Street Was Fun in ’51


Albert Drake


Mid-century: that period that we look back at and see as a peaceful, stable time. There was a sense of optimism in the air, a belief in the American Dream. People had money and were looking for something to spend it on. But for some there was a strong desire to rebel, to assert a personal identity in the grayness of the Eisenhower-Nixon years. No wonder the interest in hopped-up and customized cars began to accelerate. The roots of the Car Culture had barely hit the soil when an entire movement blossomed.
At mid-century, to own a good street roadster made sense. They were fun, swift, economical, handled well, and they were noticed! In those simpler days, when there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulars, when the legal speed limit was 75 mpg, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go! To the beach, the mountains, or just to the Tik Tok, Jim Dandy’s Flanagan’s, to your favorite drive-in where you could make a cherry coke last all night while you listened to Patti Page and Perry Como and watched the parade of cars that, in memory, seems endless.
Street was fun in ’51!