The 1959 Chevrolet, Thanks For Making Me Feel OLD!
Classics ~ Just Like I Am....
The Car I Came Home From The Hospital In When I Was Born!
Did you ever go someplace and see something - and then someone makes a comment about it that makes you feel OLD, I mean OLDER THAN DIRT, old and moldy, old and decrepit.. you get the idea!
Not long ago when my parents were here in Las Vegas for a visit, we decided to go to an antique car show in Henderson Nevada. The car show is called the "Super Run Classic Car Show" and is held annually in Henderson. This show was spectacular, one of the biggest car shows I had ever been to. It was a gorgeous sunshine blue sky day and all the world was good!
UNTIL we saw IT... I mean the thing that made me feel like an antique, old and moldy, ancient, like yesterday's news, decrepit... the 1959 Chevrolet. My Dad said to me "That's the same kind of car I brought you home from the hospital in." Now, he meant it innocently enough, but man, looking at that CAR, it made me feel OLD, OLDER THAN DIRT, you know... that kind of old!
Now it IS a beautiful car, and he was very proud of it at the time. It had stunning sleek lines and was made the way that cars were back then... with personality. They weren't all silver and white "boxes" the way they are today (ok, so not all of today's cars are "boxy" without personality, but take a look next time you are out driving to see how many of them ARE that way.)
The 1959 Chevy was designed by a quirky and creative designer who worked for Chevrolet at the time, a man named Harley Earl. The 1959 Chevy was actually the last car that he designed for Chevrolet before he retired, making it an effort of real creativity and love for classic looking automobiles. He had a passion to make something really special, and special is just what the 1959 Chevy is.
It was really fun to see one of these up close since I cannot REMEMBER when I actually came home from a hospital in this car... ehem.
Then my Dad proceeded to tell me the story of how he got stopped by the someone on his way home from the hospital... and got a "ticket." Now this was NOT a ticket for a traffic violation. This ticket was from a local radio station. Back in the day, radio station DJ's (or employees, I'm not sure which) would STOP you and tell you that you are a SAFE driver. He was handed a "Safe driver" ticket and received some money for it.
I don't remember how much money he received offhand... but they would do that back then sometimes to reward people for being safe drivers. He told the person who stopped him that he was driving his new baby girl home from the hospital, so he was being extra cautious. I can hear you now... awwwwww... I had the same reaction!
It was a wonderful day spent walking among all of these classic automobiles. I'm sure for my parents, especially, it brought back many wonderful memories. People back in the 1950s (and even now) seemed to have a love affair with the automobile. And for good reason! Some of these cars are spectacular feats of engineering and beautiful to look at as well.
When people say "they just don't make 'em like that any more," that's especially true when it comes to automobiles! Just look at the popularity of movies like "American Graffiti, (1973)" and "The Gumball Rally (1976)", "Smokey And The Bandit (1977), and "Cannonball Run (1976)." These are the kinds of movies that I could watch over and over again... just because of the wonderful cars featured in them. I get nostalgic when I watch those kinds of movies.
Nostalgic maybe for a simpler time? A time back when civility seemed to be the rule rather than the exception. When most of the time, people were polite and courteous towards one another. Maybe that's a bit too simplistic, but in my nostalgic memory, the times did seem to be kinder and gentler back then.
Even watching a television commercial about the 1959 Chevrolet starring Dinah Shore brings back memories from when advertising was also more simplistic. Can you imagine a car commercial like this today where someone is SINGING about a Chevrolet?
These days, that Chevy would be taking some corners on two wheels. Or else little rats, (or are they hamsters?), would be driving along bobbing their little heads along to some rap song. I never quite understood that commercial.
There was one car in particular that fascinated me at this car show, and that was a car that had a "hand crank" on the front of it. After seeing that, I did some research, and found out that you had to be careful starting a car that had one of these, or you would risk breaking your thumb or even your arm. Now that was one thing that I'm glad is not on today's vehicles. As clumsy as I can be sometimes, who knows WHAT kind of trouble I'd get myself into using one of those!
History Repeats Itself, Or So They Say...
Now I guess I've entered the years where I can say that I am a 1959 classic, built to last and built to run, sporting classic lines, beautiful, sleek interior, in mint condition, runs like a champ, starts up every time... OK, so maybe that's a stretch!
I guess it's time for me to get up off this chair now... are your knees supposed to make THAT noise when you stand up? What was THAT? I always swore I would never GRUNT when I stood up and just LISTEN to me!
Uggghhhh, did I mention that going to this car show and seeing a 1959 Chevrolet made me feel old? Older than DIRT, old and moldy, old and decrepit, ancient, and a real antique?
I did say that already? Well, just look at me now, I'm even repeating myself! Just like history, I guess.