The love affair with automobiles

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Experts agree that almost everyone born in the US between 1950 and 1960 was conceived in the back seat of a Ford, General Motors, or Chrysler automobile.  The overwhelming majority of the comparative few exceptions were mainly Studebakers because of the convenience of the suicide-style back doors opening forward to allow more horizontal legroom.   The highest percentages go to the 1949 Ford Club Coupe, the 1954 Chevrolet Sedan, and the 1956 Ford Crown Victoria.

But I’ve digressed.  My point is, almost nobody was conceived in a pickup or passenger car with a floor shift or bucket seats.  And nobody, not one pregnancy resulted from sexual congress in a hotrod.  Which is the reason parents allowed youngsters of the day to build and drive them.  A young man with a hotrod had little time or need to devote himself to the pursuit of female company.

Naturally the music industry approved this means of birth control and tried to the best of its ability to stimulate interest in and sing the virtues of coffins on wheels, speed, running from the law and other non-sexual avenues of endeavor for young men.

Red Foley’s, ‘Hotrod Race‘ was the first of these:

After a tasteful passage of time this was answered by Charlie Ryan’s, ‘Hotrod Lincoln‘, claiming to be the person driving the Model A who passed Foley and the car he’d been racing against in ‘Hotrod Race’.

George Hamilton IV, in “If You Don’t Know” attempted to combine an interest in girls and hot cars by driving a ’54 souped up Ford Deluxe with high compression heads and overdrive, which succeeded for speed but had mixed results with females.

The Beach Boys were a bit late off the starting line with “Little Deuce Coupe” in 1964 because the sexual revolution had come along allowing babies to be conceived elsewhere than the back seats of automobiles.  However, I mention it here to demonstrate the lingering nature of fads, once begun.  Long after hotrods were no longer needed to protect the virtue of young men in the US, the sound of a burned out muffler still caused a faster heartbeat.

Robert Mitchum followed the formula in Ballad of Thunder Road, combining fast cars and running from the cops with filling up the spare space in the automobile with mountain whiskey instead of females.  The song led to many a high-speed chase around the cities of America providing thrills to both police, and teenagers.  And frequently ambulance and hearse drivers.

When the Nash Rambler hit the market nobody mistook it for a cool aphrodisiac setting for launching future generations.  The car was considered ugly, though it appealed so a certain type.  But since it wasn’t for the one thing, it must be for the other.  At least in the minds of the music industry:

Although I doubt many children begin their long journey toward birth in modern automobiles now, there are a lot of similarities to the hotrod part of the 1950s love affair.  People love being seen in Hum Vees and dooley trucks.  Everyone wants a SUV.  And a person still sees the occasional racy sports car.

Mostly today the guys don’t roll up their pants cuffs, though, and some do find themselves attracted to women.

Old Jules

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7 responses to “The love affair with automobiles

  1. You are bringing back memories. I had a ’57 Chevy convertible. It was black with a white top and red interior. In fact, it had a rolled leather back seat that I took out of Buick. Sure wish I had that car back. It had a 283 engine I put in it and the engine had a full race cam, solid lifters, and shaved heads. It would turn over 8000 rpms. Loved that car. I sold it for $450.00. Kicking myself ever since.

  2. My parents were driving a ’55 Oldsmobile about the time I came around. Plenty of room in the backseat of that old beaut, so I reckon I owe something to GM.

  3. One of my uncles owned a Nash Ambassador. It was ugly as hell, but the seats folded back and converted to beds. Ironic! 🙂

  4. Thanks for reminding everyone what a well-rounded, multi-talented, and deeply gifted person Robert Mitchum was. You couldn’t picture him singing this in Big Sleep, for your life, but considering that the plot is non-sense and he carried that movie on his broad-shoulders (Boggie Had Bacall helped), and wise-cracked it all the way to our hearts, I’d pick that over reams of meaningless country songs that’ve been selling gazzillions these days any time of the day or night.

  5. Brilliant. I loved these! Kinda glad I was born in 71, because the car we had back then was a Volvo. Yuck.

  6. Rose Barron Ware

    No off springs consummated in my Nash Rambler!!!!But it sure could hold a lot of foot ball players!!!!!!!!Packed in there like sardines, they never turned down a ride down main in Canyon, Texas…….

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