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When there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulations, when the legal speed limit was 75 mph, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go!

Sandy Boulevard, 1949

Believe it or not, The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has a small bit of Portland's own Sandy Boulevard on display.


Called "Hot Rods and Hangouts -- Portland 1949," the exhibit shows a slice of cruising life.  Hot rods and motorcycles squeeze between a city bus and other traffic.  In the background we see the Tik-Tok Drive-in, the old Hollywood Fred Meyer, and the Wallace Buick dealership. Even the 7-Up bottling plant makes an appearance.





That's right. In Washington, DC, "America's Attic" has deemed Portland an iconic hot-rod city.

Myles Theberge's modified 32 Ford gets a special mention, as well as John Athan's '39 Ford roadster.



Flat Out Press also appreciates the quality of Sandy Boulevard. Here's how Al Drake describes cruising Sandy and around Portland in 'Fifties Flashback: A Nostalgia Trip!


"...Most Saturday nights were balmy, at least in the tricky circuitry of memory, and after we'd finished I started the engine, turned on the lights and waited for the carhop. Then I pulled out, slowly, being cool, hoping the clutch wouldn't chatter, rapping the pipes as we headed down the road. Many nights we made the rounds of other drive-ins. On 82nd I could hit Merhar's, where many of the cycle guys hung out, then cruise through Rutherford's Triple XXX and back through Flanagan's again, just in case someone hadn't seen me. On Sandy there was Jim Dandy's, a real hot-rod hangout, another Rutherford's Triple XXX, then Yaw's, a place where the rich kids from Grant hung out, then on up to the Tik-Tok, a favorite gathering place for rodders since the 'Thirties. That might be enough or one night, my date and I might have other things to do, but if we felt like driving and if I had enough gas we'd hit Bell's Drive-In at the east end of the Ross Island Bridge, or Waddle's, or a couple drive-ins back in the west hills. Portland was a good-size city, but a few runs through the drive-ins and you felt like you knew, or at least had seen, everybody who was car crazy."