Musclecars, Music and Memories

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On August 7, 1965, history took place when a little airport in York County was the site of the inaugural Super Stock Nationals. If you’re a motorhead like me and love musclecars, the name York US30 Dragway is synonymous with fast cars, burning rubber, screaming engines, and legions of fans watching cars race side-by-side down the airstrip at the Thomasville airport. Okay, to be honest, I’ve never been to York US30 Dragway, but I’ve known about the legendary drag-racing track since I was a young man.

Cuda1I’ve had so many cars during my lifetime, most of which I wish I still owned. My first car was a 1968 VW Beetle that I purchased in 1973 when I was 16.

Okay, not so impressive, but when I blew the bug up, my second car was a 1968 Plymouth GTX. Wow! I loved that car! It had a 440 under the hood, 4-speed transmission and…..uh, about 4 miles to a gallon of gas. Cuda2a

Other toys I’ve owned included a 1970 Plymouth Satellite, a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda (cloned to look like a ‘Cuda), and a 1968 Nova.

The Nova was originally owned by my best friend in the world, John Gordy. About 1978, John sold me the car, which I immediately had painted white thanks to a $99.95 Earl Scheib paint job.

NovaAbout a year later, I sold the car back to John…and he still has it today! However, after many years of sitting, the car is in pretty bad shape.

NovaJohn is in the process of completely restoring the Nova. He’s got a lot of work to do, as you can see from the picture, but that’s to be expected when you pursue your passions and dreams. In the end, it will be all worth the time, money and effort…but this time, I don’t think he’ll sell it back to me, at least not for the same price as before…about $500.

On May 15, 1990 I purchased a 1974 AMC Javelin from the original owner, I believe her name was Linda.
The car was maxi-blue with black interior. With a 304 ci engine under the hood and automatic transmission, it wasn’t real fast, but it sure did look great with the air shocks, Keystone Classic wheels, 60 series tires on back and 70’s up front.

Javelin2Linda even gave me the original window sticker. It was her first car and she purchased it from R.W. Bowman and Son AMC in York. She told me the greatest story that endeared me to the history of the car from day one.

The car was a Javelin, which is sort of a base model of the AMX. There are many differences between the Javelin and AMX including engine size, performance package, etc., but the most visible difference to me, was the AMX had a really cool spoiler on the trunk. The spoiler gave the car a finished look, like a real racecar.

Javelin3aWhen Linda took her dad to see the car she wanted to buy, he said “That car looks like a woman with no butt” (but, he didn’t say “butt”). So he offered to pay to have the dealership add the AMX-style spoiler to the car, which honestly did add a classic musclecar finishing touch to the Javelin.

Now, back to York US30 Dragway. Unfortunately, the track closed in 1979 and all that remained for many years was the memories of this historic drag-racing airstrip.

Darwin Doll Bill StilesThen in 2002 Darwin Doll and Bill Stiles started Musclecar Madness, an event at the York Fairgrounds to bring together former cars, drivers, fans, and memorabilia collectors.

Musclecar Madness 2015This year Musclecar Madness will be held for the final time July 10th through the 12th.

Here’s a link to a great article about this year’s Musclecar Madness published in the York Dispatch.

Now, here’s the kicker to how all this musclecar information relates to my music blog…
There are so many great car songs that have been recorded, and instead of listing “my” favorites, I want to hear from YOU!

What was (or still is) your favorite car song, or tune to cruise to? How about memories that went along with your cruisin’ days? Where did you hang out? What were your favorite songs? Is there a song that takes you right back to those “Happy” days when you hear it today? Is there a song you loved, but can’t find it today…maybe I can find it and post it for you.

Send those memories and requests to:  radio@bobrudy.com

Let’s end this blog with one of the original radio commercials from York US30 Dragway.

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