Our Old Cars

2005 Classic Cars Postage Stamps Image courtesy
of Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 09/26/05
Thanks, Joe!

Probably Thursday, June 3, 1965
Image by Chip Clark ('65) of Northern VA

2005 Classic Cars Postage Stamps Image courtesy
of Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 09/26/05
Thanks, Joe!

I've got a picture of the front of the school, taken from the external fire escape of some building across the street.. Hey, photographers have got to do the best they can with what they can find....     What's really remarkable about the image, other than settling a lot of questions about the General Auto Sales lot across the street... is the parking lot!   Look at the pattern of oil stains in every single empty parking place!  .. one stain under the crankcase, one under the rear axel! ... in every single space!  .... and somebody driving a 1950-something black car turning onto Huntington.........
- Chip Clark ('65) of Northern VA - 11/07/05
WOWZERONI-ROONI-ROOTIE-TOOT-TOOTIE!!! Thanks so much, Chip!
 
Hi, Carol:
 
Thought this might be a good link to add to "Our Old Cars" on the website.
 
Probably most of your Newsletter subscribers are aware of these two guys who give advise about automobiles. They air on most National Public Radio stations on Saturday mornings, and provide some humorous relief on some serious subjects. Their laughter makes it worthwhile to tune them in, and they are both graduates of MIT.
 
Here is the link to their website for those who like to use the internet.
 
http://www.cartalk.com/
 TYPHOON Regards,
Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 04/15/06
What a great show - and a great idea!  Thanks, Joe!
Hi Carol --

The following site may be the best video I've seen about 50's & 60's cars and the fun we had with them:

http://oldfortyfives.com/CarsWeDrove.htm

- Ron Miller ('59) of NC - 08/27/07
WOWZERONI - Thanks, Ron!
FOR TRUE CAR LOVERS

http://www.billsretroworld.com/cars.htm

- Glenn Dye ('60) of TX - 05/10/09
MORE WOWZERONI - Thanks, Glenn!
Alright, you young and older whipper-snappers, let’s see how you do.

Be honest with yourself…no cheating. See how you do.
The average score is 73%.

This will really rattle the cobwebs in the 'ole brain.


Car Show Game - 1950s - American Torque.com - http://www.americantorque.com/game/car-show-50s/
 -  Jimmy Smith ('62 / '63) of VA - 03/05/14
Thanks, Jimmy!

It's quite strange that I should be the one to open this chapter, as at no time in my life have I ever been licensed to drive (sure, it's crippling, but think of the countless lives I've saved!).

Nonetheless, I do have fond memories of my mother's little Renault Dauphine, even beyond its cute little horn (beep-beep-BEEP-BEEP!). 
For those of you who don't remember my mother, she was a real hoot, and we used to drag her along to many places just 'cause she was so much fun.

1960 Renault Dauphine
September 1960
1958 Ford Fairlane
1962 Anchor, p. 13
  "'A car pool', says David Stone, 'is the only way.'  He picks up Bill Crosley ('64) on the way to school.  In the car are Sharon Weaver ('63) and Pam Roane ('63)."
 

I hitched a ride in this Stuart Gardens car pool once or twice myself.


The first one involves one of the many times we (a bunch of girls) talked my mama (aka the Baba) into taking us cruising down the main cruising drag on the main cruising night - whatever both of those were.  We were racing along, with my mother pretending she was going to drag a carload of cute guys ("Go, Baba, GO!"). 

The other car overtook us, and Baba turned and gave them a big smile. 

They were somewhat shocked (okay, horrified) to see a woman in her mid-fifties dragging them. The guy in the passenger seat slid down in his seat and they sped away, while we girls dissolved in mighty roars of laughter.  With a straight face herself, Baba deadpanned, "He didn't have to make such a FACE!"

The other was the time of the State Championship Basketball Tournament in Richmond in 1964.  Naturally Baba had come along as our chaperone.  When party time came around, we loaded at least eight people - maybe ten - into that poor little car (the springs were somehow never the same after that) and started making the rounds. 

Every time we'd get to a new door, the faces inside would register the same previously mentioned horror at the sight of the Baba, and Lynn (Walker -'65) or Katie (Haan - '64) would just say, "Oh, it's okay. That's Baba.  She's cool.", and the door person would hesitantly grant us entry.

She WAS cool.  And so was our silly little car.

- Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 05/08/03, 05/10/03

I found these car ads in a Daily Press dated 04/26/60.
Read 'em and weep, guys!

- Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 06/05/03

As to old cars, of certain memory, it may be that others find themselves in the state that I find myself: memories and witnesses, but no pictures!

I had a bomb that all of my friends remember, you could hardly forget it, and when we get together often they ask, "...do you remember that old green Plymouth you had with the big SPD letters in the back window...?"
 
But, again, I have no pictures of it.

The truth be known, it was not worthy of photographing! A lot of fun was had by many with that "bucket of bolts"!!

Some memories do not need a picture. If you ever saw Wayne Stokes' green Plymouth, you would never forget it.  The interior was as spectacular as the hand painted exterior.  The screw driver gearshift was a technological marvel.

But no one could outdo the ventures of Ernie Murphy and his GTO. That boy got into more trouble with that vehicle than any teen driver I knew.  Since Wayne gave his Elvis story, I thought I would give an Ernie story.  There are many Ernie car stories and others that should not be mentioned, but this one was the funniest, at that time.

Ernie pulled up beside my car in front of the Daily Press building on Warwick Boulevard, heading toward beautiful downtown NN.

We were at a stop light.  Ernie signaled that he wanted to race when the light turned green.  When the light changed, off we went, full speed. I was ahead of Ernie and laughing.  Then as I was looking into my rearview mirror, keeping an eye on how close Ernie was behind me, I spotted some blue lights flashing about a half mile behind us.  I slowed down immediately.  Ernie flew pass me, flipped me the Hawaiian good luck sign, laughed at me and made his turn to go home.  The cop was stuck with pursuing one of us, so he chose the winner of the race.  I really think that was the only race Ernie ever won with that car!

- Wayne Stokes of VA - 06/07/03
Thanks, Wayne!
"Check out this site......will bring back memories"

http://www.wgbc.org/57chevy.htm

- Janice McCain Rose of VA - 11/06/03
Thanks, Janice!  Indeed it did!
- Rip Collins of TN - 06/13/03
Thanks, Rip!

Do you remember Paul Baker ('62) who lived at the corner of Chestnut Avenue and 18th Street in Stuart Gardens?  He had a custom souped-up, '57 Chevy, baby blue, straight bar grille, white rolled and pleated interior.  Lots of chrome under the hood.  His mom was the private school teacher for all of us born after September that got to "skip" first grade by taking her first grade private school class. 

Last I heard, Paul was down here in south Florida, somewhere...

There was also an old custom-updated '32 full-fendered Ford called 'Bullwinkle', in Stuart Gardens, parked on 18th Street, not far from where Chuck Lilly ('63 Drum Major) used to live.  I never knew who owned it. Does anybody know who owned "Bullwinkle"?

Craig Miller ('63) of FL - 01/09/04
Thanks, Craig!

Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA wanted to see a picture of Paul Baker's Chevy, so he gathered up six images of baby blue '57  Chevrolets online, and we sent them off to Craig for the best possible match. And we have a winner! "Paul Baker's car was heavily customized and 'raked', so I had my graphic artist touch up the image to reflect Paul's car to my best recollection..."
BEFORE AFTER
01/09/04
Thanks, Dave!
Craig Miller ('63) of FL - 01/21/04
WOWZERS!  That's amazing!!  Thanks, Craig!!!
"Just let me say this ------  If this car had cruised through Shoney's, I most definitely would not have challenged it to a drag under any circumstances.  Some cars ---- this car -----  well, you don't need to see under the hood to know that it could blow your doors off." 
Nostalgically,
Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 01/22/04
Amen!  Thanks, Dave!

Jean's Black Bomber
- Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 08/20/04
Thanks, Jean!
Linda Lane Lane ('64 - of VA) and I both went to Thorpe and took US History and Government and we drag raced down Victoria Boulevard on the way home.  I hope my children do not read this... My mother had an old '51 Dodge and my father disliked chrome, so he had taken every stitch of chrome off that car... we called it the black bomber... it was the car I learned to drive when I was 16. 

- Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 08/08/04
Thanks, Jean!  No CHROME?!?  Ouch!!!

Ummm - maybe John Shepherd ('55) and, Doris Bowden ('55)???

And I don't know what he's driving, but it "shore is purty"!  The one in background is cute, too!

(That's a) Morris Minor Convertible, probably a 1953.

Okay, let's say, George Coussoulos ('58), Julius Benton ('58), ___, ___, Joe Drewry ('58), Sandra Weaver ('58), Carol Letts ('58), and Gary Bunting ('58)

Make, model and year
of car - also unknown
by me...

(They are) in and next to a 1946 Plymouth DeLuxe.

"Pat Goodwin ('60) is playing with fate as she directs Milton Eason ('61) into a parking space in Drivers Training Class.'

Duh, a Ford Fairlane of some year or other...

(That's) a 1958 Ford Fairlane.

 Frank Benson ('59),
Renee Helterbran ('59),
and Rhetta Phelps ('59)

Ummm, let's see, this one ought to be easy...

(They) are on and next to a 1957 Lincoln Premier Convertible.

If you can recognize these two Anchor staffers, ostensibly selling advertising space to the likewise unidentified car salesman, then "you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din."  I take that back.  Sandra Lankford Johnson ('61) headed the Advertising Section that year, so I'll guess she's the gal in the blue blouse.

Hmmm - pick a car, any car....

These are 1960 model year cars - on the front row are 1960 Plymouth Furies and the red car is a 1960 Plymouth Valiant.

Car identification supplied by Eric Huffstutler (BHS - '75) of VA - 03/22/06
Thanks, Eric!
Names in red supplied by Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA - 08/26/04;
Car identification supplied by Eric Huffstutler (BHS - '75) of VA - 03/22/06
Thanks, Renee and Eric!
Car identification supplied by Eric Huffstutler (BHS - '75) of VA - 03/22/06
Thanks, Eric!
Car identification supplied by Eric Huffstutler (BHS - '75) of VA - 03/22/06
Thanks, Eric
Car identifications supplied by Eric Huffstutler (BHS - '75) of VA - 03/22/06
Thanks, Eric
1955 Anchor, p. 147 1958 Anchor, p. 54 1959 Anchor, p. 27 1959 Anchor, p. 123 1961 Anchor, p. 159
I think they deliberately didn't caption these pictures just to drive me crazy forty-eleven years later!  WHO'S paranoid?!?
Okay - I've made some wild, off-the-wall guesses on these identities.  Y'all will need to correct me as soon
as you're able.  I don't know what the cars are either, but to paraphrase a Midwestern idiomatic expression, I wish
I had at least one of these lovely old vehicles, and these guys had a (well-placed) feather, and we'd both be tickled.

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 08/10/04

Cars I Never Learned to Drive
Daddy's beloved blue 1948 Pontiac and some strange - REALLY strange - little girl My aunt, Virginia Buckley, of Richmond, VA
(1 Apr 1909 - 5 May 1984) and her new 1950 Ford Custom
July 1960 - Shari and Carol and
my daddy's 1956 green Dodge Coronet
- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 08/20/04 - Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of IL - 09/15/09


 
Albert's Beautiful '55 Chevy
Carol, I have attached a pic of my beautiful '55 Chevy taken in Ft Lauderdale, summer of '66, to be added to the "old car" section. 
- Albert Dorner ('66) of VA - 09/22/04
OHHHH - how GORGEOUS!  Thanks, Albert!


 
Brian's Breathtaking '64-1/4 Mustang

Carol,
Since the reunion is approaching, I thought I might share some photos of my '64-1/2 Mustang
with the group. The photos are at:

http://www.beachumstudios.com/toy/
 

- Brian Beachum ('72) of VA - 09/24/04
GASP!!! 

Brian, that's absolutely breathtaking!  Thanks so much!

David's Dad's Dodge and '67 Barracuda
Summer 1955 - My dad, me and Dad's Dodge camping somewhere. 
Check out the Sugar Pops.  They're now called "Corn Pops". 
The name changed when sugar was getting a bad rap.
March 1968 - My Pride and Joy
'67 Barracuda - ice blue with white vinyl top and white interior
and navy carpet.  A beauty.
- David Whitley ('67) of VA - 03/08/05
Thanks, David!  You're right - it's gorgeous!

Tom's Early Cars
Here is another pic for the "Our Old Rides" section .... me sitting on my brother-in-law's '54 Merc (Bill Kanney, brother of Robert Kanney - NNHS-69) in 1959. I think we were headed for Bill's BBQ ... one of my faves. Here is a pic for your cars page ... me and my 65 GTO in 1978,
taken in the parking lot at work.
- Tom Norris (HHS - '73) of VA - 01/07/06
Thanks, Tom!
- Tom Norris (HHS - '73) of VA - 12/10/05
Thanks, Tom!

Steve's '64 Greenbriar Van
Carol ..... (This image from 1973 shows) the '64 Greenbriar van, (which) was the first vehicle I owned.
- Steve Silsby (FHS - '72) of NC - 01/27/06 - but not posted until 02/20/06
WOWZERS!  Thanks, Steve!

Gloria's Old Cars
1970 Chevelle SS 1969 Mustang Fastback  1972 Ford Pinto

I think that's a 69 Chevelle SS that I'm sitting on.......it was my boyfriend's.  Get a load of that beehive......and with a flip no less!  How did I manage that? 

Then there was my beautiful 69 Mustang fastback......or was beautiful until one morning I was driving to work at Langley AFB down LaSalle Avenue, and a woman just couldn't get to the 7-11 fast enough, so she turned in front of me.  :(  My poor car got fixed, but it was never the same. 

Then came the 72 Pinto with no air conditioning.......until the hot summer I drove to and from Ft Lauderdale........ went straight to Sears and had a/c installed.  I kept that car the longest......still had it when my son was born in 77.  Right after I sold it, the warning came out about getting hit from the rear might cause the gas tank to explode!!  Yikes!

I had quite a few cars in those days.......wonder why I didn't take pictures of all of them?

- Gloria Woolard Price (HHS - '65) of FL - 03/21/06
COOL!  Thanks, Gloria!

Gloria ... love that hairdo! Your boyfriend's car was a 1970 Chevelle SS.
 
- Tom Norris (HHS - '73) of VA - 03/22/06
AHA!  Thanks, Tom!


...Ask if anyone had spinners on the car wheels and remember those wire "thingys" that hit the curb for parking. 
I saw a car this morning on the way in that had spinners and it reminded me of high school.
 
- Eva Ellis Madagan ('61) of FL - 04/27/06
Let's find out!  Thanks, Eva!

I believe Eva is referring to the curb feelers that attached to Our Old Automobiles back when we actually parallel parked
on the streets of Newport News. Those wire extenders that you could purchase at Pep Boys on Jefferson Avenue that
were the rage back in the 1950's.

 
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 04/27/06
 Oh, my, yes! On those big, beautiful cars, they were quite the thing!  Thanks, Joe!


As one of the resident car guys I certainly remember curb feelers. Joe (
Madagan - '57 - of FL) mentioned Pep Boys on Jefferson Avenue, the home of all things screwed, bolted or glued to cars back then.  We actually had people buy them and then come to Pop's station and ask to have them installed.  Too challenging for some I guess.  If all of you remember we actually had to parallel park a car while the Virginia State Trooper was giving you the driving test.  Spinner hub caps were certainly popular.  Several Corvette models had true "knock-off" wheels, which many referred to as spinners.  The '62 Dodge Lancer had hubcaps that featured a large X type emblem on them and they soon began popping up on all the hot cars.  After investing in a set of Lancer hubcaps you had to go back to Pep Boys and buy locks that attached to the valve stems and required a special key to remove.  This was supposed to prevent the theft of the Lancer hubcaps, but often resulted in four valve stems being cut - so you lost your hub caps and had to repair all four tires.  The spinners were later followed by wire wheel type hub caps, a cheap copy of the true wire wheels found on European imports.  This all reminds me that I haven't been to Pep Boys lately so a trip is now in order.
 

- Dave Arnold ('65) of VA - 04/27/06
 I knew that you'd have some good input for this one. Thanks, Dave!

Bobby's "New" 1964 Mercury Marauder


Attached is a picture of me and my new purchase of a classic 1964 Mercury Marauder.  It is so big it takes up most of our two car garage.  The picture was taken on the Mariners' Museum property (a few days) ago.  Anne (Sawyer Turpin - '65) tells me and other people I have entered my youth again; however, I have always enjoyed classic cars and the opportunity presented itself. 

I went to a "cruzin" last Saturday evening and really enjoyed myself.  I just thought it would make a good picture on your web-site.  With boundless enthusiasm, you are a true treasure to the entire "Typhoon" nation. 

Take care, Bobby
 

Friday, August 18, 2006, 12:43 PM
 
- Bobby Turpin ('58) of VA - 08/21/06
WOWZERONI!!!  Thanks, Bobby - and congratulations!

Tom's "New" 1946 Chevy Panel Truck
Friday, September 15, 2006, 6:32 PM Saturday, June 30, 2007
As Dave Arnold ('65 - of VA) mentioned, I have purchased a new hot rod. It's a 1946 Chevy panel truck, with modern V8, auto, power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning. Here are two pictures taken in front of The Oasis at the official release/signing of our Images of America book on Olde Wythe on Friday, September 15th. There is some NN history in this truck ... it was owned by a cheese shop on Warwick Boulevard at one time (you eagle eye Typhoons may know where and when this was), and by long time Warwick and Newport News resident Dicky Hamilton. Here I am today at Smithfield Olden Days with my '46 Chevy truck. Howard Hodnett ('45 - of VA) commented that the Newport News city tag added a good touch ... but if you look closely I am wearing a Hampton Crabber lanyard so I was loyal to both.
- Tom Norris (HHS - '73) of VA - 09/17/06
WOWZERONI-RINI!!!  Thanks, Tom - and congratulations!
- Tom Norris (HHS - '73) of VA - 06/30/07
WOWZERS! Thanks, Tom!

Al's Dad's '37 Chevrolet


Attached you will find a photo of my dad in his first car which was a 1937 Chevrolet 2 door sedan.  I think that he must have received this one year old car as a gift from his father when he graduated from Wake Forest College in June 1938 and I suspect that this was his first car.  I say this because I have the negatives from all of Dad's old photos and there are a number of them of this car immediately following photos of his college graduation.  It would seem that young men back then were not different from young men when we were growing up or even now.  They are proud of that symbol of independence and spend a lot of time shining and photographing it.  The only difference in today and way back then is that kids get the cars earlier now in these times of relative plenty.  He kept this car until late 1944 or perhaps early 1945.

This car never made it to Newport News as far as I know because when we moved there in January of 1946, he had a different vehicle which will show up in pictures that I will send later on after I have identified the make and model of it. It has a connection though since I was born in 1942 and it was the first car that I rode in.

 


Just a few tidbits about the car and times and one actual memory that I have of it.

1. The memory of it that I have was occurred in the winter of 1944/45 when I was 2.5 years old and is probably because of an accident and my fear of something that occurred after the accident.  What I remember and have a mental image of is the car sitting in a field beside the road and my dad getting out of the car and taking a big round black thing from under the hood. and bringing it back to the drivers side of the car.  I have no memory of the accident itself but for some reason that big black thing scared the little boy greatly.  My mother had no memory of the black thing but my dad told me many years later when I related the memory to him that it was the large oil bath air cleaner that had broken loose during the accident.  He had been driving down a country road near Littleton, NC that we lived near during the early 40s and had been shooting a movie while he drove.  He veered a bit to the left and the car jumped the shallow ditch and bounced into the field next to the road.  I don't know if this contributed to it's later demise but certainly it did not help it.  We were able to continue driving, but that was the last time that my dad tried to take movies while driving.

2. New in 1937 the car would have cost about  $700.  Restored today most go for between $30,000 and $40,000 but I did see one for $160,000 on a UK website.

3. 519,000 of them were built.  There are still a few thousand of them on the road today ranging from fully restored vehicles to heavily customized hot rods.  There is room under the hood for a Corvette V8 engine!

4. The car had an inline 6 cylinder engine and a 3 speed manual transmission with gearshift on the floor.

5. It was available in several models ranging from a 2 door, single seat business coupe to a 4 door Master Deluxe sedan.  There was also a pickup truck and a small delivery van that was built on the same chassis.

6. Back in those days there were no seat belts and as a child I often traveled standing up in the middle of the front seat.  My parents also had a car bed which was a wire frame that sat on the back seat with a cloth box attached to it that I slept in.  By today's standard this would be very unsafe and in fact if you did those things today, you would probably be arrested for child endangerment at the very least.  But speeds were much lower then and there were not so many cars or accidents as today and so it was not considered at all dangerous WAY back then.

If this interests you at all do some Google searches and check out eBay too.  You will be amazed at how many old cars of all makes and models that there are still on the road today.
 

- Al Simms ('60) of VA - 03/11/08
GASP!  Thanks, Al!  It's beautiful!


     As we've already established, identifying cars is not really my thing, so I don't know the make and model of this car - but I know I like it!

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 03/08/14

June 1947 Anchor, p. 55
"Spokesmen for the 3 low class are Ethyl Williamson as president, Juanita Robertson as secretary, and Jessie Amory as student council representative."


The Beach Boys' "409" midi courtesy of Gary's Midi Paradise at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs of VA - 05/07/03
Thanks, Dave!

Animated Classic Chevy clip art courtesy of http://members.tripod.com/~ultra_6/travel/car5.gif - 05/08/03

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