Pontiac’s Prototypes

1977 Pontiac Phantom

“Driving
Excitement ?

Sure……

I’ve always
had a
soft spot
in my
driving heart
(head)
for
Pontiacs..

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
distinctive
qualities of
the brand
over the years,
Pontiacs always
looked pretty
much LIKE a
Pontiac.

1959 Pontiac El-Tigre XP-92

The marque
was started
in 1926 as a
General Motors
stable mate to
a car make
called the
“Oakland”
(discontinued
in 1931) and was
outselling it within
months of it’s
introduction.

1959 El Catalina

Until the
mid-1950’s,
Pontiac wasn’t
really known
for it’s good
looks or it’s
performance,
necessarily…

1970’s Pontiac Banshee XP-833

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

1956 changed
all of that-
along with
marketing
strategies,
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

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The Norton ES-2 Motorcycle

48nortonES2-500OHV

1948

Today’s Car Post
is about one of
my favorite
Motorcycles-

– in this case,
a British made
rocket called the
Norton ES-2.

1935

Similar to the
Norton Model 18,
in everything, that is,
but with springs on the
rear suspension and the
overhead valve engine
configuration, the ES-2
had a girder forked frame,
and used a single cylinder
500 cc engine.

It was an
extremely popular,
durable and versatile
motorcycle –

1956

– for
the 36 years that
Norton built it –
between 1927
and 1963.

The machine
was especially
well thought of by
riders and mechanics
alike for it’s ease
of maintenance
and simplicity
of design.

1961

Alec Bennett won
the winner’s podium
at the Isle of Man TT
in 1924 on a Model 18,
and the ES-2 was even
better and more nimble.

It’s top speed was
about 90 MPH –
– not bad for a single
cylindered 500.

The last real ES-2 rolled
off the assembly line
in 1963.

1965 MK2

( in 1965 , the parent
company of Norton,
AMC, produced
a “ES-2 Mark 2” based
on a “Matchless” frame
badged as a Norton. ) –>

.

!! HOY !!
.

1948 Norton ES-2

Soft Soaping

No Soap.

Soap Opera.

Don’t Drop The Soap.

Soap On A Rope.

Soap Scum.

Soft Soap.

All Soaped Up.

Soap Party.

Soap Poisoning.

99.4 % Pure Soap.

Soap Dodger.

If there’s no suds,
there’s no soap.

Soap Bubbles.

Mark Twain
said that :

” Soap and
education
are not as
sudden as a
massacre,
but they are
more deadly
in the
long run. “

Soap is one
of those
things that
pervades
every aspect
of our
daily lives in
some way,
and certainly
as part
of our daily
parlance.

That doesn’t
mean that
we’re all
that squeaky
clean,
of course —

– as the writer
G.K. Chesterton
noted:

” Man does not
live 
by soap
alone; and

hygiene, or
even health,

is not much
good unless

you can take
a healthy

view of it or,
better still,

feel a healthy
indifference

to it. “

Soap’s a
pretty simple
thing, really —
a little fat,
a little salt.

You kinda
take it for
granted, unless,
of course, someone
you know really
does take it for
granted….

— cause you’ll
quickly notice
the absence
of it’s use.

Still, soap
can make
for an
interesting
subject for
a blog post,
as we’re
attempting
to prove
today here
on the
Muscleheaded
Blog….

… by
blowing
some
nice
vintage
soap bubbles
of our own.

Let us
know
how we did.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Maurice Milliere

.

Our Friday Mailbag Post

The words ‘big brother’
can elicit an interesting
variety of reactions from
folks.

Any fan of 1970’s
rock and roll will
remember the
opening verse to
Rare Earth’s hit song :
” Hey Big Brother ! ”

Or Janis Joplin’s original
band ” Big Brother and
The Holding Company”.

Of course, the original
allusion was from
George Orwell’s seminal
book about a potential
fascist future:
1984 ” ….

Oh, you didn’t think
I was referring to
Van Halen‘s best
album by the same
name, did ya ?

While we’re playing
connect the musical
dots, I guess we can’t
leave off War’s
Me And Baby Brother ” ,
which, at the very least,
will take me back to my
original thought pattern,
anyway.

I was a
big brother,
myself —

– and it was
a hard job,
believe it or not.

You’d be amazed how
many times I ended up
fighting guys that I
personally liked for
picking on my younger
siblings.

The oldest always
gets the blame
when something
goes wrong,
is charged with
running off
unsuitable
suitors for sisters,
and always
receives
the harshest
punishments
because he
‘ought to
know better ‘.

Parents always try
out stuff on the
oldest first – to learn
from their mistakes.

But I’m not kickin’
about it –

I never had to wear
hand-me-downs,
or
deal with a
‘trouble-maker’
reputation in school
that preceded from
an elder…. (me).

I was bigger,
stronger,
and faster,
so I had a
better chance of
grabbing seconds
at the dinner table..
(when there were
seconds, that is… )

Anyway,
today’s mailbag is
all about the
complicated
dynamic that is
being a sibling.

.

!!! HOY !!!

.

.

MORE?

Ok………..

 

Friday Mailbag

No matter how
unpleasant a subject
you might choose,
there have been
plenty of vintage
postcards produced
about it.

Take our
general theme
today….

– divorce –

certainly
a disagreeable,
heartbreaking
kinda thing
to have to deal with,
I guess, but
somewhere,
somehow,
somebody
thought it would be a
good idea to send
another person one
of these postcards.

Alrighty…..

well, with
friends like
that, etc, etc, etc.

But they certainly
are interesting cards-
so, it’s not like I
couldn’t still post em.

So, instead of dwelling
on what for most folks
is a pretty depressing
topic……..

Our text for the
mailbag today will
have nothing at all
to do with the
illustrations, and
deal instead with
one of those TV
items I often
do like to
talk about :

The choice of Rowan
Atkinson (Mr. Bean)
to play fictional French
Inspector Jules Maigret
in the recent British
(ITV) series.

Brilliant casting,
if you ask me,
absolutely brilliant.

No fan of the
previous Inspector
Maigret series
(especially the wonderful
1990’s production with
Michael Gambon  )
woulda seen
that coming –

and yet,
it works.

The world-weary
detective in Georges
Simenon’s books
wasn’t all that effusive
to begin with –

— his characteristics
were those of
a thoughtful,
careful, committed,
experienced and
cerebral officer –
and, Atkinson slides into
the role perfectly.

His relationship with
Madame Maigret
(Lucy Cohu) and
his Police associates
is also spot on.

There are two series,
each with two episodes,
and make highly
recommended viewing,
and stay surprisingly
close to Simenon’s
intentions.

They currently
are available
on a Roku service
called “BritBox”
in the United States.

You might be able 
to access them on
YouTube as well,
I dunno.

But you should
definitely check
it out.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Clouds

Choosing to
express yourself
when you’re
feeling completely
under stress can be
a dangerous activity
sometimes.

You might
be just
thinking –
hey, I’ll let
off a little steam
” –
but you could
be telling the
whole world
stuff you had no
intention of ever
disclosing even to
your closest friends,
never mind letting it
get carried away into
the wild blue yonder
on a permanent
virtual cloud.

Interesting choice
for a name of a
universally linked
database system ,
isn’t it?

So light,
fluffy and
wispy, and
wouldn’t
hurt a soul.

So safe
and secure…
who ever heard
of anybody ever
falling off a
cloud, right?

Sure,
buddy.

Just think about
that the next
time lightning
zaps your TV
or a tornado
whips through the
neighborhood.

Clouds do that.

I often wonder if
the total lack of
concerns about
privacy these days
isn’t some sort of
mass social denial
that we all aren’t
just becoming tiny
cogs in the damn
machine.

Hey,
you know
the machine –

– the one that takes
all your stupid choices,
weaknesses, records,
personal characteristics
and vital statistics to
mash it all up into
what future generations
will use to entertain
them on cold winter
nights when they’ve
seen every grumpy
cat video at least
fifteen times, or their
neural net is giving
them a big
ERROR 404 .

” Look at this guy –
he’s about to step
off the board and
fall through
the roof

of the attic.
BOOOM…….
yep,
there he goes. 

Wow, what a
good
2 inch
bounce off that

cement floor….
and look at all that
stuff that fell with him.
I love the way he breaks
every one of those book
shelves on the way down.
Let’s watch that again. ” 

Ugh…..
Clouds.

HOY !

 

Really Awful Album Covers

Yes, friends.

I know that it’s been
a while since we posted
on this subject, and
you’ve been very kind
in helping me build up
my collection –

So, today,
we’ve got
another episode
of terribly
conceived and
awfully executed
album covers.

(some of them
were 45’s)

I’ve had to
verify them
as authentic first,
(fakes abound
these days ) ,
which does very
little to explain
why it’s taken
so damn long
to post em….

Nevertheless,
we’re doing
it now, and
I apologize
for the delay,
cause these really
are everything
one would expect out
of lame record
cover art.

Incidentally, for those
of you who have never
had the displeasure of
viewing our previous
posts on the subject,
well, here’s a link or
two to get you started
on your catchin‘ up.

( You might take
some Pepto first,
or you may
be throwin‘ up,
instead. )

And now,
onward,
into the
abyss beyond.

Cicciolina
(Ilona Staller)
was once a big
international celebrity,
and a member of the
Italian Parliament,
believe it or not,
and this ’45 cover
isn’t exactly indicative
of her best work….

Well,
wait a minute….
maybe it is,
come to think of it.
.

I kinda hate to list
this next one, really…
because I own this
album, and think a
lot of the guy who
did it.

Freddy Morgan was
the crazy banjo player
in Spike Jones’ City
Slickers and really
could PLAY, man.

Still, you gotta admit,
the guy had a smile
that would curdle buttermilk.

Speaking of milk….. 

The Moving Gelatine Plates
were a 1970’s French
fusion-jazz-rock band
that borrowed their name
from a reference in John
Steinbeck’s “Travels With
Charley “.

This was their second album
” The World of Genius Hans “.

It’s a shame it wasn’t
more about a genius
graphic designer.
.

It’s kinda rule around here
when it comes to bad album
cover posts —

we must have a couple
of strange covers from
exotic far off places……

So’s how about one from
a Hungarian Opera singer ?

Sure- her name
was Márta Szirmai
and she really did
have a voice.

She was also
apparently allergic
to cats — hence,
the blow up version.

So, you ask….
why the cat
theme at all?

Man,
I just don’t know.

Why don’t you ask
this next guy….

He’s a self declared
expert on the gender.

Kenneth Haigh was
a British actor, and
certainly was popular
with the ladies in the
1960’s, cravat and all.
.

Another ‘rule’ about
these posts has to do
with Holy Roller LP’s…

They’re invariably bad,
and make very easy
targets usually…….

This one cracks me up
more for the content —

“I’ve Tasted The Lord
and I Know The Lord
Is Good ” ?

uMMM….
is that one title or two?

Just wonderin.

And since we’re talking
about Holy Roller albums,
I think this next one is a
prime example why they’re
such an easy target —

The question is obviously
a rhetorical one, since no
wool product appears
anywhere —

Hey, what kinda animal
do they get Polyester
from, anyway?

!!! HOY !!!