| Cruise Night in Chino Valley
and 180 Horse Power
The first Friday of the month is "Cruise Night" at the local
Mc Donnald's restaurant in Chino Valley. I decided to take my camera this
time as I seldom take pictures of anything. It was about 100 degrees with
little wind but we all had a good time anyway sitting in the shade and talking
cars.The event is supposed to start at 4:00 PM, but this time I arrived
at 3:00 PM to fine a spot up front. I didn't ask anyone how early some of
the people show up, but I got the last place in the front row. The first
car that caught my attention, was this 55 Buick Station Wagon and that is
when I got my camera out.
This late 40's Dodge reminded me of the Chrysler New Yorker
my parents had of which we took to Arizona and up the West Coast in 1947.
You don't see those large metal sun visors much on antique cars anymore
even though they were common during those days.
My first car was a 1947 Plymouth similar to this one with the metal
sun visor. I was 14 years old when Dad bought it for me so I could tinker
with it and learn about cars. One fall day, my friend John and I took the
motor out and dragged it into the basement. This kept me busy during the
winter months as I took it all apart. Dad eventually saw all the pieces
and parts scattered around the basement for. His comment was, "That
car will never run again." Well, he was wrong. That next spring after
I put the engine back together, John and I put it back in the car and it
started right up and ran perfectly. I later chopped the top four inches
but never got a picture of that as there wasn't time to finish the job.
| I forgot to photograph my own car that night, so here it is in
the yard the next day. It took a whole day to clean up the Chrome as it
appeared to have been neglected for 50 years. Hundreds of bare spots have
been filled in and painted, so I thought it would be fine to now park it
|180 Horse Power
A 1953 Chrysler Imperial with a Hemi is of the vintage of the last
Chrysler we owned before Dad sold the Chrysler Dealership. That was about
the time when I was 10 years old and found out what 180 horse power was.
Mom, Dad, and I were going from our summer home in Boot Jack to our house
in Calumet. We just made the turn in Lake Linden to start the steep climb
to Laurium. Suddenly, a early 50's Olds Rocket roared around us. I yelled
at Dad, "there is an Oldsmobile passing us". I already knew that
Oldsmobile had come out with a V/8 and everyone raved about its' performance.
Why ever a 59 year old man would listen to a 10 year old kid, but anyway,
Dad nailed the accelerator pedal and off we went. Now I was going to find
out what a 180 Horse Power was all about. There wasn't anyone in the on
coming lane, so Dad had built up enough speed to pass the Oldsmobile within
an 1/8 mile. We were soon going to experience a unexpended event. Half way
up the hill was a railroad crossing at grade. Dad never let off the gas
as we kept gaining speed. My mother was already screaming before the car
went air born for a few feet. This was the signal that Dad realized he should
back off the gas and he did so with a big smile on his face. Dad also had
a Chrysler 300 Demo car for giving certain customer a ride of the life.
He had a stretch of paved road with permission for high speed runs from
the police department.
| Chrysler was always noted for their advance engineering like the
window crank handles. Instead of the traditional knob, a paddle like handle
was grasped to crank the window. When you let go of it, the paddle flopped
down out of the way no mater what position the crank arm was at.|
| Bob has this 58 Chevy that is unique because it's a one year only
| This forties Lincoln looks very stately with the tall side glass.|