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ford jeep touch up paint Q&A Review

I’m looking to rebuild an older muscle car. Where do I begin? I’ve chosen a 1967 Camaro. It’s trashed and there are no pics just yet, but I just know this is ground-up work.

When I was younger, my friends drove Camaro convertibles and played the Beach Boys all the time (on the 8 track player). While rebuilding a trashed muscle car sounds like fun, you have to have your head straight as to your motivation. Is this an investment, hobby, or an old car you want to drive around because it is “cool”? There are lots of old drivable Camaro’s that will never be “low-mileage collector cars in original mint condition”. I have a cousin who restored a 1967 El Camino, and in money alone spent at least 3 times what it’s resale value is. It’s a show winner, but he is not in it for the money - it gives him pleasure at any cost. He is also not a mechanic, so he pays a premium for the mechanical and finish work. If you are committed to the project, and want to go “soup to nuts”, I would strip the car and “rotisserie” it, taking the body off the frame and removing rust, welding reinforcement plates in, and giving the car a solid base to work on. Chevy in a rotisserie. Make sure you have a big place to work, or send it out to a really good body $hop. If you just want a cool car to drive, skip this and invest more money in a good paint job, nice interior appointments, and “chrome stuff” for the engine. You will save a ton of money, even though it is not a full-blown restoration. You also save a lot of time, as you can drive it without having to dismantle it, order parts, rebuild the engine, etc. etc. Picking the Camaro is a good choice, (Ford mustangs and Jeep Wranglers are good choices too), because you can get almost any part you need without having to get it custom fabricated. You will also need a place to store spares, especially if you plan to keep the car a long time. Points, distributor caps, etc. You will need to keep them around like a Nascar driving team. If you replace the engine, keep the old one around for hard to find parts. Just sayin’. EBay, Hemmings motor news, and google searches are your friends when parts hunting. Make sure you document everything, so you can put it back the way it was, especially the car’s manual (get them; both the factory and aftermarket ones; you will need reference-these cars pre-date the internet as we know it). Get a good camera and take lots of pictures, and even some videos. Find the original hard copy manuals; The may not exist on-line unless you can find it scanned into pdf format. Once you start the rebuild, remember it will cost more than you budgeted, and take more time than you thought. Follow it through. Locate mechanics, engine guys, body shops, and parts outlets. talk to other owners who restored Camaro’s and get their advice. Get it to a finished and drivable condition so you can start to enjoy it. Another thing you may consider is sending it out to be re-done; if your ego can handle someone else touching your “baby”, it will come back in finished condition, and you can focus on enjoying it. (as opposed to spending a lot of time fixing it). Even if you don’t send it out, what you will learn from speaking to rebuilders may influence your understanding of the car’s restored value, and key components that may require special attention. They also may be able to get you parts and advice, if you need it. Within the confines of this answer, I can’t tell you how to do it all, but hopefully you have what you need to start, so you know as many of your options up front, before you are committed to the rebuild. Best of luck, enjoy your project, and post pictures here on Quora when you have it together!

What was the best thing you experienced in Venezuela?

Re: Best thing(s) I have experienced in Venezuela There are many things that come to mind in my time residing and working in this country over 20 years but the best moments must have been the pleasant surprise ,“OMIGOSH” ,moments I experienced during our exploratory work in the creation of new adventure tour routes in remote rural areas of Venezuela. In this country, there are many memorable noteworthy things in nature, destinations (and wonderful people) but for me…. First place award, ,for the best thing for me in Venezuela, goes to the gorgeous landscape I came upon during our first exploratory trip in the ,Yaracuy State, highlands one hour drive south of Nirgua in an offroad vehicle. (3 hours away from the capitol, Caracas, in a vehicle) This was in 2010 as I recall. The objective was to evaluate a new potential weekend rural adventure tour route. Aiding me in the efforts were the Caracas-based owner of a remote exclusive “Posada” on a mountaintop near Nirgua and a team of local contacts-guides. This trip’s surprise discovery and the subsequent photo (shown below, in this post) was used for publicity material for our rural tours and it was posted frequently on Social Media…and we even had offers from buyers for prints. The Intro: ,Photo No.1 was taken a few short moments after our local guide’s Toyota jeep got stuck ascending a slope with loose soft soil on an offroad track running through a tropical highland forest. Please notice the mangoes on the ground in the foreground and upper left corner. As the jeep driver (his back turned to the photographer) was futilely spinning his wheels, we slid dangerously close to the embankment on the left side of the photo. Horrified by the prospect of an overturned vintage vehicle without proper safety equipment, and far away from any hospital or paramedic, I was the “guest of honor” that was compelled to exit the jeep quickly and unceremoniously, ,from the passenger side door. I did manage to snap some photos, including this one, while the fellows were busy struggling to install tire chains in an attempt to improve traction:. Nature rewarded us for the efforts: ,My Yaracuy rural guides did not prepare me nor announce the next surprise. Having freed the jeep from its temporary trap, the driver inched his way up the slippery slope of the forest trail for another 20-odd critical meters thanks to the installed chains. After being underway again for a barely a minute, we crested a hillock completely free of any tree cover, which afforded the group a spectacular sunny mid-afternoon 360 degree view of the highlands. The plants in the center-left foreground are ferns. Please notice the zigzag trail on the hill in the center of the photo no.2 and the lone tree slightly to the left, in the foreground. After fording a stream immediately downhill from this photo no. 2 location we wound our way around that zigzag trail hill and continued the adventure in the old Toyota Landcruiser. The visible ridge-lines in the photo form part of a trail circuit leading back to our starting point to the aforementioned remote mountaintop inn near the small town of Nirgua, where we spent the night on this exploration trip with rural local guides.. Close second place prize, ,for the best thing for me in Venezuela, is one of the fantastic young persons who worked with my adventure travel outfit as a tour host, guide and/or publicity photo model The top one was a nubile university-age young woman from Maracay who was introduced to me in 2009 or early 2010 by her mother. This eager but shy young lady was fascinated by the nature conservancy and art aspects of our tours. In addition, she was spurned on by her desire to experience complete harmony and freedom in the tropical forests, etc., while leading tours with me. At first, she helped in our full day or half day urban tours as a bilingual tour assistant. With the passing of time, and her growing confidence, she evolved into a stunning “Liane” jungle nature-goddess figure and a Latina version of movie character “Lara Croft” that we leveraged as a unique touch for our tour experience to wow our guests. She developed a commanding presence, turning heads and making jaws drop during the publicity photo sessions in the midst of raw nature during some VIP tours and “fam” tours for the press. Always a tough trooper up for a challenging assignment I offered (never mind annoying biting insects, mud, cold mountain streams, hot humid tropical forests, or occasional ogling flirting men clients), and a leading participant in our creative brainstorming sessions for innovative tour theme ideas. She was a wonderful match for us…an adventure tour “frontwoman” asset and a publicity image avatar thanks to her athletic abilities, beauty, charisma, charm and poise. For this attached signature publicity photo, she was wearing tribal face paint and adornments. (Photo below taken 2012). At the present moment, we are interviewing replacements for her, as she emigrated from Venezuela in 2019. We miss you! The other notable photos of her in my collection I will not post on Quora as they are ,NSFW, (she is posing fully nude or semi-nude bodypainted with monotone colors or exotic tropical animal patterns…and some poses with local creatures). Sorry! You will have to come on a tour with us in the future ;-)) Or subscribe to our Patreon. We hope to resume these one-of-a kind rural adventure tours as the COVID-19 travel safety restrictions here are relaxed a bit.

How can someone find the right color paint for touching up their car?

As in Blair’s answer, your paint code will help lead you to what paint to use on your car. Some vehicles have both a paint code and a trim code. It depends on the manufacturer of the car. Just to make things more interesting, the car maker’s name for the paint color may not be the same as the paint maker’s name for the color. In situations like this, go by the paint code, then compare the paint can cap or paint pen patch to your car. There is very little likelihood of the new paint being an exact match to your car, but it should be close enough that a little feathering should make it blend in nicely. Different car makers will hide the paint and trim codes in odd, inexplicable places. Most cars have a tag inside the driver’s door either on the frame or on the door itself. With door tags, the paint code is usually near a bottom corner of the tag. My old 98 Jetta has the tag in the trunk, under the carpet, in the spare tire well, under the spare tire. Apparently Volkswagen was embarrassed that the best they could do with that car was LA9B, “Cool White,” which is actually a warm white, and they thought that if they hid the tag well enough I would never know, because you certainly can’t tell by looking at it. Many GM cars have it in the glove compartment on the inside of the door. Sometimes, if your car’s color is sufficiently distinctive, you can go to an auto parts store and check the book. The touch up paint book usually has colored references under a specific brand name and model year and you can sometimes find your color just by comparison. My 2003 Jetta is clearly “Indigo Blue Pearl,” which is the uncontested ugliest shade of blue that Volkswagen has managed to come up with: extra-dark Navy, with just enough of a hint of purple to make it look like something went wrong when they mixed the paint. Frustratingly, the paint reference books don’t go back many model years. Apparently, they think that the older a car is, the less likely it is to need a paint job. Most Asian cars will have the paint code in the door jamb, though Mazda, Subaru, and Hyundai like to occasionally hide it under the hood, just to keep you on your toes. Recent Chrysler products (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram) will have the code on the door jamb. Some older ones (add Plymouth to the list) may have it under the hood, all the way up on the firewall; that’s the back of the engine compartment, near the windshield. Every Ford I have encountered so far (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury) has had the tag on the door jamb. Some Fords also have an interior and exterior code. My 1996 Saab has it on the door jamb: ,248 ,—, ,Clear, concise, and to the point, “Black.” With Volvo, start in the door jamb; but it may be randomly placed somewhere under the hood, usually near the radiator, but that’s not a promise. The same can be said for most German cars as well, except for Volkswagen. I hope this proves helpful to you.

Can you write 100 things about yourself?

I should be working but I’m unable to engage in long activities, so I might as well try this to get my brain moving! I love birds. They are one thing that never fails to make me smile. Sparrows, geese, exotic parrots, birds of prey, love them all! I like collecting bird stuff. I am a middle child. I like Jeeps I currently live in Michigan. Ah the potholes When I was a kid, people liked my head for some reason. They called it “watermelon” head. My first car was a Jeep. Later I tried a Ford car, which got rear ended and was totalled. I went back to Jeep after. I have budgies. They became an integral part of my life and I need their noises My oldest budgie whom I spent the beginning of my professional life with, recently died this year in May. I still miss him. I have anxieties with phone calls. It’s gotten better over time, but I still prefer any other forms of communication than phone calls. I am very phobic of touching or walking on grass or soft planty grounds. I studied electrical and computer engineering in college My main hobby is drawing, along with crafts. I moved to USA when I was 9. I’ve had a habit of twisting my hair on the backside of my head since I came to USA. I have to constantly untwist them because they get matted badly. I love carbonated beverages My favorite apple is Fuji. Everything else is too tarty I love sour, zesty food, except fruits. I do not like tarty stuff. I like soupy, wet rice dishes I do not like cilantro I go to the mall almost every weekend to walk around I recently realized I don’t really like rosemary on the food. I enjoy genre of psychological horror and crime. I tried weed three times, but all those times I was too self conscious to fully enjoy it. So I don’t think I really experienced being high. I used to be obsessed with MMORPG Maplestory. I think I still am to some extent, but the gameplay is not the same anymore. So it’s mostly memories I guess. In middle school I forged my parents’ signature a few times to hide my low grades (anything less than < B+) because I was afraid to be punished I believe in God, but not through any particular religion. I like to knit. Crochet is also fun I like cakes. I want cakes all the time. My favorite holiday Starbucks beverage is Chestnut Praline Latte My sister and I talk to each other with bunch of bird related jokes. We both love birds. The only successful nap I ever had was during physics class in Freshman college. I dozed for 20 minutes and after I was instantly rejuvenated and no longer drowsy. I once did so badly on a quiz in college that I didn’t even write my name on the paper out of shame. I like stale Peeps I went skydiving once. Beautiful experience, but I got scared because I struggled to breath. The shock of dropping made me forget how to breath??? I am flat footed I have never been stung by a bee, and I hope I never do I can never figure out how to float or swim in place in the pool. Some people have long chats while doing this??? My first kiss was mortifying My blood type is O positive My favorite anime character is Kakashi from Naruto. It’s been a long while since I read it though. I tried to donate blood 3 times and got rejected. Once because of a recent international travel, and twice because my pulse was too high from nervousness. I’m twisting my hair as we speak and now I need to undo my hair and untwist them. I like odd numbers, especially primes. Even numbers feel like they will break in half any time. I have mild allergies to shellfish but it’s barely noticeable. I sneeze through my nose. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. It’s been 11 years though so I don’t know how to fight for jack s**t. When I’m nervous I make incomplete sentences. One time I was saying bye to new people I met, I wanted to say “nice to meet you” but my mouth stopped after “nice”. I sometimes switch the first letters of two words. I ordered a tuna sub and said “suna tub”. My first driver’s license was issued on the supposed end of the world date, December 21st, 2012. I am right handed I keep a diary of my dreams, as much as I can remember. My ethnicity is South Korean. I was born in USA but grew up in South Korea. I grind my teeth during sleep. I am not a huge fan of animal pattern/skin clothing and fabric; snake skin, crocodile skin, zebra, etc. I try my best to not kill bugs. Not necessarily because I feel bad for them, but because I can’t handle the look of them crushed. Gross! If a spider makes a home in my home and stays there, I like to let them stay and give them names. My favorite cheese is extremely aged sharp cheddar. I do not like blue cheese. Not a huge fan of Brie or Swiss either. My name in traditional Chinese characters mean bright and clever. My second toe is longest. None of my direct family members have this. I like to fantasize about having superpowers of telekinesis or transportation, and to some extent I believe they are achievable. Somehow. My favorite Indian dessert is Kheer (rice pudding). My favorite meat in Korean BBQ is brisket (thin slices). Smell of cigarettes gives me headache, but it’s also nostalgic at the same time. I like dry air. So Michigan is good. I believe that all items that I use have some form of a spirit. So I feel sad when I leave the clothing relentlessly tossed on the ground or when I put them in a garbage can. I always wish they will get re-used or re-purposed for a new life. I don’t like any decors or paintings in the house that has or resembles a human and its body parts, especially the face. It’s creepy. I don’t like color white on a vehicle. I am a Coke person. I think I have a discipline problem. The anticipation of doing an activity that I set for myself (or set by somebody else) ruins my whole day. The only time I feel normal and have higher chance of doing it is if I didn’t feel that I “had” to do it. I have a chip on my front tooth. When I was a kid I was playing with my brother by running against each other with a pillow shield. I missed and fell on my face while I was laughing. I hated absolutely everybody in my highschool during freshman year and got suspended for 10 days for writing emails about mass shooting and violently killing the teachers. They were just angry vents and only sent to a friend, but she reported it. I started making art in Photoshop and Flash animations when I was a freshman in highschool. I was an active member in Deviantart for years, went on a hiatus between 2014 and 2017, returned for a bit, then stopped cold in 2018. Parking is usually the deciding factor in whether or not I want to go to that location (unless someone else drives). Parking is stressful!! I am trypophobic. Not sure if it’s to an extent of a ‘phobia’ but I do not like looking at hole-y surfaces. Someday I want my own small farm of poultry; ducks, chickens, geese. Not really for eating. Mostly for watching and interacting. I love bird butts, especially hens. Budgies have great butts also. I prefer organic and/or local produces and eco-friendly products. Skunk smell doesn’t really bother me because to me it’s very similar to heated sesame oil. I once smelled and thought my mom was stir frying, only to see that nobody was cooking anything in the kitchen. I’ve been to Hawaii, but have absolutely no memory of it (I was one year old). My fiance is Indian. I don’t get the attraction of overly lumpy/perky augmented breasts. It looks unnaturally perky and not smooth at all, like it’s stiff. Don’t do it or get a better doctor. In my last year of college, I decided I didn’t feel like brushing teeth so I didn’t for a long period of time. Later when I came back to my senses and decided to regularly brush again, it was too late. When I went to a dentist, I had to fill 10 cavities. Since then my teeth’s been good. I had 3 wisdom teeth, two were removed as a preventative measure. The 3rd one is still there. I used to do Hookah like every other day, thinking it was better than cigarettes. Turns out to be not,…no wonder I always felt nauseous after. I like getting massage on hair, hands and feet. I am nearing 30 years old and I feel okay about it. I think I like myself at this age more than how I was before 25. My favorite sushi/sashimi is salmon. Next is yellowtail. My bestest friend is a Syrian Muslim and she is the best. I have hard time clicking with another South Korean. This frustrates my parents. I have a bamboo plant named Troy. There is another one that was named Mariner. Mariner suddenly yellowed and died, but I tried to salvage a stalk that was a bit away from the main stalk. I put it in water and it grew roots. So now I have Troy and mini Mariner. When I was a kid I accidentally drank urine, thinking it was coke. Someone used the cup to urinate out of emergency and put it next to other drinkable cups, with the lid and straw and all. I don’t want to remember the taste but I think I still remember. I collect keychains for every place I visit. If keychain is not available, I take other small souveniers that at least shows the name of the location. My favorite vacation spots are beaches. Pier, boardwalk, nautical team, sand, smooth stones, etc. One of my favorite instruments is the Tabla. I think it makes amazing noises. My favorite Pokemon was Charmander when I was a child. I guess I still like Charmander. I got myself a build-a-bear Charmander doll some time back. My lucky color is supposedly yellow and magenta. I don’t like room temperature beverages. It’s either gotta be ice cold or scolding hot. Hurray I made it.

Why are American cars exceedingly bad in retaining value while they have great engineering companies and schools?

The answer is simpler than you may think, but it requires context. In the 1920s, Henry Ford’s factories began rolling off the Model-T, a highly reliable, touch and endurable vehicle that was priced low enough that almost anyone with a steady income could afford one. They came in one color: black. They were simple and utilitarian, lacked amenities, and with the only major enhancement being the removal of the back seat and installation of a cargo box, turning it into a pickup, they became the staple vehicle for the US for a decade. In the thirties, other manufacturers joined the game and upped the ante, producing cheap and affordable vehicles; at the same time, they recognized the demand for more comfortable and sportier cars and a wider variety of types, from sedans and touring cars to coupes and roadsters, as well as larger and more useful trucks of all sorts, as well as status-symbol vehicles. Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, all arms of General Motors, Mercury, a Ford subsidiary, as well as Studebaker, Hudson, Packard, and many others entered the market with brightly colored vehicles of all kinds of designs, boasting all kinds of extras from radios to actual flower vases mounted on the door posts. Electric starters replaced cranks, engines became more reliable, wheels and tires improved, and upholstery and other comforting amenities, such as clocks and enclosed headlamps followed. Not to be out done, Ford issued the Model-A, and then newer and larger and fancier models as well. But certain brands topped the mark. Cadillac is the most enduring, and the very name of the vehicle has become synonymous with high quality; Cadillac, in a word, was “The Cadillac of the industry.” This upwardly mobile and constantly improving design trend was halted in the 1940s, when World War II all but shuttered the automotive production industry in favor of the production of war machines—tanks and planes and jeeps and armored vehicles and many other products. What cars that were still made were plain and utilitarian, largely useful to the military or essential civilian services, such as police and fire stations. The increasingly sleek and art-deco designs of the thirties were interrupted in their forward march for those years. Orders for 1946 and 1947 models, though, went through the roof, as GIs were mustered out, their pockets full of back pay and personal ambitions on the rise. Sometimes the waiting period for a new model might be as much as six months. Following WWII, the American economy enjoyed a major period of prosperity that elevated the working class to the middle class and made affording a new car quite possible for millions and millions of Americans who, before the war, could only have dreamed of such. The major manufactures tuned into that quickly, and they began a process of releasing new models with entirely new designs, at least in body style, and with additional attractive options each year in a competitive frenzy to dominate the market. There was a make for every pocketbook and purpose, it seemed, and what had been called “agencies” before the war became “dealerships” the used car market also flourished with hundreds of thousands of used car dealers popping up everywhere. It also was a boon for the banking and finance industries, as they carried the notes for these vehicles. Oil companies expanded the old gas pump style garages and stores into full-service filling stations, some with restaurants attached, and tourism became a thing as Americans took to the road, so the motel, hotel, and restaurant industry boomed as well. Highway construction expanded, and by the end of the 1950s the national network of interstate freeways was well underway and growing. American auto engineering was at its peak. Each year saw vehicles with higher style, greater comfort offerings, more luxurious upholstery and options such as air conditioning and automatic transmissions, electric windows ands seats, more powerful engines and sturdier transmissions. All of this made available for those who could afford it, but depending on purchasing ability, there still was a variety of choices in every price range. Improvements in mechanics and rubber for tires, brakes, power steering, more comfortable upholstery, and other devices, much of which was the result of wartime innovation and manufacture, appeared. Better paint, better glass that now could bend, adding to sleekness of design, better electronics all made vehicles safer, easier to operate, and, of course, more expensive to buy. In the meantime, the American auto manufacturing industry boomed. Competition among manufacturers was fierce, and vehicle advertising became a growing industry of its own. It was a given that American cars were the best in the world; everyone knew it. They might not win European races such as Le Mans, but they were competitive, and American cars quickly became status symbols both at home and abroad. German, French, Italian, and British manufacturers struggled to keep up, but they lacked the industrial capacity in the immediate postwar years to compete. There was no appreciable interest in Asian manufacturing, such as it was. Not yet. Smaller American auto companies, eventually, folded, one by one, because they didn’t have the factory infrastructure and the capital to retool entirely on an annual basis to produce new models every twelve months. Still, all was not positive. Built into the scheme was something we all are familiar with: planned obsolescence. The realistic notion was that a car should only last, without significant repairs, for about three years, although with proper maintenance, some could be stretched to five or beyond, although major overhauls and repairs might be required to keep it running. Most owners could do some of this on their own—creating another boon in the tool industry for home auto enthusiasts. Even soo the average vehicle owner would start thinking about a new car or at least a replacement used car about the time his loan for the old one was paid off, roughly thirty-six months, on average, leading many into debt. To enhance the appeal of newer models, the auto companies picked up on the public’s interest in modern technology, designing cars with absolutely useless features that made them look, at least somewhat, like jets, the new aircraft that was all the rage. Tail fins, sleek swept-back profiles, additional but totally visceral body features that were designed to remind folks of modern aircraft, and ultimately spacecraft, were deliberately created to appeal to the popular interest. But the key was a new model each year, and few motorists were insensitive to the emergence of “next year’s models” in the early autumn, especially as the older one wore out, broke down with greater frequency, required more expensive repairs. Often the new designs were kept under wraps until the public reveal to heighten suspense and stimulate further interest. The key word, of course, was “power,” not “economy,” with “comfort” being the second important consideration. Anticipation of the new models dominated a lot of American interest every fall. There were other considerations on the list of new innovations each year, but durability wasn’t one of them. It doesn’t take a degree in finance to figure out that if auto makers build durable, reliable, and trouble-free vehicles, that pretty soon, everyone would be content with the old family jitney, and no one would be looking to buy a new one. This philosophy extended throughout American manufacturing and included household appliances, implements, power tools, radios and televisions, and, of course, tires and other products that would require replacement, rather than repair, sooner rather than later. The capability of building or making products that would last longer, cost less, and provide more efficiency was counter-productive to a capitalist economy that was rapidly moving toward the corporate monopoly structure we have today. It’s not an accident, for example, that, today, any given car in any given class of cars, similarly equipped, costs about the same, no matter who makes it. There are exceptions, of course, but these are usually imported products; among imports, though, within a given class of vehicle, prices are almost always identical, depending on equipment. When Saturn emerged on the market with what was touted to be an affordable and durable vehicle some years back, it could have been a game-changer. But it wasn’t. Saturn never could design a vehicle attractive and exciting enough to capture the romantic imagination of the American motorist, and they also found that keeping cost down meant that sales had to be steady and upward trending. The American consumer is the biggest sucker in the world. People will buy anything that is advertised as being “new and improved,” even when it’s not. Having the latest, glitziest, most advanced, and most expensive that one can afford of anything is the ultimate American status symbol. Today, the emphasis is supposedly on “economy” and “environmentally friendly.” But it’s not, really. That’s all just eyewash, a smoke screen to disguise the darker and more sinister forces that work in the background of the American economy. Financial success and stability depends on a constant upward trend in profit. Maintaining a solid status quo year after year is a sure-fire way for any CEO to be dismissed. In the meantime, though, Japanese, then other nations’ like Korea, started manufacturing automobiles of high quality. The labor practices and management organization of their factories and industries were different from the US’s, which was dominated by unionized labor. The demands of American workers were significantly effective in the consistent raising of prices of new cars. To make up for the shortfall in profits that couldn’t be fully realized through the raising of retail prices, the major manufacturers understood that sales of new product were essential, so they upped their competitive game; at the same time, they began cutting costs by eliminating their emphasis on overall vehicular quality. They sold more style than substance, in a manner of speaking. What remained of the smaller companies—Nash, American Motors, Studebaker, Hudson, Packard all faded away, driven into history by labor demands, rising costs of materials, sinking sales figures, and a general demand for higher quality, more luxury, better amenities, and more attractive designs from year to year. In the meantime, European and British manufacturing increased, with the appearance of Volkswagen, Jaguar, Triumph, MG, BMW, Fiat, Mercedes Benz, and Renault making bids for a chunk of the American market. All of these, of course, were constructed with the same “planned obsolesce” that governed American manufacturing, and with higher-than-usual maintenance costs, to boot. And because they were “imports,” they cost more to purchase. The Japanese had entered the market with Toyota, as well; Datsun came about the same time and then Honda. The Asian imports were notoriously cheaper, plainer, smaller, less comfortable, and less reliable (some said less safe) because their parts were hard to get and most of them were constructed with metric-sized mechanics. American mechanics, for the most part, did not even own metric wrenches. Still, Japanese models and some European models, most especially VW, still had a steady influence on the market, and very quietly, their engineering improved, their quality rose; American vehicles tried to match the foreign competition by reducing their retail prices by cutting frills and reducing overall quality; Asians and Europeans were moving in a solidly opposite direction and improving in these areas while keeping their prices competitive, if slightly higher, than their American counterparts. Foreign manufacturers began to put greater and greater emphasis on engineering. They began accentuating safety features, fuel economy, and while their overall designs were humdrum for a long while, truly the same year after year, and their amenities remained basic, they began eating into the American market where luxury and style even in a mid-level model was the emphasis. Quality engineering in US models was suffering badly by the late 1970s and into the 1980s. Imports were growing in the reputation for quality. When the Japanese introduced the Lexus and Infinity lines and made them truly competitive with Mercedes and Cadillac, they had arrived. The pickup and SUV markets were next for them. And their reputation was that they were more durable, better made, easier to work on, and cheaper and more economical to drive. Even in areas where this wasn’t true—the light truck line, for example—their superior warranties seemed to compensate for it. Today, much assembly of imported brands takes place in the US. Many imports from Europe and Japan are also assembled in Mexico and other countries. Most all American vehicles depend on parts and large assembly elements made abroad; Chinese steel goes into American vehicles. American engineering has rebounded and improved, particularly in the SUV lines and pickups and luxury models, but energy efficiency and required safety devices keep retail prices up. Today, a mid-range, plain sedan with minimum options and few comfort amenities costs as much as did a three-bedroom house forty years ago, and they seem to go up in price each year, although the difference between one model-year and another in terms of appearance is now mimimal; moreover, the distinction between brands of vehicles is also faded into a single blurb. A common observation is “Every car in the lot looks like a Honda” is not much of an exaggeration. Outward appearances are now dictated by required aerodynamics, which effects fuel economy, that in turn, effects the environment. On the whole, it’s safe to say that today, American engineering is not much different in quality from that used by makers of imports. In many cases, the engineers are the same people or people who move from one company to another. The quality control on all new vehicles is about the same across the board, and because of the high price of new cars, the necessity for extended warranties, and the higher quality of technology applied to a vehicle, their durability is probably longer than it’s ever been. Most people wait around seven to nine years before trading up to a new model, today; some push their cars well past 150,000 miles, keeping them closely maintained. There’s more to go wrong with a vehicle today, because there is more in the way of electronic dependency and technology. But the mechanics of a traditional internal combustible gasoline engine are pretty much unchanged from the days of the Model T. We still use ignition spark and pistons and cylinders and driveshafts and differential gears to make the wheels go round. We still burn gas and lubricate with oil. We still need rubber, even if its synthetic and steel-belted, for tires. We still want comfortable seats, durability, and a bit of style in our machines. And there is nothing like that “new car smell.” Even all that said, there is probably no worse decision in the world than buying a new car. The moment a new buyer gets behind the wheel and drives it off the lot, a vehicle loses 25% or more of its value, and that cannot be recovered. Nothing we buy that costs so much depreciates in value so rapidly. That’s because the final price we, as consumers pay for new car, includes so many extraneous charges, fees, taxes, saleman’s commissions, dealership overhead, and other costs, that the amount that the actual vehicle costs and is worth is far below our final negotiated sum. It’s the most foolish purchase anyone ever makes; but we all seem eager to do it, and at least as often as we can afford to do so. So there is a lot to be said for having a new car. Probably few experiences are so satisfying, or, probably, demonstrative of worse judgement. If you have shopped recently, you’ve probably had the experience of the salesperson asking you “what color you want,” as the first question, even before learning what model or even type of vehicle you’re looking for. As the song says, “It’s all about the bass; no treble.”

What are people's dream cars?

For me - the car has to come from the golden age of automobile design. By “golden” I mean before environment and other economy constraints took their toll on car design, when each car was designed not to sell in volumes but for the sake of it being whole and complete. There are several vehicles that represent this, and the mother of them all is the ,1956 Packard,. This majestic look defines beauty. Everything about this car is perfect. Those who know the sad story of this car will be aware that it was the short-sighted management that killed a legendary marque, as a result by 1956 many customers passed these amazing cars, which makes it all the more cherishing to own one as a sign of dedication to the ,best ,of North American engineering. And by best I mean that this car was decades ahead of its time, the lock-up clutch in the transmission, torsion level suspension etc… Now, as oddly as it may sound, my benchmark is not the regal Packard Patrician or the Caribbean, but the much more sleek ,Clipper,, and the reason is this: Just look at how organically the contour follows the roof into the boot and contrasting with it are the two tailfins, it defines beauty of car design! Yes I am a huge fan of tailfins! Or? How about the ,1957 Lincoln Primiere Landau. See the glass funnels behind the rear screen? Those are air conditioning units. May be a little variation, but its predecessor, the 1956 to me is even more appealing. Or… how about this absolutely gorgeous ,1959 Mercury Monterey But with all that beauty there must be something that stands out and above? Absolutely right. Russian engineers in the mid 1950s decided that it was their turn to have a go at creating a legend - and they succeeded. The ,GAZ-13 ,Chaika, ,(seagull) This was the car that ordinary Russians could not owe. It was never sold to public, never used for taxi service (though one could hire it for weddings). Compared to your average Lada it had everything: a growling V8 engine, automatic transmission, power steering, power windows, air conditioning. Today it is ,the ,most sought after collectors car in Russia, and prices for a perfectly restored version can be well over 300 thousand USD, whilst a derelict rusty remain can easily fetch 50–100 thousand. That is right, despite an impressive production run (1959 to 1981) only 3189 examples were hand assembled. And as a little fyi, cylinder blocks were machined in same plant that made nuclear reactor centrifuges. Anyhow, the best a Russian could hope for was the GAZ-21 Volga, that too was a luxury car in its own right. Only 10% of those produced (which in absolute numbers was not much, 70 thousand a year) destined for private ownership whilst the rest were taken up by “people’s economy” (taxis, police, estates were used for cargo and ambulances, then all of the mid-range officials requiring a chauffeured car), plus export. Still displaying a restored bespoke car, like the one below is within the qualification of an average workshop or enthusiast,. Whilst the Volga is a great car and a head-turner these days, it is by no means unique. However it did have a special KGB version that featured Chaika’s engine and powertrain, the ,Chaser,. ,Now Mercedes-Benz might be given credit for creating the first Q-car, by taking the engine of the large 600 limousine and installing it into its flagship sedan. The 300SEL 6.3 is a legend in its own right… Except it came five years after the ,Chaser…, Still speaking of Mercedes, their cars were excellent in their own right, during the 70s and 80s. There are many models that I admire (the fintails, the /8, the 190 evolution, the 500E wolf, the 6.0 Hammer, the G-wagen, even the W140 sedans, which during 1990s Russia replaced the Chaikas as the cars for the elite (and it had to be the flagship V12 600 model, anything below did not count). But among all, I would go for this ,560 SEC,, complete with the widebody kit by AMG, when it was still an independent tuner. To me it spells individuality and character, in a line-up that as well-built and designed as they could, are at the same time as mundane as a black suit. Even if its tailored it is still a black suit! Same with Mercedes-Benz and ,everything ,modern. The 560SEC (chassis code C126) is a notable exception, mechanically the 126 family was the last car you could repair in your garage and pre-set defects that sprout when the warranty period expires were yet to be implemented by that marque. Which brings me to the logical though that all of the cars I mentioned above are gorgeous to look at, amazing to work with, but to own one is a huge responsibility and … endless paranoia, which is why most of the time, these pristine survivors are kept in a heated garage and are lucky to be let out on a rare summer weekend day, with their owners always panicking about the weather, pebbles on the road and even curious bystanders touching the paintwork… Luckily the US car industry produced another legendary type of car to be able to defy just that, and the 560SEC above is still a ,boring ,Mercedes when it comes in comparison of the true perfection of automotive engineering. ,The American Muscle Car! Now, contrary to what you expect, I will not list the Mustang, Charger and Camaro… simply because the public has given them undue celebrity status that they too became a little generic, whilst their modern representatives which carry that name try to (unsuccessfully) mimic their legendary predecessors. First and foremost, the ,1970 454 Chevelle SS next is the ,1969 428 Torino Cobra jet. and finally the ,1969 Plymouth 440+6 Road runner. Now you might ask why these particular ones, as there were plenty of other choices: GTO, GTX, ‘Cuda, Cougar, 442, AMX etc. True, but for me the amazing part of muscle cars is their original intent, to be a ,cheap, high performance version of the parent model. Which is why of all the three choices, I give preference to the latter. Absolutely spartan trim, very little chrome, a clean silhouette. It’s as if someone took a chisel and trimmed off everything leaving the bare minimum. Which why they are so perfect! Because under that bonnet is raw, unrestrained by economy, ecology, environment and other nonsense savage V8! Hell with your ECUs, sensors and injectors all hail the carburettors! To hell with all those hydra-dyno-jerking-matics, four on the floor manual. Even disk brakes were optional. Which is why these cars are great to drive… as long as your going in a straight line. When it comes to handling, all of the muscles are … appalling to say the least. Not to mention the rate at which it will drain its petrol tank. So once again, great to owe and take for a quick weekend spin, but impractical as ever. Moreover, here in Russia owning one right now is even less realistic, simply because of all the custom fees one will have to pay, which means that those collectors that do import them will rarely let them growl on the roads, scaring the shit out of other drivers and pedestrians. In Russia, we never had anything close to a muscle car. The Soviet car industry was very much focused on meeting targets and private car ownership was an issue in its own right. The nearest we got in keeping pace was the second generation Chaika, produced from 1976 to 1989. And by that I mean a full-size body with a frame chassis, and a twin 4 brl carb v8 engine. The limousine wheelbase and roof line, automatic transmission and luxury trim disqualify it from that field. Not to mention, that like its predecessor, the average citizen could only hope to see one up close in central Moscow. Luckily we had an alternative, like the Chaika replacing its fintailed predecessor, in 1970 the 2nd generation Volga was rolled out. In the society where everyone was equal this car separated those more equal than others. More than a third of these cars were used by taxicabs, there were ambulances and police models that were exported, and of course models to chauffeur your average Soviet bureaucrat. Like the predecessor, a beefed-up Chaser version was also available for the KGB. These cars might sound like a wonder, but if you thought of driving them - think again. To counteract the huge torque by limo’s V8, a steel plate was carried in the boot. Volga is a unibody, and despite its quite impressive size, is actually lighter than a common Ford Focus. Add to that front drum brakes, power steering with no feedback (came with the V8), the lack of a rear roll bar, a fully vertical kingpin (no caster angle!)… it’s no wonder why KGB driver’s would have been able to trump Formula 1 pilots. In 1981 a big facelift of the car was released, the ,GAZ-3102., In its stock it corrected many of the design failure’s - bodywork with crumple zones, orthopaedic seats, an uprated engine with pre-charge ignition (gave it a pedigree performance and complacency with Euro 1 exhaust a decade before it was released), a re-worked front suspension complete with caster angle and disk brakes licensed from Girling (the same company that supplied brake parts to Jaguar). Not bad? Except the government thought that this model was too classy to work as a taxi and the factory had to produce two cars in parallel. Then in 1985 the factory decided, to modernise the seemingly archaic GAZ-24 by using most of the elements of the exclusive GAZ-3102 Volga. Enter the ,GAZ-24–10,. After 1992 when the planned GAZ-3105 never reached the production line, and the post-Soviet crises demanded a simple and robust commercial vehicle… So for the next 17 years the story of the Volga was one continuous modernisation of an ancient structure. Look up GAZ-31029 (James fans will recognise that one from Goldeneye), GAZ-3110 and GAZ-31105… Now you might ask, wtf? Why am I being showed some random Russian car that began as an elegant rival to North American compatriots and downgraded into an eyesore? Well, my dear readers two reasons. First of all you can have a dream car if have $$$ or your grandfather had $$$ and you were lucky enough to inherit it. However, it is by belief that a car is not there for the looks to be displayed on a stand. It is there to be driven. I live in Russia. I do not have the $$$ to buy and import a Packard, a Chevelle or 560SEC. I do not have the money to buy a Chaika or a Chaser. Nor do I have the patience and skill to source the original parts and restore such cars (though I deeply respect those who are able to do so). I can however easily buy a GAZ-24 Volga, and even more easier - a GAZ-24–10. Which brings me to the conclusion. I adore muscle cars, I adore classic cars and I deeply respect that our engineers in the late 1960s designed and gave us something that even if it never lives up to those definitions, does not prevent us from making it fit. That is not just a philosophy. In skilled hands the Volga today is not just a play-toy. If you want, you can stick a V8 in there. (Chaika’s 5.5 litre is rare to source, but a 4.2 that was featured on the GAZ-66 trucks is in abundance) If you want, you can make it a low-rider If you want - you can rid the roof or loose the rear doors You can even make an SUV out of it As for me. I like my car the way it is! In 2011 I was offered it for dead cheap (20 thousand Rubles - 700 USD at the rate) and it only had 26 thousand KM on the clock. I got my licence the previous year and thought of it very pragmatic - ideal for a first car… Then I saw it, drove it and we became one ever since. So far, of the major works: 1. Replacement of stock 4 speed with a 5 speed gearbox. 2. Replacement of stock front drum brakes with 3102 disc brakes (the ones with Jaguar’s calipers) 3. Replacement of stock exhaust system with that from a latter Volga. 4. Full replacement of all suspension bushings, steering joints, shock absorbers. 5. Replacement of the spartan plastic dashboard with a vinyl trimmed and the seats with velvet upholstery (genuine Soviet exclusivity for the 3102s) 6. And a complete re-paint of the car. Regarding minor works, I lost count of how many times I serviced the ignition, carburettor, brakes etc. One thing I can tell you, the car is so damn simple, that it has come to the point of me knowing every symptom by feel and sound. In the pipeline is engine work (An attempt at putting a pre-charged ignition head and morphing it with a 100mm cylinder block of an UAZ jeep - stock was 92mm bore), rear axle (with the added pedigree of the engine - a 3.58 axle ratio is a must in place of the stock 3.9) and a few other bits. Why am I going into such detail about my car? Well the question was about a ,dream car, right? The way I see it is that it is fine to dream about a car that you will never owe and at best see it at some museum. However, unlike you, I get to ,live that dream! ,I enjoy getting my hands dirty, I enjoy upgrading and improving it. I enjoy that OHV purr. I enjoy the turning heads in the traffic, the tourists taking selfies with it, random people coming up and praising me for my dedication to this car. But most of all, I enjoy driving it! During the summer it is my daily driver! Parts are dead cheap. Performance wise it is very pleasurable (the amount of adrenaline you will get out of taking it past 130 km/h will be greater than that in an M3 BMW going at 230 km/h - trust me on that one! ) As for it being only 4 cylinder, remember what I said about it being a unibody and lighter than a Ford Focus? Well at 2.5 litres that OHV engine’s torque is not turning the wheels - no, it’s rotating the whole planet beneath it! So there you have it. The best dream car is the one you can make yourself, for yourself and you are proud of it! Oh… just to count the costs, over the past six years, disregarding fuel and insurance, I conservatively estimate that I invested 4000 USD into my car. So have fun pouring in a lifetime saving into a vehicle that you will not drive, when you can buy hundreds of these in pretty mint condition.

What do I do if I rear end someone and they drive away?

Well I’ve had a few “rear end” situations over the years. Most of them were someone else running into me, fortunately no one was hurt in any. So lets see, how about two, one where some one hit me and one where I hit some one else. 15 years ago I owned one of those boxy looking Jeep Cherokees that was pretty modified for 4 wheeling. This was before the extreme 4 x 4’s you see now. It was lifted up, had a Ford 9 inch rear end, 4.3 liter Vortex motor, and 700R4 tranny. I believe it had 33″ BFG’s on it. So I’m sitting at a side street, just leaving a mall, getting read to merge into traffic when I hear and feel and significant bang, and the jeep lunges forward a foot or so. I immediately look into the rear view and see a car with no apparent driver. I scan the side mirrors and rear view again and don’t see anyone that had bailed out of the car. I put the car into park, proceed to approach the car and notice a younger woman (20’s) leaning over trying to get something out of the passenger side floor board. Now mind you at this point a couple of minutes have gone by. I stand there for a few moments, then finally knock on the driver window. She sits up, slowly rolls the window down and says “Yes, can I help you?”. I’m stammering a little at that point and reply “Don’t you realize you just rear ended me?”. Her response was “Oh, I did? Is there any damage?”. I said “Not that I can see on my Jeep, but you car is leaking radiator fluid.” She responded “Oh that’s okay it will be fine, sorry for the trouble”. As I head back to my Jeep I take a closer look at the damage, and it had a class 4 hitch with a step down receiver that when through her grill and into the radiator. Well, she couldn’t be bothered with getting out, so I got back into my Jeep and drove away. Many moons ago (1982 - 83) I owned a 1962 Convertible VW Beetle. It looked a pretty much exactly like this. I was in a residential neighborhood and was pulling up to a stop sign, and there was another car in front of me. As I rolled to a stop, the car pulled out, and I briefly let off the brake to roll forward. At that point I was going 3 -4 MPH. The car suddenly hit the brakes and the little bar at the top of the bumper on my Beetle hit his rear bumper. You could barely feel the impact. I pulled the e-brake, exited the vehicle and only notice one tiny little paint mark on that little round bar. I could not even see the mark on his bumper. The guys was a little perturbed when I said I don’t see any damage. So being that I was a home mechanic and had wrenched on dozens of cars, I slid underneath his car to inspect it for damage. Nope, nothing! Take a better look at the picture of the beetle, note the round bar across the top of the bumper? How much impact could that sustain without being bent or so much as a single paint scuff. He asked for my insurance, and I told him there was no damage and if he wanted to get his bumper touched up I would pay out of pocket. About 4 or 5 days later I get a phone call and he tells me that there is $800 - $1000 damage and I could just write out a check and he would get it fixed. He explained the bumper frame (remember those days, plastic covers over bumpers?) was bent and might have to have the frame straightened. Yep, some how my well design German Engineered car sustained no damage and his POS sustained some semi-major damage……… I can tell you that I not so politely told him to F—- off and don’t call back. He never did, and I never lost any sleep.

Why is it suggested that you buy a term plan for health insurance?

Try this site where you can compare quotes: //INSURANCECOMPAREQUOTES.US/index.html?src=compare// RELATED Car insurance and international driver’s license? Hi, I’d like to know if it’s possible to get car insurance and buy a car in the USA if you don’t have an American driver’s license… I only have a French driver’s license and an international driver’s license. Could you please also tell me how much does car insurance approximately cost for 1 year? Thank you very much in advance.” How much damage will the other drivers insurance have to pay? My son was involved in a collision this morning. The driver of the other vehicle pulled out right in front of him and he rear-ended them. The driver of the other vehicle was cited for failure to yield and the state trooper that handled the accident said that the collision was unavoidable on my sons part. The question concerning me is that my son did not pay anything for the car he was driving because it was given to him by my daughter. The car has a salvage title because it had apparently been totalled before but had been restored. The car probably would not be worth very much even had it never been in an accident because it is a 1986 year model Pontiac 6000. Now he is without transportation unless I provide it. Will they only be required to pay a salvage price for damages or what? Registering a car and car insurance? So I just got my license last wednesday and idk which step comes first. Do I register the car first or do I buy insurance first? Cheap car insurance in ohio for a 17 male not on parents insurance? what would be the average amount for car insurance for a 17 male still in high school not on his parents car insurance. he really needs this car to get to and from college and he is mostly on his own im trying to help as much as i can so what would be a average amount for him knowing this Information. please help me How much would car insurance range for a 16 year old? I am 16 years old, going to be driving a 1992 Ford F-150, I don’t have great grades, I just wanted to get an idea of what I looking at for insurance.” How much will Insurance Be ????;? Ok I’m 22 and I’m looking for a car, It’s between a: 2009 BMW X5 2009 BMW 328i 2009 Mercedes C250 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2008 Audi A4 2008 Toyota Tundra 2007 …show more” Car insurance? Geico? encompass? I just recently signed up for encompass insurance company. Does anyone know anything about them? good / bad? How is Geico? Do you recommend any insurance good car insurance companies? i’m from NJ. Do you have health insurance? if so, how much is it per month? How old are you? What kind of deducatable do you have? feel free to answer also if you do not have insurance? also, do you support obamacare?” Dispute Car insurance claim estimate - Tiny paint mark I lightly bumped the car in front of me and left a tiny red mark from my license plate. When I got out of the car I could rub the paint off with my finger, but I could tell the other driver was uncomfortable with me touching his car so I stopped. He said he wasnt going to file a claim but he did and the estimate for fixing his car was $641 Dollars!!!!!! Since this is over the $500 limit my insurance has for no penalty, if i do not pay this out of pocket my insurance will go up by $250 a year for 6 years. WHAT CAN I DO? I want to dispute this because there is no way it would cost that much to rub the red paint off. Thanks in advance!” Who has the best insurance quotes? Who has the best insurance quotes?

What was it like to grow up as a teenager in the 1950's?

Note: all currency is in 2016 dollars One of the things I most notice as I look back is we kids were never bored even though we didn't have a TV. We wandered the neighborhood, sometimes into a large wooded park a half mile from our house. We could spend hours in the backyard. We sewed our own Winnie the Pooh dolls, created our own Clue game from memory after playing it at a friend's, wrote poetry, put on magic shows, and more. Our imaginations knew no bounds. On Saturday we would listen to ,The Lone Ranger ,and, Dragnet, on the radio. These shows could be quite violent. I remember once Sgt. Friday of ,Dragnet, said he crossed the plain to get to a crime scene so I pictured him, oddly, walking across an airplane. The plane lay on the ground because he didn't say anything about climbing over it. Then later in the show he crossed it again but the rains had caused grass to sprout. I visualized an airplane covered in grass. I wondered about this for years before I suddenly got it. When we did get a television in 1957 it had no remote. That meant getting up to change channels, of which there were only two, and being forced to listen to the commercials. Black and white of course. The modern remote was decades away. ,Father Knows Best, I Love Lucy, Lassie, I've got a Secret,, and ,Your Hit Parade, were some of my favorites. Televisions weren't the reliable self-adjusting units of today. Tubes burned out and the picture might start "flipping" meaning it would move up and return from below over and over. We had adjustments on the back. It was an art to get a stable picture. Don't get me started on adjusting color televisions. You were likely to have to settle for green faces. And they were extremely heavy. Moving larger TVs might take two or more grown men and these sets were expensive costing much more than a modern television set. A 1954 15" color set cost nearly $9,000. At the beginning of the decade screen sizes were no more than 12" and often round but grew. Young people don't know how good they have it. Modern TVs are lightweight, troublefree, and have large screens with beautiful pictures that never require adjusting. Your Hit Parade, 1951. The show had a radio/television run of 24 years I Love Lucy, was the biggest show on television and is still fun to watch. The show blazed the trail for all future sitcoms. Ricki's innovations revolutionized how television programs were broadcast. Some of the techniques he pioneered are still in use. Children's programs were fairly unsophisticated with the most popular being ,The Mickey Mouse Club, and the original children's show, the ,Howdy Doody Show ,starring Howdy Doody, a puppet. The studio audience was called the Peanut Gallery. There was the beloved mute clown Clarabell who had a horn he honked and a seltzer bottle he wasn't afraid to use, and Buffalo Bob. Clarabell broke his silence on the last show saying "Goodbye Kids". Getting a picture of Clarabell's real face by pesky photographers was an ongoing threat but they all failed. The original Clarabell went on to host the ,Captain Kangaroo Show. The upbeat ,Mickey Mouse Club, was another favorite. On Friday we were sung a special goodby song: “M-I-C see you next week, K-E-Y why? because we love you, M-O-U-S-E”. The charismatic Annette Funicello went on to star in a series of ,Beach Party ,movies in the 60's and released several successful singles. A single was a single song on a 7″ 45 rpm record with a throwaway song on the reverse side. A sample of a Beach Party movie with grown up Annette Funicello. Teenagers frolic on the beach: Movie serials were popular. They were about ten minutes long and followed a hero from week to week and always ended in a "cliff hanger". I once saw one that left the hero actually dangling over a cliff hanging onto a branch. I was very worried so it was a relief when he saved himself the following week. They played at the Saturday matinees for several decades until television replaced them. All movies opened with a cartoon. The Disney characters along with Woody Woodpecker, Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and the ever popular Roadrunner were my favorites. ,Popeye the Sailor Man, was big but not one of my favorites. This was before CGI so each frame was hand painted then photographed. Bugs Bunny was an irrepressible smart aleck who was always one step ahead of whoever wanted to eat him. The Roadrunner and the hapless Wile E. Coyote were favorites that sometimes got a round of applause when they appeared on the screen. The irony is coyotes can outrun Roadrunners and Roadrunners can fly short distances. There was no way to watch a movie at home so theaters boomed. The modern multiplex theaters we have now had not been dreamed up so a movie came to one theater in town and stayed as long as it was popular. You might have a double feature meaning two movies for the price on one. Many movies were still in black and white at the beginning of the decade. One convenience that was killed by daylight savings is the drive-in theater. These were very popular and convenient. Once I could drive it was great fun loading up the car and going for a romp at the drive-in. A small speaker was hanging on a pole. You would hang it from your window and crank the volume to the desired level. Elvis Presley debuted amid controversy that may be difficult to understand today. He was universally disliked by adults because of his below the waist gyrations but the kids loved him, their crazed reactions to his shows was repeated when the Beatles hit our shores. He was dismissed as talentless but in actuality he was a very good singer with a very good voice. He was a giant who dominated the music scene for a long time. He changed popular music forever. As preschoolers we had a simple little record player that used steel needles. My mother would buy us the needles in little bags for us to change out as needed. There were no battery powered watches. All watches were powered by a mainspring that had to be wound daily. I wound mine first thing in the morning. There were some self-winding watches. It was not unusual for me to have a watch that kept poor time. Watches came in varying qualities from, inflation adjusted, $10 for a watch with just a few jewels to $200 for a good 21 jewel watch. The jewels, rubies, were installed at high wear points to increase the life of the watch. My parents would buy me a Mickey Mouse watch annually although I did get a Hopalong Cassidy watch once. He was my cowboy hero. My first camera was a Brownie box camera passed down from my mother that was made in the 1930's. It only took eight black and white pictures so I had to be careful. The pictures were excellent quality due to the huge negative. I used it for around 20 years carrying it into the Army with me. The case finally broke so I bought one of those new inexpensive Pentax 35mm imports from Japan. $600 at the PX. German cameras were the standard at the time but the Japanese cameras turned out to be truly excellent. Mine was in good condition when I sold after 20 years of hard use. Flash photography required the use of a flashbulb, a bulb filled with magnesium. Flashbulbs were around for quite a while. Cameras had a special setting for flashbulbs of around 1/50th of a second. The bulbs would be very hot so needed to cool before being replaced. As the electric flash has become affordable it has replaced the flashbulb on modern cameras so that most young people probably are not even aware we once would stock up on flashbulbs if we were serious camera buffs. At night the fireflies came out so we caught them to put in bottles and watched them light up. Refrigerated air conditioning was expensive. I didn't even know there was such a thing so we didn't miss it even though we lived in the Southwest Can openers were awful. The modern sprocket type weren't available so we had to work the opener until the can finally surrendered. Coke and beer cans had to be opened with "Churchkeys" that stores provided for free: Cokes were 6½ ounces and there was no such thing as unscrewing the top. The other end of the "Churchkey" was used for removing the top. Affordable home answering machines were a long way off as was voicemail so if someone called when you were out the call was not answered. There was something peaceful about that especially since there was no other way to get in touch with you so if you left the house no one was going to bother you. We did not have portable phones or more than one phone in the house, unless we paid for the privilege, so when the phone rang we had to race to its location. Long distance calls were a big deal so were rare. If you needed to call someone long distance you told the operator who would then call down the line so each operator could connect the call until they finally reached the party in question. Then the operator called you back and the call was connected. Next you received a huge bill from Ma Bell, the only game in town. With the advent of direct dial the system was streamlined but operator assistance continued to be a requirement in some areas into the 60's. Because long distance calls were prohibitively expensive and there was no email most communication out of the immediate vicinity was done by letter. It was the only way I had to communicate with "Granny". We kept a stash of stamps and envelopes on hand. If you had a problem with a retailer who wasn't headquartered in the city you had to work it out through the mail. Everything was slower. At Christmas I had to sit down to write thank you notes and get them in the mail. This was still my MO on staying in touch into the 90's even though long distance calling was more affordable. Email? Payphones were a nickel and rotary because touchtone hadn't been invented. They could be found almost anywhere. All phones were rotary and had to be supplied by Ma Bell. You couldn't install your own phone or even buy one. They were all black. Ma Bell sent out a technician to hook up the phone wherever you wanted. If you wanted two or more phones you paid extra every month. Long distance rates were high and subsidized local service so that local service was affordable. Ma Bell was reliable and took care of things. It was one of the best companies in the world for service but being a monopoly it was eventually brought down resulting in the profusion of options we have now. Phone numbers came with a prefix. We lived in the Lynwood area so our phone number was Ly1-2345. Smaller town might only have the last five digits: 12345. Direct dial was introduced in the 50's but wasn't available everywhere, some places still did not have it well into the 60's. It was a huge deal. We no longer had to have an operator connect us but long distance remained expensive. Touchtone was introduced in the 60's making it easier to dial the long numbers. Playing tunes with the touchtone numbers such as "Mary had a Little lamb" was a popular pastime for a while. People would publish the numbers to press to play a song. Mary had a little lamb: 6,5,4,5,6,6,6,5,5,5,6,9,9 6,5,4,5,6,6,6,6,5,5,6,5,4 Besides pencil and paper there were two ways to do calculations. An expensive and bulky mechanical calculator or a slide rule. I opted for pencil and paper and was good at doing arithmetic in my head. We were a long way from the handheld digital scientific calculators that replaced the slide rule. I once worked as a repairman at the Monroe calculator company. Adding machines were our main product. They were all gears and levers. Toy cars were steel with rolling rubber wheels and that's it. You might have a sheet metal wind up toy that could move but no battery operated or radio controlled cars. I once had a windup bulldozer that fascinated me but I dropped it and it wouldn't work anymore. We could buy balsa wood airplanes for a dime that would glide when tossed but not well. I once made a plane with a rubber band motor that would fly but it kept running into things. We spent a lot of time with our View Master. We could click through stereophonic pictures of various landscapes. Ours was a much older version of the one in the picture but the realism amazed. Lionel trains were a popular postwar item. I loved the one I got. It was solidly built of metal with realistic detail. It had a working headlight and pills I could drop into the smokestack that produced puffs of smoke. The only problem was the track would tend to slide on the linoleum floors. I went through all the normal childhood diseases. There was mumps, whooping cough, measles, chicken pox, and maybe some others. Once I caught something deadly that laid me out for weeks but I didn't die. The fear of polio, we didn't know what caused it, always hovered around the edges of our lives. There were 20,000 or more cases annually. Articles about this dreaded disease were ubiquitous. Salk's invention of the polio vaccine in 1955 was HUGE! Some people were so paralyzed they couldn't breath and spent their life in an "Iron Lung" in order to stay alive. Cigarette smoking was ubiquitous. It wasn't seen as the health risk it is today and at the beginning of the decade cigarettes generally weren't filtered. By the 60's filtered cigarettes were the standard. 50's cigarette ads would offend modern sensibilities. The 5 & 10 cent stores, Woolworth's and Kress, were popular. They had a lunch counter for snacks and sandwiches. The stores were filled with neat stuff. Outside of Sears and JC Penney this is where many of us shopped. If we went to a shopping center it was just a line of small stores or what we call a strip mall today. In 1962 a covered mall came to our town. We were blown away as we walked through it. It's still in existence. Automats were around for a long time. I saw my first one in New York and thought it amazing, especially after I bought a pie and saw a hand reach in from behind and replace the one I just bought. Sears was a force to be reckoned with and a forgotten item may be the Sears Catalogue that arrived by mail. Its hundreds of pages was great fun to peruse and an American staple. There was little you couldn't buy including a car, the Allstate. The Allstate was very basic but essentially a good car manufactured by Kaiser, a now defunct brand. At one time Sears even sold prebuilt house kits. They were of excellent quality and many are still with us today. Their solid quality makes them desirable. Sears began as a catalogue company selling to the homestead frontier market in 1886. Farmers and their the isolated families lived near small towns. With the advent of reliable train service it was possible to order whatever you needed from Sears knowing you could trust the Sears name. When it came in the farmer might hook up his buggy that he bought from Sears ($25, $700 now) and drive into town to pick it up. There wasn't a lot you couldn't get at Sears. Your car could be serviced, repaired, and Allstate batteries and tires were for sale. At one time or the other Sears sold appliances, clothing, guns, luggage, watches, musical instruments, tombstones, typewriters, tools, cameras, toys, baseball mitts, bicycles, motor scooters, pianos, horse drawn sleds, shoes, boots, jewelry, well pumps, insurance, the list is nearly endless. If the farmer needed it or his family wanted something they would look in the Sears catalogue. I once bought a motorcycle jacket through the catalogue and it arrived by mail. I drove Sears scooters for years. I even owned a Sears cowboy hat. All were excellent. If Sears sold it you knew it was good quality. You supplied the land and the builder, Sears provided all materials and directions you needed to build your own home. Each piece was stamped with a number so you could find it on the plan. The houses were excellent and are desirable today for their quality. Sears stopped offering them when WWII broke out. Now after 130 years Sears is struggling to keep up with the times. Banker's hours is an expression that refers to the 10am to 3pm hour the banks were open to the public back in the day. After 3:00 you were out of luck. The industry had been heavily regulated since the depression and this meant few, if any, branch offices. In my town there were no branch offices so all banks were downtown with the traffic congestion and bad parking associated with that. We could mail in checks but cash meant a trip downtown. In the 80's the regulations were largely lifted and the frenzied competition for your money began. Although there were oil company and department store credit cards there were no general use cards available to most people. BankAmericard (Visa) changed that in 1958. Now anyone could go in debt and we've been on that ride ever since. An odd fashion statement of the time was the veil woman sometimes wore formally. Unlike the MidEast veil it was see through. I once saw my mother wearing one. We used pencils in school. The only pens in general use were fountain pens which were filled from a small bottle of ink called an inkpot. You stuck the tip in the pot and pulled a lever to suck the ink up. Someone created refills that could be popped in making the fountain pen portable. Ballpoints were coming online but the pencil still reigned supreme. Paper Mate came up with a dependable and affordable ballpoint pen sounding the death knell for the fountain pen then Bic invented the long lasting disposable ballpoint that took its design from the pencil. With it's clear plastic barrel you knew how much ink you had. The pencil began to settle into its current secondary role. The 1950's was the decade of the Ballpoint pen. The first retractable ballpoint pen was introduce in 1949. Ballpoint pens had a long history of development with countless failures along the way primarily because of problems with the ink. Paper Mate, followed by Bic, finally marketed a dependable pen. As ballpoint caught on such standard desktop items as the blotter became obsolete. The blotter was needed to dry up fountain pen smudges. Fountain pens were needed for signatures since pencil could be erased. You had to allow your paper to dry before folding or stacking it. Refillable they could get quite fancy but most of us had to settle for strip of blotter paper. Turning out a smudge free letter or report could be a challenge. Reports were done in pencil and if it was a “term theme” that meant doing your research at the library. I had to take a bus into town and spend the day at the library. We would go through the card catalogue that had every book in the library cross referenced. A report might involve perusing several books, making notes on 3x5 cards, organizing them then writing out the report. The internet changed everything. In college I typed my reports. An invaluable skill I learned in High School. Since the home computer hadn't been invented there was no other way to turn out an attractive looking report. Now it's easy, then it could be laborious. It would take me three attempts to turn out something with a finished appearance. Typing a twenty page report over and over...you get the idea. If I decided add a sentence on the first page then the whole report had to be retyped. I picked an office machine up at a thrift store, it was an oldy but a goody. It took me through my University years and I carried it with me all over the country as I moved about. Then I scored an IBM. The typewriter reached its epitome when IBM Selectric came up with this beauty with its rotating ball instead of the strikers. If you accidentally hit two letters at the same time on a manual they might jam on the page when the strikers both met. I got years out of my IBM until it finally died in Dallas. I never had one better. My computer with a printer changed all that. My first 386 computer was $4000 and my Dot Matrix printer was $800. What's a Dot Matrix you ask? The modern ambulance with its abundance of lifesaving equipment and trained paramedics hadn't been dreamed up yet. Ambulances were made by Cadillac and looked like colorful hearses with windows. I went to a hospital in a green one after a scooter accident. Ether was the preferred anesthetic for operations and it was an unpleasant way to go under but it worked. It's what they used when my tonsils were taken out. Because of the lack of pain killers they fed me ice cream several times a day. They must have scheduled all the tonsillitis cases for the same day because there were a bunch of us in the ward and we all cheered when the orderly rolled in the cart full of ice cream. I was very excited telling my mother about my good fortune. After my scooter accident all I got for the pain was the occasional aspirin so I writhed. Steam locomotives were still pulling trains so if you lived on the "wrong side of the tracks", meaning the prevailing winds blew your way, any laundry drying on a clothesline was doomed should you lose the mad dash to get it down. Diesel trains were making inroads but steam was not obsolete. Steam was much more powerful but you could gang together diesel locomotives until you had enough which is why you will see several locomotives pulling a train. With steam if you needed more power you built a bigger locomotive. They could be ganged but it was undesirable. These locomotives could get massive, 85' long, 132' with the tender, and weighing considerably more than a million pounds. Steam is suited to pulling trains but is high maintenance and expensive to operate compared to diesel. The biggest. Built for pulling trains over the Rockies. As diesel became more prevalent the union insisted the obsolete jobs remain so a diesel locomotive would have a fireman even though no coal needed to be shoveled into the boiler fire. Reader's Digest got into the act writing outraged articles about "featherbedding". I remember sitting in class being introduced to ,Dick and Jane, who were to be my friends for a long time as I learned to read. See Dick run. See Jane run. See dick and Jane run. Run, run, run. It worked. Washing machines worked okay but there were very few dryers so clothes were wrung out with the motor driven wringer on top of the machine. The clothes were later hung out to dry. A friend of mine had his thumb severely crushed when it got caught in the wringer. Then came the ironing. Since we didn't have a steam iron the clothes had to be sprinkled with water. A cork with a top with holes in it could be bought and put on a coke bottle for sprinkling. Washing clothes was a major ordeal. Cotton clothes, artificial fabrics hadn't been invented, had to be bought oversize because they shrank when washed until "Sanforized" cotton was introduced. Our sewing machine had to be pumped by foot. It seemed to work fine but what do I know? The machine folded down converting the unit into a flat table. Although the concept had been around a long time the dishwasher didn't take off until the 1960's. Until then we stood at a sink and handwashed with our bottle of Joy, something I still do except I use Dawn instead of Joy. The modern coffee maker with it's timers and filters was a long way off. Most people made coffee in a percolator. Maxwell coffee grounds (Good to the last drop) were poured into a basket and placed in the pot. The boiling water was forced up the tube in the middle and spilled onto the top of the basket. I was fascinated with watching the water beat against the glass stopper as it slowly turned brown. The soles of shoes were leather and would wear out before the uppers. Heels had to be replaced and holes would appear in the sole. It was a nuisance. I'll take today's Nikes with their rugged soles and care free uppers over the old leather shoes that required frequent polishing. If you wanted a high gloss you wet a cotton ball and used that to apply the polish. In the Army we called that "spit polishing". Your basic car was a manual shift that didn't come with a heater, air conditioning, radio, or power steering. Most, but not all, had turn signals. Turn signals were standard by the end of the decade. If your car didn't have turn signals you were required to stick your arm out the window to signal your intent. Power steering was introduced in 1951 on some luxury cars. Manual steering effort was substantial. I heard a couple of mothers saying they wished they had power steering. I asked what that was and they told me it makes steering easier but were unable to tell me what that meant. Cruise control was first introduced in 1958 but was a luxury item. Automatic transmissions had been developed but were out of the range of many car owners and might only have two speeds. Modern air conditioning was introduced in the 60's although primitive systems were available in the 50's. We got our first car with a radio (AM only) and heater in the 60's. The radios were all vacuum tube so required a minute or more to warm up. Besides having a heater our new car could go 70 mph! Even faster downhill. 70 was the Beetle's top speed. I used to own a New Beetle and took it up to 110 a couple of times. Cars didn't have seatbelts. They were beginning to show up by the end of the decade but were resisted by many. Ford introduced them as an option in 1955 but they weren't popular. The thinking seems to have been that Fords must be dangerous or they wouldn't offer seatbelts. A popular scenario was what if you end up in a lake and couldn't get free. I thought that was silly. How often do you end up in a lake? I got it right away and always wore mine, thank God. I had an accident in which I might have died without it. Reader's Digest published articles detailing accidents in which someone's life was saved. Because they actually saved lives so were eventually accepted. Cars back then had steering wheels often with horn rings that could easily impale your chest. Without a safety belt I would have merged with my steering column. As it was I bent the top of the steering wheel over 90 degrees. Before belts people often were severely injured by their steering columns, chests were crushed and passengers went through the windshield. People would be thrown out of their cars to slide down the street or bounce around the interior slamming into one another or hard interior parts. Dashboards were metal and less forgiving than modern dashboards. Airbags, what? Many cars had vacuum operated windshield wipers that operated using the engine vacuum. Electric windshield wipers were catching on through the 50's and became the standard in the 60's. Vacuum operated wipers, although better than nothing, were quirky and didn't operate well under acceleration. In a downpour I periodically let up on the accelerator allowing the wipers to speed up so I could see. Cars often didn't come with side mirrors unless you went upscale. When they had mirrors they were often just on the driver's side. If you wanted a mirror on your basic car you had to add it yourself. I purchased aftermarket mirrors and added them to some of my cars. They were hard to adjust. You usually loosened a screw to adjust the mirror which might go out of adjustment as the screw was tightened. Windshield washers were almost non-existent. I didn't even know such a thing existed. White sidewall tires were ubiquitous. Cars were not reliable. They were pretty well worn out by 60,000 miles. Speedometers only went to 99,999 miles. I only saw one car break a 100,000 and it was very tired. By 60,000 you might have gone through five sets of tires and even more tuneups. A tuneup required new plugs, points, and maybe even more. Tuneups needed to be done every few thousand miles. Most people didn't do it as often as needed so the car's performance suffered. I did a tuneup on a friend's car that was barely running. It ran like new afterwards. I was a hero. I tracked my gas mileage and when it began to fall I did a tuneup. They were simple to do if you knew how and took an hour. The points had to be carefully set and the timing adjusted using a timing light. I bought the necessary equipment and saved a lot of money doing my own. The carburetor was a beast best avoided by most DIYs. I learned to overhaul them but there were pitfalls galore for even the best mechanics. I got so adept at tuneups I set up a mobile tuneup business and made a few bucks. Chiltons, published an excellent service manual for all American cars. Everything you needed to know about doing your own work on a car was in them along with valuable hints such as how to "power tune" an engine and all the specs you needed to do a tuneup. They would tear down an engine and then tell you how to do it, step by step, complete with photographs. In later years they no longer took these extra steps so I stopped buying them. By 60,000 miles you might have made some repairs and replaced shocks and brakes a number of times. Drum brakes were high maintenance. They required periodic adjustment so the car wouldn't pull to one side or the other when you stepped on them. It could be tricky. Modern disc brakes are superior in every way except peddle effort. Engines quickly wore out and began burning oil on top of the oil they invariably leaked. Roads back then would have a black streak down the middle from all the oil the engines put out. Motorcyclists were cautioned to not drive in the center of the road because of the oil slick. A car spewing white smoke was a common sight, sometimes it came out in clouds. "Ring and valve jobs" were commonplace and a part of owning a car. Engine oil was crude relative to today's oils. It was a "single grade" meaning there was a difference between winter and summer oil. "Multi-vicosity" oils changed that so we could use a single oil both winter and summer. Detergent oils also changed things. One problem owners faced was the development of "sludge" on engine parts. This gooey substance can ruin an engine and is one reason for prescribed oil changes. Detergent oils suspend foreign products in the oil and protect against sludge buildup. In the 50's this was a major concern. Articles were written educating people about the phenomenon. The acids in sludge ruined metal parts. Sludge buildup can happen to modern engines but is no longer the ubiquitous problem it was in the 50's. Modern oil has played a critical role in allowing today's engines to develop so much power and last so long. Synthetic oils are even better and an economical choice if you plan to keep your car. The 40,000 to 70,000 mile expiration date for your engine is a thing of the past. Upholstery was generally cheap plastic and would begin tearing and splitting before the end of the useful car life. There was a market for aftermarket seat covers. Those who could afford it traded in their car every two years. A car loan was generally for two years. A new car warranty might be for six months and 4,000 miles. Cars frequently came out of the factory with problems so the warranty was important. We bought a car that had no oil in the transmission. A friend bought one with none of the chassis bolts tightened. There was a big market for retread, or recap, tires, they were good for maybe 5,000 miles. The modern radial tire, a European innovation, didn't begin to catch on in the US until the 70's. I remember a Sears display of a radial tire that pitched rubber after 40,000 miles. I could barely believe it, nobody would because everyone knew it was impossible for tires to last that long. Sears jumped on the Radial bandwagon right away and was an important retailer for these modern tires. Willys (Jeep) got into the new car market after the war trading on the Jeep's wartime reputation. We owned two of their station wagons. They weren't bad. I once noticed our Jeep had 40,000 miles and commented. My mother told me that it's been a good car as we rattled down the street. The car was near the end of its useful life. Our Willy-Overland station wagon had a flathead four cylinder engine could propel it to upwards of 60mph on a flat road but it slowed down on hills. It was the first American station wagon with an all metal body. 60 or 70 was about all most cars could do. Upscale cars with their V8s were much faster. A modern Honda tour bike has considerably more horsepower than your 1950's basic car. There is a story of a policeman driving to work when a Cadillac blew past him at 85. He floored it and got up to 70mph. He caught the guy at a light and gave him a ticket. His engine blew up a couple of days later. There was an amusing song about a Nash Rambler that outran a guy in his Cadillac. Nash also made a subcompact in an age in which the Beetle was the popular small car. It was a neat little car and got around 30 miles per gallon. It could hit 60 in 30 seconds. The car magazines liked it, the public not so much. Most modern cars will hit 60 in fewer than 10 seconds. BMW was not yet the automotive powerhouse it is today. In the 50's it began marketing its version of the three wheel Isetta in the US. Competition with the Beetle killed it. Vespa also got into the minicar craze in the 50's with a cool little 8′ long car powered by a two stroke rear engine. My mother had one. We both liked it although I had to install a right side aftermarket mirror on it. For its size it was quick and it was easy to drive. My mother took my sister and friends swimming once. My sister told me as she walked by a mother and son she heard the woman telling her son "You saw them all get out of the car". My mother got it up to 70 once. However the smallest American car had to be the King Midget. A couple of war veterans began marketing them in 1946 and was in business until 1970 when the new owners mismanaged the company into bankruptcy. They sold for $5000 in today's money. I owned one. Mine, a later model, had an air compressor engine, a 2-speed automatic transmission, and was peppy enough to hold its own in traffic. At 8½' it was the same length as a decked out Harley-Davidson which weighed almost twice as much as this 500 pound package. Modern compact cars weigh around 3,000 pounds. The VW Beetle began making inroads into the America market. There was a hunger for inexpensive and reliable cars. Compared to the big, thirsty, unreliable American cars it filled a need. We were all sensing something was rotten in Detroit. The phrase planned obsolescence entered the vocabulary. At $17,000 with a 1200cc engine that got 30mpg the Beetle filled a niche and provided a warning shot across the bow of the bloated American car companies that they ignored allowing the Japanese to come in later and blow them out of the water. The Harley Davidson twin was the king of the road. Big, comfortable, and with an engine the same size as a Beetle it reigned supreme. It leaked oil and kept the owner busy working on it weekends but it was a labor of love. It was all the police drove. The earlier ones had controls that would confuse a modern rider including a hand-operated stickshift for the transmission complete with a pedal operated clutch and a manual timing control. Manual transmissions were about all most people could afford and the shifter was not on the floor like they are nowadays, it was on the column. There are jokes that the best anti-theft device you can have is a stickshift but there was a time when everyone could drive a three speed manual shift car. You would leave the car in first gear when you parked. The engine would stop the car from rolling. When you wanted to drive away you would push in the clutch, start the engine, let out the clutch, and go. If you forget to step on the clutch and turned the key the car would jerk forward. The triangular "wing windows" were an important part of ventilating the car. You could adjust them to divert air into the car. It was a big help. The only dependable way to make you way about town was with a map. If you were going across country it was even more essential because this was the age of the state highways. Gas stations were generally a dependable source of maps. AAA was another source and they would plan your trips for you with a customized "Triptik" in which the trip was unfolded for you from one page to the next. I've ordered a lot of these in the days before GPS. Since the miracle of GPS I haven't owned a map. The GPS took me from door to door on my last cross country trip which included many stops in between. Schwinn was the most popular bicycle brand. Bicycles were heavy and had a single speed. They sometimes came with a "tank" and might have a horn inside. You stopped by pedaling backwards to engage the brake. The "English racer" was lighter than American style bikes and had brakes that clamped on the tire rim that worked much better than the American style. Some had three speeds. Lights were ineffective battery operated affairs with a short battery life. They did little more than hopefully alert a car driver to your presence. "Generator lights" would take care of the battery problem but the lights were still dim. Automobiles aside trains and buses were how you traveled long distances, if you crossed the ocean you went by ship. I've done all three and spent many a night on a "sleeper" train in a fold down bed listening to the comforting clickety-clack of the wheels. I especially like ships, crossing the Atlantic twice on one. I loved the rhythmic pounding of the engines at night. We spent a night on board a ship in the New York harbor when a hurricane came through. I was impressed by the huge trees that were lying around next morning. Although not the first commercial service, Pan American had been flying the Transatlantic route for a couple of decades with the Clipper flying boats, the Boeing 707 paved the way for affordable long distance air service in 1958. It was fast, traversing the ocean in less than 8 hours vs more than 20 for the Clipper, and reliable. In addition you could carry on a conversation with your neighbor, something you couldn't do in a piston engine plane. The home entertainment system consisted of a vacuum tube AM, no FM, radio with a 4" speaker and a tube record player. Primitive Hi Fi and stereo was just catching on in higher priced systems. The long play LP 33⅓ record was introduced but most pop music was 45 RPM with one song on each side. Teenagers might have a stack of 45's. By the way it took a while for vacuum tubes to warm up, perhaps a minute, so when you see someone in a movie turn on an old radio and it comes right on...didn't happen. Instant on is the result of transistors followed by printed circuits. Transistors made their debut in the late 40's. The Japanese developed them into a commercially viable item with Sony introducing the astounding portable radio that could be carried in a pocket in 1957. I got my first one in 1963. This product was an unbelievable departure from what we were accustomed to. 45's were how teenagers built their collection of favorite songs. There was one song on each side. Usually the other side was a throwaway. At the modern equivalent of $8 a record this could be a sizable investment. LPs were closer to $40. An adapter could be bought to push into the large hole so it could be played on a 33⅓ record player. Record players generally had three speeds 78, 45, and 33. 45's were 7" and 33's were 12". A full album could be recorded on a 33. The 78.26 was mostly obsolete in the 50's and had a playing time about the same as a 45. My mother had a collection of 78's. This was the solution to playing all those 45s. We all had these record changers that we could stack our records on. At the end of the song the tone arm returned to the side, a new record fell and the tone arm set down at the beginning of the new record automatically. What more could you ask for? Recording music is easy now and we can download from the Net but back then there was no practical way for the average person to record music. Commercial tape recorders were available but were too expensive for the average person. Tape recorders didn't come into their own until the 60's once problems with the tape itself were solved although the late 50's had some showing up. Hi Fi stereo also came into its own in the 60's with the advent of affordable amplifiers, tape decks, record changers, and separate speakers. With the availability of high quality components you could build your own system. My dream speakers were the AR5. Acoustic Research made some of the finest speakers in the world and at $2000 a pair was within reach of the serious audiophile. They had 10" woofers. I picked up a pair at a thrift store at a ridiculous price. They didn't know what they had. In the early 60's Sony introduced one of the first affordable home use tape recorders, the Sony 500, if you call $2000 in current money affordable. It was a nifty unit with speakers that folded in to make a compact portable unit. The amplifiers were vacuum tubes, not transistors. I bought one, subscribed to a tape club, and began building a collection of prerecorded music. The nice thing about the unit is I could record records from a record player. Never before had I even dreamed of such a luxury. I built my own system and an amusing incident resulted. I recorded some piano music and because of a miscalculation I had a long lead time before the music began. Friends were over and my 3 year old daughter sat at the piano to pretend to play. We forgot I had a tape in and just then the music began and to all appearances my daughter suddenly could play professionally. One of my friends was actually shocked into standing up staring at her open mouthed. We were all stunned until the reality sank in when my daughter stopped "playing" to check out the sudden stir of activity behind her. That’s what Acoustic Research speakers could do for you. Postage was 3 cents, for an extra 2 cents you could have your letter air mailed which was considerably faster. Otherwise it was sent by train which might take a while if it was going across country. If you sent it ground to another country it went by ship and could take weeks. When I was in Germany a friend mailed a letter ground from Japan and it took three months. Now all mail is airmail. If you didn't have enough postage a stamp for the amount due was put on the letter and the recipient had to pay to get his letter. This practice came to an end because people were mailing their bills without postage and the bill collectors were spending a lot of money paying the postage due. Today it's no stamp, no service. Of interest but off subject is one of the most valuable American stamps is the upside down or inverted Jenny stamp issued in 1918. Somehow the stamp slipped by inspectors and a single sheet was sold. The buyer, realizing what he had, asked for more but the clerk instead tried to get it back. The buyer refused and examples now go for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Long distance driving was more difficult as cities were connected by two lane state highways. These highways would go right through a city. Signs would guide the traveler through the city streets, traffic lights and all, and back into the countryside. On the highway one might get stuck behind a slowpoke unable to pass for miles and miles as a dozen cars stacked up. There were other hazards. We once topped a hill and suddenly found ourselves barreling down on a farm tractor doing perhaps eight miles an hour while we were doing seventy. It was close. Eisenhower launched the country into the modern interstate system in the fifties and it was a huge project. Lives were disrupted as the right of way would mean old family dwellings being torn down to make way for the freeway. Rockwell did a touching painting of a family watching their family home being destroyed. Entire towns died as the traffic they depended on was rerouted. Some construction workers would haul mobile homes behind trucks as they moved from city to city attempting to minimize disrupting their children's lives. The interstate had an unexpected side effect as a small industry, relative to today, over the road trucking, took off. Trains were no longer the only way to move large quantities of goods between cities. The problem was the interstate was not designed to handle so much weight creating unanticipated maintenance issues.