You Got Me Sticky

I don’t drink it
a lot anymore….

but when I was
a kid, boy, did I
have a yen
for soda pop.

I wasn’t allowed to
have it, usually
(it’s ‘bad for your teeth’)
but every once in a while,
we as a family would
get ourselves invited
to my great-uncle Frank’s house –

— and his eleven kids had no
such draconian dental health
decree hanging over them …

so I could practically drown
in the stuff over there –

when my parents weren’t
looking, anyway.

And drink my fill,
I surely did.

So much so, that now,
I barely can tolerate
the stuff.

Maybe the substitution of
HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)
for sugar is part of the problem..

– but truthfully, I just don’t
need all those empty calories,
anyway.

Despite being in the gymImage result for vintage soda poster
five days a week, my weight
has started to challenge me
a bit at my age, and the
trade off between a bottle
of soda pop and an extra
hour of cardio hardly seems
worth it.

(Exception:
if you’re a Southerner,
try to find some
Blenheim Ginger Ale
– the one with the red cap —
— I highly recommend it —
assuming you love
ginger, like I do )

It’s also true that a lot of the
really cool soda brands that
I liked are all gone now…

Hell, as a teenager,
I even liked the
original Fresca.

Remember old Coke in
those 6 ounce bottles ?

Cold as the iceberg that
sank the Titanic .

Ahhh…..
man, that was good.

Yes, you can still get original
Coke in 6 ounce bottles
(with sugar and not HFCS )
— in Mexico.

Interesting.

It tastes like you
remember it, too.

I won’t bother meditating 
on why such a thing
is such a thing.

Just another reason to look
forward to going back to the
Yucatan, s’all.

(Don’t forget the fish tacos
and the pretty señoritas. )

Anybody remember
the old fable about how
you could get a cheap
high off an RC Cola
and aspirin?

Nope.
It doesn’t work.

But the making a rocket out
of a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke
and Mentos really does —
— stand way back, jack !!!

I hope you don’t mind getting
sticky soda all over everything.

Ah well.
Sticky ain’t always bad, right ?

!! HOY !!

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The 1st Three Generations of Ford Thunderbird

Thunderbird.

One of my favorite automotive
name-plates .

Made by the Ford
Motor Company
for fifty years-
from 1955 – 2005.

The fact that Ford
doesn’t make
Thunderbird any more
has more to do with
corporate disassociation
with the tastes of their
buyers than any
other consideration —

A well designed ,
well thought out
Thunderbird would
indeed be hefty
competition for the
‘all-look-alike’
cars in the current
marketplace.

My two cents worth.

Now, let’s look at the
first three generations
of the car Ford called it’s
“Personal Luxury Car” .

Generation One:

The first Thunderbird, a rear wheel drive,
two-seater with a detachable
hard-top, and powered
by a 292 c.i. V-8 ,
was unveiled at the
1954 Detroit Auto Show –
and was an instant hit.

(Outselling it’s nearest
competitor Corvette 23 to 1
it’s first year of production)

That year it was available in five colors :

Torch Red.
Raven Black.
Thunderbird Blue.
Snowshoe White
and Goldenrod Yellow.

Revisions for 1956, included:

a continental kit for
the spare tire (which caused
car handling issues because
of uneven weight distribution) –

the either loved or detested
‘porthole’ (I hate it)
was added to the top for visibility
(most chose it, but it could
be ordered ‘without’ )

an optional 312 c.i.
225 horsepower V-8 …

4 more paint colors including
a medium dark gray metallic ,

– and a 12 volt electrical system.

In 1957:
the front fender was
modified, given larger
tail lights, a new front grill
and tailfins.

The rear of the car was lengthened
to accommodate the spare tire
without the continental kit, and
14 paint colors were available.

A supercharged 300 HP V-8
was one of the optional engines
offered in that model.

Generation Two : 

Ford designers had been concerned
that the two-seater layout of the
Thunderbird in it’s first generation
limited it’s sales appeal…

So in 1958,
the first four seater was produced –
and was offered in both hardtop
and convertible models.

It had been a choice between two
outstanding designs –
the winning
one done by Joe Oros, and the
losing one eventually
becoming the basis for the 1961
Lincoln Continental.

New in the second generation
Thunderbird was the 352 c.i. 300 HP
V-8 engine, uni-body construction,
and the much larger size and weight
of the car, which helped with improved
handling characteristics.

It actually was the car that won the
first Motor Trend ‘Car of The Year’ award.

16 paint colors were
available in 1958;
and in 1959, a more refined
but limited palette.

1959 also brought a new
front grill, leaf spring
suspension, and a more
powerful 350 HP engine
option – a Lincoln made
430 c.i. V-8.

1960 was the last year for
the 2nd generation T Birds –
as well as one of the best selling-selling over 92,00
of them that year.

Maybe it was the third taillight
on each side that did it,
who knows.

Generation Three : 

The third generation has
been affectionately nicknamed
the ‘ bullet bird ‘ from the
side profile of the car  –
it was made between 1961
and 1963.

The ‘swing away’ steering column
was a cutting edge innovation
included in the third generation
Bird – and one of the it’s most
distinctive interior features .

The car also came with many
standard features that were
pretty expensive options
in other brands-
including :
Bucket Seats
Power Steering
Power Brakes
and a 390 c.i.V-8 (only) .

but it also could be ordered
with just about any other
desired option —

except for a manual shift
transmission, which was
not available on the 3rd
generation T-Bird….

— the Cruise-O-Matic MX
automatic transmission
was standard.

About 1 in 7 was ordered
as a convertible, and there
were 26 paint colors offered
in 1961. 

Several ‘special production’
models appeared during the
three years of the third gen
T-Birds, including a
“Sports Roadster”
featuring 48 spoke wire wheels
that proved to be problematic,
and a “Landau” model with
vinyl top and a “S” ‘coach’ bars.

But in general, the Thunderbirds
built in this period varied only
in minor trim details .

Certainly, the third generation 
had the most fans among
‘baby boomer’ car enthusiasts as
daily driver/collectibles
but the earlier ones, particularly
the first generation, have a
following and popularity that belies
the small number of cars that were
actually produced.

So……

Which one is your favorite ?

!!! HOY !!!

The Crosley Hotshot

As regular readers
of the Saturday Car post
have probably already
noticed–

I have a thing for
concept cars, rarities, and forgotten automotive brands.

Maybe some of them
deserve to be almost
forgotten, I dunno….

but not this one.

Because this was America’s
first post-war production
sports car —
— the Crosley Hotshot.

Crosley had been building
automobiles since 1938,
selling mostly compact cars
and station wagons —

but after the war,
a market for a domestic
sports car, created by
soldiers returning from
the war in Europe,
was seen as a huge
potential sales window –
– and the Crosley brothers
set out to fill it.

The first Hotshot was unveiled
in 1949 – and was so new and
trend setting it appeared in
Macy’s display window.

It was a two seater, light weight,
nimble, with a low profile and
remarkably inexpensive
price tag- just under $1000.

Of course, options,
like a heater,
radio, and
ashtray were extra —

there weren’t side doors,
— and even the hood
was unhinged
to save on costs-
but for the price,
it was a good buy –

It could hit a top speed of
around 70 MPH, with the
44 c.i. cast iron ‘CIBA’
four cylinder engine.

It proved itself in the
endurance race at Sebring
in 1950 – and again at both
the Swiss and the Tokyo
Grand Prix in 1951.

Many believed the Hotshot
could save the flagging
Crosley Company, but
it was not to be —

and in the end (1952),
only 2500 of the Hotshots
were ever produced.

Still, it had it’s moment
in the sun, and,
as are most
first times,
remembered fondly.

Vintage Marital Sex Guides

Something that always
strikes me as funny
about our modern
technology levels…..
is just how simple it is
to get information on
just about any subject.

I mean, it’s not
necessarily accurate information, granted,
but just type any
old term into a
search engine and
**PRESTO** —
there’s a gazillion or so
references of one type
or another.

Now, I remember just
how it was to find
information on stuff
before the net —
especially controversial,
esoteric, or anything the
slightest bit ribald .

(three of my favorite subjects.)

Digging through the stacks
at the college library was
absolutely no picnic, and
usually you came out of
there with more allergies
than new information.

And if your interests were
more on the risque side ,
well…

— all you could hope for
was something they used
to call ‘marital aid books’
like these.

I doubt anybody really
read them expecting
advice even at the time,
but as far as openly
obtainable books,
these were about it in
the 1950’s and 1960’s,
anyway.

I’ve always liked to
read them –
early on in life,
hoping for a cheap thrill,
and then later-
because they really
are pretty funny,
especially as
regards to the way
they avoid the ‘nub’ of
whatever topic they’re
supposedly discussing.

For instance,
you might
find an article
on cunnilingus,
but it’ll end up being a
couple of ‘case studies’,
some vapid research facts,
and an over-technical
definition
(perhaps in Latin)
that won’t exactly
send your prurient
imagination into
outer space.

The illustrations,
if there were any,
seemed more in line
with an anti-VD textbook
than anything else….

and after reading them,
you usually ended up
walking around why
they bothered even
printing the damn things
in the first place.

But they were
MONEY ,
MONEY ,
MONEY
to the publishers .

As silly/simple as the
information provided
often was, the local
authorities would often
raid the sellers
and publishers
‘to protect the public ‘ —

— which drove up both
demand and prices
on the things.

Ads advertising books like:

” Sex Life in Marriage “
” Eugenics and Sex Harmony”
” Picture Stories of the Sex Life ”
” 10 Lessons In Sex Technique ”
” Ideal Sex ”
” The Modern Sex Manual ”
” The Pleasure Primer”
” True Love Guide ”
” Freud to Kinsey ”
” Marriage Mischief ”
” Sane Sex Life & Sane Sex Living”
” Sex and Marriage ”
” Yours Alone “
” The Love Life of
Modern Homo Sapiens”
“Secrets of a Healthy Sex Life”
” The Ideal Sex Life ”
appeared almost everywhere
– – even in comics.

And if one good publication
was banned from the mails
as ‘obscene’ (like several
early guides on birth
control were) several
of lesser quality
would quickly take
their place –
which meant
that by the early 1950’s,
it was almost impossible
to read anything on the
subject in the U.S. that
had any substance.

It wasn’t until the
early 1970’s that this 
trend started to reverse.

Books like the ‘Joy of Sex’
demystified the genre once
and for all —
with detailed and accurate
information and illustrations.

And while I very much appreciate that fact —

— occasionally I do
miss the more furtive
and hush-hush tone
of the old marital
sex manuals;
just a tit.

!!!!!!! HOY !!!!!!

The Saturday Car Post: 1954 Plymouth Explorer

In the early 1950’s,
Chrysler’s head stylist
Virgil Exner was looking
for a way of updating
Chrysler’s rather
old-fashioned image,
by introducing some
new concept cars ,
developed and built
by Italian automotive
designers at Carrozzeria
Ghia in Turin.

The six or seven years 1954PlymouthExplorer
immediately after the war
hadn’t really seen a
lot of important styling innovations
among the big car
makers of the time,
and Chrysler–

— which included:
Desoto, Dodge, and
Plymouth lines as well — 

especially certainly
needed a boost.

These cars were designed by
Exner and Ghia’s Luigi Segre,
and were built on existing
Chrysler, Dodge, Desoto
and Plymouth chassis.

They included the Chrysler K-310,
and C-200, the Dodge Firearrow,
Desoto Adventurer I,
and this car–
the Plymouth Explorer.

Despite being only 54 inches high,
the Explorer was built upon a
standard 114 inch wheelbase
Plymouth chassis…

… and it’s sleek hand-formed
looks belied the fact that it
was sorely underpowered
by a 230 cubic inch straight-six
that only made about a
104 horsepower, with the
semi-automatic gearbox  .

(There was a ‘Red-Ram’
‘Hemi’ V8 engine made
available for the Dodge
Fire-Arrow III, later in 1954 )

Underpowered, certainly,
and not good gas mileage
to speak of, even for the time.

Still, for early 50’s styling,
it certainly was a beauty.

!!! HOY !!!

rear

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