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Car Talk: 1972

"Cornett family, Kentucky, 1972." Battery transplant for the 1957 Ford seen in the previous post from this series. Print from 35mm negative by William Gedney. Gedney Photographs and Writings Collection, Duke University.  View full size.

"Cornett family, Kentucky, 1972." Battery transplant for the 1957 Ford seen in the previous post from this series. Print from 35mm negative by William Gedney. Gedney Photographs and Writings Collection, Duke University. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Corvair? Back there? Where?

It looks like a 1963 Chevrolet Impala/Biscayne to me.

I am referencing the car (in the right background of the photo) that can be seen over the left shoulder of the guy holding the car battery. The car is also partially obscured by the hatless head of another family member.

If you enlarge the photo and look closely at this car in the background, you can see the straight, shiny, chrome trim on the turned down front edge of the hood as well as just above the outer-headlight bezel trim. This particular chrome trim is indicative of the '63 model Chevy Impala.

Upon further inspection of the enlarged photograph, this car also has a front grille between the headlights.

A Corvair does not have a front grille. It does have two elongated rear grilles below the bottom edge (rear cowl area) of the back window glass.

[You're half right. The car is not a Corvair, but it's not an Impala, either. It's a circa 1965 Malibu. - Dave]


These guys may well be souping up their car for a moonshine run. You had to have hot cars to keep ahead of the "Revenuers". This is the way NASCAR got its start!

As for Lou, a lot of us come from redneck roots, even if we are card carrying liberals today. Therefore, Lou, you may be making fun of our relatives. Get over yourself and live with the pictures of people who aren't as fortunate as you.

There's a Corvair

back there.

Jimbo's vintage snapshots

>> I've got lots of equally period photos if you need them.

Yeah, but there's a difference -- Gedney's photos are amazingly good and evocative.

Enough, Already!

Re: Cornett family photos. Frankly they remind me too much of my youth in the 50s. I've got lots of equally period photos if you need them.

New Hampshire redneck!

Grew up and lived in southern New Hampshire during this time. This photo looks like any of our back yards on a weekend during the summer. So much for it being a "Southern thing"! Funny thing is I go back there to visit friends and family after all these years we'll still gather around someone's new car and shoot the breeze. Cars, fast cars, women, and beer! Nice to have a little sameness in life.

Dave, you got me there ... and I Love It!

I relied too much on Spell Check and the inability of one to overlook ones own spelling errors. I am still laughing at my error -- or was it? We did indeed turn a wrench ... and on the Rare Occasion a wench, too.

Thanks, I really needed a good laugh today ... you're Great!

[Aw shucks. - Dave]

How 'bout it?

Some more of the sisters. Or did the boys hog all the spotlight?

[Maybe so, just by virtue of their greater numbers. But there are more to come of the girls. - Dave]

The Best of the Cornett Boys & Friends

Boy, I sure was glad to see Jay comment here, he was just in front of my thoughts. As to Lou, well, too bad for him and his poor relation "cousinfs." They may have been the better portion of the family -- but I digress.

I grew up in the South Chicago Suburbs, so although not down in Kentucky, my friends and I did the same thing as the Cornett boys…we were all over cars, and motorcycles. Oh, and my Wrangler Jeans never saw a belt and never fell from my waist, either.

My best friend had two vehicles, a 1939 Harley Knucklehead 61 CI and a Studebaker pickup, about a 1952. I drove, or rode both, and I still ride today, thanks to Mike.

My point is that Cars, Motorcycles, Cigarettes, and Beer were the topics of the day, and then the occasional Girl. The Studebaker didn't ever have a working starter, at least an electrical one. Our Band of Brothers just pushed it and one of us would pop the clutch in 2nd gear to start the flat head six. We went everywhere in this truck, two or three in the cab and then others back in the bed. We never gave any of this a second thought. And, all of us could "turn a wench," so we just had Fun with our Boy Toys.

So, Kentucky or Chicago, or any place else, it doesn’t make a difference. The Cornett Boys and we Yankees had Very Much in common. Good Times!

["All of us could turn a wench" -- simultaneously? - Dave]

Easy there Lou!

Getting a wee bit cranky in your old age?

Lookey Lou

I wonder which of those "rednecks" did Lou's last brake job. Maybe a compression test would be in order. Seems the head bolts are a bit over-torqued.

The Other Halves

According to the CIA, the median age of Americans is 36.7 years and the median age of the world's population is a mere 24.3 years.. Therefore, more than half of Americans alive today and three quarters of the world population were not yet born when these Cornett family photos were taken. Shorpy's peeks at the Cornetts inform most Americans and a huge majority of the world what life was like here way back when.

The CIA Factbook population numbers are kind of scary -- the median age in Afghanistan and Angola is 18, 16.8 in Burkina Faso and Burundi, and only 15 in Uganda and Niger. The oldest median ages reported were in Germany and Japan at 44+ years.

That ain't no 2 barrel carb

That is a Holley 4150 4 barrel. Note the rear metering block. The stock 4V Holleys for regular Ford engines were 4160 types without the rear metering block. The 4150/4160 was not in production in 1957. In 1957 the Holley 4V was still the model 4000 "teapot".

The presence of the 4150 carb suggests non-stock speed parts. The level of the carb in the engine bay suggests the Y block engine has been replaced, probably with an FE series mill (352, 390, 406, 427, 428). My '58 Ford has a 352 with Tri-Power, sits at about the same level. Sure wish there was a shot of the engine.

It's all about you, Lou.

"I'd prefer seeing nothing on Shorpy from later than 1950 (my birthdate)."

That pretty much tells us everything we need to know about Lou.

Thank God for rednecks who can fix our cars, grow our food, and keep our beer distributors in business! Where would this country be without them?

I, for one, love rednecks and despise snobs who look down their noses at them!

Hood's Up II

Dumb me! All I had to do was look down two photos and see the front end of this 1957 Ford, the year Ford outsold the future iconic Chevy! Whodathunkit! Had any number of those Interstate batteries and its heavy duty sibling the Megatron back in the day. They'll get good service out of it. For whatever reason, Ford continued the use of the rear-opening hood through '69 on the Lincolns.

All generalizations.....

I think it's pretty impressive the way Lou can determine the IQ of a person from a 38 year old b&w photo. Of course he is the "smart one" of the familyf.

Indiana state inspection sticker

This car must've came from Indiana at one time, note the State of Indiana inspection sticker on the corner of the windshield. Don't think they took the battery from the 65 Ford, the battery looks like it's still in its box.

Recycling, what's that?

I wonder what they did with the dead batteries (and used oil when they changed their own, which they surely did). In those pre-EPA days they very likely just dumped the batteries into the nearest stream or ravine. Oil? No sense catching it, just unscrew the drain plug and let it drain into the ground. Today, I wonder if the property is eligible for Superfund cleanup.

We're all wondering

Does anyone have any info on where the guys are now??


I don't understand how pants can be fitted so as to lack a belt, while not creating a roll of fat, while not being loose so as to display underwear. I have never seen the like in today's America.

Enough of the rednecks!

I don't expect you to publish this, but i am really tired of these yahoos polluting the Shorpy goodness. I have a dozen or so cousinfs who look like this and seem about as unintelligent.

Please, back to the past again, please! If you are taking votes, put me down for two against more of these rednecks aqnd their polluting vehicles!

Thanks. Not just the subject, but I'd prefer seeing nothing on Shorpy from later than 1950 (my birthdate).


[Nothing worse than an unintelligent counsinf. - Dave]

Hood's Up!

My second car was a 1958 Ford Custom 300 two-door hardtop with the 332 V-8 Interceptor. This is a '57-'59 but I can't get enough visual cues to determine which. It looks like it has a two-barrel carb, so it's probably a 292 or 312. What I can see of the dash should clarify the year, but I just can't remember, it's been 42 years since I traded it off. The car in the background is a '65 Ford, which my mother bought brand new from my Ford dealer uncle.


At least they had a good battery. Neat to see an old Interstate from back then.

Best of Times

Oh, for the roar of V-8's in the early seventies. I was filling my '66 Fairlane up in '72 with 102 octane Chevron Supreme for 29.9 cents a gallon. Bought it by the "dollar's worth" and had enough to cruise into town 10 miles away, drive around a bit and then head for Cal's Drive-In, home of the 19 cent hamburger where we would fill up on five for less than a buck.

Old Car Paradise

If the Cornett family still has the same place they did then, it would be a car restorer's treasure trove. Apparently they did not get rid of any old cars.

Reverse alligator hood

Safer if the latch gives while the car is moving. Still seen today on such as various Corvette models and a certain PV-544 Volvo in my garage. Wonder if there was a Ford side and a Chevy side to the family?

Let's get this wrapped up, quick.

The beer store closes in 20 minutes.


I wonder if they took the battery from the '65 Ford in the background. The '57's front-hinged hood was a reminder to me of my second vehicle, a 1946 Hudson Super Six. The hood also opened that way.

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