do
music posts on
Sunday –
but it’s just me
throwing another
proverbial monkey
wrench into my own
stupid system …..

And I thought it
was just too good
a post idea to wait
for another
24 hours
to roll around.

Not to mention
that this way,
I can ask our readers
to do some of the work
providing music.

You see,
I never miss a game of
‘I’ll show you mine if
you’ll show me yours’
so, I’ll give you 5 or 6
of my favorite songs
about cars, and then
I want you to give me

In comments,
or in email,
either way
is groovy.

And I’ll add em to the
bottom of the post.

Get it?

Got it?


Let’s begin.

No post about
and popular music
can really claim to
be so, without
certain inclusions,
I know that.

But, I’m gonna
leave several of
them off —

Maybe it’s just me
being contrary,
( typical )
or maybe I wanna
give our readers a chance
to come up with em.

This is one of the
must haves, though:

Beatles :
” Drive My Car



A “Deuce Coupe” refers
to a ’32 Ford body with
a V-8 flathead engine;
considered by many car
enthusiasts to have been
the ultimate hot-rod car.

And of course, to have the
‘pink slip, daddy’ is the
only way to fly-
– it means you own it.

With that in mind:

Beach Boys —
Little Deuce Coupe” .


My friend Carolyn gave me a couple of hers, too:

Fun Fun Fun – Beach Boys

First Kiss – Kid Rock

No Particular Place to Go – Mr. Chuck Berry

Diamonds On My Windshield — Mr. Tom Waits

Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf

And C’s oldest sister
would want me to add:

Paul Evans and The Curls —
Seven Little Girls (Sittin’ in the Backseat)


I can’t help myself…
this song wouldn’t have
made any one elses top
five considering how
many great songs we’ve
got to choose from,
but I did have one of
these, and I did drive
my father crazy with it.

Commander Cody did a
passable version of it,
but I like this one

Junior Brown :
Hot Rod Lincoln


If I were to name the
top five rock and roll
drummers of all time,
I bet you wouldn’t be
all that surprised to
find that Neal Peart
(Rush) was right in
behind (or ahead of)
Ginger Baker at numbers
one and two.

But, since this is
a ‘Top Five Songs About
Cars’ post, I submit this
one for your approval.

Rush :
Red Barchetta

” Well-weathered leather
Hot metal and oil
The scented country air
Sunlight on chrome
The blur of the landscape
Every nerve aware ” 



Van Halen :

How can you lose
with lyrics like :

” Ain’t nothin’ like it,
her shiny machine
Got the feel for the wheel,
keep the moving parts clean
Hot shoe, burnin’ down the avenue
Got an on-ramp comin’
through my bedroom “

Oh sure, you may say that
it’s not about cars at all,
and is just an allegorical
reference to something else
entirely… but what isn’t ?

how literal can ya get ?


My friend Jules
suggested these:

Jan & Dean’s
“Little Deuce Coupe “–
which is a perfect
natural, as far as
I’m concerned.





My friend Katie
out on the West Coast
requested a real vintage
piece that I’d almost


back to our list….

no allegorical anything
on this last one.

Recognize these lyrics?

” In cars, in cars, in cars
In my car, in my car,
in my car, in my car
In cars, in cars
In my car, in my car,
in my car, in my car
(I’ve been sittin’,
I’ve been sittin’,
I’ve been sittin’,
I’ve been sittin’) “

Gary Numan and
the Tubeway Army:

Oh, I see….
now, I’m too literal.

Alrighty —
it’s time to
show me yours.

Here Comes The Judge

The Pontiac GTO Judge —
one of the most iconic
muscle cars of the late
1960’s; offered in both
Hard-top and Convertible.

It was intended
to be an inexpensive,
stripped down GTO
model but with a bit
more gitty-up……

.. it came with a spoiler,
a 366 horsepower Ram
Air III engine, rally wheels,
wide tires, and a Hurst
shifter, and of course,
the Judge decal package.

Pontiac wanted to offer
the package to go up
against the Plymouth
Road Runner, and it was
originally only available
in Carousel Red
(a sorta orange color).

Yet, against all expectations,
the GTO Judge somehow
captured the buying public’s
imagination and sales soared.

More than 6,800 were
sold the first year, and
Pontiac relented mid-year
in offering the Judge in
all the GTO colors.

In 1970, an additional engine
option was added in the 370
HP RAM IV engine, and some
additional colors; about 3800
were produced.

Unfortunately, pressure on
the muscle car market in
general was being brought
by a combination of high
insurance company rates,
rising gas prices, and
increasing production
costs — and a decline in
demand for and the
manufacture of large
horsepower cars like
the GTO Judge resulted.

1971 was the GTO
Judge’s final year….
and only 357 were
produced before it was discontinued in February of that year.


!! HOY !!!



Pontiac’s Prototypes

1977 Pontiac Phantom

Excitement ?


I’ve always
had a
soft spot
in my
driving heart

1988 Pontiac Pursuit

… to me,
as a kid
growing up
in the 1960’s,
the “Wide
Track Sporty Pontiac”
was the image
of what an automobile
should be and would
represent in the future.

Fun, style, handling,
and power.

1963 Pontiac Scorpion XP-758

No matter how
hard GM seemed
to try to wash
out the
qualities of
the brand
over the years,
Pontiacs always
looked pretty
much LIKE a

1959 Pontiac El-Tigre XP-92

The marque
was started
in 1926 as a
General Motors
stable mate to
a car make
called the
in 1931) and was
outselling it within
months of it’s

1959 El Catalina

Until the
Pontiac wasn’t
really known
for it’s good
looks or it’s

1970’s Pontiac Banshee XP-833

It was simply
as a rugged,
and relatively
inexpensive car.

1956 changed
all of that-
along with
lead engineers,
and even
a new general manager.

1956 Firebird II

Soon, a new 1957
Bonneville was selling
for more than a Cadillac –

– and their old fashioned
stodgy image was changed
almost overnight into
” America’s Number
One Road Car “.

And Pontiac designers
continued to set this
tone, well into
the early 1970’s.

1990 Pontiac Sunfire

That new emphasis
on style and engineering
meant the development
of several prototypes
to keep ahead
of coming trends —

— so, today’s post
includes several of
Pontiac’s most cutting
edge designs from that
prolific period .

!!! HOY !!!

1956 Pontiac Club De Mer