bicycle / motorcycle / racing terms

Mullins, Bill Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri Apr 22 22:42:05 UTC 2005

sissy bar (OED has 1969)

[classified ad -- motorcycle section] Wisconsin | Oshkosh | The Oshkosh Northwestern | 1962-10-05 p. 30 col 1.
"FOR SALE - Pull Back Handle Bars and Risers Also Highway Pegs and Sissy Bar for 650 BSA."

"Carrier Boy Seeks Bike; Job Suffers"  California | Van Nuys | The Valley News | 1965-02-23 p. 12-A col 1.
"It also has a "sissy bar" on the back of the seat."

The Washington Post had an article in which the phrase was used in a headline to refer to a drinking establishement which was "effeminate":  "Sissy Bars Done in Old Rose and Lavender to Replace Old-Time Mahogany" The Washington Post; Mar 17, 1933; pg. 3

cheater slick (OED has 1959 for "slick", meaning a tire, but does not have "cheater slick")

[classified ad -- "Spts, Race, Hot Rods" section] Los Angeles Times; Mar 9, 1961; pg. B28, col 2.
"CHEV '61 B. A. Hdtp., 350 h.p., 4-spd trans., headers, cheater slicks, 6500 miles, $2850"

racing slicks (OED has 1959 for "slick", meaning a tire, but does not have "racing slick")

"This Girl Really Understands Those Customized Cars" [UPI] Ohio | Coshocton | The Coshocton Tribune | 1959-05-05 p.2 col 4.
 "Mine is a 1929 model A Ford with a stock chromed grille, a 1958 Thunderbird engine, three carburetors, a 1949 Ford transmission, a 1948 Ford differential, a hydraulic trunk lid, a Chevrolet steering system-and a few other things like racing slicks (oversized smooth tires) on the rear and motorcycle tires on the fronts."

chopper (OED has 1965)
[classified ad -- motorcycle section] Chicago Daily Tribune; Mar 26, 1961; pg. G6 col 9.
"HARLEY - DAVIDSON -- Chopper, Lots of chrome.  5155 N. Meade."

coaster brake (not entered in OED, but appears in a 1973 cite for "hub brake", and in the definition for "tri-coaster")

[display ad for Pierce Cycles] New York Times; May 18, 1899; pg. 8 col 7.
"Coaster Brake ("It works while you rest.") "

"Notes of the Wheel" Ohio | Lima | The Lima News | 1898-09-23 p. 3 col 4.
"A new coaster brake is shown in the accompanying illustration.  The main difference between the two is in the brake shoe, which is a concaved roller on the star and a steel spoon on the Climax."

bucket seat (OED has 1908)
BEGIN T0 WANT MORE VARIETY. Los Angeles Times; Aug 18, 1907; pg. VIII 3 col 1.
"America has produced only one individual type -- the four-seated roadster, with low rear seats, and individual bucket seats in front, the driver's being a half foot farther forward than the other."

banana seat (not in OED)
[display ad for bicycle at Penney's] Nevada | Reno | Reno Evening Gazette | 1964-05-06 p. 20 col 5.
"Boasts new smooth and comfortable banana seat."

kick stand (OED has 1947)
[display ad for bicycles and accessories at Gamble Stores] Missouri | Chillicothe | The Chillicothe Constitution Tribune | 1937-09-09 p. 4 col. 6
"DeLuxe Kick Stand . . . . . . 89¢
Regular Kick Stand . . . . . . 48¢"

hopped up (OED: "Of a motor vehicle: having its engine altered to give improved performance." 1945)
Chicago Daily Tribune; May 31, 1932; pg. 15 col 8.
"But there were many crackups as the hopped up cars swung around the two and a half mile brick oval faster than was ever intended for the saucer by its builders."

And a glossary  . . ...

Los Angeles Times; Feb 14, 1963; pg. B2 col 3 [quote from col 5]

"New fans may find that dragsters speak a different language, too.  For that reason Martin and Nelson send along a glossary of drag racing terms.  Included were:
SKINS - Tires.
BOX - Transmission.
JUICE - Fuel mixture used in hot cars.
RATCHET JAW - Constant talker.
GASSER - High performance car that runs on pump gasoline.
CHEATER SLICKS - Special rear tires with little or no tread, wide surfac that provides good traction.
WOUND UP - Maximum r.p.m.'s of engine.
TOP END - Top speed during run.
SAND BAGGER - Poor sport.
SEAGULL - Complainer.
RUN FOR TIN - Trophies in lieu of prize money.
HONK - To beat another car.
MILL - Size or type of engine.
STROKER - Engine that has been bored and stroked.
SPOOK - Technique of unnerving competitor by making false starts.
IN THE CHUTE - Staging area ready for a run. "

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