In those late 50's days, I was into cars, what being from a small town in northern Illinois. Cars were a thing in those days, and unlike what is mostly today's models, where style-wise they are about as imaginative as beer cans, the twenties, thirties, forties and fifties cars had character; they had smell, feeling, eccentricities; many had beauty and class. There were the 'woodies' of the forties that were particularly quaint. It was the days when there was any number of manufacturers, before they were merged into just four. And then again many models were ugly as sister-sin. The kids in those days were taking some of these forties and fifties cars and customizing them. There were skirts or panels over the rear wheels, dual spot-lights, dual exhaust with chrome tail pipe extensions.
There was lowering the rear ends with 'lowering blocks', between the axle and springs, 'shaving' the hoods, trunks and side panels, which meant removing excess chrome and filling in the holes. Even more elaborate was chopping or lowering the roof and even taking a section out, all the way around the body, so the whole car was lower. There was the louvred hood, removing the door handles and replacing them with hidden electric openers. Speed was not that popular, since there were no really high horse power engines in those days, and most custom cars had 'stock' or original engines.
For most of the fifties the fad was custom cars, but starting probably in '58, Detroit began an emphasis on speed. Dicky the youngest of our little group, the most dare-devil, socially outgoing knowing everyone, good looking, and active sexually, way ahead of the rest of us, was the first to point this out.
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