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|Download Ebook ⚣ Street Rod: a Story of a Young America's Passion for Speed ë Ricky Madison s parents were as square as the Cleavers or the Nelsons Ricky s friends were allowed to have their own rods, but would his parents let him in on the fun Heck no So here he was, the only guy in Dellville without his own set of wheels, the town car suck His friend Link said he ought to threaten to leave home That worked for Link he had his rod But Ricky s parents weren t so easily bluffed, and though his father finally did decide that Ricky should be allowed to have a car, Ricky s mind was already made up Before his Dad could tell him he d had a change of heart, Ricky went and bought a beat upFord coupe from Merle, the somewhat shady town mechanic, with crazy dreams of souping it up to be the best street rod in town Loved this unforgettable, life shaping book, as a kid, and plan to read it again as an adult. The eye opening novel about street rodders the kids who build and drive the stripped down, souped up bombs on wheels Now, I ask you, with a cheesy teaser come on like that on the cover, how the hell could I resist I bought this thing hell, yeah 1950s hot rod pulp exploitation at its finest kids hopped up on wicked chocolate malts, peeling out and displacing loose gravel like hellions lobbing firecrackers at the unwary squares of Dellville, Iowa, USA, daring the cops to stopThe eye opening novel about street rodders the kids who build and drive the stripped down, souped up bombs on wheels Now, I ask you, with a cheesy teaser come on like that on the cover, how the hell could I resist I bought this thing hell, yeah 1950s hot rod pulp exploitation at its finest kids hopped up on wicked chocolate malts, peeling out and displacing loose gravel like hellions lobbing firecrackers at the unwary squares of Dellville, Iowa, USA, daring the cops to stop em comin at ya like V8 fueled speed demons out of the bowels of Hell Ward and June Cleaver didn t go through World War II to put up with this teenage rebel shit.I have a Bantam paperback with the same illustration as above but with an orange border the edition above has a different teaser text My edition can be seen at the bottom of the review.I wrote the above paragraphs prior to reading this book, and I ve kept those initial impressions because, even though the book surprised me by its relative depth, I still wanted to convey why this book drew me in the first place Honestly, yes, I thought this might be fun trash at which to hurl snarky and unfair contemporary invective.However, having read it, I actually respect the book It s not great literature, and it s certainly very moralistic, but there s nothing inherently wrong in the message it conveys, and its author had genuine talent Henry Gregor Felsen was a prolific writer of short stories and pulp novels, but is probably best known among young readers of his generation as the author of a series of books related to the hot rod car culture of the 1950s and 1960s Street Rod, it seems, was one of thememorable efforts in his oeuvre It has a bleak ending that caught young readers off guard, and, based on some reviews, seems to have stayed with those readers forthan half a century.The story s main character is a high school senior, Ricky Madison, a kid who lives in a tiny, boring Iowa town He has a keen fascination for souped up cars and is an avid reader of car magazines He even has an aptitude for car repair and customizing, as well as an active imagination for design ideas Problem is, every kid in town has a hot rod except him He s too poor to buy a decent starter car, and his parents are too timid to let him buy one due to safety concerns He s tired of being a car suck, having to bum rides everywhere His humiliation erupts into anger at his parents His lack of wheels also seems to be standing in the way of him being with his favorite gal, Sharon, who has now taken up with the bullying opinion leader among the teen hot rodders, Link Link becomes Ricky s main rival throughout the book, and it is that rivalry that proves to be Ricky s undoing.Defiant, Ricky draws his entire savings, 50, from the bank and buys a junker from the local good for nothing town drunk mechanic, Merle It doesn t take long for Ricky to have buyer s remorse, though, and the amount of work the car needs is way beyond his means Everyone scolds him for paying for a heap of junk that was worth nothan 25 These are 1950s dollars, folks, when gasoline was like 10 cents a gallon.Ricky s father, a reasonable man, tries to compromise with his recalcitrant son, trying to talk him through his options Although Ricky s car is no hot rod, it does run, and one day he decides to race it against his friends cars on the public roads The town s sheriff and Ricky s father get wind of this and the boy gets a warning Ricky s father devises a way that the boys can satisfy their need to race while doing so within a safely regulated framework He advocates that the boys form a timing association, a car club dedicated to safe and controlled drag racing, a concept that had been growing in the country at the time in the face of many hot rod deaths among the youth.Arguing that boys will be boys, much with the same logic we understand today in the era of the drug war that drugs and users aren t going away, and efforts to criminalize them will only perpetuate the same non constructive situation , the timing association offers a regulated way to meet the needs of all sides in the debate Saving lives is ultimately its goal.Trying to teach Ricky a lesson in civic engagement and in fighting for a goal in which he can take pride and ownership, his dad helps him draft a petition for the town council to set aside part of a road outside town one day a week for the drag races The reactionary council, much the way the anti drug forces think today, flatly refuse this solution, equating it with blackmail and disrespect for the law.Angry at this result, Ricky and his friends wreak holy havoc on the roads In reaction, the parents band together and forbid their daughters from riding with the boys, and the police forbid them driving questionably in the town limits The boys tool off to Des Moines to do whatever they want, but the cops there are wise, and threaten the boys with jail if they cause trouble They manage to get away with some roadway harassment before getting back to town.The rest of the book details Ricky s change of heart, as he finally begins to realize the error of his ways, and pursues his dream of souping up his Buick coupe and entering it in the car show He even has interested buyers for it, the first step in his dream to open his own customizing shop after college Ricky s dad has finally convinced him that an engineering degree will boost his skills and prospects.But the rivalry with Link has never gone away, and, Ricky, seemingly with the world in his grasp, chafes at this final undone goal to finally beat Link in a drag race Thus, the ending, which you can infer.The strongest thing about this book is its insight into the inner frustrations of adolescent male youths, and about the poignant concerns of parents who want their children to be safe while affording them some measure of freedom and responsibility as they slowly cut the parental cord There are some lovely moments where the town cop talks about the sense of immortality and invicibility that young boys feel, the idea that death is too remote for them to grasp Also, he points out that Ricky s father and his peers were no better when they were adolescents they may not have had cars, but they acted out in their own ways.The conversations between Ricky s parents do have a Leave it to Beaver vibe, but it s not a bad thing, and you wishparents showed this much concern and accommodation for their children.The book also has some ah yes moments of recognition, showing that road rage and reactive driver behavior has not changed at all since 1953 when this book was first publishedThere s something about having another car go past that s like an insult I ve followedthan one man or woman who didn t go over forty until I tried to pass And the minute I tried to go around, they sped up The book is an interesting relic from the post war industrial 1950s, when so many dreams were tied up into material goods, cars in particular, and when something like drag racing and firecracker throwing constituted heinous juvenile delinquency Of course, this is dated on a certain level, but the human concerns the book has aren t.I will probably forget this book but I enjoyed it a lotthan I expected, and Felsen could write No doubt about that kr Ky 2016 I rarely read Young Adult books when I was a child in the 60s because I found them to be insipid and condescending The topics that could get past the censors and PTA were very limited This novel, Street Rod was a major exception and one of the few YA novels good enough to remember from my youth The novel about a teenage boy who wanted a racing car was a precursor to the S E Hinton books In my opinion, it was better Perhaps the major thing going for it was a downbeat ending that would prob I rarely read Young Adult books when I was a child in the 60s because I found them to be insipid and condescending The topics that could get past the censors and PTA were very limited This novel, Street Rod was a major exception and one of the few YA novels good enough to remember from my youth The novel about a teenage boy who wanted a racing car was a precursor to the S E Hinton books In my opinion, it was better Perhaps the major thing going for it was a downbeat ending that would probably be censored in a current day YA book The novel is out of print probably because it is very much dated in the 50s and 60s However I do consider it one of the first YA novels that didn t treat teenagers like children and was not afraid to place a little reality in its pages I read this book when i was 10 years old I was shocked senseless by the ending I remember looking around the front room Everybody else in the family was behaving normally They had no idea what I had just experienced I walked upstairs to my bedroom with the book Several times over the next few weeks I re read the ending and was shocked all over again.This book then led to a lifetime of seeking and enjoying to the max any and all books with shocking endings And, even , books that are fi I read this book when i was 10 years old I was shocked senseless by the ending I remember looking around the front room Everybody else in the family was behaving normally They had no idea what I had just experienced I walked upstairs to my bedroom with the book Several times over the next few weeks I re read the ending and was shocked all over again.This book then led to a lifetime of seeking and enjoying to the max any and all books with shocking endings And, even , books that are filled with disaster from beginning to endmountain climbing books and adventure books in general are especially desirable as they usually have multiple disasters And I love them all, thanks to Henry Gregor Felsen