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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

'old Cars, Strong Hearts' & Other Thoughts....


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"May your days be merry & bright" __ Irving Berlin/Bing Crosby __ 'White Christmas'



Remember me?!


"Music tells your story, seethes your anger, relaxes your worries, celebrates your excitement, embodies your emotions ... from across the years & for multiple time periods & reasons ... even if you can't...." --- CD Stevens, 12/29/2012




I created a new page on Facebook to celebrate "strong hearts" & "memory makers" (old cars, roads, buildings, music, TV shows, movies, toys, games, etc.). Please check it out & join, if you want:





I'd like to forget this past year, for the most part.... I am tired, weak, worn, stressed, but I'm alive. Part of me wants to be DONE; part of me wants to believe in hope; part of me wants to get in 1 of my cars & "drive so far they'll all lose track" [line from Dolly Parton's 'Hard Candy Christmas']. I'm not sure which way to go? I've endured 4 open heart surgeries, so this should be a piece of cake; the last year has been anything BUT for many reasons & levels. Lately, my energy level & restlessness [thanks to not eating or sleeping much] has been such that, despite the many projects I should do, the only thing I feel like doing is driving around aimlessly.... &, yes, I have applied for disability. I haven't continued writing my Route 66 story ... yet.




It'd be cool if we all lived in the same town. I have ties to many of you, some of which would not be possible w/o the internet ... car interests, heart issues, music interests, message boards & groups, etc. ... even meeting in person at events here & gatherings during my yearly road trips. Yet, w/o our different homes & backgrounds, we may not have the experiences to share w/each other that help us find connections.... That's little consolation as I may not be able to road trip for quite a while, if again. THANK YOU for being a part of my life.




This pic includes a pic taken September 1984 ... me & "the 1" that started it all, "my" 1976 MC ... & 1 of 4 hubcaps I have from that same car. If my parents had not bought it, I most-likely wouldn't know many of you. Life is funny. Pics, cars, music, places, etc. bring back sssoo many memories.....





Cort | 39.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 2 MCs + '79 & '89 Caprice Classics

CHD.cars + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

*** 3rd GEN MC (1978,1979,1980) FORUM > http://thirdgenmontes.proboards.com/ ***

"Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree" __ Elvis Presley __ 'Blue Christmas'

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Since I need to focus on things that will make me happy, I'll be spending most of my time on my facebook page, OLD CARS, STRONG HEARTS. Please feel welcomed to visit with me there:
Cort | 39.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 2 MCs + '79 & '89 Caprice Classics
CHD.cars + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort
* roadsNwheels + CapriceClassicForum = http://rdwhl-capriceclassic.proboards.com/ *
"Time will heal the pain" __ Exile __ 'Even Now'
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I have read here for years though I have only posted here a short time.

Were you the guy that had 5 monte carlos? I remember you posting about how it was a sad time for you had to sell 4 of them.


I know what it is like to sell a car you are attached to. First time it was indirect. It was in 1966. My dad was working in a Ford dealer when an elderly couple about 70 years old brought in their 1950 Ford 2 dr sedan, flat head straight 6 with a 3 speed on the column. They were the original owners.


Complaint was the engine was making a knocking sound. Another mecahnic got to look at the car and said the engine bearings bad and the engine was shot. So the old couple decided the car was not worth fixing and wanted to sell it.


My dad heard the Ford run and it sounded as a blown head gasket near an exhaust valve. So my dad got to buy the car for $25.


Point was when we went to get the car I remember the old folks eyes were tearing as we left.


Direct experience was in 1992 I sold the first car I ever owned.


I bought that car in the summer of 1970.


The car was a 1935 Buick 3 window coupe.


Sometimes I will miss that car though I do not regret selling it.


I do not do FB. So I hope you keep coming back to AR.

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Well, if we are going to tell tear jerker stories, I might as will add two. First, I am getting teary eyed reading that 70 year olds are elderly. I am past that milestone and prefer to be called chronologically advanced. :)


Second sad story: I owned one of the first three, perhaps the first, Miata in Washington. I flew across the state to the dealer who got the first three in stock, and bought one on the spot. I really loved that car. It reminded me of my MGA, Triumph, and Spyder. But Sheila has a back problem and sitting with her legs straight out was a problem. Then I took a job that required a two hour commute on the interstate in rain and snow. Driving in snow and rain at 70 along side a semi in that tiny car was life threatening. It was like driving in a car wash.


The final blow came one evening coming back from Seattle. It had snowed and the light little rear wheel Miata with it's wide tread didn't even try to stay on the road. I had to pull off immediately on old US99 and find a motel. I can tell you from that experience that not all old mom and pop motels are charming. It was before cell phones were popular, and when I used the room phone I couldn't get the handset out of my hand.....it was too sticky.


I couldn't afford to keep the Miata just for the Northwest summer so it had to go. I truly and honestly had a tear in my eyes when I handed the keys to the new owner.


So much for the tear jerkers. I had a buddy in high school (1954-58 era) with a 1950 Ford V8. I drove a Chev 6 which was no match for the Ford. Strange the things you remember when you're chronologically advanced. Both had Three on the Tree, but the Chev had, for some reason, a smother shift. When you were driving and held your hand on the Ford shift lever you could feel every vibration in the manual transmission.


We both had suicide knobs (who can remember them?!) so we could drive with one arm around our girlfriends (remember bench seats!!?). The real art was reaching with your left hand through the spokes of the steering to get at the shift lever mounted on the right side of the steering column, while steering with your knees, all without appearing awkward. The Ford shift lever was looser and you could throw or flip it with your fingers, while the Chev was smooth, but stiffer, presenting a handicap.


The kids today don't know what they are missing!!! Kind of makes ya sad!




Keep the Show on the Road!

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I think you felt the vibrations more on the Ford because the floor shift lever is connected direct to the transmission where a column shift has several linkage rods that had a lot of play in them.


I had a used 1978 Chevy Nova, 250 S6, 3 spd column, and a 1950 Ford F1 3 spd floor that I bought around 1977. Trans would slip out of 2nd into neutral when pulling up a steep grade or accelerating hard. My dad taught me how to rebuild the transmission. There was a place in Queens, NY where we bought all NOS gears and bearings.


I was never into foreign cars though I liked the MG TC and TD's. Though I was into collecting antique cars and had bought a 1961 MGA for $225. Had if for a few months and decided to sell it. Got $450.


As to bench seats, they are the most comfortable seats for a car. And you can have a girl friend or wife sitting right next to you. But I warn do not attempt to have both do it at the same time. Don't ask me how I know (just kidding I have the worlds best wife).


We bought a GMC suburban in 01. I wanted leather. Leather only came in buckets with a console in the middle. Bench only came in cloth. Now ten years later GM has bench and buckets with leather upholstery. For ten years I still complain that why didn't they have leather bench seats as an option.

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I suppose seat comfort is a matter of what you're used to. I've always owned cars with buckets, but I've driven cars with benches, and the lack of side bolsters on the benches makes me feel a lot more vulnerable because I slide around a lot more readily!




You are correct there! If you had slick seat covers, as was often the case in those days, try a sharp left turn before the day of seat belts and you were suddenly trying to steer from the passenger's side! That happened to me a couple of times, and it wasn't a good feeling!


On a winding mountain road the rule was to brace yourself on the transmission hump that was in the middle of the floor.




Keep the Show on the Road.

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I suppose seat comfort is a matter of what you're used to. I've always owned cars with buckets, but I've driven cars with benches, and the lack of side bolsters on the benches makes me feel a lot more vulnerable because I slide around a lot more readily!





I'm not a big guy but always felt they pinch me in and it was an illusion that bucket seats held me place. What I found was two hands on the wheel and my left foot braced by planting it firmly against the floor boards pressing my back against the seat was all I needed to stay put when centrifugal forces were excessive.


If bucket seats where that good they would not need seat belts in cars with bucket seats. I love to drive my Jeep Wrangler with the doors off. I find those bucket seats are not adequate enough to make me feel secure let alone keep me from falling out.


Yes I know I don not like bucket seats and I have two auto's with them.

Edited by 32vld
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