Drag Strip Classics: Dog Dish Afternoon, Part II – A Smattering Of Fair Fare For The Frugal

As a reader or listener, when I see that an author or musician labels a work “Part 1,” I expect a Part 2.  James Brown was famous, among other things, for dividing his work into parts, and I still prefer Ray Charles’s “What’d I Say, Part 1” to Part 2 of the same name.  Therefore, when the first installment of “Dog Dish Afternoon” was reposted last week, six years after I wrote it, I was reminded of my own lack of follow through; and while I can’t pretend to be a legendary soul singer, I can rummage through my files for more greatest “Dog Dish” hubcap hits from the Stanton Mid-Michigan Motorplex.  Prepare for Part II.

It’s common in writing and singing to open with a hook, and mine is this 1970 Buick GS with a 455 Stage 1.  Buick is perhaps my favorite single brand of antique car, and the Stage 1 is a podium finisher in terms of collectibles from the Tri-Shield.  Being a more upscale division, the base hubcap may look wrong to some, but considering that the Stage 1 Buick was one of the fastest cars of the heady era from 1964-1974, and that speed and posturing are two separate objectives, I think it is a refreshing stand-in for the more prevalent Buick Rallye Wheel.

A couple years newer and a couple parking spaces away is this 1972 Dodge Demon 340, which also is more commonly seen with Chrysler Rallye Wheels.  Aside from its potent 340 small-block, this Demon is notable for its consistent black and white contrasts: vinyl top, stripes, tires, interior…nice looking car.

Another entrant from Mother Mopar is this 1969 ‘Cuda 440, one of only 340 produced in 1969.  Cramming that tall deck big-block into the ‘Cuda was a difficult task, and there was no room left in the engine compartment for even such niceties as power steering.  Needless to say, this base-hubcapped A-Body is a single-minded entity if ever there was one.

In a continuation of the Chrysler contingent, this Liberty Mutual-like 1970 Duster wears the uncommon “Curious Yellow” color, in addition to a 340 and yes, base hubcaps.

It is probably coincidence rather than an economic statement about Chrysler’s customers that many of my “dog dish” pictures involve Mopars, but this 1963 Plymouth was for sale, and its basic sedan status supports the use of the basic hubcap.

It is a slant six car, and from what I remember, the owner was asking $7500.  Nice car, but probably a tough sell at that price, which is more an indictment of years of anti-sedan bias on the part of the collector car buying public than anything else.

Speaking of basic sedans, does any car earn its dog dish stripes with more earnestness than a Rambler American?  This 1967 version in basic beige typifies the most inexpensive of American automobiles, one that would last through the Hornet’s debut, one that was minimally changed for the last half of the 1960s.  The hood was closed and no owner was around, but I’ll guess it is a six-cylinder car.

I’ll walk past this dog dish-equipped Plymouth without disparagement; after all, it’s perhaps the meanest of all muscle cars, a ’67 GTX with a Hemi.  I thought about buying a well-worn 440 GTX several years ago; it would have been the best beater/driver ever, but if I bought everything I ever wanted I’d have even more of a car problem than I already have.

I’m going to get away from Stanton temporarily, because there’s no way to not include this car and feel good about myself.  It’s a 1968 Malibu convertible, red-on-red, with red-striped tires and base hubcaps.  It’s beautiful.

Back at Stanton, I am fascinated by this Chrysler – it’s a fusion of 1967 and 1968 models.  It has a 1968 license plate, 1968 front bumper side markers, no rear side markers, and a 1967 grille.  Either way, I love it, and it has dog dish hubcaps, with an asterisk for also wearing trim rings.

This is the Chrysler’s interior, ready for a long trip.

Here is an interesting 1976 Malibu with base hubcaps.

The base Malibu didn’t rate stacked headlights in 1976, which is a stylistic advantage in my opinion.

This Malibu has benefitted from a couple of upgrades, including what looks like a Hurst floor shifter for the automatic (Paul pointed out the lack of a clutch pedal – thanks, Paul.) and a sport steering wheel.

It is common for writers and singers to provide closure to the reader or listener.  In my last installment of “Dog Dish Afternoon,” I focused on a 1969 Nova 396; therefore, I’ll end with this 1968 equivalent.

Rather than the L78 in last installment’s Nova, this one runs the L34 350-horsepower version of the 396.

Although it’s possible that exactly nobody, including myself, was waiting for Part II of this series, perhaps I will indulge myself in another six years and give Part III a try.  These hubcaps are everywhere if you know where to look.