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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Before Oldies Were Oldies

1966 Sport Fury

Back in the summer of 1967 I was driving to work on my 1956 Ford Victoria (Central California) typical hot summer day driving with my radio loud and the windows down.  The windows down in the summer time was a given.  Back in that period of time we enjoyed the fresh air, mostly because air conditioning was not that prevalent, especially in the 1956 Ford.  By now my car was 11 years old, and was not treated like the collector that it would someday become.  This was a hard working man’s commuter (work) car.  On the radio they introduced the song that would become the hit of the summer of ’67 (Sonny and Cher; The Beat Goes On).  I couldn’t help but love that song, it kind of described life at the time, no matter what life threw at you, “The Beat Goes On.”

  • "The Beat Goes On" is a Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hit song written by Sonny Bono and recorded by Sonny & Cher. It was issued as a single and appeared on their 1967 album In Case You're In Love. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 14, 1967, peaking at #6.  "The Beat Goes On" was sung at Sonny Bono's funeral, and the phrase also appears on his tombstone.

In no time flat the song was on every radio station, and it seemed that every radio station was playing it about twice per hour on average.  The song would make an even bigger impact because Chrysler Corporation chose that song to advertise their Plymouth new lineup of cars.  Every time I heard a Plymouth commercial, I thought about stopping by a dealership to check out their new cars.  People in the business of marketing do know what they are doing and I know for sure they drew me in.

Eventually I did stop to check out the new models, but I fell in love with a 1966 Plymouth Sport Fury.  Back in that era car models seemed to make significant changes at least every two years, and this one made an upgrade that I didn’t care for, but the 66 model was perfect for my taste.  Because it was the previous year model I was able to negotiate a great discount, and especially that I didn’t trade in my Ford.  That was my first brand new car on my own credit, and there was as much pride as anything riding on that purchase.

I kept my beautiful new muscle car for two years (something that was to become a habit for me, every two year trade), and traded it in for a 1968 AMX (very sporty and strong).  My youth, and early adulthood included, was very good to me.  I’m sure that if I went into deep thought I could come up with a regret or two (but not off the top of my head).  The best is yet to come….

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