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The Age Of The Car With A Name

Published in blog.hemmings.com

One of our favorite micro-movements within the first generation of the Muscle Car era is the Name thing. You’ve seen great old photos of this trend: some killer Mopar wing car or Camaro or Mustang or some such thing with a wild paint job and/or a handpainted name across a fender/rear valance/hood/door. And from what we can tell, this practice showed up in, say, late ’69 and lasted roughly a decade, give or take a year on either end.

What started this trend? Who started it? Is there a Lettering Patient Zero? And, sorta like the Van era, was there a signpainter who was known for this work? And speaking of vanning; is there any correlation between the Boogie Van era’s penchant for naming its chariots and incorporating those names into its custom paint schemes? And, by the way, who took this particular photo?

And to the souls who were in their teens back in Seventies: we’re lookin’ at you, kids. Tell us all about it. From what you can remember, anyway. Hey, look – we know those memories might be a little…foggy. And bonus points if you’ve got your own photos of these cars from back in The Day that you can post up: we absolutely love seeing that stuff. And even bonus-er points if you still have the car. And even more if you let us come over and drive it.