May 13, 2019
Well, howd’ya do and welcome to Week Number 398 of Dynamic Dispatches from your Compulsive Computer Pounder. Should you have a compulsion to reply with comments, suggestions, trivia answers or suchlike, (a lazy word used by lazy writers) why, just jump on your magic machine and email us at email@example.com. We will take note of your input next week.
Attended my favorite car show on Sunday May 5, the annual Mid America Mopar Show, which generously invites owners of all makes and models to drop in and show their vehicles at Great Bend’s beautiful Brit Spaugh Park. The weather was just about perfect, that is, until after the show closed and thunderstorms began popping up in the area. I hope none of the people who drove their vintage beauties home ran into rough weather.
I think my favorite car at this show the last couple of years has been the 1962 Ford Galaxie, the so-called ‘Barney Fife Car.’ It is decked out in ’62 cop style, black-and-white, of course, with the period-correct ‘gumball machine’ light on top and a tall ‘whip’ antenna on the rear fender. There’s a ’prisoner’ in the back and a mannequin-type ‘officer’ in front who does resemble Barney. You just can’t beat this car for sheer smile power.
One of the cars that drew a lot of in-depth looks was a 1967 Dodge Coronet Station Wagon, pristine in pea-green. Not quite ‘metallic pee’ as Clark Griswold’s ride was in ‘Vacation,’ but close enough. I (and others) had forgotten just how long these cars were. You could pack a bunch of people and luggage in these lengthy land cruisers. According to my fave magazine ‘Hemmings Classic Cars’ it is often this type of car which draws a lot of interest at shows these days, partly because of their rarity and also because ‘people of a certain age’ probably rode in one at one time or another or knew a family that had one.
A local home improvement businessman had a couple of nice cars on display: a ’67 Cougar and a beautiful (and cute) ’65 Ford Falcon convertible. How can you go wrong?
A lot of the cars had newer-and hotter-engines, which is fine, but my favorites are the ones with the original power plants. A 1959 Chrysler Imperial South Hampton Coupe comes to mind. It was resplendent in gleaming black and had the classic ‘gunsight’ taillights and even the chrome-outlined spare tire trunk lid. This honey also probably had the popular and rugged Chrysler Torque-Flite push-button tranny, too, but I can’t be sure of that.
Car people are always happy to tell you about their restoration project, and I got the complete scoop from a local guy who had a really nice 1955 Chevy Bel-Aire, sort of a blue-purple with a gold trim line running along the lower body. Clever and cool. He also had something I’d never seen before: a black-and-white Chevy bowtie vinyl cover for the spare tire in the trunk. He said he asked his upholstery guy if he could do that, and sure enough, a one-of-a-kind look was born.
Other notables included a ’41 Ford (immortalized in Eddie Cochran’s hit ‘Somethin’ Else,’ (Listen on YouTube) a pretty ’57 Ford (love that sweep spear down the side) and a ’64 Plymouth Sport Fury that was almost like the ’64 (non-sport) Fury my high school buddy drove, (his Dad’s car) except this one had a lot more zing under the hood. Push-button Torque-Flite, of course.
Hope you can make it to next year’s show. Don’t speed, though; that intrepid deputy in the ’62 Galaxie behind you might just flip on the ‘gumball machine.’
Got a favorite car memory? Share it here. Now, let’s see what you’ve shared in the trivia quiz from last week…
Didn’t have a ton of response to last week’s missive, but what there was was quality. Terry (first in, as usual) answered ‘Edwin Starr’ as the guy who did the ‘traveling more than two dozen miles’ question. I think Terry’s phone auto-corrected, because the answer came out ‘Edwin Staff,’ but I counted it as correct anyway.
Then Justin jumped in with both feet and answered the Starr question and all the remaining four. He got the furniture store (Harv’s), ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie, the ‘50s wrestler who coined the ‘pencil neck’ insult, the Manhattan Project letter writers (physicists Szilard and Einstein, yes, THAT Einstein) and the shoe design question. The latter is called ‘Balmoral’ after the Scottish castle. Look it up online and you’ll see how the design differs from the ‘Oxford’ style shoe, which is sometimes called the ‘Blucher’ style, but that’s another story. UPDATE: Julie also came up with the ‘pencil neck’ answer just before ‘press time.’
Eldon guessed Mullin Furniture, which was one block south of Harv’s, at 1123 Main, probably the old ‘Andy’s TV’ building, now a bingo palace. Eldon bought their first household furniture there.
Okay, here are five new ones: Who was the Mullin Furniture manager in the ‘50s? He went on to bigger things.
While we’re on furniture, what furn store was for a time located in a former bowling alley?
What former President spent his Vice Presidential years investigating defense contractors, making sure they were doing ‘things’ right?
What singer-songwriter complained that his furniture ignored him?
This athlete retired with a 49-0 record. Not bad. Who was he?
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Enjoy this week’s weather. Should be about a hundred-twelve percent better than last week’s.