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Used Parts Bin: Grenada, Golf, Touching Cars and Drag Racing

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Used Parts Bin: Grenada, Golf, Touching Cars and Drag Racing

Bill Crittenden/The Crittenden Automotive Library
August 7, 2012

Welcome to the first edition of The Parts Bin.  This is a random collection of thoughts and comments, those that I can't write enough about to make their own separate articles, about the automotive world from The Crittenden Automotive Library's owner (me), Bill Crittenden.  I've done a similar series of articles before, focused on stock car racing, under the Random Lugnuts name, but I've decided to branch out and come up with a new name for it.

Ford Grenaded

Like Homer and Marge in the scene where they're naming baby Bart on The Simpsons, it's always a good idea to consider just how people are going to make fun of a name.  Granada may evoke images of a Mediterranean paradise, but in the mechanically challenged realm of American economy cars of the 1970's, it sounds just a bit too much like "grenade."

Hey, considering the time period in which it was used, at least Ford lucked out in not naming the Pinto something that sounded like an explosive weapon!  Although pinto beans are the basis of refried beans, a dish known for causing gas leaks...

Golf Breezes?

That reminds me of another failed name: the Volkswagen Golf.  I read somewhere that it was supposed to evoke "gulf breezes."  Then why not name it the Gulf?  Because when I hear "Golf," I don't think of a breezy tropical setting, I think of the boring game.  It's a game played predominantly by people who would consider driving a Volkswagen beneath them, and requires equipment that is very hard to fit into the back of a compact hatchback.  I drive through a golf course every day on my way to work, and I can't recall ever seeing any Volkswagens in their parking lot.

You Can't Touch This

Normally, as a photographer I see all the "Don't Touch!" and "Keep Yer Damn Hands OFF!!!" signs on cars at car shows and cruise nights to be kind of annoying.  I mean, who really doesn't know not to touch something that isn't theirs?  I mean EVERYBODY must know by now how much work and care goes into a nice classic car, so who would be so stupid as to just hop in one just because there isn't a sign on it, like that's some sort of invitation?

So I'm in the model car show room at Delavan, and I overhear a couple of guys talking about having their real cars in a show...one had walked away from his car, and when he came back, some dumbass thought it'd be cute to put his DOG behind the wheel and take a picture!  Uh-huh.  Now, I don't know what kind of car that guy had, but one little "accident" can ruin what was until then an all-original unrestored interior, because chances are someone that ignorant also wouldn't know the difference between cheap mismatched parts in a rat rod and irreplaceable originals in a $100,000 museum-quality car.

Apparently, sadly, such signs seem necessary in today's world.  As my 7-and-a-half year old son would say, "dude, SERIOUSLY?"  Because he already knows to keep his hands off the cars, and why the heck can't a grown adult figure out the same?

Dragging Out an Old Joke

This is an old one for me and my friends, but I wanted to put it in writing here for the rest of the world to read...

So my friend Jim, an old-time drag racer, is telling me that a Corvette starting a drag race at top speed would still get passed by a top fuel dragster before the end of the quarter mile.  An impressive display of horsepower, right?

As he's telling me this, I started to wonder, and I asked, "what's the point of being hung like John Holmes if you can only go at it for 4 seconds at a time?"

To further add to the insult (I don't normally keep up on drag racing news) I recently learned that the fastest drag racers have had their runs shortened to 1000 feet from the classic 1320.  Sure, I respect the hell out of the guys who can build those cars and get the most out of them in the 4 seconds they're given, but doesn't leave a whole heck of a lot of drama to watch on TV.  It just seems like an...engine...measuring contest.

On the other end of the spectrum, is there a t-shirt for 24-hour racers that says "Endurance racers do it all night long"?  If there isn't, there should be.

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