Here in the good old USA we all have one thing in common. Cars. We drive them, ride in them, collect them, see them everywhere and for some people it’s an obsession. I personally know a bunch of …
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Here in the good old USA we all have one thing in common. Cars. We drive them, ride in them, collect them, see them everywhere and for some people it’s an obsession. I personally know a bunch of car nuts that fix them up, totally restore them, turn them into hot rods, put them on race tracks and these are just the amateurs with a big interest. I know about a dozen professionals that wrench on the things for a living and still go home to work on a project they have going in their garage. Some people just love cars. OK, there’s a sub set in there that are all about trucks too. But basically, I’m talking about all the folks that really love things with four wheels and an engine.
And it goes way beyond just the cars themselves. Do you want to write a hit song? Then write one about cars or driving them. They sell millions of copies. Here’s a few you might remember…
The Beach Boys did Little Deuce Coupe, 409, Fun, Fun, Fun, and I Get Around. Jan and Dean had Drag City, Dead Man’s Curve and I Gotta Drive. The Beatles did Drive My Car. There are songs about G.T.O.s, Cameros, Trans Ams, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Low Riders and Little Red Corvettes. Then there are the ones about heading down the highway like Route 66, Highway Star, Rockin’ Down the Highway, Radar Love and Highway to Hell. There was even a band called The Cars and this is just the tip of the iceberg. If popular music is a reflection of our culture, then the mighty automobile is one of our big cultural icons.
Of course, there are cars, and then there are CARS, OK? Let’s be honest, since the gas shortage in the late 1970’s and manufacturers making fuel economy a priority, car designs have moved to more and more generic with very few of them coming out with big wow factors. Driving on the freeway today, you pretty much have to look at the badge or emblem on the back to tell one brand from another.
But back before then, you could tell every car apart. They were all unique and designing something different was the priority. Well, OK, there was some overlap. A Camero, Firebird and Trans Am were basically the same car but they were all made by G.M.. They did that kind of thing a lot. Dodge and Plymouth were the same company too and had a lot of overlap, but you didn’t get one of those cars mixed up with a Ford Mustang. Cars had personalities.
Which brings me to the real subject of today’s column. It’s time once again for all the car nuts in the area to converge on our town for the monthly Golden Super Cruise! I really love this event and get a big kick out of it every year. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, let me explain it a bit.
Back in the days I was talking about, people used to spend their weekends just cruising up and down certain streets in their cars. It was a place to show yours off if you had a cool one, see someone else’s to ooh and ah, or just be out there seeing your friends or meeting new people. When I was in high school in the 70’s, downtown Denver was the place to go. 15th and 16th Streets were one way streets going in opposite directions. That was before they turned 16th Street into a mall. So, you would cruise down one to the end, then back up the other one for. That was the center of downtown. It was a big loop and it was packed with people cruising all night long. Up and down, up and down. I know, to kids today it probably sounds kind of boring, but let me add this little gem. We met a lot of girls doing that. It wasn’t just about the cars *wink*.
The Golden Super Cruise brings that back to life again with folks bringing loads of classic cars, hot rods and sports cars to cruise up and down South Golden Road on the first Saturday of each month. It officially happens 5-8:30 p.m. but people start showing up way before that. The participants park their prize cars in the business parking lots with hoods open and owners there to show them off. You can get lots of great pictures, hear the roar of the engines and even just pull up a lawn chair to watch them all drive by.
The next one is coming up this Saturday, June 29 and the best part is it’s free to attend. It’s a real walk down memory lane for a lot of us and a terrific place to make some new memories for your entire family.
John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at email@example.com
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