Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Car Pr0n #32

I gotta be numerical with this one.

Yup. A hot-rod 1932 Ford Model B. The original "little deuce coupe" made famous by The Beach Boys. Interestingly enough, a friend of mine back up in MA-the one that owns "Christine"- his dad (where he got his mechanical ability, of course) has a 1932 Ford convertible. Complete with rumble seat. It also has a Chevy 350 under the hood that will stand the car up on the rear wheels in second gear...

Hot rods, while obviously not limited to our shores, are a uniquely American affectation. Servicemen returning from WWII and Korea wanted to celebrate their return from war, and sought out cars with which to express their individuality. As air strips built for launching war planes stopped being used, these newly minted racers would find a natural home for testing their creations.

The 1960s saw the hot-rod craze start to wane, as cars were coming straight from the manufacturers with insanely huge motors. Hard to improve on a 427 Cobra Jet or a 426 Hemi. The 1970s saw fuel crises and then the rise of the catalytic converter. The '80s were just terrible, with American cars starting out boxy and crappy and getting smaller, boxier, and crappier. The '90s saw the "melted gumdrop" shape grab hold, as the Ford Taurus of the late 1980s inspired pretty much all automotive design for the following decade.

The 2000s and 'teens saw an automotive renaissance of sorts, as cars got faster and more reliable and just generally better overall. The Japanese influx in the '80s and '90s dragged American companies kicking and screaming to the table to make cars that didn't suck giant rocks off the ground, and the European influence helped infuse some life into what was essentially a dying breed, the sports car. Right now we have a retro hot rod/muscle car from all three US manufacturers: Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger. All three cars are way faster than the vast majority of their namesakes, too...

While I applaud the styling and speed of the new cars, would be be asking too much for something new?

That is all.

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