Back in the day you could actually identify cars at a distance, either by looks or sound…

The late 60s parking lots looked much the same, but with more Chevys and less Dodges… LOL

But there were still a fair share of hot rods in the parking lot. Here’s mine, from back in the day. 389 tri-power, 4 speed, no power, no air. Gold with a black vinyl interior that would FRY your butt in the summer… sigh


TBT… — 25 Comments

  1. ’74 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. It could go from 0 to 35 across the intersection, and then lay rubber. The whole car tilted to the right when I pressed down the accelerator.

    Alas, it rusted to pieces before the engine or transmission had any problems.

    • Got to drive the family ’72 Olds 98, with the big 454 engine in it. From a dead stop I could easily out-accelerate Euro sports cars. Past 55-60mph, they won, until the troopers got them…

  2. After high school, but does it count? ’66 Buick Skylark GS convertible. Red, black upholstery (and yes, if you didn’t put a towel on the seat when you got out on a sunny day you couldn’t sit on it…). 3 speed (the engine put out too much torque for the puny intermediate shaft GM used at the time). Loved that car…

  3. Very nice GTO, No Visible Gun Rack. A lot of the pickups had them complete with long guns when I was in High school in the 1970’s. One of my one sister’s boyfriends had a car that he said got 3 miles to the gallon. Back when gas was 30 cents a gallon.

  4. ’66 Ford Galaxy with a 352 four barrel. I knew a guy, who after seeing Bullitt, had to have a similar car with similar power. That Mustang of his would haul it for sure, but you could practically see the gas gauge move.

  5. After high school but ’71 Dodge Challenger. Came with a 383 2-bbl, swapped out for a 4-bbl but didn’t know enough not to buy a used Carter Thermoquad. Would stall out if I hit a corner fast enough. Eventually swapped out for a used 440 when the local mechanics shop ripped me off when my 383 had problems. (I wasn’t that level of mechanic back then). Found out later through the grapevine that the guys in the shop wanted my 383 for a race build so downplayed the possibility of a rebuild and talked me into the junkyard 440. Worst mileage I ever got was about 7 mpg. Sometimes I could get as high as 15 if I really babied it.

  6. I graduated in ’82. Mine was a 73 Dodge Charger SE. 440 big block with an Edelbrock intake and 850 Holley Double Pumper carb. The only downside was the Torqueflite 3 speed auto transmission. Would have been better with a manual.

    I loved that car.

    I had a buddy with a GTO very similar to the one in your picture (his was blue). He blew the engine in a street race (a common pastime in my day and area).

    I sold my Charger when I got married (those two door muscle cars weren’t very practical family vehicles); I heard the person I sold it to wrapped it around a tree within a couple of months (they survived…the car not so much).

  7. I had a Mustang.

    You could work on your car yourself then. Today my car has over 40 separate computers that manage well over 40 functions. I’d have no idea where to begin.

    It was one reason that I bought a 2007 Toyota FJC. Simple enough to work on. The 48 Willy’s in the garage is even simpler.

  8. 51′ Ford flathead V-8. Stock with a manual transmission. However, the column mounted gear shift was flipped over to the left. This let you keep an arm around your date and still shift. Dome light bulb was coated with nail polish to give a nice romantic glow at night.

    Down side was the hard looks from your date’s father.

  9. The expendable air cooling pad for those *((&& vinyl seats saved me from frying important parts of the anatomy, but they never stayed in place well.

  10. All- LOL, we’ve all just proved we are dinosaurs… But damn, didn’t we have fun! 🙂

  11. What LL said, workable cars.

    Of course, vehicles today come with tires that last over 50k miles, up to 100k or more a lot of times. They don’t need as much servicing. They are vastly safer. And more comfortable. And less noisy both exterior- and interior-wise. And handle the road better. And do so much more. And are, mostly, boring.

    But boring is good. So is something designed to last long enough to not need much servicing.

    Which is why I am happy with my Ram Promaster City. Except for when the cheap battery died, and I tried to figure out how to thet the alien zenomorph face-hugger off of the rapidly dying one and get it replaced. Shamefully, after going to the local parts store, and then looking at the dying battery, I… took it to a shop and let them figure it out. (I have since then watched several videos and can now figure out how to get rid of the 4th dimensional alien parasite that lives on top of the battery, in case I ever need to replace it, and considering that A) I live in Florida, which eats batteries, and B) unless I get major amounts of scratch, this is pretty much my final vehicle, then most likely I will have to replace the battery. Next time, Mr. Alien face-hugging battery parasite thingy, next time…

  12. GTO, my wife’s favorite car. If I ever hit the lottery, she’s getting one.

  13. ’65 Chevy Fleet side P/U with 283 hooked to two speed powerglide tranny. It was fast enough. Then a ’72 Kingwood Estate station wagon with a 400 4 bolt main, from a Corvette. It would fly. Was like driving a boat down the highway at any speed over 75.

    Then got a ’71 Dodge Coronet with a 318. Got a couple of speeding tickets in it. Made a 1,000 mile round trip in 16 hrs, which included dropping my girls off with their mother, then on the way back,stopping for 3 hitchhikers, plus stopping for gas. Pegged the speedometer crossing the NC/VA line back when they still had the 55 speed limit.

  14. A friend had a ’68 GTO with the 400 and a quad. Ugly but fast. Got my first speeding ticket in it via bear in the air for 88 mph in a 70. Fortunately, they weren’t looking when I had it over 110. Got grounded for a while over the ticket…

    My friend tried the J.C. Whitney “Fire Injector” spark plugs and holed a piston or two. Oops.

    My first car was a ’64 MGB, bought in 1972. Rusted out floorboards and all, but it was a blast to drive. Easy to work on, which it needed frequently–including new floorboards. I also learned the hard way about American brake fluid and British rubber brake seals. More oops.

  15. Nice row of Roadrunners in the top pic . . .

    . . . My high school ride was a ’71 Chevy Monte Carlo with the 402 big block. Loads of fun. Wish I’d kept it; I sold it when I went into the Army after graduation and the subsequent owners destroyed it.

  16. All- Yep, the safety and boring is nice now, but what have we lost? Remember when you actually had to DRIVE the car and think about BRAKING??? sigh… RVPete- Ouch! Yeah, that had to suck!

  17. My first car was a ’69 Sport Satellite. It ‘only’ had a 318, so not great off the line, but it would peg the speedo needle & just keep going faster….
    I actually held onto it until I was in my late 40s, then sold it to a collector who was going to restore it to stock condition (I still had the build sheet; it sold at the dealership for $3300 in ’69). I didn’t have the time or money to do so, so I figure I gave her the best old age I could.

  18. My ’68 Cutlass SS was gold w/black vinyl roof and seats.
    “Hot” doesn’t even come close to describing those seats in August.
    And nothing teaches physics quite like a 350 V-8, bias ply tires, and drum brakes on the ramp from north bound I-95 to the inner loop of the Beltway at the Springfield interchange (versions 1 and 2).

  19. ’57 Chevy ragtop, with a very much breathed on big block. Took two electric fuel pumps to feed it. Could yank the front wheels off the pavement shifting to second on the street. The idle was so lumpy that NO ONE ever challenged me on the street, the car rocked side to side with the idle. Couldn’t even get a race at the weekend street races in South Philly. Stock hood, nothing poking through it, and they still wouldn’t bite.
    Bought it junior year, with the original oil burning 6 cyl.
    Mom borrowed it with the big engine, she could drive anything.

  20. Tenn- Oh sweet! And well done, sir!

    Stretch- LOL, oh yeah…

    Will- Love it! I was lucky enough to race a 57 much like that. It had a 427 shoved under the hood and an M-22 behind it! High 10s in the quarter!!! The owner was scared to drive it at the track…LOL

  21. I walked out of a motel to a nearby restaurant. On the way I paid attention to the cars parked in the lot. None/few had insignias on the rear. It was virtually impossible to tell them apart other than paint color.
    Isn’t this the result of squeezing every drop of fuel out of a gallon by use of a wind tunnel? The tail lights are different shapes, but the bodies are nearly identical.
    And what’s really sad?
    This trend will continue to get worse.
    I cherish my memories of the new ’68 Olds 442 I bought when I completed OCS. The right turn signal was adjacent to the “120” on the speedo. I once saw the needle on the far side of that turn signal.
    But it got 17 mpg on Premium gas.

  22. We had pick-up trucks with gun racks because we had a rifle club in school.

  23. 1972 – Mine was a 1953 Ford Custom coupe with a flat-head 6 engine. The car cost me $50 and a color TV I had overhauled myself.

    It wouldn’t burn rubber unless I lit it with a match. It would do zero to sixty in about a minute and a half. It had bias ply tires and four wheel drum brakes and power nothing, with all the handling characteristics of a self-propelled barge. But you know what? It was a set of wheels and it got me wherever I needed to go on regular gas that cost about $5 dollars to fill up. The back seat was as roomy as they come for “other” uses.

    Oh, one other thing. It was a beater and a prime candidate for the demolition derby. That meant all those fine Mustangs, Chargers, and Cutlasses steered well clear.

  24. GB- Sadly those days are long gone…

    Mrs.C- So did we!

    Roy- LOL, It was one hell of a first car though, wasn’t it? 🙂