Last week Phone Rat and I got on the subject of cars. Cars we owned and those our friends had. Clearly the car in this picture is not a muscle car, but I am sure a lot of you will remember this car, its owner, and this charity event at the Shell Station on the corner of Van Nuys Blvd. and Sherman Way.
Phone Rat was remembering his 1966 Blue Ford Fairlane. Aside from numerous TP missions, what I remember most is the day a certain Sweetheart decorated his Fairline with shaving cream. Typical of the stunts many of us indulged in. Though it was just innocent fun this particular stunt set off a whole round of regrettable fireworks we still talk about.
My first car was a 1966 Pontiac Lemans. I used to drive it like a maniac through the hills. One of my favorite roads then was the dirt road section of Dixie Canyon. One day we were up there racing through the turns like a Midget car when Phone Ray shouts out, "Lock 'em up!" Like a damn fool I slammed on the breaks and we skidded left, then right until we came to a stop about a foot from the edge, which had no rails. After I restarted the car we continued on like nothing happened, such is youth.
Another memory is of an old Blue Chevy truck owned by one of the taller members of our group, "GZ". One day we were in the parking lot of the Van Nuys Temple. For some reason I was standing on the back of his truck, holding my acoustic guitar. All of a sudden the truck surged forward and I went off the back of the truck, face first with my guitar in front of me, onto the pavement below. When I got up I saw my guitar had taken the brunt of the damage. I was ticked off but the guitar did save me from serious injury. The fault was mine for standing on the back of an idling truck with a touchy clutch. The next time I rode with our tall friend was in his 1968 Plymouth Fury, which he called his "Grandfather Car".
Radio Rat used to run around town in an older Datsun station wagon blasting Deep Purples "Machine Head" on his 8-track player. Since that wasn't the ideal projection of cool he soon upgraded to a Chevy Vega Station wagon. Still not the epitome of cool, but functional for the things he needed it for, such as toting his drum kit to gigs, and so on, lots of so on. My fondest memory of the Vega was driving to the Ontario Motor Speedway the night before the race to hang out with another friend. But this was the era of van culture so Radio Rat traded up again for a souped up florescent yellow/orange Ford Econoline van. Into this "Love Truck" went the requisite shag carpet, television, refrigerator, quad stereo and I forget what else. There are too many escapades with that van to name one above the other. Perhaps Radio rat will elaborate. I hope he remembers this is a PG-Rated blog.
Other memories include me in my 1973 Ford Pinto racing "AT' and his Blue Ford Mustang down Sunset Blvd. It is written in my contemporaneous notes we reached speeds of 80 mph. I think that was top speed for my Pinto, while he was still in second gear. I recall another friend, "AB", who owned a Pinto, but this Green Pinto had a Mustang engine lurking under the hood. Another friend, "CF", had a Toyota Celica until one night when it met its fate. His next car was a low slung Lotus sports car. He told us he paid $10,000 for the Lotus. Exotic as it was, we all gasped and said we would never pay $10,000 for a car.
I also remember "JB" briefly owned a souped up Ford Mustang that I think he shared with his dad, "JB Sr". I seem to remember a Porsche 914, belonging to "GR". My favorite car was a Chevy El Camino owned by he father of our tall friend. Phone Rat remembers a 1964 Copper colored Plymouth Fury owned by "HW", and a 1954 Pontiac owned by "HM". I know there were a few more muscle cars out there you might remember?