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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

Posted August 01, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: beach classic auto Daytona memories

The day that I fell in love with Chrysler products was the day that my dad pulled into our driveway in our brand new yellow and white 1957 Plymouth Savoy sport coupe. I was just 6 years old at the time. My father drove only Chrysler products, and of all the cars that he owned when I was growing up, that was my favorite. It still is, and if I could have any car today it would be a 1957-’58 Plymouth Savoy coupe. I would help my dad when he washed it. He would give me an SOS soap pad, and a bucket of water with a sponge, and I got to clean the whitewalls and wheels. I just loved that car.

Our family made two trips to Florida from our home in Summit, New Jersey in the Plymouth, once in 1958 and again in 1959. It was a long ride with my brother and I in the back seat. Every time we saw a roadside sign for a Stuckey’s store, we would yell out the name and that would drive mom and dad nuts. By the time we made Georgia, my mom wasn’t speaking to either of us. We would stay in tourist traps like South of the Border, where they had one of Elvis Presley’s cars on display. I don’t know what kind of car it was, but it was surrounded by a thick felt rope (like the kind you would see in a movie theater) and was guarded by two uniformed guys, each of whom had a large German Shepherd. The message was clear, look but don’t touch.

You'll be happy knowing that Daytona Beach still allows cars to the cruise the packed sand.

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/01/2017 10:37 AM

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/02/2017 10:48 AM

If one looks at the cars of the 50's and early 60's compared to the cars today you notice several things. Probably the single biggest item is the color. Those 50's and 60's cars were a rainbow of color and what wasn't colorful was chrome plated.

Today the cars are black, white, silver and that is about it. Very few cars really Red and only one company is doing candy apple and that's Mazda. The lack of style is also notable. We have managed to distill rolling art down to shoeboxs on wheels.

They may be safer, but when you look at them in a parking lot compared to a classic car show you very quickly realize, America is Clinically Depressed and our cars show it very clearly.

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/02/2017 12:01 PM

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/02/2017 1:24 PM

...and, if you wanted your car in a different color--any color--you could simply "special order" it either (a) directly from the factory or (b) the dealership would re-paint the vehicle to your wishes.

Today, it's Take-It or Leave-It (TILI) in choices...and usually only from what's on the dealership lot.

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/02/2017 2:18 PM

Musical interlude to cheer up the depressed...

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/02/2017 3:34 PM

The Bird is in rare form today!

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/02/2017 6:09 PM

While I have to agree overall, I however purchased a 2015 Chevrolet Impala (in white... yes, white, like above). I get many compliments on the style. In fact it was the styling (like the 1960 Ford Starliner in black I purchased new, that along with my garage mechanic convinced me to buy American, and GM at that. I'm loving the looks, the gas mileage (over 30mpg when driving under 75), and the comfort.

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Re: Reminiscing – Driving on the Beach

08/03/2017 3:46 AM

<...America is Clinically Depressed...>

Perhaps those Cavalier days are behind now, though?

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