America was king.
…but Camelot ended when President JFK was assassinated; he was our last true combat veteran and leader. LBJ came into power.
The Feminist Movement.
The first heart transplant.
Liberal tainted news reporting, ‘Nam and 55,000 Americans.
Apollo 8 and 11.
The Wonderful World of Color and Combat!
Marilyn OD’d and Joey Heatherton was in.
Gas was 29 cents per gallon and you got Blue Chip Stamps.
Fuel, oxygen, compression and a spark was all that was required to fire up your prized motor. Well, that part (almost) hasn’t left us.
Gas stations cleaned off your windshield with real paper…even the stuff from birds. Yes, you were actually waited on. Just how cool was that?
The service attendant that would short dip the dipstick and tell your old man he was a quart low… Well, maybe it’s good that part’s gone.
Pontiac GTO and the Mustang. A behemoth 409 in an Impala. Four-on-the-Floor and a Hurst. Your cup holder was the babe sitting alongside you in a miniskirt. Polyglas GTs and Firestone Wide Ovals. Toyotas and Datsuns were nothing but big Hot Wheels.
Ah… Car styling that said, “American”. In 1959, we had this:
Twenty-five years later, we had this:
What happened? We lost Oldsmobile, AMC, Plymouth… Pontiac and Oldsmobile with the future of GM and Chrysler becoming uncertain soon thereafter. Sure, we can always place blame on management but I feel it is much deeper, much more complicated.
One thing is for certain: I like Clint Eastwood and his spaghetti Westerns… I cringe imagining him riding off into the sunset on a Fiat-badged Jeep.
Indeed, Car 54, where are you?
(Note Jan. 6, 2019: I wrote this over ten years ago for a national Mustang car club.)