In the 1960s I spent many summer
evenings sitting in the parking lot of
Gino's 15-cent Hamburgers
watching the endless parade of
high performance muscle cars going by.
All evening long hot wheels in all shapes and sizes would turn off East Market St. and crawl through the U-shaped lot.
The men in the cock pits drove their vehicles nice and slow...
giving the assembled multitude an opportunity to gaze in envy at the kind of machines that real men drove.
The Pontiac G.T.O. was one of the more common species
to gather at nightfall around the watering hole. In the late summer of 1964 Ronny & the Daytonas reached the top 5 on Billboard with the biggest hit of their career, a tribute to their little "G.T.O."
"Little G.T.O." - Ronny & the Daytonas
(September 1964, highest chart position #4)
That same summer Jan & Dean put a killer bee about the same make and model on the flip side of their smash hit
"The Little Old Lady From Pasadena."
"My Mighty G.T.O." - Jan and Dean
(August 1964, uncharted B side of
"The Little Old Lady from Pasadena)
A guy like me, who sat in shame behind the wheel of his dad's Nerdmobile, had two choices. He could wear a paper bag over his head (recommended), or get defiant about it.
Hey mang, you think your Vette's bad?
Word up! My little Nash Rambler's got
push-button automatic. Eat your heart out!
"Beep Beep" - Playmates
(February 1959, highest chart position #4)
If you've ever owned a lemon, a clunker, or a heap, you can relate to the way I felt behind the wheel of a schlock rod!
Unlike miserable me, Bruce and Terry were sittin' pretty in their "Custom Machine." Future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston and Doris Day's son Terry Melcher were right in the thick of things during the California surf rock and car craze of the mid 60s. The duo also made hit records as The Rip Chords. I like Bruce and Terry's rendition of this great car song better than the Beach Boys' original!
"Custom Machine" - Bruce and Terry
(March 1964, highest chart position #85)
In the summer of 1963 the Beach Boys got decent chart action out of two car song killer bees. "Shut Down," which narrowly missed the Billboard top 20, was a released on the flip side of the Beach Boys' top 5 single "Surfin' U.S.A."
"Shut Down" - Beach Boys (June 1963,
highest chart position #23)
At the end of summer 1963 the Beach Boys placed two more back-to-back hits on the chart. "Surfer Girl" cracked the top 10 while the fab flip "Little Deuce Coupe" finished its run in the top 20.
"Little Deuce Coupe" - Beach Boys
(Sept. 1963, highest chart position #15)
Earlier this summer Gary Lewis and the Playboys unveiled "Little Miss Go Go." Not to be outfoxed, the Hondells take us on a "Sea Cruise," covering the 1959 Frankie Ford hit and uncovering their own set of go go gals along with a mermaid! What does this titillating Scopitone relic have to do with fast cars and drive-in restaurants? I haven't the foggiest idea!
"Sea Cruise" - Hondells (October 1965,
highest chart position #131)
Stick around! More classic cars and drive-
in memories are coming up in Part 10 of
SUMMER MEANS FUN!
Have a Shady day!
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop 93
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