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 –
manufactured
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
1962.

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
standard.

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
ornamentation,

— 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 !!!

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American Boy, American Girl

” Lingering long
on Love Street — “

Starting a write
inspired by Jim
Morrison and the
Doors can work
out to be a
double edged
sword,
ya know ??

Wild mental images
can mix with deeply
moving emotions,
mad manic
impulses,
and that
special delirium
that were the Doors
trademark to give you
something that might
be more than a tiny bit
crazy or worse–
incomprehensible.

But we ain’t going
there–

Today, we’re simply
going to consider
the influence of one
Pamela Courson
said to be the match
that set Jim Morrison
afire (creatively and
otherwise) –
inspiring songs like:
You’re Lost Little Girl“,
“Love Street,”
Queen of the Highway,”
“Blue Sunday”, 
and20th Century Fox.

( She was also rumored
to have been the muse
for Neil Young’s
Cinnamon Girl ” . )

Miss Courson was born
in California in December,
1946 – the product of the
marriage between a
former Naval Officer
turned school teacher
and an art-loving interior
decorator.

A resident of a suburb
of Los Angeles, Pamela
took to hanging around
the Sunset Strip ;

By age 19, she had met,
bedded, and became
Jim Morrison’s “cosmic
mate”, (despite having
an on-again/off-again
tumultuous and ferocious
relationship with him )
until his death in 1971.

– she is
remembered
as a wildly
adventurous,
fashionable
person with
a love of
poetry and
a flair for
the dramatic.

According to Ray
Manzarek:
“Pamela was Jim’s
other half.

Her friend
Miranda Babitz
described their
craziness together:

“They liked causing
car accidents – that
was their idea of fun.
I think they were made
for each other,
<although> they
argued a lot.” 

She is widely thought
to have influenced
Morrison to use heroin,
which was eventually
not only a probable
contributing factor
in his early death,
but also was to kill her,
at age 27.

Ironically, Pamela stated
publicly that her greatest
goal would be to get
Morrison OUT of rock
and roll and away from
it’s influences.

But, her status as an
important rock and
roll muse cannot be
under-estimated.

And if you’re interested
in the subject of rock
and roll muses, check
out my post on
Pattie Boyd . 

We leave you with a
lyric from the Doors
Blue Sunday” , one
of the many songs
that Pamela is thought
to have inspired.

” I found my own 
true love was on
a blue Sunday
She looked at
me and told me
I was the only one
in the world
Now I have
found my girl
My girl awaits
for me in tender time
My girl is mine,
she is the world
She is my girl
La, la, la, la ” 

.

Note: all of the pictures 
used in this post
are used in accordance 
with the “Fair Use” 
provisions of Title 17 
U.S.C. Section 107-
and the material on 
this site is distributed 
without profit.

Franco Mosca’s Scooter Art

Today
our weekly
Saturday Car Post
hosts a series of
Lambretta / Vespa
images from the
venerable Italian
( Piedmontese )
poster artist,
painter,
and illustrator
Franco Mosca.

.

Mosca was responsible
for the art in the annual
Lambretta calendars in
the years 1951 and
1954;

— his work is still much
favored among the fans
of the genre.

.

Actually, “Scooter Art”
has become increasingly
popular in the 2010’s —

— it certainly has a
special kind of charm
that Mosca’s work in
particular tends to
reflect.

.

As previously stated,
Mosca was a well
known poster artist,
and also created
adverts for:

BMG Bicycles,
San Pellegrino,
Sesa Detergent,
Binacrin Shampoo,
FIAT,
Simmentha Meats,
Paglieri Perfume,
Kendall Motor Oil,
CGE Radio,
Amonn Farm Products,
Zuegg Jams,
Oransoda and
Lemonsoda, etc.

.

Mosca used several
styles in his posters,
and that sometimes
makes his art harder
to spot –

— for instance, he
did a good deal of
work in a neo-socialist
realistic style that is
very unlike any of the
ladies he created for
his Lambretta/Vespa
calendars.

An example of this
style can be found
at the bottom of
this post.

.

He was a prolific
artist, living and
working well into
his 90’s, and is
certainly
remembered
in part for his
beautiful
“Vespa Art”.

.

PS:

Just in case you’re
not familiar with
the Innocenti
(Lambretta) and
Piaggio (Vespa)
lines, both brands
were inspired by
American made
Cushman scooters
(used by G.I.’s)
after World War II
to create popular
economical small
rugged motorbikes,
and they became
ubiquitous throughout
Europe in the 1950’s
and 1960’s.

Lambretta production
has been discontinued
at present, but the
Vespa brand scooter
is still made today
at their plant near
Pisa in Tuscany-

— their most
popular markets
are in Italy,
Britain,
and Southeast Asia.

.

! Ciao !

.

Franco Mosca – 1939 – Fiat 500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

.

What’s My Line

I’m a sucker for old TV shows…….

Especially if they feature personalities of which I am familiar, even if the program is from before I was born.

That’s what’s so spectacular about You Tube;

Man, if you’re interested in a particular TV show from the late 50’s or early 60’s, it’s probably on there somewhere.

And in my case, a program called
“What’s My Line” always provides an interesting mix of vintage celebrities and lighthearted quiz show fun.

It ran from 1950 through until 1967 – and was the longest running network panel show.

John Charles Daly, a well-known
and respected broadcast journalist,
did a yeoman’s job as moderator –

— and he had to be fast on his feet to keep up with the intellectual, witty panel usually consisting of Random House publisher Bennett Serf, show biz columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, and the stunningly beautiful actress Arlene Francis.

TV personality Steve Allen was
on the show for almost 2 years
filling a fourth slot , as did
comedian Fred Allen –
but after his death in 1957,
the seat was usually filled by
a guest star.

The premise of the
show was simple:
the celebrity panel would question their guests to
try to determine their
occupation or claim to fame.

Almost every show would
feature at least one well known
personality for which the panel
would have to be blindfolded-

– but folks from a wide range
of occupations would make
up the majority of guests.

John Daly would welcome the guest and ask him or her to
“Sign In Please “ .

The guest’s occupation would
then be superimposed on the
monitors and the TV screen
so the panel wouldn’t be
able to see it.

Each panelist could ask the guest yes or no questions about their occupation until they received a ‘no’ answer –

— 10 ‘no’ answers and the
guest would win the game –
and the prize of 50 bucks.

There are several things that
make the show a real treasure
for a vintage culture fan –
– seeing the celebrities in
their prime-
Willie Mays ,
Mickey Mantle,
Ella Fitzgerald, etc….

— and the lovely level of civility
that was shared among the
panel and participants alike.

And of course,
the sometimes
bizarre occupations –

— sausage stuffers,
side-show performers,
pretzel benders,
trombone teachers —

— about the only thing you’d
know for sure is that you
can’t tell by just looking at them.

One other thing —
considering the program
ran every Sunday for 17 years,
it also means that you won’t
ever have to re-watch the
same episode –
– unless you want to –
once you catch the bug !

So, why not catch it !

!! HOY !!

Sunday Morning Music

Hello and welcome to
another one of our
super-sonic Sunday
Morning Music Posts.

We’ve decided to go
1960’s on ya today,
mixing the psychedelic
with the soulful to
hopefully come up
with a combination
that will make you
wanna get yer
YA YA’s out.

Ya.

.

Rolling Stones —
” Jumpin Jack Flash (Live)

.

Peppermint Rainbow —
Will You Be Staying
After Sunday

.

The Honeycombs —
” Have I The Right
To Hold You

.

Gary Puckett and Union Gap–
Over You

.

Gregg Allman —
One More Try

.

Merrilee Rush —
Angel Of The Morning

.

Beatles —
I Wanna Hold Your Hand

.

The Supremes —
Come See About Me

.

Cufflinks —
Tracy

.

Animals —
San Franciscan Nights

.

Beverly Bremers —
Don’t Say You
Don’t Remember

.

Esquires —
” Get On Up

.

Dave Clark Five —
Because

.

Traffic —
Many A Mile
To Freedom

.

The Association —
Along Comes Mary ( TV )

.

Mary Wells —
You Beat Me
To The Punch

.

Janis Joplin —
Maybe (TV) ”

.

The Tremeloes —
Here Comes My Baby

.

Jose Felicano–
Don’t Let The Sun
Catch You Crying

.

Doors —
” L.A. Woman

.

Patti Drew —
Workin On A Groovy Thing

.

Buckinghams —
Don’t You Care

.

Tower Of Power —
You’re Still A Young Man

.

Joe South —
” Games People Play

.

The Clovers —
Don’t Play That Song

.

Glen Campbell —
Gentle On My Mind (TV)

.

Seekers —
I’ll Never Find
Another You

.

David Gates —
Never Let Her
Go ( BBC LIVE)

.

and finally,
a request from Deanna :

Tom Waits —
” Downtown Train

.

!!! HOY !!!