This Isn’t Nova – Or: Songs About Cars

Creative ideas
for this program
were provided
by :
my friend Jules.

( I see you watch
PBS, too, dontcha. )

For those who
remember
Mitch Miller,
you’ll be
relieved to hear that our
post today doesn’t ask
you to follow the
bouncing ball or
sing along off-pitch
with Mitch.

Ugh.

However, while
signing along with
the music in this post
is not at all required,
you may well find
yourself doing just
that – –
-I know I will be.

Hey, maybe you
think I’ve got my
calendar watch set
on the wrong day
( again ) –
since we usually do
music posts on
Sunday –
but it’s just me
throwing another
proverbial monkey
wrench into my own
stupid system …..

And I thought it
was just too good
a post idea to wait
for another
24 hours
to roll around.

Not to mention
that this way,
I can ask our readers
to do some of the work
providing music.

You see,
I never miss a game of
‘I’ll show you mine if
you’ll show me yours’
so, I’ll give you 5 or 6
of my favorite songs
about cars, and then
I want you to give me
yours.

In comments,
or in email,
either way
is groovy.

And I’ll add em to the
bottom of the post.

Get it?

Got it?

Good.

Let’s begin.

No post about
automobiles
and popular music
can really claim to
be so, without
certain inclusions,
I know that.

But, I’m gonna
leave several of
them off —

Maybe it’s just me
being contrary,
( typical )
or maybe I wanna
give our readers a chance
to come up with em.

This is one of the
must haves, though:

Beatles :
” Drive My Car

.

.

A “Deuce Coupe” refers
to a ’32 Ford body with
a V-8 flathead engine;
considered by many car
enthusiasts to have been
the ultimate hot-rod car.

And of course, to have the
‘pink slip, daddy’ is the
only way to fly-
– it means you own it.

With that in mind:

Beach Boys —
Little Deuce Coupe” .

.

My friend Carolyn gave me a couple of hers, too:

Fun Fun Fun – Beach Boys

First Kiss – Kid Rock

No Particular Place to Go – Mr. Chuck Berry

Diamonds On My Windshield — Mr. Tom Waits

Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf

And C’s oldest sister
would want me to add:
 

Paul Evans and The Curls —
Seven Little Girls (Sittin’ in the Backseat)

.

I can’t help myself…
this song wouldn’t have
made any one elses top
five considering how
many great songs we’ve
got to choose from,
but I did have one of
these, and I did drive
my father crazy with it.

Commander Cody did a
passable version of it,
but I like this one
better.

Junior Brown :
Hot Rod Lincoln

.

If I were to name the
top five rock and roll
drummers of all time,
I bet you wouldn’t be
all that surprised to
find that Neal Peart
(Rush) was right in
behind (or ahead of)
Ginger Baker at numbers
one and two.

But, since this is
a ‘Top Five Songs About
Cars’ post, I submit this
one for your approval.

Rush :
Red Barchetta

” Well-weathered leather
Hot metal and oil
The scented country air
Sunlight on chrome
The blur of the landscape
Every nerve aware ” 

.

.

Van Halen :
Panama

How can you lose
with lyrics like :

” Ain’t nothin’ like it,
her shiny machine
Got the feel for the wheel,
keep the moving parts clean
Hot shoe, burnin’ down the avenue
Got an on-ramp comin’
through my bedroom “

Oh sure, you may say that
it’s not about cars at all,
and is just an allegorical
reference to something else
entirely… but what isn’t ?

Jeeez,
how literal can ya get ?

.

My friend Jules
suggested these:

Jan & Dean’s
“Little Deuce Coupe “–
which is a perfect
natural, as far as
I’m concerned.

.

.

.

.

My friend Katie
out on the West Coast
requested a real vintage
piece that I’d almost
forgotten…..

Ok–

back to our list….

no allegorical anything
on this last one.

Recognize these lyrics?

” In cars, in cars, in cars
In my car, in my car,
in my car, in my car
In cars, in cars
In my car, in my car,
in my car, in my car
(I’ve been sittin’,
I’ve been sittin’,
I’ve been sittin’,
I’ve been sittin’) “

Gary Numan and
the Tubeway Army:
Cars

Oh, I see….
now, I’m too literal.

Alrighty —
well,
it’s time to
show me yours.

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Vintage Automotive Gadgets

A hearty
beep-beep
to you,
my
fellow
automotive
enthusiasts.

Thanks for
stopping by
our Saturday
car post.

We have a collection
of interesting vintage
gadgets today…

I’m not sure how
useful they ended up
being, but they do
show a good bit of
resourcefulness and
ingenuity, if not
good judgement.

The first one was a
dog-powered tractor,
which the inventor
claimed could be
a boon to mid-century
farmers and ranchers
without the worries
about fuel and ….

Who would do this
to a dog ?

Well, he would.

Now,
if you weren’t willing
to put Fido into a
giant hamster wheel,
you might consider
turning your car into
a farm implement
instead …..

The “PullFord” device
‘easily’ converted a
Model-A Ford into
a combination tractor,
plow, grader, feeders,
hay bailer,
and all kinds
of other stuff.

You just popped the
rear end off and …….

Wait…

That don’t
sound too
‘easy’ to me.

Next. 

How practical does an
in-car coffee percolator
sound?

Brew fresh java while
you drive.

Ahhh….

Even comes
with it’s
own open mug,
so you can
spill nice
hot coffee
all over you,
your nice new
jalopy, and that
pretty lady who
used to be your
girlfriend.

Wow-

that’s shocking it
didn’t catch on.

.

!!! HOY !!!

The Difference In Decades 1940-1959

Yes, when it comes
to choosing a car to
start that restoration
project the difference
really is in the decades.

I’ll show you what I mean.

Is it about style for you?

The general shape,
the aerodynamic
characteristics,
and the amount
of chrome and trim
on a piece is largely
related to the decade
in which it was created.

Looking at a 1940’s car,
you’ll probably note
the long hood, a vertically
pointed front grill ,
extremely roomy interiors,
and the heavy chrome trims.

‘Clunky’ is a word
that comes to mind.

However, there were some
very stylish pieces–
although mostly in the
post-war years,
around 1948, and 1949.

A beautiful example
of this pre/post war
contrast in styling
can be seen by comparing
the 1940 Ford Deluxe
(above ) and the 1949
Buick Roadmaster.
(at right )

In the 1950’s,
automakers
went for a more
aerodynamic feel,
– despite still being boxey –

– they wanted their cars to
be seen as cutting-edge,
and not ‘stodgy’ or
old fashioned.

The trim could be quite
over the top,
with massive fins,
or it could be very understated,
like in the early Corvettes.

You can definitely see the
impact of war-time
technologies
coming to the automotive
marketplace by
the early 1950’s –
– and ‘streamlining’ was
the watchword for styling.

And of course,
there were a lot of aviation
references – ‘jet’ this
and ‘rocket’ that.

Styling, of course,
is one thing –

So, you ask:
what about the
drive-trains, engines, etc ?

No matter how great a car looks,
if it drives like a rock, who needs it?

Right.

Suspension systems:
king-pin front suspensions
still dominated in the 1940’s
replaced in the 1950’s by
systems more oriented toward
comfortable ride and control.

Power Steering-
Chrysler came out with optional
power steering on their 1951 Imperial,
followed by Cadillac the following
year — then, as standard equipment
in 1954.

Brakes- almost all cars
in the American market
used unassisted hydraulic
drum brakes after 1939 –

– and while 4 wheel discs
didn’t become a standard
until the 1980’s,
(front disc brakes were
first introduced as standard
equipment in the 1962
Studebaker Avanti )
power assisted brakes were
optional on many 1950’s
vehicles…. and on
Cadillac and Buicks
it was standard after 1954.

Automatic Transmission:
Available on most cars in the
1940’s as an option, it wasn’t
a common feature until the
mid-1950’s.

Engines:
Engines improved vastly
by the 1960’s —
V-8 technologies like
over-head cam (‘OHC’),
Y-Block and hemispherical
combustion chambers “Hemi”
came into their own in
1950’s models like:

the 1951 Studebaker Commander,
1955 Chrysler C-300,
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, etc.

Tires: All domestic cars were sold
with Bias-Ply tires standard
until the 1970’s, with the
exception of the 1967 GTO.

Take all together, this might indicate
to the novice car enthusiast that the 1950’s automobile would be a better bet for a starter restoration job than an earlier one –
and I think
that’s a logical assumption.

Some of the most highly
thought-of domestic cars
are from that decade —

the 1953 Chevy Corvette,
the 1955 Ford Thunderbird,
1953 Studebaker Starliner,
1953 Buick Skylark,
1955 Packard Caribbean,
1951 Chrysler New Yorker,

and as for internationally
made models:
( if you insist ), there’s the :
1959 Austin-Healey 3000,
1957 BMW 507,
1955 Jaguar XK140,
1958 Aston-Martin DB-4,
and 1954 Mercedes Benz 300-SL.

Whatever you choose,
remember —
you’ll only finish it,
and then drive it,
if you love it.

!!! HOY !!!!

.