Cars and Southern California culture…
The automobile reigns supreme in Southern California, and we are crazy about our cars. And, just as Hollywood means films around the world, Southern California translates to cars and car culture. In fact, the Antelope Valley, with its history of dry lake racing at Muroc (long before it became the runways of Edwards Air Force Base) has played an integral part in the very formation of hot rods, drag racing and custom car culture.
We are passionate about our cars (and sometimes it’s a love-hate relationship), from the very first in which we learned how to drive to the latest model we have sitting in the driveway. That said, because the automobile is such an integral part of our lives, whether it is used simply as a tool for commuting or getting around town or is a much-loved and pampered custom or classic, we decided to focus on the automobile for this April issue of LIFESTYLE magazine.
In particular, this April marks the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of that most iconic of autos, the Ford Mustang, which debuted at the World’s Fair in New York in April 1964. The sports car jolted the automotive world and paved the way for the pony cars that followed like the Challenger, Camaro, and Firebird.
Special sections editor Karen Maeshiro, in her story “The original pony car 50 glorious years,” talks with automotive writer Donald Farr whose book, “Mustang Fifty Years: Celebrating America’s Only True Pony Car,” celebrates the car’s legacy with historic photos and a lineage that includes the subsequent models: the Mustang GT, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500, Super Cobra Jet, Boss 302 and Boss 429.
In addition, staff writer Vern Lawson in his “Hometown History” column describes how former Hollywood stuntman Stan Barrett drove the Budweiser Rocket Car faster than the speed of sound at Edwards Air Force Base, part of a project backed by “Smokey and the Bandit” director Hal Needham.
More cinematic connections to autos are explored in staff writer Julie Drake’s feature, “Car stars Littlerock connection to Hollywood” with photos by staff photographer Christina Ramos,” in which she talks with Ralph Felix, whose cars have been used in movies, including for a film in the “Transformers” series. “Sleek bodies, fast engines movie stars on four wheels” takes a look at cars that equaled or outshined their human counterparts in wattage in movies like “Bullitt,” “Back to the Future,” and “Vanishing Point.”
Cars that gained notoriety for the wrong reasons are the topic of editor Dennis Anderson’s look back in “The Edsel what were they thinking?” in which he discusses the Ford car that has been described as a legendary blunder, among others.
But this April issue of LIFESTYLE isn’t just about cars. There’s a variety of other interesting, entertaining and informative articles. Our Good Kid featured this month is young author Mmeli Ugochukwu, a seventh-grader at Sacred Heart School, whose book “Jane’s First Day in School: Eating Bugs,” was published late last year. Also, our wine columnist Lyle Norton examines the many facets of family winemakers in California.
There are also stories on spring crafts and Earth Day tips, along with all of our regular columns, such as Horse Tales, Collector’s Corner, Kovel’s Antique Forum, and the April calendar.
So please join us for this exciting issue of LIFESTYLE. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it!