Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1962 Cars Get Personal... The Orange Crate, And Other Nicknames

There was a time when a boy looked forward to getting his drivers license as much as he looked forward to getting his first girlfriend (almost). The day he turned 16 was the equivalent of turning 21 today; it was the moment he really became an adult.
No more parent ride-alongs, no more driving like Grandma on the way to her blue-hair appointment. This was the day he could lift the keys from the hook by the kitchen door, skip down the stoop to the driveway, and point the grille any direction he wanted. And just drive, with his radio station playing his music, and the only limit being the needle on the gas tank gauge and the few bucks burning a hole in his pocket.
After months of rubbing, sanding, scraping, patching that 57 Chevy, the bond between a boy and his rod (yes, I know) was snugger than the two-stripe tube socks in his Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, and the final declaration of love was the christening of the machine. 
You just couldn't call it "the 1957 Chevrolet", no, it was much more personal than that. Your blood, from that screwdriver that slipped and gouged your palm, was mixed into the welds and steel. It was your partner, your blood-brother, your maiden ship. Sometimes, a mythological gesture was required, like "Adonis", or exotic, like "The Polynesian", but usually, it was "Lucille", or Trigger", or the "Playboy" (hope springs eternal in the mind and libido of a 16-year-old).
Here is a neat spread from Custom Craft magazine, in 1962, with some vivid examples of the art of naming your hot rod....

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

1961 Jet Power Go Kart!

I was never into Go Karts as a kid (or older), I fell into the hammock in-between the peaks of popularity, but if there was an option that I would have jumped on, it would have been this.
Powered by a G8-2 Jet engine afterburner, this had to have been a hairy ride, with nothing but a Bell helmet and a flimsy fabric seat belt to hold you in.
Check it out!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Allard Cockpit

The legendary J-2 Allard in action !

The 1951 Allard was not only a sleek-looking race car, but also incorporated a beautifully simple dash with easy-to-read yet stylish instruments

And here are two later versions of speedometer and tachometer instruments, Stewart Warner one-offs that combined pure function and high performance measurement. These were down and dirty gauges for the hard-core racer!

1950 BUZZZZ Motorcycle Magazine Covers

1949 BUZZZZ Motorcycle Magazine Covers