Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Blast from the Past" ...



Marlene Terry

Had one of those "Blast from the Past" moments a few days ago when driving down the road behind an old Mercury!
Mercurys are a thing of the past now (phased out in 2010), after being launched by Edsel Ford (Henry's son) of the Ford Motor Company in 1938. But there was a day when having a tricked-out Mercury made you the envy of everyone you knew and others too.

I followed it for awhile, the car in front of me, because it was a Mercury that inspired hot rod tendencies in my hubby when he was young. And it was his 1951 model that ended up being our "datin' car."
 
Everyone who lived through the 1960s as teenagers knows that old Chevys and Mercurys were the hot cars of that generation. It was a time when "Draggin' Main" meant you drove your car up and down Main Street to show off your girlfriend of course, but so everyone could see what you'd done to the hot rod, as well. 

It was also a time when no one ever wondered what the make of a car was. We just knew. 
Wings were really important back then, not the kind you fly with, but those that defined a young man's hairstyle and most importantly those that were attached as back fenders. Wings spoke volumes about how "cool" the owner was. 

Also important were low-line lake pipes — long chrome exhaust pipes that were positioned (at least on my hubby's car) along each side and up off the ground only about six inches.
Wikipedia photo: 1951 Mercury
Really! I'm not kidding. Can't remember the term for cars that were so low to the ground you couldn't even get a jack underneath. But that was what the guys wanted and we had one, ... along with a metallic blue finish on the outside and a tuck and roll naugahyde interior.

The trip behind the old hot rod lasted a few more blocks, and I couldn't be sure if it was the sound of "Blue Velvet" coming from the open window of that Mercury or not. But I pretended it was, sang along with those old lyrics anyway, continued cruisin' and felt cool!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.