Saturday, July 18, 2009

Are you going to cruise the miracle mile?

When I was in high school, it was impossible to imagine that anyone would want to own, or drive, a car that didn’t have white sidewall tires.

The car that all of us drooled over in high school was the ’57 Chevy, and it looked like THIS with white sidewall tires:

Few of us knew, or cared, when white sidewall tires were first introduced, or by whom, but here’s the answer to that question:

6th April 1934 : The Ford Motor Company becomes one of the first car makers to announce the option for white sidewall tires on its new cars at a cost of $11.25 per set

Billy Joe recognized that fact that white sidewall tires used to be a BIG DEAL, so he included a reference to them in a 1980 song titled “It’s still rock and roll to me”:

What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing?
Can’t you tell that your tie’s too wide?
Maybe I should buy some old tab collars?
Welcome back to the age of jive.
Where have you been hidin’ out lately, honey?
You can’t dress trashy till you spend a lot of money.
Everybody’s talkin’ 'bout the new sound
Funny, but its still rock and roll to me

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?
Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?
Should I get a set of white wall tires?
Are you gonna cruise the miracle mile?

Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental
Your best bet’s a true baby blue continental.

Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk
Its still rock and roll to me

Oh, it doesn’t matter what they say in the papers
'cause its always been the same old scene.
There’s a new band in town
But you can’t get the sound from a story in a magazine...
Aimed at your average teen

How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
You could really be a beau brummel baby
If you just give it half a chance.
Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers,
You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers.
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me

What’s the matter with the crowd I’m seeing?
Don’t you know that they’re out of touch?
Should I try to be a straight A student?
If you are then you think too much.
Don’t you know about the new fashion honey?
All you need are looks and a whole lotta money.
Its the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
Its still rock and roll to me

Everybody’s talkin’ bout the new sound
Funny, but its still rock and roll to me


Owning a car equipped with whitewall tires meant that you had to occasionally clean them with either Comet cleanser or Wesley's Bleche White, which (as it turns out) is a VERY harsh chemical.

Although the majority of the cars that I've owned in my lifetime had whitewalls, the truth is that the look is now hopelessly out of style, and you don't need them anymore ...

to cruise the miracle mile.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Sara:

    Thank you for the kind words!

    I DO enjoy putting down my thoughts on paper.

    I finally got to the point a few days ago that I had to set up a separate Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the stories (now up to 36 and counting)