Car and Driver Turns 50 Without Me

Flat-out in Ohio
What? No Fury?

As usual, I got my Car and Driver magazine a week or 2 before it hit the newsstands. The July 50th anniversary issue of C/D covered the highlights of the past 50 about a quarter (3 mos.) at a time. Fine, because that’s about 200 little windows into the past. However, C/D left out a lot of the real highlights:

Flat Out in Ohio. 9 cars, including a Thunderbird with a 400 cubic inch V-8, struggling to double the Über-stupid 55 mph limit.
Flat Out on Stadium Drive – a couple of white dopes on punk, a red ’73 Dodge Dart, a maroon ’76 Coupe de Ville, a green ‘76 Skyhawk, a green ’77 Ranchero, a maroon ’79 Continental, a blue on blue ‘79 LTD and a couple of parking lots early on a Sunday morning (or 3). (Once the Sunday papers were delivered)

1983 Mercury Cougar
Like this except with smoking TRX tires

Flat Out on Stadium Drive Part 2 – an ’83 Cougar XR-7.

Dr. Gonzo: “Oh yeah, man, my mom will buy this for me. Lemme take it for a spin.
:   Time to make the donuts [in the high school parking lot down the street].

Flat Out on Westnedge.

(shotgun): Oh shit.
Dr. Gonzo: Oh look McDonalds. Mmmmm, cheeseburger.
8: Oh shit!
Dr. Gonzo: Huh? OH SHIT!!!


Flat-Out on Washtenaw

8 (riding shotgun): Look out for that…


8: …Chevette.

Flat Out on Waite:  8. Fiat. Fishtails. Snowbank.

8: “Somebody must have got crazy with a shopping cart at the store.”

Flat Out on I-94. Every other goddamn weekend for a while. “Is he turning around?” “Quick, get off the highway!”

The Boss Wagon. They remembered the first one. They forgot the original 8 barrel, or its fully armed counterpart with the spotlights, radar detector, active terrorist repellent systems, and forced air induction. (“Forced Air Induction” being a piece of wood over the air filter, which sounded really cool inside the car, but just amplified the giant sucking sound of the car for onlookers.)

Car and Driver March 1978

The famous hands-on DUI test.* Bedard chasing St. Pauli Girl with candy brandy when he didn’t get drunk fast enough. Puking down the side of the car in the Holland Tunnel.

The infamous hands-on DUI lifestyle. Explored to death here.

The infamous flat-out/DUI on Sheffield (1977). Where the real estate agent who sold you your house DUIs his Corvette around a tree at about 90 mph about 100 yards from your house. Interrupting you in mid-grope in the dark at the one and only party in your basement. Bummer. Oh, and too bad about the dead guy, too.

The Steering Wheel pictorial. Featuring some hot naked lady behind a bunch of overpriced wheels.

I have no naked hottie counterpart. Except topless/nude sunbathers behind a VW camper in a driveway behind a house. And some girls changing into their bikinis in their rabbit convertible in Daytona Beach (1989).

Davis & O’Rourke as biker badasses. On Harleys and a Suzuki 1100. Scary.

Dr. Gonzo, 8 and Phid as biker badasses. On a Honda 350 and Kawasaki and Suzuki 650s. Scary? Not so much.

mmmm... hotties
My life, as I hoped it would turn out

They did remember the December 1980 issue – the best ever. Topless hottie on the cover in leather pants. Vector W2 inside. Also the red Corvette issue with the hottie in pink short shorts. God, I miss the eye candy days. Le sigh. Le pant. Le drool.

  • I can’t find the original article online, but here is a blurb on it from C/D in 1980:

The precedent for this kind of serious chemical experiment was set two years ago when Car and Driver staged the Great Carry Nation Memorial Drunk-Off, which was an attempt to test objectively the effects of alcohol on driving ability. That test, published in our March 1978 issue, broke new journalistic ground. Real live people, familiar to millions of readers, drank real booze, had their blood-alcohol levels checked on a breath tester, and then performed a simple slalom test. The results were dramatic. Not unexpected, but very dramatic, and the original drunk-off story has been the most frequently requested article Car and Driver has published.

21 thoughts on “Car and Driver Turns 50 Without Me

  1. Mine arrived yesterday and I only had a chance to briefly glance at it. Just seeing some of the illustrations took me right back. I think I’ve subscribed continuously since ’76 or ’77. Kind of wish I’d kept all of them instead of throwing them out in batches over the years.
    I don’t think you mentioned Flat Out on Tenth Streeet. What do you mean there’s a wheel cover missing. I thought all Rabbits smelled like burned clutch and brake pads. Or
    Flat Out North of Daytona. Old lady ahead of you going too slow? No problem. One of you can pass on the left against oncoming traffic. The other can pass simultaneoulsy on the shoulder. Too bad about the probable cardiac arrest.

  2. 10th Street. Sorry, senior moment here. I know 10th street and Van Buren is a great location for skanky crackwhores, but that is a different post entirely. Please refresh me.
    Ahh, sweet beach wheeling.
    They forgot Flat Out on Westnedge 2 – *The WHAT? Hey 8, that guy says your wheel is on fire.*
    And One Lap of Normal, Illinois, Ypsi, Windsor. I’m not sure if Cass corridor was a one lap, a Detroit Grand Prix or a Flat out. Maybe it was an Escape from Baja, only with crack wars in progress.
    My mom better still have my old ones, dammit.

  3. Tenth Street (Oshtemo) – beer distributor with big parking lot, Rabbit test drive, car dealer who wants to know “what happened” to the car he stupidly allowed out without a chaperone.

  4. Hmmm. What is it about test drives you say? Speed, adrenaline, admiration, danger, thrill and an occasional hottie. In other words attraction. But all of this submits in the face of a great looking car which makes your eyes tingle.

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