Horseless Carriages

We biked over to Forest Park to see the Easter car show. We pretty much just went straight there and back, so we only got 11 miles. It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day, perfect weather for photographing shiny chrome and brilliant paint jobs. For those not familiar with this Saint Louis tradition, there are actually two car shows, one for each of the two Muny parking lots. The upper Muny lot hosts the classic cars, while the lower lot has the custom hot-rods.

We started on the upper lot. The owners mostly sit by their car all show long. They are there to answer questions, talk to other enthusiasts and bask in the reflective glow of their automobile. One story that I heard involves the Dodge Brothers logo. If you look closely at the radiator cap the logo includes a Jewish six-pointed star. The founders of what became part of Chrysler were not Jewish, far from it. Their original logo was the intertwined D and B. They used this logo when they started as a parts supplier to Henry Ford. They would supply car parts and Ford would pay them in Ford stock. The day came when the Dodge brothers wanted to set off on their own and build their own cars. They went to Henry Ford and asked him to cash out their stock, but he refused. They had to take him to court to finally get their money. When they setup their shop they enhanced their intertwined D and B logo, to include the Jewish star. They did this purely to thumb their noses at Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite.

You can always tell a Buick, because it has either three or four holes on the front fenders. These VentiPorts were introduced in 1949 on a concept car. It had a flashing light within each hole each synchronized with a specific spark plug simulating the flames from the exhaust stack of a fighter airplane. The lights never made it into production, but the holes were on every Buick ever after.

A friend from work, Glen was there showing off his Pantera. The Pantera is an Italian sports car, built-in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The word “Pantera” is Italian for “Panther”. The Chrysler Turbine car was there and it was doing better than last year. Last year it stalled rolling off its trailer. It was running fine today. A couple of guys had bicycles that they had attached motors to. In China, this is done all of the time. I got trapped in a conversation with one of them. He was so enthusiastic that he just wouldn’t let the conversation or me go. After that it was time to head home. There will be many more pictures to show and stories to tell from this day. OBTW, Sunday was a non-driving day. 😆

1 thought on “Horseless Carriages

  1. Yup…. 4 ports on a Buick tended to mark it as the “best” model, whereas 3 ports made it more “common” (see Park Avenue versus LeSabre, ad nauseum). The lowest Buick models had NO ports…

    Re the motorized bicycles… not as common in China as your contact would have you think. The 2 times I was over there (2007 & 2010), I saw a LOT of pedal power (in Shanghai & Beijing, they would even get their own full-width barricaded lanes!), whereas motorized power appeared to be *mostly* relegated to primarily 3- and 4-wheeled utility and passenger vehicles.

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