Authenticity in the lyrics of a hot rod song

A lot of you old timers must remember this Beach Boys gem, a song about a drag race pitting a ('62?) Super Stock Dodge with a 413 “Max Wedge” engine against a ('63?) Corvette Stingray with a (presumably) 327 CID cast iron block. The song was written by a DJ friend of the Beach Boys & he must’ve been a total gearhead, cause the lyrics contain a lot of dead-on technical details pertaining to the two cars. There were lots of hot rod songs back then (“Hey, Little Cobra”, for example) but none had the attention to detail this song did.

I’ve provided some links that analyze the song & all sorts of stuff tangential to it, discussions & debates about which car would have won in real life & what the lyrics refer to on the technical level.

The consensus seems to be that the Dodge would have beaten the Stingray handily, what with that brute 413 under the hood. Rumor has it, though, that the songwriter had been at the dragstrip (Pomona?) where the 413, while leading, suffered a cracked coil and lost while frap-frap-frapping across the finish line.

For me, the most intriguing phrase of the song is in the start of the 3rd verse: “Pedal’s to the floor hear his dual quads drink, but the 413’s lead is starting to shrink…” In 40 some years I never realized it’s “dual quads drink”–makes perfect sense per the air/fuel increase as those secondaries open!

Enjoy & please weigh in!!

Last but not least, here’s a hilarious revision of the lyrics of “Shut Down”: (WARNING: NOT CHEVROLET-FRIENDLY!)

When I hear these songs I think of the girls I knew. And how simple and fun life was then.
By the way, did anyone else here have to look up the fancy word?

Haha, sorry Mountain. I’m guilty of ostentatious verbiage! 'Cept I wanted to create an aura of mystery surrounding the thread title to draw posters in. :blush:

No problem. I’ve learned something today, and that’s a good thing. My vocabulary needed a bit of expanding anyway. The only words I know are technical words.

Just wondering if anyone else out there had to look it up too.

The verbiage is only exceeded by Chrysler’s styling in the early 60s. They really came out with some oddball looking stuff back then and which a lot of people often considered coyote ugly; although not to us Mopar lovers.

No matter the opinion on body panels, those cars are worth some serious, serious money now.

Back in the very early 70s a buddy of mine bought an ex-OK state trooper model '64 Plymouth Belvedere with the 413 although it was not the Max Wedge of course. Bland, black, 4-door stripper car that had been converted to a 4 speed manual. All for the huge sum of 300 bucks and that thing would smoke the tires clean off of it while making a gas gauge scream for mercy.

As to verisimilitude, that’s a new one for me and I won’t hold my breath while waiting to use that word in everyday conversations… :smile:

OK, well, I just thought with all the sharp people on this board that everybody knew the meaning of verisimilitude. My 9th grade english teacher used it all the time while I was surreptitiously–er–secretly–reading Hot Rod Magazine. “Karl, this composition lacks verisimilitude!”.

Anyway I changed the thread title. I just thought people would be interested in the technical details in the lyrics.

Hey, how come you changed the word that I had to look up? I like learning new things!
Don’t confuse intelligence with knowledge! They aren’t the same things. {:smiley:

OMG I can’t win. :wink:

A good friend of mine drove his '73 Road Runner with the 440 to church today. It’s a butt-ugly car in my opinion but I haven’t owned anything in years that could keep up with him on the drag strip. I waited until he left the parking lot to hear the burble of his exhaust pipes and he didn’t disappoint the ones that stayed behind with me. The exhaust notes were beautiful even if the car body wasn’t. A warm spring morning is a perfect place to hear a Mopar 440 sing.

Yeah, missileman, I worked with a guy in the late 80’s who had one of the late 60’s Superbirds with a 440. 4 speed stick. If you tromped the accelerator while cruising at 55 in 4th, it felt like it was in first gear.

Drag racing in the days of really crappy tires… Every car was traction limited so the driver’s skill with the throttle and clutch was as important as how much power you made. A 413 Max Wedge Dart against a fuelie Vette? Similar weights, the Dodge had more HP and torque than the Chevy but neither had enough traction to lay it all down. The Vette wins… this time.

One of my favorite Beach Boys Songs! “409” is as well.

Yeah, but nothing is as cool as the old funny cars. Life just hasn’t been the same since they went to clamshells over pure racing chassis.

As much as I still enjoy Beach Boys music, my favorite was actually a Jan & Dean hit, “Little Old Lady From Pasadena”.

Just a little deuce coupe with a flat head mill

what does it really mean?

'32 Ford 2-door with a flat head V8 in it.

My favorite Jan & Dean song is “Dead Man’s Curve”. Lots of verisimili–ER–I MEAN–AUTHENTICITY–in that song even though the supposed “real” Dead Man’s curve is further west on Sunset Blvd than the point on the blvd just west of Doheny Drive referenced in the song. Supposedly there are still rusted out remains of old cars in the tangled foliage on the embankment of the “real” Dead Man’s Curve!

Does anyone remeber WLS’s DJs in the 60s? The main sponsor from 9:00 'till midnight was the Dodge dealer on West Grand Ave who had a special on dyno tuning engines. The only name that I recall is John Record Landecker but all of them talked a good tale of high performance cars. “Three Deuces and a Four Speed- and a 389,” comes to mind but that was a Pontiac, of course. Oh yeah, “Mustang Sally” was a big hit for a while here in the south.

“Just a little deuce coupe with a flat head mill.”

+1 for insightful with an addition. It could also be a reference to having the flat head’s shaved or “milled” to increase performance by increasing compression in the engine. It was a common practice on the old flat head engines because it was a quick, easy and cheap way to make more horsepower.

Mill was also a slang term for engine or motor.

That it was. I remember those days well.

Contrary to the opinions expressed in the first link posted, the action took place at a dragstrip, hence the reference to the numbers counting down, that didn’t happen on the street. The first version , told from the Dodge drives point of view seem more authentic. The second version from the Chevy side seem to imply the Corvette had both fuel injection and twin 4 barrel carbs. I would like to meet the guy that could get that running.