Wednesday, June 3, 2009

......LHS News......
Originally sent May 29

Steve Colwell, class '57, sent a great site to check out 'vintage' cars...hate to use that term as 'we' were riding around in them!
Scroll on down for Steve's wonderful remembrances and I must say, his memory and recollections are priceless. I love this. Think you will enjoy & I so appreciate Steve for sending this along.

One of my buddies sent this link to 50?s car photos. It triggered a fun little memory trip for me, back to when I was growing up in Lawton. As I saw the cars I recalled the people they reminded me of and related events. Maybe some of the the WolverNet readers would find it interesting. We are splitting our time between Placerville, CA and Lago Vista, TX (near Austin). Keep me on the mailing list for reunions. Steve Colwell

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. I had a 57 Bel Air 2 door hardtop, black with red and black interior. It had a stick shift, 283, 4 barrel carb and glass packs. I lowered it in front, put a early corvette grille in and truck camshaft as recommended by an article in Hot Rod Magazine. I made it last all the way thru college and sold it for more than I paid for it after my first wife nearly totaled it.
(Dickie Shelton bought my Canary Yellow 1949 Ford I had in High School)

1956 Ford Fairlane. My Jr. College friend Gordon Griswold had the 2 door stripped version, not very fast but we had a lot of fun in that car on water ski trips to Lake Lawtonka.Plymouth Fury. My dad had 3 of them from 56 to 59. We did OK at the dragstrip. During a cornering demonstration of the Torsion Bar Suspension it downshifted at about 60 mph, crossed up sliding sideways under power, but I kept my foot down and it powered out of it. My passengers were impressed, I was scared, REALLY scared.

1949 Cadillac. Ellen English (the bankers daughter) folks had a 49 Cad. I heard it back out of the garage once and it SOUNDED expensive with a deep mellow muttering tone.

1959 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe. Bill Temple first had a Powerglide 283 convertible that would not out drag our 59 Sport Fury. His dad traded it for a stick shift hardtop that still would not beat our Mayflower. I installed mechanical linkage to replace the vacuum linkage operating the front and rear 2 barrel carbs for him and that did the trick.

1949 Mercury 6-Passenger Coupe. "One Punch Bob" Baird had a metallic copper Merc that was one of the best looking cars in town. He should have kept that car, it was better looking than James Dean's.

1954 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door. Bobby Atkins had a stock (I think) Powerglide hardtop that only had lowering blocks and steel packs with a beautiful and unique to Chevy stovebolts sound. He consistently beat my "3/4 race" 49 Ford business coupe in the street drags out by the National Guard Armory.

1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V 4-Door Landau. My buddy Robert "Bobby" Winters dad (Harley dealer in Ft Smith, Ark.) bought the biggest, blackest Lincolns they sold. Robert won Daytona on a factory Yamaha prepared for Jody Nicholas who was injured in practice.

1957 Buick Roadmaster 2-Door Hardtop. My dad's store was right behind Frank Kitchens Buick-Cadillac dealership. Dad later went to work for Frank (one of his best friends from Shriners) and LOVED selling cars (he won several major sales awards and would open the dealership up in the morning and close the place up at night).

1953 Cadillac Eldorado. Georgia Gill's folks had two of them, a convertible and a hardtop when Bobby Atkins was dating her and I was going with her best friend Babs Yarmuk.

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air and 1956 Chevrolet 210.
Frank Kitchens had a 2 door, 210 with stick shift and a V8. I did not have enough saved to buy it and my dad would not lend me the difference. Tom Bill Ray bought it, rolled it and lost his life (his passengers were OK)

1959 Buick 2-Door. I remember seeing these before the official showing. They were beautiful and a huge change from typical Buick styling. Apparently the typical Buick customer did not agree with me because they went back to the massive look.

1966 Ford Galaxy. Donnie Hagler had a (65?) 406 stick shift that was probably the fastest stock car in town for a while.

1958 Edsel Citation. My ex-wife Yvonne Jewett's step father had one, it confirmed the reputation of the brand.

1958 De Soto. Leonard Fietz, my dad and I were on our way back from Wichita Falls, TX when we tried to pass the Lawton Desoto Dealer in our Plymouth Fury. We were doing over 100 mph when dad had Fietz pull his right cowboy boot off so he could get the pedal all the way down?? we took him.

1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible. Adolph Fietz had a 300 on the showroom floor. Adolph always drove a stripped Plymouth or a used car trade-in because he had gone thru the depression and thought it was unnecessary to have an expensive car.

1956-1959 Mercury. It seemed like Buster "Bussie" Wyatt had a couple of new Mercs a year. His dad had the Lincoln-Mercury dealership. He married Johnna Gordon, the new Chrysler-Plymouth dealers daughter.

1948-1951 Chevrolet Fleetline. Mike and Roger Wyatt's folks had one with a Vacuum Shift, I don't think it worked too well.

1949 Oldsmobile 88. Frank Rinehart had one just like this for years. He and Leonard Fietz converted it to a dirt track "Claim Racer". It was faster that the other "Claim Racers" so after they won with it they withdrew rather than sell it for the $200 or so the rules required.

1963 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe. Jimmy Click (he and his sister Janet used to live across the street from us) had the full factory optioned 409 drag race car. He now owns several car dealerships in Arizona and S. CA.

1949-1954 Kaiser. Frank Rinehart's dad had a 53 or 54 when they moved to Lawton. They had a Kaiser-Frazier dealership in Arkansas that went bust but they kept a loaded car.

1958 Chevrolet. My dad bought a 58 Biscane, stick shift, 6 cylinder coupe for some reason. He hated it so much he traded it for another Plymouth Fury after about 6 months.

1956-59 Pontiac. Local (and national) drag race star Lyman Kidwell had several very fast Pontiacs about the time I left Lawton, he lost his life in a rollover accident as a passenger on the way to drag races in Texas.

1949-51 Hudson. I heard one of the Bullock boys rolled a new Hudson when his folks were out of town. They owned the Hudson dealership and he talked the body shop into cutting the top off and making it a convertible before they got back. This may not be an accurate story, is it?

1960-64 Chevrolet Corvair. My ol buddy Del Rentzel in Okla. City had a Turbo Monza. The procedure for passing was; floor it, hold your foot on the brake while the turbo spooled up, take your foot off the brake and pass.

1959 Ford Thunderbird Convertible.
Our next door neighbors Maylin and Heather Wolverton's mom was a friend of Jack Story and Don Barton, the Story Barton dance school partners who had the first one in town. Later Donnie and Ronnie Hagler's dad bought the roadster version with the headrest/back seat cover.

1950-1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 2-Door Sedan.
My folks sent me to the Catholic School, for my own good, in the 5th and 6th grade. Charley Wade the Oldsmobile dealer (Chuck's dad) would always donate a new Olds for the annual Catholic Carnival Fund Raiser. First prize was the car, second was locker full of beef, I got third, a hand knitted shawl by one of the sisters.
[3rd place, love that, too funny!]

I also appreciate '59 classmate Willie Guest for sending this site. It's fun!

Ahhhhhhhhhh, the good 'ol days! I can hear Barb Streisand singing 'Memories' as I read!.... Best to all.......Georgia

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