vermontboy

Others who shaped our early years

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It was great to see the Ralph Stein thread brought back. There were so many others I remember saving up for to buy in the 50's and 60's - even into the young adulthood in the 70's.

 

Some I remember off the top of my head ...

 

Early -  Floyd Clymer books - both the small softcovers and the later hardcover books. The Fawcett and Trend book series in the early 50's full of great sepia tone pictures of early cars. Tom McCahill - the man who probably influenced more actual car purchases back in the 50's and 60's than any other writer. Who could forget his comment on the -1955 Chrysler 300  - "As solid as Grant's Tomb, and 130 times as fast" ..

 

Later - the late 50's and early 70's Car and Driver editorials by wordsmiths Brock Yates, Jean Shepherd, Warren Weith and so many others... and the plethora of coffee table books soon deeply discounted as while the pictures were great there was no useful verbiage.

 

That's my short list - how about sharing yours ...

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How 'bout the stories of Gus' Garage ?

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I think it was Car Life that would run a full feature on a car from the Harrah Collection back in the 1960s. So glad I got to see the collection at its high point around 1974, just as the auctions of excess cars started. Bob 

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4 hours ago, franklinman said:

let's never forget "Uncle" Tom McCahill!

And MIMI of course. Does anyone have a picture of her?

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When I was about 12 an acquaintance of my father gave me a stack of early Hot Rod magazines . Most of the run between 1954 and 1958. Read and re- read many times.  And stacks of Pop Mechanics, Pop Science. My father and I used to take a load to the city dump every 6 months or so. It seemed on almost every trip there would be a few shelf's full from someone cleaning out their basement. Generally 1940's and 1950's issue. I would gather up 15 or 20 of the best condition ones to add to my collection.

 

Greg in Canada 

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It has to be popular mechanic for me.  Still have a lot of them.  Tom Swift (The original series) where he was constantly inventing things.

 

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Vermontboy, I suppose the thing that got me started in my "car life" was getting to go to work with my Dad so many times.  He worked at some Studebaker dealerships and I was absolutely fascinated with everything about the places !  I became sort of a "helper" to a couple of the guys when they knew it was something I wouldn't get hurt doing, and I loved every minute of it all.  I had surgeries almost every summer from the 5th grade through 12th for polio problems, so I got to go to work with him quite a bit.  I always asked for magazines or model cars for all normal kid events like birthdays and Christmas, and haven't let up yet, ha !  Best life ever for a poor kid from East Tennessee is my take on those years.  I ended up with so many books, magazines, dealer folders, and newspapers about automotive stuff that I helped re-stock a flooded book store in Nashville, TN. when we started selling things and down-sizing to move here to Hawaii......  then what do I do ?   Started over, ha ! ( been bringing home hundreds of books and magazines from a really good, but older than me, friend that is now down-sizing )   "Car" people are the best, and my car-people-wife thinks so too.

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Some of the great bargain books were the paperback books such as Ballantine's Illustrated History of the Car marque books series from the '70's @ $1, and the Fawcett and Trend Publications of the '50's @ 75 cents! 

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I had a neighbor, Margaret , who work in Manhattan around Columbus Circle. That area , during  that time,   was automobile row.in NYC. Every now and then, she would   go to the dealerships, and pick up brochures for me. I was just a kid back then.  She was very special to do that.

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Surprised and gratified someone else remembers the Ballantine marque books from the early seventies. They were only made for a year or so then they went into a WW2 series which must have been much more popular because it ran for years.

 

I bought some of the Ballantines when they were new, as many as I could afford anyway. Now they are $10 or $20 apiece.

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In the mid-sixties it was Car & Driver magazine. David E. Davis and Brock Yates. 

 

Each month I'd pedal my bike to the Chula Vista (CA) library and read the latest about sports cars and European cool stuff: Austin-Healey, Alfa Romeo, Triumph, Jensen. For a youngster growing up in a family with a 1954 Ford, 1966 Rambler and 1967 Ford Falcon, this was an entirely new universe.

 

One issue they took a Pontiac GTO, compared it to a real Ferrari GTO, and declared the Pontiac the winner. 

 

I believed every word they wrote; later lived to regret it when I bought used Fiat.

 

Interesting tidbits about David E. Davis:

  • He is the co-author of the Chevy slogan Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie & Chevrolet.  
  • At the Chevrolet advertising agency Campbell-Ewald, he worked the Corvette and Corvair accounts. His partner was Elmore Leonard.

Brock Yates was famous for (amongst other things) organizing the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.  Dan Gurney won the inaugural event in a Ferrari Daytona. When asked about safety concerns, Dan responded that, "At no time did we ever exceed 175 miles per hour."

 

 

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Edited by RansomEli (see edit history)
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26 minutes ago, RansomEli said:

 Brock Yates was famous for (amongst other things) organizing the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.  Dan Gurney won the inaugural event in a Ferrari Daytona. When asked about safety concerns, Dan responded that, "At no time did we ever exceed 175 miles per hour."

 

 

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That February 1962 issue with the swimsuit model on the Spidget was one i read over and over,

not only for the graphics, 

but Art Buchwald had an amazing presence, wit, and writing style.

It was that issue which compounded my already intense interest in the Citroen DS series,

later owning well over half a dozen D-Series, as well as several other Citroen series (SM, AMI-6, 2-CV, Mehari, etc),

seventeen in all over the years,

and the occasional Renault Dauphine, 4-CV, and a really exciting Gordini.

 

I also visited the famed Red Ball garage where the "Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash originated - not very far from my one-time office on the 4th floor of the Time & Life Building at 50th St & Ave. of the Americas (formerly 6th Ave) in mid-town Manhattan.

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I subscribed to Old Cars Newspaper from the beginning and enjoyed Austin Clark's columns as well as Tim Howley's  "Somewhere West of Larame".  Walter MacIvain "The Veteran Motorist",   "Saga of The Old West", by Bruce Fagan an Henry Austin Clark's "One for The Road".   All of which I still have in the 6 issue run of "The Best of Old Cars" 1971 thru 1986.  It's a great collection every time I read them. 

I wish they had kept doing those "Best of Old Cars" volumes.1024764159_15ModelT.thumb.jpg.8ea2db19d83950c8e3ab907d208bdfa2.jpg

 

Edited by Paul Dobbin
spilling errors (see edit history)
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 -Think I was about 13 and was fortunate enough to have gotten my hands on an old Playboy Magazine that had one of the first road test reviews for the 427 Cobra. -Quickly became a prized possession of mine...you know...for the articles.

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13 minutes ago, md murray said:

 -Think I was about 13 and was fortunate enough to have gotten my hands on an old Playboy Magazine that had one of the first road test reviews for the 427 Cobra. -Quickly became a prized possession of mine...you know...for the articles.

  I bet you would have been in trouble if your mother caught you looking a muscle car pictures.

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15 hours ago, John Byrd said:

Surely everybody over 50 has a Mimi pic or two ! 

I was thinking about one in her overalls.  I had never seen a picture other than with overalls before this one.

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I remember reading Tom Macahils roadtest of first a/c cobra w260 v8. 140mph! I was in love. I also remember him rolling over testing a Renault! He impressed me that a car had to corner well &not just go fast. My other favorite was Gus Wilson’s model garage. Part detective part mechanic. I diagnosed my bosses truck at age 16 with help from Gus. Like to think what I learned then helped me through my 40+ years working in the car business

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My favorite was The Fun of Old Cars by Bob Stubenrauch but I see now I clearly missed out having just discovered Mimi.

 

Dave

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Thanks to everyone - so much I had forgotten. Mu own favorite magazine cover to dream about as a kid .......

 

 

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20 minutes ago, vermontboy said:

Thanks to everyone - so much I had forgotten. Mu own favorite magazine cover to dream about as a kid .......

 

 

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When this Bugatti Type 57SC arrived at Vintage Auto in 1972, and the side door to the Passport truck opened, we all wondered were the hobby was going, $65,000. was a World Record at auction at the time. Glad I got to save the California plate that came with it. Bob 

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