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Profile picture Ron Sollenbarger
Cars
How about those cars we had? I can remember a lot of them. I used to work on Windy Elliot’s old Nash or Hudson. Not sure which. Rich Martinez had a 53? Chevy. Either inside his car or on his Cushman Eagle was a coin about as big as a fifty cent piece with the outline of a man & woman with their feet in a very loving position. Boy, did I think that was cool. Chuck Cook had the sweetest little 48(?)Ford made even sweeter with a candy apple red paint job. Don Platt had the custom 55 or 56 Chevy that sounded like the speed racer it was. Don Harrison had the old late thirties Chevy(?) black gangster car. I had the clunker of all. A 1946 Chevy handed down from my brother. It had a mind of it’s own. I used to make sure I left it in low gear so I could drive to school doing 5 mph in the mornings. Over night, the transmission would freeze, vacuum shift was a wonderful invention. I could not shift until it thawed which, on cold mornings, was usually about the time I arrived at WHS parking lot. I finally sold it to the class of ‘61 for $10. They cut the top off and used it in a homecoming parade. Good riddance. Betsy Tinn, rest her soul, had the prize in my eyes. The beautiful, white 58 Chevy convertible. She would let me use it during school hours so I would ditch classes, put $1 worth of gas in it and just drive it around. Seems it was way more fun than going to history class. Although, I did have a hard time passing history. That’s it for now.
Profile picture Rich Martinez Re: Cars
Solly— what an encyclopedic memory for cars!
You’re still the humble dude. You shyly neglected to mention your car of cars, so I’ll do it for you. Yes, we’re talking about the silver Corvette you owned after graduation, when you were a serious pool player/shark/hustler. Remember those all night nine-ball games with my college roommate, Alan Hopfinger??
Please be seated for this bizarre story. In ’65 when Alan was a senior and I was a junior at CSU, he had misgivings about his girlfriend. The Friday night after spring-quarter finals, we snuck into her apartment and found her in bed with another girl.
I left for home the next morning for some spring break R/R. Upon my return a week later, the apartment was empty. Alan left a note saying he quit school and wasn’t coming back. The note also thanked me for the clothes and other various items he stole.
Actually, the more I reflect on the story, I am pretty sure it was your pool playing, and not the girl friend, that tipped him over the edge.
Mine was a ‘50 Chevy which was customized by Don Harrison. One day he came over with a blowtorch and ‘softened’ the front suspension springs. This lowered the front end to about a 45 degree ‘rake’. The car looked great, but you can imagine how it rode
Fergie had a ’53(?) green Ford with custom nauga-hyde seats, complete with rolls and pleats (oh, the sweet life of the rich kids).
Who was with Fergie and me, in his green Ford, the night we were either chasing, or running away from a car load of girls?? Fergie took a turn too quickly and slid into a telephone pole, and the low hanging utility box impaled into the top of his car. We had to get out and jump on the car to disengage the box. When the utility box finally released and pulled out, it sliced open the top of the car, similar to opening a can of pork and beans. I can still see his dad’s face when he came to our aid.
There has to be much, much, and very much more to the Betsy story for her to loan you that convertible. For the opportunity to tool around in that ride, if asked, even we scholars would have ditched with you.
Where in the Boonies was it where we went to watch the older guys drag race?? Afterwards we went to the drive-in called Berry’s (was it on Colfax?), where only the super-cool would ‘back in’ to the car slots, so we could watch everyone. The other favorite cruise place was the Frosted Scotchman.
What a mind for recall—that coin became my Talisman, and has been in all my subsequent cars. It currently resides in my Nissan Titan pick-up. It is still the perfect ‘ice breaker’ when I pick up women hitch-hikers.
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