Oh to be a teenager again.
Today's Community Question is about the place where you and your friends met before and after high school. Its the place where everyone had their car! Even if you didn't have one yourself, you'd likely wind up in the parking lot to hang out, tinker or to get into some trouble (not speaking from personal experience, mind you!).
The coolest car in my high school parking lot was the a brand new 1994 Camaro Z-28 a friend of mine got when he turned 18. Sure, his family was better off than most, but he wasn't snobbish about it...and he gladly took me for a ride in it after he put a 75-shot of NOS on it. I was hooked, and that six-speed Camaro in my school's parking lot was fantastic. Definitely the coolest, and I will never forget it!
Darrell M’s 56 Bel Air was way cool. It’s smashed right fin is visible in the 78/79 movie “Our Winning Season”.
He hit a pine tree backing out of my driveway.
Later that year I started off with a 68 Cougar XR-7, and ended the year with a 69 Firebird Convertible.
Randy C. drove a 34 Buick with a DeSoto Hemi in it(different school but worth a mention).
In the class of 1990/St. Charles IL (rust belt) most cars over 10 years old had serious rust, so there was a dearth of vintage stuff. 2 exceptions were a 1970 Nova and 1971 LeMans GTO clone owned by the sons of the local body shop. They did the work themselves. Beyond that it was what you'd expect: Then-new Mustang 5.0s, IROCs, Firebird Formulas and GTAs, and a few Supras, Celicas, and Probes sprinkled in. One guy had a Porsche 924S but he was an outlier...rich kid/captain of the golf team his parents basically funded. The V8 stuff resonated with me: I bought a 1990 5.0 LX I have to this day the day I turned 18.
I drove a Triumph TR7 to school but I wasn’t even close. Someone else drove his Porsche 944 on a regular basis, and sometimes his dad’s Ferrari 308. I’m not sure his dad ever let him take the Testarossa to school though.
Two of them belonged to teachers. This was in 1968. Mr. Cxxxx (a practice teacher and a total diehard Mopar man) had a black '59 Plymouth Sport Fury coupe with a white top and red interior. He had switched out the boring original hubcaps and whitewalls for a set of Magnum 500s and white letters. It had a wide block 318 with a factory 2x4-bbl set up. That was VERY impressive for a boy of 16 to see. The amazing thing is that I know where he lives now and has for years and he still has that black '59 Sport Fury along with several other nice Mopars including a '57 Chrysler 300C.
One other one was Mr. Hxxxxx. He had a Saddle Tan on Saddle Tan '63 Corvette Split Window coupe! It was a 4-speed and even though it had the mild-mannered 300 HP 327, again it was a sight to behold for a boy of 16. And I thought it sounded SO good. That was the first C2 Corvette I ever was that close to. Within six years of that encounter, I bought a Split Window of my own. Except mine was Riverside Red with black guts and it was a 360 HP Fuel Injected 327 and of course a 4-speed.
And the one other car which really has stuck with me all these years first appeared the day after I had gotten the April 1968 issue of Hot Rod Magazine in the mail. Inside was a full-page color advertisement for the newly released 1968 Z/28 Camaro. The ad had a red car with white stripes. I was in love seeing that car. The next morning as our bus was arriving at school, there at the house right beside the school was a new Marina Blue with white stripes '68 Z/28!! It belonged to a student at the school. His girlfriend's parents happened to live next to the school so he parked his car there. I couldn't believe I was seeing in the flesh a version of the car I had seen for the first time in a magazine only a few hours earlier. I was really in love with this car now.
That afternoon as we were on the bus leaving school in a long line of buses, that guy left his girlfriend's house in that Z/28. And he came blasting by all of those buses, slamming the gears and redlining that little 302. And oh the impression that performance left on me, a boy of 16 who would have given his left one for a car like that. We had the windows down on the buses since it was spring time and everybody was hanging out the bus windows listening to that beautiful sound!
Those are the three cars that made the biggest impressions on me at my high school. That was 54 years ago but I can still see and hear all of that like it just happened yesterday.
Definitely not my car. I had dad's hand-me-down '66 Buick Wildcat 4-door sedan. It was a great car in many ways other than the uncool body style.
Being from an upper middle-class neighborhood in the '70s, there were lots of cool cars from my high school years. The standouts were a white Boss 302 Mustang, a wickedly fast Duster with a 340 and a 4-speed, a Beetle that was almost as fast as the Duster, a '67 Firebird 400 with a 4-speed, a '68 GTO with a 4-speed that a friend owned very briefly since he had such a hard time getting moving without spinning the tires, and a black '76 Trans Am that a friend bought just before we graduated.
Sajeev, I had two favorites; one was a 1955 MGTF, and the other was a Polar White Corvette, a 6 cylinder with Powerglide, and side curtains. I drove one and owned one. I
won't forget either. Thanks for the memories.........
The coolest car in my school parking lot was Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 1967.
A Mercury Cougar XR7, in gorgeous Inverness Green. Concealed headlights, sequential rear turn indicators, leather interior, V8 power, clean styling. As MT said, 'It's everything you always wanted in a Mustang, only better.' I've had a Mustang and I still want this XR7.
i finished school june 1970 i had 66 GTO tri power 4spd yellow with black interior factory a/c & reverb all factory except wheels but my friend had to beat me with the cool thing had 67 loaded hemi GTX
I had one teacher who drive a late 60's Corvette, and another teacher drove a Porsche 356C. In my Junior year I drove a 62 VW, but by my senior year I turned it into a fiberglass bodied, short wheelbase dune buggy, possibly I had the coolest car in the lot!
The gym teacher had a '63 Thunderbird. Barbara Rice had a new Toronado (her dad owned the dealership). One girl had a new Corvette. There were several Austin-Healey 3000s and a Triumph TR-3. Tri-5 Chevies were passe. My favorite was the Triumph TR-6 motorcycle that one local "bad boy" owned.
The two coolest cars in my high school student parking lot in my senior year (1964-65) were a 1964-1/2 Mustang driven by the son of the local Ford dealer and a '23 T-bucket running a Wedge MOPAR & dual 4's owned by another senior. Me - I was either walking or bumming a ride with my best friend in his '63 Corvair Corsa convertible.
It was in 1970. There were two, both owned by teachers. A 1968 Camaro Z28 (green with white stripes) owned by our Psych teacher, and a Datsun 2000 roadster owned by our History teacher. Both were pretty cool guys. Honorable mention goes to our football coach who drove a Triumph TR4A in BRG, which I tried to buy for my first car. My stepfather wouldn't allow a foreign car in the driveway so I ended up with a '64 Ford Falcon with a 6 cylinder and a three on the tree. I finally got something worth mentioning when I bought a '74 Datsun 260Z in 1982 which I still own today.
My 8th grade Math teacher, Miss Emmitt drove a Chrysler Turbine car for six months. She was part of Chrysler’s Turbine Feasibility Test program.
My third grade teacher drove a new, 1963 Split Window Corvette
Well, we had SS 396 and 409 Impalas, SS 327 and 396 Chevelles, GTO's of all flavors, a couple of Vettes, one a 427, Chargers, Road Runners, Barracudas, etc. Even an
AMX. All the hot drivers for us idiot high schoolers.
However, I must nominate mine. It was a 1928 Dodge Senior 6. It had a gorgeous wooden steering wheel. Hydraulic brakes. Factory wire wheels. Two fender mounted spares. It had 3 1/2 feet of legroom in the backseat. An oogah horn. And, to top it all off a factory trunk tacked on the back.
We did update it with a 1951 Chevrolet Thriftmaster 6 and transmission. The rest was stock.
It was a great date car. The girls liked it. Their dads loved it because that was the family car when they were kids.
Top Speed 50 mph before the kingpins took over.
My suspicion is that some of the “legends” of my high school days might have been more “hanger queens” than monster horsepower street heros.
The rich kids always seemed to have the coolest stuff but by the mid 1970’s everything had started the depreciation downward trend and of course reliability always took a back seat to coolness.
My recollection from the Bay Area upper middle class suburbs was a bunch of AMX’s one had a 390 with twin turbo chargers in the end. The kid who owned it was not mechanical but a friend who was complained about changing the clutch to the constant barrage of “Dream Weaver” played over and over.
My suspicion is if everyone just left things alone and got stuff running with factory equipment it would have annihilated the over carburetor ed junk out there.
Of course by this time new stuff was not even worth considering!!
I was in high school during the 80s and all the hot, sought-after muscle cars of today were the throwaways and hand-me-downs of the day.
There was a ‘70 Charger, ‘72 Cuda, ‘55 Chevy (he still owns it), a Challenger and an AMX and I had a ‘72 Duster. Our group’s favorite tooling around vehicle was a late 60’s Jeep Gladiator shortbed with a 327.
The only cool new car I remember any student owning was an RX7.
Spectacular pale blue ’55 Nomad with a lovely blonde young lady driving pulls into the student lot on the first day of school, senior year. I made it a point to meet her that day…. Married her too.
Alas, no. The Nomad belonged to her Dad and he kept it for another 20+ years. When he finally decided to part with it, I was already deep into my Alfa Romeo addiction and had no garage space for it. I did, however, keep the Blonde…. Had our 50th this year.
Well, this is a "car" themed site, so I had to ask about the Nomad, but all kidding aside, I'm betting the blonde was and is much more valuable. 50 years is a wonderful testament - hats off to you both!
Mrs. DUB6 and I have been married for 52 years. Not to each other, though. We both had to have a practice run with other spouses to learn how to do it right...🤔
The coolest cars were Curtis Keith who had a Lemans with a blown 400 Pontiac. Keith Robey who's brother the famed Van Painter Dallas painted the topless Dallas Cheer leaders on the hood of his Charger. He had to park in the back of the lot. My wife drove her dads Dallas Robey painted van to school.
We drove a number of great Pontiacs. 63 GP. 69 GP a number of Firebirds and a TA. Also several GTO's. A shop truck with a 429 CJ engine and a 63 Ford Galxie. We also had a 62 Tempest convertible and Fiat 128 wagon and some normal cars.
I kid bought a new one ton dump for some reason.
We had a number of 442's and even a RS SS 396 Camaro in prime shape.
The one car that stood out was a 911 that we felt sorry for the teacher. It was a stripped down model because we thought that was all she could afford. It had a duck tail and said Carrera on the door bottoms. Today I know better that it was a Carrera RS and is worth over a million today. She auto crossed on weekends and it was stripped for weight not because of cost. Hey we were 15 years old and not well verse in Porsche at the time.
A beautiful blue (I believe called "marina blue") 1967 Nova. Black interior. Besides being drop dead gorgeous, it would lift a front wheel.
The high school lot was full of all manner of nice iron, but his car stands out in my mind. Unassuming. Sledgehammer.
First, a brand new Shelby GT350 ('66?) that a fellow student bought with earnings from a summer job on a fishing boat. Unfortunately, he had a little incident while showing off in the school parking lot, which consisted of two long rows of spaces connected by a 180° hairpin. He overcooked the turn, slid into the curb, and broke both wheels on the right side! I guess that wasn't the cool part.
The second car, a Fiat Jolly, was cool in a completely different way. I once saw it ripping through a slalom course that had been set up for the driver's ed class. No cones hit, no wheels broken.
The Shelby was definitely cool. The driver? Not so much. But then again, he was a high school kid. Not known for being tremendously overburdened with common sense, for the most part! 😊
It would be interesting to see if the same kid, given the same car today (worth, what, six figures?), would so the same thing. If so, then he/she is for sure not cool (or very smart)... 🤔
It was a metallic blue Chevelle - maybe a 68. I remember it had those angled brows over the headlights and that perfect musclecar stance. Second favorite was a 78 Fleetwood Brougham with missing patches of silver paint revealing pink primer... because it was MINE