A Musical Road Trip Down Memory Lane

August 28, 2013

in Travel Essays

  • SumoMe

It was 1965 and I was driving a “1951 1/2” Chevy—a 1951 body with a 1952 engine, or maybe it was the other way around. I forget.

But what I do remember is that I wasn’t driving the “hottest chick-magnet” being made at that time by U.S. car manufacturers in Detroit, Michigan: The Ford Mustang. And the hottest model of that hot car was the red convertible.

1965 Mustang(Diego 3336 Flickr Photostream)

Here are some of the “tunes” that you might have been playing on your Mustang’s 8-track tape player as you motored down the streets and highways of America back in the mid-1960’s.

“No Where to Run”

The Mustang was born in Detroit as was the “Motown Sound.” Here’s Martha and The Vandellas singing “Nowhere to Run” while dancing their way along the assembly line as Mustangs were put together and rolled out the factory door.

“Mustang Sally”

Mustang Sally” was probably the first music ode to Ford’s popular two-door. Although Wilson Pickett is credited with making the Mack Rice song a hit in 1966, the rendition I recall listing to, over and over again when I was in college, was this one, on an album by The Young Rascals.

Daddy Took the T-Bird (but not the Mustang) Away

A decade before the Mustang arrived on the scene, Ford came up with another big automotive hit: The two-seat Thunderbird “sports car,” popularly know as the “T-Bird.”

Thunderbirds(Steve Corey Flickr Photostream)

Ten more generations of the T-Bird evolved from the initial 1955 model. This classic American automobile was produced for 50 years, and inspired the unforgettable song “Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys, performed here in 2012 on the band’s own 50th anniversary.


But while Ford “took the T-Bird away” in 2005, the Mustang rolls on and on. And in 2014, fifty years after it was first built, Sally will still be able to ride, Sally, ride down the road in a red Ford Mustang convertible with the top down.

(Yellowdogparty Flickr Photostream)

(In the summer of 1965, Tales Told From The Road publisher, Dick Jordan, drove his Chevy to the levee and bought a 1956 Austin-Healy 100-6 sports car, the only red car he’s every owned. His current set of “wheels ” is now 13 years ago. Maybe it’s time for him to buy that red 2014 Mustang and like Sally, get a new “ride.” Stay tuned.)

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