Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Mustang Motor Cycle

I mentioned that Sam Scott and Bill Gilmore had neat Mustangs while we were incarcerated* at Meadowbrook and invited any reader to look Mustangs up. After learning recently that Sam had passed away years ago, it occurred to me that others besides my old classmates may be reading these scattered thoughts, it might be a reasonable idea to slant this blog a little differently.

Clearly, after losing good guys like Sam, Steve, and Leo at such young ages, I’m wrong to assume that we are all going to live long lives into some kind of utopian geezerhood. So, I will cover some of my thoughts more directly. Peers are welcome to comment and so are their children and grandchildren.

The $500 Mustang I spoke of was a beefy little motor scooter that was substantially faster and more powerful than the other motor scooters of the day—like $350 Cushmans and Lambrettas, etc. The Mustang had a throaty roar to it, while the Cushman sounded like muffled lawn mower, and the Lambretta was heavily muffled leaving it with a kind of burbling sound. As 13-15 year olds, motor scooters provided better mobility than a bicycle for those few years before reaching age 16 when we could get a real driver's license, if not a car to go with it. For those kids whose Dads would buy them a scooter, or for those who had jobs that enabled them to buy their own, a dramatically wider world opened for them. Think of it, for those with the added mobility travel to far away places like Arlington or even the West Side was possible. For the rest, there was still the bus or mom or dad to drive us around, but that was getting pretty old…so that’s why those motor scooters drew a lot of attention.

You can Google Mustang, Lambretta, and Cushman to learn a lot more about them than you ever knew back then. I think these scooters were mostly gone by high school when we could get our hands on cars. For those “bike” riders who wanted to graduate to something larger as they got older, the prevalent motorcycles then were made by Triumph, BSA, and one or two others. Within a few years they were all essentially replaced by a lightweight import from Japan…the Honda 350. Cheap, light, fast, reliable, who could compete with that?

*incarcerated? Ms. Sheets, Ms. Perot, Creel Phillips, and Mrs. Greenwood, that library lady who hated me...if you were there, what would you call it?

Rev it Up… Adios

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