Tag Archives: hotrods

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

Fiddle-Footed Naggings and Songs of the Highway

The human mind is a strange place to find ourselves living if we ever get enough distance from the background noise to notice.  I tend to notice it a lot.

This morning seemed destined to be just another day.  Gale and Kay were doing the Austin Gem and Mineral Show, so I’d figured to walk up to his house to get the truck mid-day so’s to take care of putting their chickens to bed tonight.  Startled me a bit when I looked up and there he sat in Little Red a few feet away, having brought it down to me.  My hearing must be further gone than I’d realized.

Seemed they’d no sooner gone than I got an email from Jeanne saying my old friend from childhood and later lost-gold-mine chasing days was in Fredericksburg trying to get hold of me hoping I could get over there for lunch.  Heck, it must be 15 years or more since I’ve seen Keith, though recently he’s been reading this blog.  Naturally him being 40 miles away and me with a truck sitting there available, I headed over there.

Really nice visit, but in the course of bringing one another up-to-date he asked me a number of questions about my situation here that forced me to take a hard look and organize my thoughts about it all.  That kicked off a series of trails of thinking to organize clearer, more concrete priorities for myself within a realistic examination of my options.

There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re all stacked atop a single one:  having the means of leaving this place in a relatively short time if the need arises.  It’s time I decided on a single course of action and begin leading events in a direction that allows it to congeal in a way that accomodates the needs of the cats. 

But the process of thinking about it in an organized way had a parallel thinking-path over whispering somewhere else in my brain wiggling out a sort of excitement, anticipation about it.  Here’s something that will be pure trauma and agony for the cats I do everything possible to spare such things, and my ticker’s beating a little faster in a pleasurable way just considering it.

That, combined with the certainty the process of getting things together to execute the plan I come with is going to involve some unpleasantness, excruciating work and fingernail chewing as it goes along.

Seems I’ve somehow contrived to be two different places at the same time inside my mind.  One being pushed by probabilities to do what makes sense rather than what I’d prefer, the cats would prefer.  And one reaching somewhere into fond memories of pinon trees, high mountains and an entirely different sort of solitude than I have here.

Keith confided to me today, “Everyone thinks you’re crazy.”  I can’t find any good argument that everyone’s wrong.  It’s nice being crazy and still being as happy as I manage to be all the time, though.

Anyway, to satisfy that fiddle-footed nagging, here are some songs of the highway and the road.

Old Jules

The Cheers – “Black Denim Trousers”

 

Roger Miller “Me And Bobby McGee”

Merle Haggard – White Line Fever

NAT KING COLE ROUTE 66

John Denver – Live in Japan 81 – Take Me Home, Country Roads

Roger Miller – I’ve Been A Long Time Leavin’ (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone)

Hank Snow – I’ve Been Everywhere

Charley Pride-Is Anybody Goin’ To San antone

Playmates – Beep Beep (The Little Nash Rambler)

 

Robert Mitchum sings The Ballad of Thunder Road

Roy Orbison – Ride Away

C. W. McCall “Wolf Creek Pass”

Hot Rod Lincoln – Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders 1960

 

MAC DAVIS Texas in My Rear View Mirror

 

Guy Clark LA Freeway

 

Willie Nelson On the Road Again

 

Easy Rider – Born To Be Wild (HQ)

 

LOST HIGHWAY by Hank Williams

 

Leonard Cohen – I Can’t Forget (live 1988)

 

Beach Boys – (It’s The) Little Old Lady From Pasadena

 

Beach Boys live ’64 Little Deuce Coupe

 

Neil Young – Hitchhiker

 

VANITY FARE HITCHIN A RIDE

 

‘YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU’ BY KENNY ROGERS & THE 1ST EDITION

 

Fats Domino – Walking to New Orleans