Lenore Kandel says:

kandel“Poetry is never compromise.
It is the manifestation/
translation of a vision,

an illumination,
an experience.

If you compromise your vision
you become a blind prophet.

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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 !!!

Today’s Serial On Cereals

A New Year comin’?

Meh.

There are issues,
let’s face it.

For one,
damned if I know
how long it’s gonna
take for me to start
writing ‘2018’
instead of ‘2017’..

.. last year it took
until April.

And the gym thing–
newbies crowding all
the equipment,
dropping weights,
and generally making
a nuisance of themselves
all because of some
nebulous new years
resolution to lose
7/8 of their body fat
and get muskularized –

— that they’ll keep
just long enough to get
a shiny new membership
tag for their key-chain.

(or their neck chain. )

And every new year puts
more distance between
the time when ‘recording
artists’ actually TRIED to
sing a song,

—- instead of using
a computer auto-tuner to
modulate it for them.

I remember somebody
in the early days telling
me that technology would
make things better .

What a crock-o-shit
THAT was.

Ok,
so I’ll stop bitchin.

Ahem.

The phrase
always drink your Ovaltine
was, for some reason,
ear-worming in my
sub-conscious mind
all weekend long —

I hate that stuff, 
but I do , on occasion,
eat breakfast —
so…..

I went looking in my
kitchen pantry for
some breakfast cereal
this morning, and
after plenty of digging,
finally found a box of
Lucky Charms.

I remember those from
when I was a kid, so I
poured a bowlful out..

… and got nothing but a
couple of pieces of cereal
and a whole mess of
marshmallow ‘surprises’.

One of my kids had
apparently decided that
there weren’t enough of
those sugar bombs in the
box already, and had
added some –

(and by some,
I mean a shit-load) —

Yep, you can indeed buy
just the colored marshmallow
shapes separately…

and then add as many
as you want back to the box.

Or,
I dunno….

Just throw out the cereal
altogther and eat them
marshmallows instead.

:-O YOWCHEE. :-O

Magically delicious.

No wonder parents today
can’t keep their kids from
climbing the walls at the
local Walmart.

Anyhoo…
it got me to
thinking back
about some of
the breakfast
cereal brands that
have come and gone
in the last 50 years or so.

Talk about flash
in the pans,
most of them
didn’t survive
more than a year or two.

Though I purposely avoided the
more obvious ones like those
based on Star Wars,
The Simpsons,
or the Flintstones
characters–

— still, I think you’ll find this
assortment a pretty vacuous one
altogether.

And they’re
all gone, now…

— except that
Uncle Sam stuff
that we led off with —

And that one
wasn’t really
a cereal geared
toward kids,
if you know
what I mean.

Prunes, anyone?

!!! HOY !!!

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Studebaker Champ

An interesting footnote
in automotive history,

(considering that Studebaker
also made several of the
most beautiful full-size
pick-up trucks in the
1940’s and 1950’s
especially the M-5 and 2-E ) –

the Studebaker Champ
was a mid-size pickup
produced from 1960 to 1964.

This was a time period in
which the 110 year old
Studebaker Company’s
profit margin had declined
to a point that it had become
doubtful on whether the
automaker would even survive —
and they were scrambling
to turn the tide.

The mid-size pickup class
was actually pioneered by
the Champ – another would
not be seen until the mid-80’s
and the Dodge Dakota
(which they advertised
as the ‘first’ ).

The profile of the truck
instantly reveals it to have
been an amalgam of several
of Studebaker’s other models –

– the chassis and bed
of a 1950’s era
‘E’ truck —

and the front half of a
new Lark automobile.

Despite this fact, the product
had a smooth, car-like ride,
was ruggedly built, and was
easier to maintain than other
pickups of the same era.

A new innovation offered
on the Champ was the
sliding rear window –
which was quite a
popular feature with buyers.

Another was a less
fortunate one –

a new overhead valve engine
design on the 170 cubic inch
six cylinder offered as
an option in 1961 –

– this engine configuration
ended up having serious issues
with valves and cracked heads –

but there were several
very solid V-8’s offered,
like the 259 c.i.
and 289 c.i. –
with choices of
two or four barrel carbs.

You could order it with the
standard transmission with
a column shifted 3 speed,
a 4 speed or 5 speed manual
with overdrive, or a
Borg Warner-made automatic.

And they certainly
looked different.

A modern car enthusiast
may even think that such
a vehicle would lend itself
to restoration.

But, if that includes you-
beware of the most typical
and irritating problem
that restorers have
with old Studebakers –
– RUST.

Once it takes hold –
you may find the floor
and fenders have acquired
so much of it, that….

— and parts – well,
good luck, man, and I
mean that – cause I hope
to see you driving it one day !

!!! HOY !!!!

.