(first posted 4/13/2013)
Oh, she may be weary
Old Chevys they do get weary
Wearing that same old shaggy dress, yeah yeah
But when she gets weary
Try a little tenderness, yeah yeah
You know she’s waiting
For things that she’ll never, never, never, never possess, yeah yeah
But while she’s there waiting, without them
Try a little tenderness (that’s all you gotta do)
It’s not just sentimental, no, no, no
She has her grief and care, yeah yeah yeah
But the soft words, they are spoke so gentle, yeah
You won’t regret it, no, no
Some cars they don’t forget it
Love is their only happiness, yeah
But it’s all so easy
All you gotta do is try, try a little tenderness, yeah
All you gotta do is, man, drive her where you want her
Squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave her
Get to her, try, try
Just try a little tenderness, ooh yeah yeah yeah
You got to know how to drive her, man, you’ll be surprised, man
You’ve got to squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave
You’ve got to hold her and rub her softly
Try a little tenderness, ooh yeah yeah yeah
You’ve got to rub her gentle man, all you gotta do, no no
You’ve got to love her, squeeze her, don’t tease her
Gotta try nah nah nah, try
Try a little tenderness, yeah, watch her groove
You’ve gotta to know what to do, man
Take this advice
Try a little tenderness
*With apologies to Otis Redding.. Perfect description for a different project car! 🙂
The CC effect apparently has a musical offshoot, as just last weekend one of my kids and I watched Dr. Strangelove. For those who don’t remember, the opening title sequence is set to the music of an orchestra playing Try a Little Tenderness.
It would take more than a little tenderness to get me into this car. This is two years newer than my college roommie’s 62 Bel Air 2 door sedan with the 6 and Powerglide. Still too soon for me to consider going back to one of these. Style wise, I still prefer the 62 and 63 to this one. It was as though Chevy designers did their best to remove as much spice and flavor from the design as possible for the 64.
I have a hard time trying to envision this color ever looking good. It must have been quite popular, as cars of this or similar colors were everywhere back in the day. But by the time I was paying attention in the later half of the 60s, every one of them was just as dull and sheen-free as this one. These all must have lost their gloss by the end of the 12 month warranty.
My parents had a ’63 Impala wagon in this color – gold inside and out – it was a 327 with Powerglide. I don’t know exactly how long we had it but it looked good the entire time. It was one of the first cars I drove.
And that long sweeping dashboard! with nothing but idiot lights. There was even a green idiot light that was lit when the engine was cold.
And it still works on my ’64 Impala. It’s handy on a cold morning like today to tell me when I can get hot air out of the heater.
Forgot the photo:
That’s cool, I thought that was an Oldsmobile only thing!
Should have an extra light – “Hot” “Cold” “Goldilocks”
Pontiac had it, too, Dad’s 1961 Star Chief.
Both ’61 Pontiac Catalinas that were in our family (one the Safari, the other, the stripper that was MY first car) had that ‘cold’ light, which I thought was cool. It does indicate to the driver when it’s not warm enough to gen-up hot air . . . . I’m surprised that GM didn’t make it blue instead of green . . .
Couldn’t get my junkyard 63 Chevy pickup to charge the battery. That’s why I got it cheap. Replaced voltage regulator and battery. Nuthin! Replaced alternator. Nuthin. You could drive till the battery went dead. Dad said does the green light come on? No it’s got gauges under the dash. Dad said put a bulb in it and it started charging! The bulb was somehow part of the charge circuit. I remember the green cold light and always thought they were worthless info
Indeed it is. The power to excite the field coil (essentially turn it on) runs thru the idiot lamp.
Current Subarus have a blue idiot light indicating when the engine is cold.
Only it’s some little graphic I never looked at close enough to know what it’s supposed to be.
Bet most never knew what that light even was!
“Magic Mirror” acrylic lacquer never seemed to have much of a gloss in metallics. While popular with low riders, I agree this last year of the X-frame cars lacked the style of earlier years, even the ’58 that I personally dislike.
Excellent movie. Peter Sellers, Sterling Hayden, James Earl Jones, Slim Pickens.
The CC effect strikes again,just been watching Sons of Anarchy and Nero’s goons in a 64 Chevy were chasing Jax & Chibs.Why are 64s always driven by badasses?Nice car dents and all!If I had the time and money it would be mine,not all cool Yanks have a big block V8 more 6s please!
I too have a soft spot for the lower line Chevies. I would be perfectly happy driving around Oahu with a late ’50’s/sixties full size Chevy with a six.
Outside of Waianae, a gent with a body shop has a nicely re-done ’58 Brookwood Wagon. V-8/Glide. May be for sale . . .
Seeing this relic makes me wonder for the millionth time if my avatar still lives somewhere!
I had a chance to buy a friend’s 1963 Bel-Air sedan, same color, back in 1980. Sometimes I wish I had, because we could have used a second car even though Wifey wasn’t working yet, and wouldn’t go back for another three years when the kids got a little older.
Woulda, shoulda, coulda…
Shoulda shoulda shoulda…life is too short Zackman!
Quite a few of these were sold new in RHD form through Lendrums the London GM dealer in the 60s.
Undoubtedly, Canadian CKD (complete knock down) cars assembled elsewhere, although some full assembled RHD Canadian Chevies and Pontiacs were exported to some of the Commonwealth countries . . .
I’d cruise that old bitch…
Ugh! I’ll just wait for the ’65s to come out, so much better looking…
…even in Bel Air low trim form
CC effect strikes yet again!Just seen a yellow 65 convertible in Within Temptation’s Angels video
Wait till I finish the frame-off resto on my ’66 Biscayne 🙂 .
But the 64’s were a much better built car
If ya thought the “BelAir” was “low trimmed”, you’ve never experienced the “Biscayne”.
I looked at scans of the ’65 Biscayne brochures. Even that gave you front armrests, carpet and cloth upholstery. A lot more than I was expecting.
Nice. And for sale. Cars like this call out to me (and now in song, too!)
Who will take care of such an unwanted classic, but me, DougD, the car guy?
Of course the reality is that DougD the car guy has limited means, almost no free time, career, family, two daily drivers, a VW project, two old motorcycles and a pop up trailer.
But they do call….
AFAIK, 64 is the first year for standard carpet in the retail Biscayne.
I like it just as is, with the stovebolt and three-on-the-trees. Of course some putz will likely buy it and turn it into a restomod, but I guess it takes all kinds.
No stovebolt. ’63 and laters had the 230 which was a new design.
Kevin is correct; the 194/ 230/250/292 variants were thinner wall, oversquare, modern designs. The “Blue Flame” stroker was getting pretty long in the tooth, especially by the mid/late 1950s. The Stovebolt’s swan song was MY62.
6 cylinder, 3-speed, no radio, dings all over it, rust stains coming out from under the chrome trim. I have to wonder that it’s still around, and I’m thinking that it was probably better cared for until the last owner got it. Maybe there was a time not that many years ago when it was a low-mileage old-lady car.
Sing it Otis! “Saddle tan” is the color of this lady, just a little more brown than the “Autumn gold” of our similar ’62. Mom’s favorite car color, I think, she always names the color when she recalls the car. Make fun of her if you will, but this car would haul you and all your family, or you and all of your college friends, as far as you wanted and as long as you wanted, in good comfort (well, don’t take the turns too fast or the outboard riders will get a dizzying look at the ground as it speeds by),with reasonable economy, so long as you changed the fluids, kept it in tune, ran it through the car wash on a couple quarters every now and then and vacuumed it out with another quarter (how many does it take now?) when you were done. Looking at how boxy this one was, I wonder if this was the car Toyota benchmarked when they were designing the ’83 Camry? Now that I think of it, they road pretty similarly.
It’s amazing to realize that “Try A Little Tenderness” was actually from the ’30s. Otis Redding had the ability to make any song his own, i.e. “Satisfaction”, which some people thought that the Stones took from him when it was first released! Too bad Paul didn’t use the Monterey Pop version when he sang “mini-skirt dress” in the 1st verse 🙂
As for the car, my brother had a ’64 4-dr. Impala hardtop back in the early 70s. There were plenty of them around when I was growing up. This car would be perfect to fix up bit by bot while driving it around.
Love this car, Paul! My neighbors bought one new back when I was little.
As far as the song, I was working in Rwanda in 1987 and the Minister of Pedagogy (education) sang lead in an Otis Redding tribute band. This was one the band really cooked on.
Back in the ’80’s an older coworker had a ’63 I-6/3-speed sedan in light blue. He commuted a long distance and racked up over 250,000 miles on it with few repairs.
I think the lack of engine badging on the fender is there to throw people off. I’ll bet that under the hood there is a 409 with 2 4 barrel carbs, Headman headers, Iskenderian 3/4 race cam, solid lifters, etc. Sure would be a sleeper if it had that!
Remember when this was THE basis for the cheapest back yard hot rod of the time? Jack up the rear end, put some spring-assist shocks under it, get some wide “chromies” and fat tires with white letters from some company nobody ever heard of, leave the front wheel steelies and dog dish hubcaps, find a junkyard small block and attach it to the three-speed (leave the three-on-the-tree, or cut a hole in the tunnel and attach a balky floor shift), get somebody to weld in dual exhausts with glass packs and you could cruise your main drag, thinking you were impressing everyone with your fast ride.
Don’t forget the window decals from all of the performance parts you couldn’t afford. 🙂
Yeah and get your doors blown off by someone in a hot Zephyr very few if any of these were assembled with a 6 out here it was V8 or buy a Holden/Vauxhall which were actually faster, Cool car but it wouldnt pass WOF inspection here with that cancer in the lower panels, good old cars but they rust pretty bad if you live near the sea. Id buy it and park it next to the rusty Nissan I have on my lawn.
The “Bisquiks” ordered that way would’ve most definitely had the 409 callout badge on it. As long as you didn’t see (or hear) the car, it would’ve been mistaken at first glance as a six 2 door like this featured car.
In February 1970 with mixed sleet, and snow coming down,I passed my drivers license behind the wheel of that car.
Well…. ours was a Biscayne,and it was red. Same colour dash, and” radio delete”
Wow! I’ve been staring at the photo of that interior for a while now. Trying to master that three on the tree.?? It all came back. I must of stalled it a 100 times. My not so patient Dad sitting there.
So,so long ago.
You brought a tear to my eye Paul.
Ah yes, “Try a Little Tenderness”; back in my mispent youth I was the drummer in a garage band for a couple of years. This was one of the songs that every band of that era had to know. Nothing really to do with the article but seeing the song lyrics triggered a memory. I’m afraid the ’64 Chevy above might be past its sell by date. It appears that it would need some extensive work to bring it up to an acceptable condition. Might be more trouble than it’s worth.
If this ’64 was at the Lambrect Auction last weekend, it would have sold for $50K!!! Just joking, 😉
This car is a near twin to one a friend’s dad drove, usually drunk. He was one of the most miserable guys I have ever known. He worked at DeVilbiss in Toledo, making paint sprayers. We would go over there after school, it was right down the street from their house. He would get home soon after we got there and usually start slugging down room temperature Shlitz beer, one after another, and would be barely able to walk by the time dinner was ready. He drove this car for about 10 years, with the same rust streaks oozing out of the chrome trim after only a couple of years. I remember sitting in the front seat one day, smelling the beer breath, with my friend in between us, being scared shitless because I had seen something on TV about drunk driving and as young as I was, about 10, I was sure he was drunk. We got Chinese food on that run, and it was bad Chinese food, and took it back to their house and after dinner, his wife yelled at him to not start drinking as he was supposed to drive me home. He ignored her, and drunk himself to sleep, and she did it instead. That car was still around through high school, looking worse and worse. I saw it sitting in front of their house, or once in a while, one of the kids drove it to school. About a year after my friend and I graduated high school, something died in it, and it was gone, replaced by a new red Trans Am. His dad had that car for a long time, until he got a little too drunk one afternoon, and hit a tree with it. He was at about 3x the legal limit, with a load of Schlitz’s in a bucket in the front seat next to him. At room temp, of course. Yuck. From what I’ve heard, he never drove again.
I love warm and fuzzy stories like this.
I thought Three Dog Night came out with this song. Didn’t know it was a cover.
I think my song for this ride would be “Walk on By.” A little bit too bare-bones, but interesting to check out for sure. There’s definitely potential being a coupe, no speed demon but probably cruises real nice. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Bel Air this vintage in profile, I kind of like it compared to the thick b-pillar the Impala has. I also like how sleek and no-nonsense the boxy styling is compared to the big mamas that followed.
Which one..Dionne Warwick or Leroy Van Dyke?
Before it became the Marin Ballet Center and the Marin Tennis Club, the land and the facilities were the Marist. Bros. Seminary. Priest “A” school, you might say. As a little kid playing out front, I remember two ’64 Chevies in that metallic turquoise color both I recognized as ’64’s; A Biscayne two door sedan and a Bel Air coupe. A young Father Riley would drop by our house and visit. He later became the monsignor and, I believe an Arch Bishop of the San Francisco Diocese.
What people today don’t realize is that something like 33% of Chevies were 6 cylinder with many the 3 speed stick. Today you’ll only see a V8
Where did people get those torn seat covering, sort of Mexican looking woven blankets for their front seats, and why? Until recently a 70’s Nova with similar flat metallic partly surface rusted paint (only originally blue), one of those blankets on the front seat, and “Joe 36” plates had been parking on my block for years. I think Joe 36 probably died or went to a home because it finally disappeared. It did manage to at least move from one side of the street to another and back every week for street cleaning.
T shirts on the seat backs are always a nice touch. Must be XXL.
Did these still have the same three speed with the distinctive first gear whine and no synchromesh, probably from the 1930’s, that Chevys had forever before that? If this one was like the family 1958 the column shift action wasn’t exactly up to Peugeot standards.
My mom’s co worker had a blue one of these. She ran it up until the very early 80’s.
By then it sat in the driveway ((yard actually)) next to their “hoard house”.
I think I noticed it gone form it’s “spot” somewhere in the mid-late 80’s.
Although, there was so much stuff on the porch/in the yard the car could have been hidden.
I knew someone with a ’64 Impala convertible with what seemed to me to be leather seats and all the high-end trim, etc. It had a 6 with a column shift 3 speed and no power anything (except the top!) Maroon with a beige top, I think. It really was a great car, although probably no one else would think so. I never knew what happened to it, but if it survived it likely doesn’t have the original power train, which would diminish its charm for folks like me.
I went to high school in a Toronto suburb in the mid sixties. One day several of us got a ride with the mother of a girl in my class. She was driving a 64 Biscayne sedan with no options. To me it was amazing. I had never seen a car like it. No radio, 3 speed manual, and I assume it was a six. I really didn’t know that they sold real strippers like this.
Several entire generations have grown up unaware that “you gotta squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave her…” wasn’t a part of “Try a Little Tenderness” for the first 35 years of that song’s existence, not until Otis Redding got to it in 1966. Since then, it’s hard to imagine the song without it though. Listen to Bing Crosby’s (1933) or Frank Sinatra’s (1946) renditions and you may barely recognize it as the same song. The crucial link between these early versions and Otis Redding’s reinvention of it is Sam Cooke’s live recording from 1964.
By 1964, this Chevrolet had been wearing the same old shabby dress for a few years. It was the last of the seven years Chevy used the X-frame platform, yet it’s hard to imagine the voluptuous ’58 model, or the wild-looking ’59 that followed it, is essentially the same underneath the skin as this much more sedate ’64. Comparing the 64 to the 59 is like comparing Bing and Otis singing the same song – the same bones, just dressed up very differently.
To me the ’64 Chevy looks like the box a ’61 Chevy came in.
These sold like hot cakes when new, I remember them very well .
I owned a ’64 Biscayne 4 door with the 194 CID i6 and three speed for a while in the late 1970’s it co$t me $130 and ran fine .
These were very roomy .
In the late 1970s, I was a teen, and a friend of my dad, who worked as as car mechanic in NYC, had a 64 Biscayne 4-door with a six. Other than that faded paint (similar to featured car, but in blue, and without the rust), it looked pretty good. “Chevy six-cylinder, best car ever made”, he told me.
Just so Tom ;
Not going to burn rubber or go overly fast but they were designed to give daily yeoman duty for decades and did so whilst looking good and not emptying your wallet .
When I was in high school long, long ago there was a ’63 / ’64 Chevy full size -only- low rider club that every day filled the street for three blocks on both sides, not a thing you’d every see these days .
There’s a less rusty blue four door with 283 V8 for sale in Torrance, Ca. near 118th street and Hawthorne Blvd. it moves ’round the neighborhood often , been for sale for a month or so now .
No price dammit .
One of the criteria that I use when considering a used car, is whether all four wheels and tires match. If they do, chances are the car is better than it may appear. If they are all different, there are likely to be a lot of hidden issues which will manifest in short order –
Lol, first used car I bought had one tire that was a different outside diameter than the other three – and all four were the wrong size. Yes, the car didn’t want to steer straight. About the first thing I did was replace them with a new set of Vredesteins. It did use a weird size that’s now unobtainium (195/70R13).
There is one down the block and around the corner from me under a car cover but I have seen it and it is in roughly the same shape.
Whats up with no driver’s side mirror??? Did Chevy charge you extra for that? I know a lot of old cars the pass side mirror was an option and and many dont have one.
Love the patina. Reminds me of the 70’s when everybody had an old, slighty decrepited 60’s Chevrolet beater. This wouldve been invisible in traffic in say 1975 or so.
Yup. Driver’s side outside mirrors did not become standard until the late 60s, after the 1966 Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Passenger side outside mirrors were still optional after that for quite some time.
Detroit had to be kicked and dragged into providing obvious safety features.