Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A good looking rear end! Installing a Ford 8.8 inch rear end into the 1967 Cougar

Hi folks -- on Sunday Tony and I (mostly Tony) got to work on finishing the rear end swap on his 1967 Cougar. The above 8.8 came out of a 1998 Ford Explorer and was modified by taking off existing brackets and then welding new ones on to match the configuration of the Cougar. Particular attention was paid to make sure the brackets are properly spaced and that the pinion angle was correct. Once this job is done it is on to the engine rebuild.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rebuilding a Ford 289




Hi folks-- yesterday we started cleaning the Tony's garage to get ready to rebuild a Ford 289 to put in his 1967 Mercury Cougar. One slight detour today -- putting in a 8.8 rear end from a 1998 Ford Explorer into the car. I'll keep you all informed as we go!


Mid-term Exam -- "The Automobile and American Life" University of San Diego, March, 2011


Mid-Term Dr. Heitmann HST 378 March 8, 2011 Name_________________________ I Identification and Significance. (50 pts.) Answer five of the following eight by writing a short paragraph (minimum 3 to 4 sentences) on each of your choices. Make sure you are as incisive and factual as possible with your response, and stress the significance of the person, place, or thing. 1. The Bicycle as a Technological Antecedent 2. The Origins of Mass Production 3. The Duesenberg Automobile 4. Harley Earl and his Art and Colour Group at GM 5. Edward S. Jordan and automobile advertising 6. The Transition to the All-Steel, Enclosed Automobile during the 1920s 7. The Automobile and the Origins of the Great Depression 8. Pre-WWII Blues Music and the Automobile Essay. (50 pts.) Answer one of the following by writing a coherent essay harnessing factual evidence whenever possible. Your answer should have both an introduction and a conclusion. It can be said that during the first four decades of its history the American automobile industry was guided by people of great vision. In your opinion, who were these individuals (you need not list every person, but those most important as you make your case), and what did they specifically accomplish? Be as specific and as detailed as possible in your essay response. Without doubt, the introduction and diffusion of the automobile during the first half of the 20th century resulted in enormous social change in America. Discuss the impact of the automobile on society and the American family, making sure to include: perceptions from the religious community; intergenerational conflict; courtship and mating; the place of women in the family; and finally, changes in home architecture.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some Mary Kay Pink Cadillac Photos







Hi folks -- I was visiting with Ed Garten on Friday morning at a local Panera in Beavercreek, Ohio when Ed noticed that a Mary Kay Cadillac parked out front actually had a "Mary Kay" chrome trim designation placed on the trunk of the car. So I decided to check a few photos on the web and here are some that I found. Yes, it is more than a car that the women who sell Mary Kay products gain from taking on the challenge.

Mary Kay Ash purchased her first pink Cadillac in 1968. The car was repainted by the dealer before delivery to match the Mountain Laurel Blush in her compact. As it turned out, it was a rolling advertisement, and Mary Kay rewarded her top five producers with pinkCadillacs in 1969. Pink was an obvious color choice — matching the company's eye and lip color palettes. Since 1980, the shade used by the Mary Kay fleet has been exclusive to Mary Kay. Every two years, a Director can be eligible for a new Cadillac.

When the two year lease has expired, the cars are repainted, prior to being auctioned off. The shade of pink has changed over the years. In 1998, the color was changed to "pearlized pink."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back Home in Ohio for Spring Break -- Starting up the 1971 Porsche 911

Hi folks -- back home for a short break, but also hopefully a bit of research on stealing cars at the University of Toledo. First hing (almost) was to check on the hibernating Porsche 911. Before I left, I invested in a Battery Tender (available many places including Batteries Plus -- but much cheaper on Ebay). The Tender worked great -- a very strong battery system made starting the first time after 10 weeks quite easy. It took a while to get gas again to the Webers, and I did use one squirt of starter spray, but once running the car has been a dream. And I have had so much fun driving the car the last day -- over to Cliffs in Xenia Township, and here and there as well. Yesterday we had high winds and the cross winds moved the car quite a bit on I-675, but hat is expected from a rear engine car. After driving the blue Nissan the past ten weeks the differences are telling, however; the Nissan's Brembos really stop the car better than the Porsche, although the Porsche's brakes calipers need rebuilding.
But the existential joys of driving an old sports car outweigh any modern benefits.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No Bullshit! -- Audi, Trained Noses, and Bull Hides for their Interiors!


Again, Thanks to Ed Garten for this Information!
Audi Leather Interiors Only Use Bull Hides, Sniffed by Professionals
With perhaps the highest reputation for interior excellence and quality, Audi has upped the leather-quality ante and will now only make leather interiors from bull hides. It’s not sexism: bull hides are apparently larger and of a higher quality than those of cows.From the best, most homogenous bull hides, Audi takes only the “croupon” (the back, once the shoulders and legs have been removed). It’s the part least likely to show scars or scratches from the bull’s life. After a multi-stage tanning process, Audi runs 45 separate tests on leather samples to check them for stretching and wear.Audi also employs a six-member Nose Team. Formed in 1985, the team is made up of experts picked for their extra-sensitive snouts. They take small pieces of interior components—wood and leather, for example—and heat them to 176ºF. Each so-called professional sniffer then smells each sample before giving it a rating.The Nose Team helps Audi keep unpleasant scents out of its car interiors. It’s not all fun and games for the testers, though: so as not to pollute test results, the sniffers can’t work if they have colds, and are prohibited from smoking or wearing perfume to work, and can’t even eat garlic.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Car Girl's Road Song -- "Look at Miss Ohio"






Hi folks -- Ed Garten has all the energy and ideas right now -- I am just serving as a recorder on this blog! Thanks, Ed!


Here's the lyrics to "Look at Miss Ohio.............Driving with the Ragtop Down"


Oh me oh my oh, look at Miss Ohio


She’s a-running around with her rag-top down


She says I wanna do right but not right now


Gonna drive to Atlanta and live out this fantasy


Running around with the rag-top down


Yeah I wanna do right but not right now


Had your arm around her shoulder, a regimental soldier


An’ mamma starts pushing that wedding gown


Yeah you wanna do right but not right now


Oh me oh my oh, would ya look at Miss Ohio


She’s a-runnin’ around with the rag-top down


She says I wanna do right but not right now


I know all about it, so you don’t have to shout it


I’m gonna straighten it out somehow


Yeah I wanna do right but not right now


Oh me oh my oh, look at Miss Ohio


She a-runnin’ around with her rag-top down


She says I wanna do right , but not right now


Oh I wanna do right but not right now

Cars, Trains, and Song -- Gram Parsons -- We've all got wheels to take ourselves away


Hi folks -- you have to thank Ed Garten for this post. His favoritesong! It propelled him out of Hinton, West Virginia.


Gram Parsons -- Wheels


We've all got wheels to take ourselves away

We've got telephones to say what we can't say

We've all got higher and higher every day

Come on, wheels, take this boy away

We're not afraid to ride

We're not afraid to die

So come on, wheels, take me home today

Come on, wheels, take this boy away

Now when I feel that my time is almost up

And destiny is in my right hand

I'll turn to him who made my fate so strong

Come on, wheels, make this boy a man

We're not afraid to rideWe're not afraid to die

Come on, wheels, take me home today

Come on, wheels, take this boy away

Come on, wheels, take this boy away

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Black and Yellow -- Cars and Song

1956 Ford -- my kind of Black and Yellow car!


Hi folks -- every week when I help my son-in-law Tony work on his car we hear his music playing. One song keeps coming back, whether I like it or not, "Balck and Yellow." I never listen carefully to the lyrics, as the song simply hurts my brain ( I am 62 years sold, after all!), and for a long time wondered what this song as all about -- is it about a half African-American and half Asian person? No, I found out yesterday it is about a car!


A song by Wiz Khalafia.






Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


Everything I do, I do it bigYeah,


uh huh, screamin' that's nothin'


When I pulled off the lot,


that's stuntin'Reppin' my town


when you see meYou know


everythingBlack and yellow,


black and yellowBlack and yellow,


black and yellowI put it down


from the whip To my diamonds


I'm inBlack and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black stripe, yellow paint


Them niggas scared of it, but them ho's ain't


Soon as I hit the club look at them ho's face


Hit the pedal once, make the floor shake


Suede insides, my engine roarin'


It's the big boy, you know what I paid for it


And I got the petal to the metal


Got you niggas checkin' game, I'm ballin out on every level


Hear them haters talk


But there's nothing you can tell 'em


Just made a million


Got another million on my schedule


No love for a nigga breakin' hearts


No keys, push to start


Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


Everything I do, I do it big


Yeah, uh huh, screamin' that's nothin'


When I pulled off the lot, that's stuntin'


Reppin' my town when you see me


You know everything


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


I put it down from the whip


To my diamonds I'm inBlack and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Got a call from my jeweler, this just in


Bitches love me 'cause I'm fuckin' with their best friends


Not a lesbian, but she a freak though


This ain't for one night, I'm shinin' all week, ho


I'm sippin' Cliquot and rockin' yellow diamonds


So many rocks up in my watch I can't tell what the time is


Got a pocketful of big faces


Throw it up 'cause every nigga that I'm with tailored


Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


Everything I do, I do it big


Yeah, uh huh, screamin' that's nothin'


When I pulled off the lot, that's stuntin'


Reppin' my town when you see me


You know everythingBlack and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


I put it down from the whip


To my diamonds I'm in


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Stay high like how I'm supposed to do


That crown underneath them clouds can't get close to you


And my car look unapproachable


Super clean but it's super mean


She wanna fuck with them cats, smoke weed, count stacks


Get fly, take trips and that's that, real rap


I let her get high, she want and she feel that


Convertible drop fill, '87 and the top peel back


Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


Yeah, yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


You already know what it is, man


And if you don't, you should by now


Reppin' my town when you see me


You know everything


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


I put it down from the whip


To my diamonds I'm in


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is


Everything I do, I do it big


Yeah, uh huh, screamin' that's nothin'


When I pulled off the lot, that's stuntin'


Reppin' my town when you see me


You know everything


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow


I put it down from the whip


To my diamonds I'm in


Black and yellow, black and yellow


Black and yellow, black and yellow

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Advertising the Automobile in Pre-WWII America: The Jordan and Advertising the Dream















Taken from my book, The Automobile and American Life. Check it out at Amazon.Com!








The Jordan and Advertising the Dream
The Jordan automobile presents a different story but with a similar ending. The Jordon was the result of the vision and energy of Edward S. “Ned” Jordan. Born in 1881 and educated at the University of Wisconsin, Jordan’s career included a stint in advertising at the National Cash Register Company in Dayton and in a similar position with the Jeffery Automobile Company, located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In 1916, Jordan organized his own automobile company, located in Cleveland, Ohio, with the idea that the firm’s vehicles would manufacture cars that cost not quite as much as a Cadillac but more than a Buick. Always relatively expensive and assembled from parts, engines, and bodies made elsewhere, about 80,000 units were sold between 1916 and 1931. Normally priced over $2,000, the Jordan was marketed at the well-to-do.
The Jordon was noteworthy for several reasons. Ned Jordan had an uncanny understanding of well-to-do American consumers from the point of view of color, and from the firm’s origins, his cars could be ordered in a number of unusual shades, long before the color revolution of the late 1920s. Thus, as early as 1917 Jordan cars could be purchased in colors such as Liberty Blue, Pershing Gray, Italian Tan, Jordan Maroon, Mercedes Red, and Venetian Green. And when the “True Blue” Oakland was introduced in 1923, Jordan quickly followed with its 1923 Blue Boy model. Secondly, Jordan understood the post-WWI youth market and responded with the marque’s most famous model, the Playboy. Supposedly, the Playboy idea was the result of Ned’s dance with a 19-year old Philadelphia socialite, who quipped, “Mr. Jordan, why don’t you build a car for the girl who loves to swim, paddle and shoot and for the boy who loves the roar of a cut out?”44 Ned would later refer to this as a million dollar idea, and the Playboy was born. Finally, Jordan was a flamboyant advertising copywriter, and it would be in his Playboy ad copy written in 1923, “Somewhere West of Laramie,” that American automobile advertising would be transformed.
While there is little doubt that twentieth century advertisements serve as important cultural documents, there is considerable debate as to their meaning.45 In his Understanding Media (1964), Marshall McLuhan asserted that “historians . . . will one day discover that the ads of our times are the richest and most faithful daily reflections that any society ever made of its entire range of activities.” This is especially true in a capitalist economy, where consumption and persuasion are so important. Raymond Williams insightfully labeled advertising as capitalism’s “official art.” With regard to advertising, the work of Judith Williamson, Roland Marchand and William O’Barr all significantly contribute to an understanding of its meaning. Williamson’s Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising provides the reader with a step-by-step guide in the dissection of an advertisement. Marchand’s Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity is a powerful example of how a cultural historian can employ advertising to reconstruct the past. And O’ Barr’s work, while primarily aimed at using advertising to illuminate discursive themes in social history that include hierarchy, power, relationships, and dominance, has an excellent synthetic theoretical introduction. O’Barr follows along the lines of Marchand in arguing that social and cultural values appearing in advertisements are more a refraction than a representation. The two scholars also agree that audience response, while important to copywriters, is beyond the scope of the historian, and at any rate problematic. Past audience responses are simply impossible to accurately reconstruct. In the present, there is no simple way to ascertain meaning, for meaning involves the interplay of the naive with the critical, and thus there is an ultimate variance among interpreters. The problems associated with the use of advertising, however, can be extended to many, if not all of the various manuscript, textual, visual, and oral sources used by the historian.
In the early days of automobile advertising, the features of an automobile were often emphasized. For example an ad for the new 1917 seven passenger Oldsmobile claimed that
This light weight, eight cylinder car combines power, acceleration, speed, economy, comfort, beauty, and luxury in a measure hitherto undreamed of in alight car. The eight-cylinder motor, developing 58 horsepower at 2,6000 r.p.m., with the light weight of the car – 3,000 pounds – presents a proportion of power to total car weight of approximately one horsepower to every 51 pounds – an unusually favorable ratio. The comfort of the car is beyond description. Long, flat, flexible springs and perfect balance of chassis insure easy riding under any kind of going. The seats, upholstered with fine, long grain French leather stuffed with pliant springs encased in linen sacks, increase comfort to the point of luxury.
This style of advertising was swept aside by the mid-1920s. In 1923, Edward S. Jordan created the most famous auto ad of all time to move his colorful Playboy Roadsters.46 Jordan had a gift for writing advertising copy; in 1920 a Playboy ad suggested a visit to a local bordello:
Somewhere far beyond the place where man and motors race through canyons of the town – there lies the Port of Missing Men.
It may be in the valley of our dreams of youth, or the heights of future happy days.
Go there in November when logs are blazing in the grate. Go there in a Jordan Playboy if you love the spirit of youth.
Escape the drab of dull winter’s coming – leave the roar of city streets and spend an hour in Eldorado.47
While traveling on a train across the flat and monotonous Wyoming plains, a tall, tan, and athletic horsewoman suddenly appeared, racing her horse toward Jordan’s window. For a brief moment the two were rather close as the woman smiled at him; then she turned and was gone. Jordan asked a fellow traveler where they were: “Oh, somewhere west of Laramie,” was the desultory reply. Within minutes he composed an immortal ad that later appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. Beneath an illustration of a cowgirl racing a sporty Jordan roadster against a cowboy straining to push his fleet-looking steed to catch up with her, there appeared these words:
Somewhere west of Laramie there’s a bronco-busting, steer roping girl who knows what I am talking about. She can tell what a sassy pony, that’s a cross between greased lightning and the place where it hits, can do with eleven hundred pounds of steel and action when he’s going high, wide and handsome.
The truth is the Playboy was built for her.
Built for the lass whose face is brown with the sun when the day is done of revel and romp and race.
Step into the Playboy when the hour grows dull with things gone dead and stale.
Then start for the land of real living with the spirit of the lass who rides, lean and rangy, into the red horizon of a Wyoming twilight.
The Playboy sold like hot cakes, and this ad galvanized the auto industry. Soon Chevrolet and Rickenbacker responded with ad lines “All outdoors can be yours,” and “The American Beauty,” respectively.48
Previously ads mentioned the features of the car, but with the Jordan ad new parameters came into play – freedom, speed, and romance. Emblematic was the fact that the practical Model T's life had come to an end. Now it would be art and color that was the key to auto sales.
The prosperity decade of the 1920s resulted in a remarkable restructuring of the American automobile industry and a drive towards consolidation as numerous small manufacturers dropped out of the marketplace. Given the drive towards efficiencies in production and distribution, intense pressures were placed not only on the workmen who assembled the cars, but also the consumers who bought them, increasingly on credit and after being exposed to more subtle and suggestive advertising. With more wealth and disposable income, consumers wanted more – more horsepower, more size, more colors and style, and more conveniences. The automobile was now an object of desire among all classes of Americans, and as such it transformed our personal and social habits, as well as the road and roadside.