Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Tribute to Mom on Mother's Day and Her Influence on my Hot Rodding

Texas Classic Chevy Experience
A Tribute to Mom on Mother's Day
and Her Influence on my Hot Rodding

Momma's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Hot Rodders.

by Alan Arnell
My Mother is as much to blame for me being a car guy as anyone. She had loved and cared for the most favorite car of her life - a 1957 Chevy. I was born only weeks after Mom bought her 1957 Chevy. I grew up in it and to this day, I love my mom's '57 almost as much as I loved her. That is why, 44 years later, I have my own 1957 Chevy, which is a 1957 Chevrolet-Model 150-two door sedan. I suppose somewhere in my sub-conscience, is the thought, "as long as I have and drive a '57 my mother is still with me," at least in spirit.

Today on Mother's Day, the fond memories of my childhood, my Mom and her 1957 again have resurfaced. My formative years were in the "Lanes", which is a part of Mossville, Illinois. Mossville is a northern suburb of Peoria, Illinois.  My parents owned two cars. My dad drove a plane-Jane 1964 Chevy II and Mom drove her 1957 from 1958 to 1972. The car was an Adobe Beige (which is a coral pink) and India Ivory (off white) 4-door Hardtop 1957 Chevrolet Belair.

When my Mom drug me around in her '57 on her outings, I usually stood up on the back seat to lean over the front seat, with my mouth going a mile a minute. Who knew of seat belts or booster seats back then? I can distinctly remember saying (and said quite often) to my dear mother, "Mama! Put it into passing gear!” My mother, I guess, for no other reason than to shut me up, would floor the accelerator of the family ‘57, kicking in all 4 barrels of the 283 cubic inch Chevy Small Block engine’s carburetor.  The front of the car would raise up and the gleaming car would squirt up the street like my dad would say, "a ruptured duck!"

What made the joyous experience of acceleration even better was that the ‘57 had “glass-pack mufflers.” Those cheap mufflers, to my delight, produced a great roar of full throttled Small Block Chevy. The throaty, deep, prolonged cry followed by the back peddling popping sounds from the dual exhaust pipes was a most pleasing tune for my young and tender ears.

My Mom's willingness to kick her '57 into passing gear at a moments notice put a fire in my belly for hot rod cars. Truth be known, my Mom liked flooring the '57's throttle almost as much as I did and still do. The neighbors in the Lanes didn't give Mom the nickname of "Hot Rod" for nothing!

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