Thursday, June 20, 2002

Stroked But Not Bored

H.D. Miller of Travelling Shoes and an admitted Californian gives me the bird's eye lowdown on hot rods and decodes the remarkably complex lyrics of The Beach Boys' “Little Deuce Coupe.”

As for what the hell is a deuce coupe anyway? Miller explains:

A duce coupe is a 1932 Ford Coupe, a favorite among hot-rodders since the beginning of time, since it was a small, cheap, popular car with space for a big V-8 engine. The classic hot-rod shape.

What about a "flat head mill?"

A "flat head" is a Ford-made V-8 engine, one in which the valves are not on top, but on the side, hence the flat top. "Milled" means that the valves and moving parts have been worked to a very fine tolerance to increase power and efficiency.

And the somewhat painful sounding "ported and relieved and stroked and bored?"

These are all ways of machining an engine to increase it's power. "Ported and relieved" is a way of letting extra air into an exhaust port to reduce back pressure on a piston chamber (I think, that's it). "Stroked and bored" means that the piston chambers have been bored out to increase the size of the engine displacement, making it bigger than originally manufactured.

"Lake Pipes" according to Miller:

. . . are a type of exhaust pipe that goes outside of the body of the car, instead of underneath the chassis. I think, but I'm not sure, that Lake was originally the name of the manufacturer.

I never thought I would need a mechanical engineer to translate a Beach Boys song but this does reinforce the point of my last post that the Beach Boys are perceived as frothy lightweights only because they are best known for their frivolous surfer songs.

Those may have paid for Brian Wilson's medications but his heart was in hot-rodding and that's clear just by reading his lyrics.

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