From the Freep:
Some brands transcend commerce.
Through an alchemy of great products, good timing and sheer magic, they acquire meanings that reach far beyond their original purpose.
Levi's. Coca-Cola. Apple. Chevrolet.
Sometime during 100 years of carrying families on vacation, hauling hay wagons, winning races and hosting nervous first dates, Chevrolet became the vehicle of our memories, dreams and hopes as much as it is a line of cars and trucks.
Chevrolet created emblems for American eras. Chevy measured our national mood -- from the pastoral postwar '48 Suburban, to the pastel '57 Bel Air, space-age '63 Corvette Sting Ray, self-assured '69 Camaro, diffident '76 Chevette, back-to-work '99 Silverado and electrifying 2011 Volt.
Those were just a few of the Chevrolet icons that packed the Woodward Dream Cruise in a pre-centennial drive-in this summer. If you forgot to get a gift then, there's still time. Chevy's actual 100th anniversary -- 100, what's that? Platinum spark plugs? Radial tires? -- is this Thursday.
I've owned a few of those icons (by model year, not the year(s) I owned 'em): a '64 Impala (well, it actually belonged to The First Mrs. Pennington, but I had privileges), a '67 Chevelle SS396, a '72 Nova, a '92 Vette (above), and a '96 Impala SS. Oh yeah, and one of those gotdamned Chevettes, which was known as The Winter Vette when I lived in Dee-troit. THAT was an eminently forgettable and hated little car.
But. Chevy and I go back quite a ways. Not the whole 100 years, to be sure, but enough time to firmly establish the marque as an icon in MY world. Happy Anniversary, Chevy... here's to another 100 years!
You'll note Chevy was celebrated at the annual Woodward Dream Cruise this past summer, and there are some cool Camaro pics on their home page. Speaking o' the Dream Cruise... I drove in the very first Dream Cruise, all the way from Ferndale (where I lived) to my Buddy Greg's house in Birmingham, where we did some on-the-spot repairs to this beast (a 1954 Cadillac Sedan De Ville):
The repairs were needed in order for The Second Mrs. Pennington and I to get the thing home. That was also our first summer with "The Smokin', Drinkin', and Partyin' Car," named as such by TSMP. From an old post:
TSMP christened the car “The Smokin’, Drinkin’, Partyin’ Car” and she most certainly was that. The best story about that car can only be told in “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” terms and involved TSMP and I splitting the upholstery in the Caddy’s back seat. Or, to put it another way…we were exuberant and the upholstery was old. In our garage. On a Saturday afternoon. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.Good times.