Saturday, July 29, 2017

Reminising - Dad's 1940 Ford

1940 Ford

1940 Ford, excerpt from ad below. Image courtesy of

[Editor’s note: This “Reminiscing” story, edited by Richard Lentinello, comes to us from Hemmings Classic Car reader Thomas Murphy.]

One memory that I will never forget is about my father’s 1940 Ford Opera Coupe. It had the jump seats in the rear which, when not in use, folded up parallel to the sides of the rear compartment. Back in 1950, those jump seats were usually occupied by my brother and I; I was just five years old at the time.
My father was one of the original hot-rodders. The Ford had a flathead truck V-8 block which was bored out – apparently truck blocks allowed for thicker cylinder walls for purposes of over boring. The engine was equipped with a 3/4 racing camshaft, high compression Granatelli aluminum cylinder heads, a four-barrrel carburetor, exhaust headers and dual exhausts and Lincoln Zephyr gears for the second gear.
That old Ford would wind out to 90 miles per hour in second gear before shifting to third was required due to those Zephyr gears. There was not much on the street in 1950 that would touch it. The Ford looked stock, being a black 1940 Deluxe Coupe. Only two rusty exhaust pipes sticking out the rear belied it was not stock.

One day we were on a touring vacation in Canada in the Fall of 1950. We were stopped on a gravel road which had an overhead stop light hanging from a wire traversing the intersection on a four-lane road. What pulled alongside us at the light was a brand-spanking new Powder Blue Oldsmobile “Rocket 88” fastback coupe. The Olds still had the price and equipment sticker on the rear-side window. When I looked over from my jump seat out the side rear window of the Ford, the driver of the Olds was smiling like a Cheshire cat and glancing at his buddy in the passenger seat, while revving the Oldsmobile’s engine.
When the light changed, my father, who was never one to ignore a challenge for a race, took off. From the light we were side by side with the Oldsmobile. In First gear we were fender to fender, and the Olds owner was looking a bit quizzical at our evenness. Bear in mind that the loser of this gambit would be eating the winner’s dust from the gravel road. In Second gear I remember the Ford winding out to 90 miles per hour, and it ended up two car lengths ahead of the now vanishing Olds when the shift to Third gear occurred.
So much for the much-heralded Rocket 88 Oldsmobile. That ’40 Ford was fast!

Source: Richard Lentinello on Jul 12th, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Glenview Historic District Is A Neighborhood In Memphis, TN

Glenview Historic District is a neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district in 1999.The neighborhood is between South Memphis and Midtown and bounded by the Illinois Central Railroad on the west, Lamar Ave on the east, Southern Ave on the north and South Parkway on the south.

Glenview was one of several suburban residential subdivisions in Memphis that were created during a building boom in the early 20th century. Architecture is representative of suburban development of that period, including bungalows, cottages, Foursquare, Colonial, Dutch Colonial Tudor and Spanish Revival styles.

Glenview has many well-kept houses and is majority African American. It is also home to Eternal Peace Missionary Baptist Church, The Willet Apartments and Glenview Community Center. Home sizes range from about 1,000 square feet (93 m2) to 3,000 square feet (280 m2).


The Anderson Coward House, Memphis, TN

 Anderson-Coward House.JPG

The Anderson-Coward House, also known as Justine's Restaurant, is a historic mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


The mansion was built circa 1852 for Nathaniel Anderson, a planter. It was designed in the Italianate architectural style. It was purchased by H.M. Grosvenor, until it was acquired by William C. Coward as debt settlement. It was passed on to his son, William Holliday Coward. After his death in the early 1900's, it was inherited by his daughter Ida and her husband, Robert O. Johnston, a lawyer and banker.

The mansion was repurposed as a restaurant in 1958.


First Baptist Church, Lauderdale, Memphis, TN

First Baptist Church MEMPHIS.JPG

The First Colored Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, also known as First Baptist Church—Lauderdale, was built in 1939 in a vernacular Colonial Revival style, with design attributed to Rev. Thomas O. Fuller.
Front of the church
It is a rectangular brick building with brick laid in common bond. It has a limestone fence separating its parking area from the street, which is a c.1890 fence from the former Second Empire-styled Sanford house on the property.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. It was deemed significant for its association with Thomas Oscar Fuller (1867-).


Annesdale Neighborhood In Memphis, TN

This home is located off of Peabody Avenue in Memphis in the Annesdale Neighborhood in Memphis TN.

This is another home that is located on Peabody Avenue in the same neighborhood. It is called a foursquare style home.

You will also find in this neighborhood the oldest Cemetery in Memphis. This is where many of the Confederate Soldiers are buried as well as the Yellow Fever Victims.

This is the Church Tomb, located in Elmood Cemetery. Robert Church was one of the first Black Millionaires in Memphis.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

20 Legendary Muscle Cars

legendary muscle cars (1)

The 1987 Buick GNX is a luxury mid-size car that first came out in 1973. However, it continued to create good reputation even after the 80s and 90s. Buick manufactured the GNX until 2004 and by then, it has already gained a name as one of the legendary muscle cars in the world. The car shared the same powertrain and body with the Buick Century. Hence, you can be sure that it is sturdy and muscular for any type of driving.

In 1987, Buick offered a lightweight WE4 (Turbo T). A powerful car, it was also a rare muscle car. Buick released only 1,547 of these legendary muscle cars. Major differences from its predecessors included interior trim package, wheels, exterior badging, and aluminum bumper supports. Additionally, its aluminum rear brake drums was different to the Grand National’s cast iron, making the WE4 a lighter and faster car.

Moreover, the model year 1987 was only when the LC2 Turbo option was available. Hence, it gained a limited edition badge with a vinyl landau roof and a power bulge turbo hood. To make it even more exclusive, owners can order with many options with most having chrome external trim but for $35. Due to limited edition status, these legendary muscle cars had very luxurious interior with plush carpeting and optional bench pillow seats and a column shift.

The 1971 Dodge Demon 340 is a premium performance car who roots goes back to the Dodge Dart. They designed it to go head to head against its Plymouth cousin. Its arrival was timely because that was when the muscle car era was moving towards its peak, in the 60s and 70s. Sales for muscle cars skyrocketed during that era and the spotlight was on the Charger, Challenger, and Daytona. Still, the unique Demon 340 had its fair share of the limelight.

Dodge jumped from providing cheap cars into creating Mopar-standard legendary muscle cars. They stated with the GTS, which they released only in a limited run due to its late release in the year. To have an idea of its power, the car carried Dodge’s 340ci V8 engine. After that, Dodge released the Swinger and Swinger 340. These legendary muscle cars came with massive 440ci V8 engines. They came optional with 383ci engine.

Initially, the Demon came from Beaver. However, since it appeared to be slang for “female anatomy” they changed it. Still, it continued to be a controversial name especially for religious people. Dodge received pressure to change the name but they decided to just continue with it. To fit the new Dart Demon into their lineup, Dodge shifted the Swinger name over to the custom 2-door Dart model and introduced the Swinger Special name to replace the Dart Swinger moniker.

The 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 was the car to have during this model year. Also known as the “Jet Smooth,” this car is very popular such that even the Beach Boys made a song about it. One the legendary muscle cars of its time, it arrived with a squared stance and sophisticated styling. As a premium Chevy, it offered glamour and comfort all the way down to its performance. This car remained the top of the line model offering, followed by the mid-line Bel Air and then the affordable Biscayne. After initial offering, its production continued to soar.

Afterwards, Chevy separated the Impala from its original line. Then, it became the second most expensive car for the auto maker in that model year. The car came standard with extra thick foam cushion seat, bright aluminum front seat end panels, bright instrument panel insert with nameplate molding, electric clock, and parking brake warning light. Moreover, it had an Impala center emblem on steering wheel, and special padded arm rests for front and rear seats.

Under the hood, this muscle car has a 425-hp 409 engine with Twin 4 barrel carburetors. With its powerful engine, it can truly perform on the road. Even though they released it in the mid-60s, its power is way ahead of its time.

The 1969 AMC AMX 390 is a two-door and two-seat muscle car that first came out in 1968. AMC produced this car up until 1970. Popular as a muscle car, they also classify it as a sports car. A unique car, it was one of the few two-seat cars in the market at that time, following the Ford Thunderbird. To a certain degree, the AMX was the direct competitor of the Chevrolet Corvette. It arrived with a high-compression medium block 390 cu in (6.4 L) AMC V8 engine. Hence, it offered top-notch performance at an affordable price.

The 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 is a product of the deep experience of Chevy among legendary muscle cars. Chevy released the first Corvette in 1953 and it has gone a long way since. The 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 is a perfect example of the experience and expertise the auto maker has. From the outside, this car may look like a sports car but underneath it is a potent 235 cu. in., 150-horsepower “Blue Flame” six and a two-speed Powerglide transmission. It may look cute but it performs well on the road.

The 1969 Mercury Cougar 428 Eliminator is a move away from the pony-style among legendary muscle cars. This car came with a sharp crease along the flanks that started at the nose and tapered down each side. The design ended just at the leading edge of the rear wheel arches. Hence, it is not that much different from the Buick Skylark of the era although it distinguished itself from a Chevy Chevelle. A high-performance car, it carried a 290-hp-rated engine.

The 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner 426 Hemi is a mid-size muscle that has great focus on performance. It arrived a time a when original muscle cars were moving away from simply offering cheap, fast cars. Auto makers started putting more features, which resulted to an increase in price. Hence, Plymouth developed this car to market a lower priced, basic trim model to its upscale GTX. Still powerful, it is one of the legendary muscle cars come to with a massive Hemi engine.

The 1969 Ford Torino Talladega 428 CJ is a racing version of the base Torino Talladega. It carries the same aggressive stance as the base muscle car but has a more potent engine underneath. Powerful and reliable, it still maintained capability as a street car. Hence, this muscle car is legal to drive on the road. Its engine can produce high torque at low RPMs, rather than being a high-revving race engine.

The 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 HO is a specialty package for the base model that transforms the muscle car into an out of this world machine. The package brings an upgrade on handling, suspension, and horsepower. It also brought minor appearance modifications such as exclusive hoods, spoilers, fog lights, and wheels. Engine choices included a L98 5.7 liter (350 ci) TPI (Tuned Port Injection) V8 mated to GM’s corporate 700R4 automatic transmission or the 5.0 liter (305 ci) TPI V8.

The 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 is an iconic muscle car. It paved the way for pony legendary muscle cars to thrive in the market. Many manufacturers followed suit after it launched pony-style muscle cars. It may not be as powerful as Hemi-powered muscle cars, it excelled well in other areas especially on looks. Although less potent, it can still deliver that kind of power to make it roar.

The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 426 Hemi is part of the second-generation of this line of legendary muscle cars. This vehicle comes with a massive 425 bhp (316.9 kW) 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi engine. Designed for the road and track, hence the name, this Challenger can blow minds when it comes to performance. Aside from this, it is a luxurious ride with leather seats, a vinyl roof, a smaller ‘formal’ rear window, and an overhead interior console.

The 1969 Oldsmobile 442 Hurst 455 is the return of this iconic muscle car. Originally released in 1968, it is one of the legendary muscle cars to hit the pavement. One of the biggest modifications on this car was the switch from the silver and black paint scheme of ’68 to a new Firefrost gold on white paint scheme. Future Oldsmobiles followed this color scheme. Under the hood, this muscle car has 455 the cubic-inch Rocket V8 (W46), producing 380 horsepower (280 kW) and 500 lb/ft of torque.

The 1969 Pontiac GTO The Judge 400 Ram Air is part of the second generation of this muscle car lineup. Pontiac implemented many changes on this car including the removal of front door vent windows. They moved the ignition key from the dashboard to the steering column. Moreover, the gauge faces changed from steel blue to black. It carried a Ram Air III engine rated at 366 hp (273 kW) at 5,100 rpm. The top option was the 370 hp (280 kW) Ram Air IV.

The 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda 426 is an iconic muscle car is a two-door muscle car that first came out in 1964. The 1971 model year is part of the third generation of this car. This fastback A-body coupe started moving away from the Valiant during this time. Under the hood, it carried Chrysler’s 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi engine. As one of the legendary muscle cars then, it received upgraded suspension components and structural reinforcements to help transfer the power to the road.

The 1970 Buick GSX 455 Stage 1 is proof of the peak of Detroit power among legendary muscle cars. It came at a perfect time because during its launch, General Motors lifted its self-imposed engine restriction for intermediate platforms. Truly an impressive car, it can run fast and it can run far. Conservatively rated at 350 hp, the Stage 1 option gave the car a higher-performance camshaft and more, netting an increased rating of 360 horses.

The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 CobraJet is one of the smallest and lightest legendary muscle cars. Often called simply as “Cobras,” they are Ford-powered AC-based two-seat sports car. It uses the Cobra emblem, similar paint scheme, and the optional “Cobra” valve covers. It features the K-Code 271 hp (202 kW; 275 PS) 289 cu in (4.7 L), modified to produce 306 hp (228 kW; 310 PS). Although not built for comfort, this car came out to race.

The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO 427 carries the mightiest among engines, the aluminum block, 427 cubic inch V8 engine. Fitted on this Camaro, the muscle car could run circles around most of the Corvettes on the street. A powerful option even for drag racing, this Camaro is only for racers who brave the speed. This muscle car has a 396 SS body but had the F4l suspension, ZL2 cowl-induction hood, heavy duty front springs, and heavy duty front brakes.

The 1968 Shelby GT 500 KR is a vintage high performance muscle car. It is powerful because it has a version of the 428 engine known as the “Cobra Jet”. Due to its performance, it got a nickname “King of the Road”. Hence, it has KR on its name. Ford rated its engine at 335 horsepower (250 kW). However, with 440 foot-pounds of torque at 3400 RPM, many claim Ford under reported its horsepower.

The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 is one of the roughest legendary muscle cars to hit the road. This car has a more aggressive squared-up stance following the coke bottle styling. Inside, it received an upgrade from its predecessors. A powerful beast, engine choices ranged from the standard 155 horsepower (116 kW) six-cylinder and 200-horsepower 307-cubic-inch V8, to a pair of 350 V8s and a pair of 402 engines.

The 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum is a pop icon reference during its time. They used this car on The Dukes of Hazzard TV series from 1979 to 1985. On the show, the car did spectacular jumps in almost every episode, and the show’s popularity produced consumer interest in the car. The car has two options for engine – two different 383 engines available for the 1969 model year: 2-barrel and 4-barrel. The 2-barrel was rated at 290 hp while the four barrel engine was rated at 330 hp.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Tri State Fair

1951 . Science exhibit at the 'Colored Tri-State Fair'. Booker T. Washington High students Sylvester Butler and James Wheeler.

African Americans had attended and participated in the Tri-State Fair well into the 1870's.  Following the collapse of Reconstruction and the 1896 "separate but equal" legalized segregation,  Memphis blacks and whites occupied two separate societies.  In 1911, prominent African-Americans founded, organized, and ran their own fair called the "Negro Tri-State Fair". It was held at the Fairgrounds a few days after the white fair closed.  This was an important event in the black community for decades.  When the white fair changed its name to the Mid-South Fair in 1928, the black fair became simply the Tri-State Fair until it was discontinued in 1959.  The Mid-South Fair was integrated in 1962.

Tri-State Fair   .    Mid-South Fair
Fairs have been held continuously in Memphis for 152 years - up to 2008 when the city wouldn't renew the lease of the Mid-South Fair.  The first fair "Shelby County Fair"  was staged in Memphis in 1856.  It ran for two days.  In 1858 attendance picked up and it ran for four days.  This was the period when traditions were being started, such as harness racing, which would continue until the 1930's.  By then the Montgomery Race Track had become a part of the fair's history.  Between 1873-1877 attendance dropped dramatically because of the yellow fever epidemic.  From 1880-1906 was a time of rebuilding after the Civil War. 

In 1908 the fair as we know it was born and the name was changed to Tri-State Fair.  The newly organized fair leased the grounds of Montgomery Park for five years.  Since gambling had been outlawed in 1905, the racetrack had been mostly out of use.  In 1912, the city bought Montgomery park from the Memphis Jockey Club, and from that date, The Fairgrounds Park was established.  The Tri-State name change was a measure to entice more people around Memphis to attend. 
In 1929 the name was changed again to the Mid-South Fair, and it was the main attraction in Memphis for many years.   In addition to the traditional attractions associated with fairs, the Mid-South fair included a Carnival midway and rides, concerts, and a talent show.   The fair was not only popular among people in the Memphis area, but also those in adjacent cities in Tennessee, as well as neighboring states of Mississippi and Arkansas.  In 2008 when Memphis wouldn't renew the lease, the Mid-South Fair moved to northwest Mississippi.  

Source: Internet