| Garage Kid
It had to have been 1951 or 1952, I walked down into the garage one
day in early fall and there was a huge poster on the second level of the
garage wall. It was a western scene with I suppose 180 wild horses. That
was to imply that the new Chrysler Hemi V/8 had a 180 Horse Power. The poster
was about 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall in full color. I went and got my
school friends to check it out and all did their Ohs an Ahs over the horses,
but didn't have a clue what a Hemi Engine was yet as we were only about
eight years old at the time.
Show Room Brochures
It was each September that the new model year began with all cars
and along with that, new brochures were laid out on a table in the showroom.
When the Chrysler "Hemi" came out, there was a lot of hoopla written
about it along with pictures showing the innards of the engine and how it
worked. Plymouth still used the strait flat head six, but that brochure
had color pictures of all the models and features available for each one.
It was about 15 years later, I flew to Detroit to be best man at a friends
wedding. I was staying at a friends house and there were color drawings
of cars all over the place. He told me that his brother Paul owned an advertising
company that produced this kind of art for car company brochures and magazine
ads. It's now in the mid 60's and they were still doing it this way as color
film cameras were not able to create a good color image. In fact, this was
the first time I new about this. It brought me back to the time I was looking
at brochures in dads showroom not knowing they were all pictures created
by artist. I don't know how many years this went on, but when cameras started
being used, a lot of good artist lost their jobs.
Learning with the mechanics
Every few weeks, dad supervised a training session with his mechanics
in the evening in the general office portion of the building. Chrysler and
Plymouth divisions sent us a 45 speed record and a film strip for a projector.
The film strip was advanced to the next frame by clicking a remote control
button. It was done as a cartoon format I guess to keep us amused and keep
from falling asleep. The character in the presentation was called "Sparky"
and he was the teacher. There was some kind of buzzer sound in the audio
portion that told dad when to advance the film to the next frame. I had
been doing this since I was maybe four of five years old. My friends all
marveled how much I knew about cars when I became a teenager.