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Memo: Classics At Full Song

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, January 27 2010
A 1956  Bel Air convertable. The stuff dreams are made of. (Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.com)

A 1956 Bel Air convertable. The stuff dreams are made of. (Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.com)

Let’s see what’s in the Wednesday Memo today:

Those were not really cars that were being sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction last week. They were memories. How else to explain paying more for a 45-year-old Chevrolet than a brand new Ferrari?

But, brother, what memories. Great memories.

How else to explain the countless hours of getting the eyeballs seared red by the tiny LCDs of the big screen?

Almost every car which passed over the stage brought back thoughts of a person, place or thing from the childhood days: This friend had that car and we drove it to that beach.

But it wasn’t just mental pictures which were flashing back. There was audio to go along with it.

Specifically, car songs.

In the 1950s and ‘60s, when the best of the Barrett-Jackson cars were made, people wrote and recorded songs about sleek, fast cars. (Paging Dr. Freud). And people bought those songs. For money.

The were songs about their favorite rides and real and/or imagined adventures they had in them. What a decade.

Here is one list of the five best car songs from the ‘60s. They are ranked in order:

“409”. The Beach Boys. It made you want to save your pennies and save your dimes. Hey, four speed, dual quads and posi-traction. An older neighbor had one in a ‘vert. Blue.

“Dead Man’s Curve”. Jan and Dean. I wasn’t sure what an XKE was the first time I heard this one. But, soon found out and it became one of my favorite cars. By the way, it would have smoked the ‘vette in the road race to Dead Man’s Curve. Too bad somebody had to die attempting to prove it.

“Shut Down”. The Beach Boys. Goose-bump lyrics for a teen-ager in the ‘60s. This also featured a favorite car; the Dodge 413. Had to be in red. Beat by the big block Sting Ray in the song. Yeah, probably.

“Little GTO”. Ronnie and the Daytonas. A Pon-Pon with three deuces and a 389. Enough said. Especially in the light blue. But, beating gassers and rails? In Ronnie’s dreams.

“Hey Little Cobra”. The Rip Cords. It took some research to figure out what they were singing about in this one; had to ask my older brother. Cobras were not real plentiful on the streets of Wisconsin in the ‘60s. In the song, the guys sing about taking the Cobra to the track hitched to their Cadillac. Guess The Rip Cords had some dough.

The big shame of the decade was that nobody wrote a song about a 4-4-2.

Memo to self: RIP, Harley Earl.

Wondering aloud

Will Stewart-Haas Racing be able to win a championship by using Hendrick Motorsports engines?

Yes, the Hendrick engines are terrific. They’ve powered Jimmie Johnson to four straight championships and they were under the hoods of the top three points-earners last season.

The question is, will Stewart Haas be given engines equal to those of the HMS drivers? I am just assuming all HMS engines are put on the dyno before being put into the cars – or shipped to satelitte teams. They can’t all be dead equal, can they? Somebody must know which ones have a skosh more power, right?

Rick Hendrick is as honorable man as there is in NASCAR. Period. But he is also a businessman. It would just not seem to make good business sense to send his top engines to Stewart Haas or any other shop not located on Papa Joe Hendrick Boulevard.

I mean, what does he tell Lowe’s and DuPont if Tony Stewart blows past Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon on the back straight at Daytona on the final lap of the 500? What does he tell the crews of those cars? The fans?

Just wondering.

Memo to self: Stop watching Oliver Stone movies late at night

RT on the air

RacinToday’s Jonathan Ingram will be a guest on The Race Reporters radio show this evening.

Ingram, who will be covering this weekend’s Rolex 24 hour race at Daytona, will be helping to interview sports-car legend Hurley Haywood on the show, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, on www.PowerUpChannel.com.  This will be The Race Reporters’ season debut.

Host Michael Knight will also be joined for the journalists’ roundtable by Larry Edsall, editor of iZoom.com. Plus, CompetitionPlus.com editor Bobby Bennett will talk with Knight about the upcoming 50th anniversary NHRA Winternationals.

The Race Reporters can be heard “live,” downloaded into an iPod, or accessed for listening on a delayed basis by clicking on the show icon at www.PowerUpChannel.com.

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, January 27 2010
One Comment

One Comment »

  • Marybeth says:

    “The question is, will Stewart Haas be given engines equal to those of the HMS drivers? I am just assuming all HMS engines are put on the dyno before being put into the cars – or shipped to satelitte teams. They can’t all be dead equal, can they? Somebody must know which ones have a skosh more power, right?” …& I repeat myself…I do not believe Jr. will ever be truly competitive as long as he is at HMS, and the sooner he is out the better. If RH wanted him competitive he would have hired Addington as his crew chief. Jr. certainly brings enough money into HMS to pay for it. He is not a ‘charity’ case. I no longer believe a word RH says about making the 88 competitive. Fool me once shame on you, fool me 2 or 3 or 4 times, shame on me.