The 1960 Imperial

Sometimes deciding on a
vintage car project comes
down to figuring out if you
really want to end up
driving a car that every
other car enthusiast else
has/wants, or one that’s
a little more unique,
and downright cool.

After all –
coolness isn’t a virtue
that’s usually found in
mundane or everyday
stuff –
one of the factors that
distinguishes ‘cool’ is
individuality.

Consider the domestic-made
luxury offerings on offer from
1960:  mostly Lincolns, and
Cadillacs.

I certainly wouldn’t argue
with a fully restored 1960
Lincoln Continental,
although it’s a bit stodgy
looking and murder to
get parts for – (the later
1960’s models are better)
or much better yet, a 1960
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
— BUT –
you’ll see a lot more
of these cars than you will
our chosen 1960 coolest car
– the 1960 Imperial
(made by Chrysler).

The corporate geniuses at
Chrysler, who had marketing
an Imperial since 1926,
decided in 1956 to make
“Imperial” it’s own line –
sorta like Cadillac is to
General Motors, or Lincoln
is to Ford.

This had little to do with
making the car better,
although for a while,
Imperial actually was
built on a different platform
and had other distinctive
qualities –
and it was advertised
“America’s Most Carefully-
Built Car”.

1960 was it’s best year
for styling and quality-
yet, it was outsold by
Cadillacs by a staggering
8 to 1.

Yow.

But that means:
if you have one –
you have one of only
17,500 or so manufactured.

Yes, so,
the makings of cool,
certainly.

Engine-wise, alas, no hemi’s
were available in Imperial
that year.

However, the virtual bulletproof
413 Wedge with a four barrel
carb was the engine of choice –
(the ONLY choice, actually)
making 350 horsepower with
the also mandatory/also
bulletproof three-speed
A-466 Torque-Flight automatic
transmission with push button
control on the left side dash.

( I personally love those
push button automatics )

The torsion bar suspension
doesn’t wear quite as well,
rust between the rear quarter
panels is common, and the
drum brakes weren’t all that
wonderful, of course.

Still, a very pretty car, and
a predictable rebuild for
the most part – remembering
that there are several
year-specific features like
the nose and grill- and the
limited availability of
reproduction parts.

Vrrrrrrrooooooom.

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Mail Bag Friday

We have a distinctly
nautical selection
from our mailbag
today –

– and how it happened is
pretty simple to explain,
actually.

I went a bit over-board
on gathering vintage cards
for last week’s previous
post ‘Knaughtalingus‘…
or whatever I ended up
calling it.

Wait.

That definitely
wasn’t
the name of it,
although it does
sound promising
for the subject of
a future post….

(I just gotta get
the angle right)

You really got no
idea how much
of a Spanish Inquisition
it is around here when it
comes to naming posts.

( Nobody expects the
Spanish Inquisition )

One would think it was
going to be submitted
to the literary review,
the way we carry on
around here, just to
pick a damn name for
a post that 20 people
are going to see.

( Hi Mom ! )

Them 20 people,
it turns out, are quite
wonderful, by the way.

I’m not kissing up,
or anything,
it’s simply the truth.

( Nor am I currying favor,
though I like curry flavor.)

I mean it.

And you 3 or 4
that comment,
well, you give me
a blogasm just
thinking about ya.

( Don’t ask me to
explain the process )

Ahem.

But as I was sayin,
I had so many terrific
cards that I wanted
to share, that,
well…..

( Hey, just call me
Crazy Eddie –
I’m overstocked,
what can I say? )

Oh sure, I coulda
made that post longer,
but I was paddling as
hard as I could to avoid
getting washed ashore
on a tide of resurgent
sentimentality and
bad metaphors as it was.

( not totally unlike:
‘her eyes were
like impish drools‘ )

Let’s see…
1, 2… 3 ?

That’s gotta be some
kinda record, right ?

At least I avoided
any cheese-ball similies.

( Or maybe not. )

Anyhoo…
as usual,
I’m counting on
the boundless
tolerance and patience
of our Muscleheaded
readers to hang on in
there despite the
dreadful droning
on and on of
your friendly but rather
verbose master-of-
bloggonies on this
Friday, the high holy
day of Mailbag.

All Hail The Mailbag.

May it ever bulge with
cool vintage postcards.

!!! HOY !!!
.

Putting A Spin On Pool

” If you hit the ball
like that,
you’ll make it. “

Billiards is a game
that is internationally
popular….

And they’ve
been making postcards
to cash in on the game’s
popularity for a
long time —

At least
120 years.

And
there are
an endless supply
of double-entendre
captions and
implications that go
right along with that.

Just what we really
love around here.

Hey,
any game with racks,
holes, sticks, and balls
is bound to get a little
English spun on it,
right?

Sure,
you can call
it POOL ,
you can call it
8 BALL,
you can call it
CUE BALL,
or you can get
all fancy and call it
BILLIARDS………

Actually, once you
start playing, you find
there are all kinds of
variations that use
the sort of table, cue, balls,
and other stuff in different
ways —

There are games like:
Snooker
Three Cushion
Five Pins
Kelly Pool
Straight Rail
Cutthroat
Kaisa
Pyramid
Carom
Nine Ball
One Pocket
British Pool
et al.

You’d need a very big
book o’ rules to know
how to play most of
these games……..

It’s not just slap any old
ball into any old hole.

Finesse is something
they almost all require.

Aficionados will definitely
call you on the slightest
breach of etiquette, so……..

And I’m told that, if this
isn’t confusing enough,
these different games
can be sub-categorized
into 3 main types :

Carom Style
( doesn’t use pockets )

Snooker Style
( which uses a bigger table)

and what we usually call
“Pool”
(like 8 ball and one pocket).

There’s also
“Bumper Pool”
for those who enjoy
additional obstacles
when playing all
the angles.

I’m confused when I
hear people knock the
game as inappropriate
for young men,
because when you
come right down to it,
the games require an
understanding of
geometry and physics…..

And even more importantly,
as Professor Harold Hill
most eloquently put it :

” Helps ya cultivate
horse sense, and
cool head
and a keen eye. ”

” Did you every take
and try to give an
ironclad leave to
yourself from a three
rail billiard shot? ”

In other words,
one must always think
clearly and considerately
before touching a rack,
or putting his stick and
balls any where near
a desired hole in question.

Which,
seems to me a pretty good
lesson to learn early in life.

Oh shit….

and I thought
this one wasn’t
gonna get dirty.

!!! HOY !!!

The Kaiser Aluminum “Idea” Cars

Not being a rich
tycoon myself,
I dunno for sure,
but I would think that
for a big business man,
it would seem natural
enough, I guess, to try
and find a way to expand
the market for your
product in anyway possible.

Such was Henry J. Kaiser,
of the Kaiser Aluminum Company –

starting in the late 1940’s,
Kaiser had challenged his
engineers and designers
to come up with automotive
concepts that were built
with almost 100% aluminum.

These were called “Idea Cars”,
and were intended to bring
Kaiser’s flagging Automotive
Division back from the brink,
despite a sense of real world
practicality that pervaded
this particular project.

Interestingly, Kaiser had
visited Hawaii in the late
1940’s, and bought a large
amount of property there-
he then chose to use
Hawaiian names for several
project cars – including 
“Heleakala”, “Panole”,
“Pele ” and “Waimea” .

Other concepts were called
“Golden Gate” ,” Grenada”,
“Piedmont” and “Del Mar”.

Although none of the
“Idea Cars” were ever
produced, their designs
certainly have a special
retro-futuristic look that
makes one wonder
what they really would
have been like to drive….

One inventor, named
Blake Larson, was so
inspired by a design
created by Kaiser engineer
Rhys Miller, the
” Waimea “, that he took
a 1960 Corvair Lakewood
Station Wagon and
converted it into ….

.. well, let’s just say his
idea of what one of these
idea cars would have
been like.

It’s builder called it a
” Corvair Futura ” —
and it was recently acquired
by a rich gleep car collector
who had very little nice to
say about it once he
actually had it in his garage.

Oh well…

as Mister Spock once
informed a fellow
Vulcan:
After a time, you may find,
that having is not so pleasing
a thing as wanting
.”

Man, I think you got
words to live by, there.

!! HOY !!

 

Don’t Hobble Me

Just like in olden times,
you’ll never know
when you might
find yourself
in distress.

And back then,
even before ” S.O.S.”
was adopted by American
sailing vessels as the
standard distress signal
– there was ” C.Q.D.

Yep-
the message
” To All Stations –
— In Distress “
was boiled down to ‘CQD’
in Morse Code, and it was
actually the first distress
call code used by the radio
operators on the Titanic…

( it was then
alternated with the
newer code ‘SOS’. )

Both ‘CQD’
and ‘SOS’
should actually be
displayed with an
overline, indicating
that there is no
pause/space
between the
characters
when sending, but
my ASCII coding ain’t
up to snuff for that.

But, this post
doesn’t have
that much to do
with nautical lore
or Morse Code,
even –

— despite being
very, very potentially
interesting subjects
in themselves.

No….

Today, for our
Friday Mailbag Post,
I thought we’d
dig for some cool
‘hobble skirt’ postcards.

The hobble skirt was
one of those things, that
back in the early 1900’s,
you either loved or hated.

They were
very stylish,
sure,

— but they also made
it very difficult for the
wearer to walk quickly
or to step onto a trolley
car, for instance.

They were actually
banned in many
municipalities
as unsafe.

And of course,
there were postcard
publishers along for
the ride, too.

Yep.

Versions of the
hobble skirt idea
still survive in
trendy fashion
today, I’ve noticed..

…. and I can see
how certain aspects
of the thing
could end
up being very…..

… errr ……
provocative.

.

!!! HOY !!!


( illustration by John Willie )

.

 

Knaughticalites

Image result for postcard Navy vintageYou know,
if there’s one
topic that a Sailor
can always speak
about in a
knowledgeable way,
it’s knots.

Tying knots are ,
along with:
swabbing decks,
chipping paint,
manual of arms,
and standing a
lonely fire watch
at oh-dark-thirty
in the morning,
are about the first
things you learnImage result for lonely postcard Navy
about when
you’re adjusting to
Navy life in boot camp.

Add shining boots,
dropping quarters
on bunks,
scrubbing the head, Related image
doing push-ups
till you die,
cleaning rifles,
and just generally
looking busy are also
very important lessons –

– oh, and
speaking
of knots……..

– who could forget
the most important one-

–the maintenance of
those all essential
emotional knots via
the art of writing letters.

You might be totally
illiterate the day you
arrive at boot camp,
but by graduation,
you’ll have written so
many letters to your
sweetie and back home,Related image
you’ll be a pocket
Hemingway.

One of the advantages
of military service
( at least when I was in )
was that you could write
a letter home on a piece
of box from a C-Ration,
put an address on it,
and it would get delivered –
– no postage required.

I’m not sure how that was
handled by the Navy  –

– all I know is I scribbled
many a line on many aRelated image
scrap of paper and the
letter always got there.

Even the steamier ones.

And boy, can a Sailor
write a steamy letter.

Naturally, it would
be a lot easier
to just go to the
Navy Store and buy a
postcard that already
cut right to the point
for you…..

but in whatever
spare time one
finds himself with
in boot camp, the
loneliness and
boredom makes
one naturally
take to pen and paper.

And that especially
applies when it
comes to that ‘special’
person —

— such things can’t be
left up to random
chance and generic
postcards, ya know.

You’d be surprised
how easily even the
toughest character
finds it to
use terms like:
‘yearning’,
‘desire’,
and ‘devotion’
and epithets like: 
‘my dearest’,
‘darling’, and
‘sweetheart’
in a letter
when he’s far
from home.

When it’s time for
mail-call —

a desire to read a
reciprocal expression
of the feelings expressed
in ones’ own letters
becomes oh, so
very important — 

— when you don’t
hear back right away
sometimes it seems like
you’re totally cut off from
your loved ones.

It can drive ya crazy.

And of course,
you always want to feel
connected to the ole
homestead.

Why does that
sense of being so far
from home make for 
better letter writing ?

Perhaps because
it’s really the only way
to express certain ideas
and feelings at a particular
moment in time —

one is inspired
to make his message
run deep, and clear,
like the blue ocean —

and to tighten the
knots of sentiment,
tenderness,
and intimacy.

Even today, with all the
different technologies
available…

I’m sure that
a heartfelt letter
goes further
to express the
emotions, and
the sense of
appreciation
for those
far from you
in distance
but close to you
in spirit.

.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Pardon Me

Manners are a
wonderful
thing to a society.

They are the kinda thing
that makes every day life
feel pleasant and civilized –

And the absence of which
makes it a chore, a battle,
one long confrontation.

Everything from waiting
in line at the supermarket
to answering the phone
and driving down the road
are affected —

and simple things
that can make a
huge difference
to others, like
covering your mouth
when you sneeze,
washing your hands
after using the bathroom,
not using handicapped
parking spaces unless
you’re entitled to em,
ya know…
stuff like that.

And it seems as if
a lot of folks today
have forgotten
just how harsh
the ‘law of the jungle’
can be when basic
civilizing customs
are abandoned for
the sake of convenience,
laziness, or ignorance.

I learned
‘please’ and
‘thank you’
back in first grade —

but I get the
distinct feeling
that the curriculum
has been drastically
changed since then.

Not that I mind
showing my teeth
at the odd rude
person now and then..

but the necessity is
getting monotonously
regular these days……

Ahem.

Yes, now,
I know that I have
spouted on and on
about this same topic
before, so , since
profitless prattling
is in itself pretty
unmannerly, I will
simply point out that
this is, indeed, our
vintage postcard theme
for today, and ask your
kind indulgence with
my sincerest wish that
you enjoy them.

And to remind you
that bashing the back
of a guy’s foot with your
shopping cart can push
a man’s manners only so
far before the fangs come
out.

Sorry about any stains
you mighta got on ya
as a result.

.

!!! HOY !!!