Beach Boys Song 'Little Deuce Coupe' Explained
on 5/13/2006 (25)
Ever listen to the classic old Beach Boys song "Little Deuce Coupe" and wonder what the words meant?
|Original 1932 Ford Coupe |
|Little Deuce Coupe! |
A Little Deuce Coupe is the venerable 1932 Ford V-8 Roadster, originally designed as a small, high performance sporting vehicle, the 'Deuce' refers to the '2' in 1932, and is also suggestive of the fact the Deuce is a two seater. Back in the classic hot rod era of the 50's and 60's, the Deuce became the favorite of auto designers, who 'cherried' the already potent flathead V-8 equipped conservative roadster by pulling the hood and fenders, installing Lake Pipes, enlarging (boring) cylinders to further enhance its already inherent power, and dressing out in chrome detailing and flaming paint schemes.
Below is a line by line analysis of the song 'Little Deuce Coupe' (self-explanatory lines ignored) and what they mean. After absorbing their meaning, it's easy to see what inspired Beach Boy song writer Brian Wilson to pen them in the first place. Vrooom!
Little deuce Coupe You don't know what I got Little deuce Coupe You don't know what I got
The intro line are suggestive of the fact that the Deuce was often a wolf in sheep's clothing, the diminutive size and appearance concealed the power of the Ford V-8 hidden within.
Well I'm not braggin' babe so don't put me down But I've got the fastest set of wheels in town When something comes up to me he don't even try Cause if I had a set of wings man I know she could fly She's my little deuce coupe You don't know what I got
Just a little deuce coupe with a flat head mill
A reference to the potent Ford flathead V-8 engine under the hood, if the hood hadn't already been peeled by the owner. In 1932, Ford changed automotive history by introducing his Flathead motor that made V-8 power affordable. The V-8 made 65 bhp at 3400 rpm, although the more conservative Society of Automotive Engineers set the net rating at 30 bhp. One group that was particularly impressed with the Ford V-8 were gangsters. Both John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow (of Bonnie & Clyde fame) wrote to Henry Ford to express their satisfaction with the new vehicle. The term "flathead" arises from the flat appearance of the main cylinder head block. Subsequent flathead models produced as much as 125 bhp in later years.
But she'll walk a Thunderbird like (she's) it's standin' still
Big talk, daddy. The 1963 T-bird produced 340 bhp with a 390 cubic-inch CID V-8 engine. Unless the Deuce was stroked and bored out and stripped for weight, it's hard to see it competing with a '63 T-bird in the long haul, quarter mile, maybe, where the feather light weight of the Deuce would be an advantage.
She's ported and relieved and she's stroked and bored.
Porting and relieving, and boring and stroking are methods of increasing engine horsepower (bhp). Porting is the shaping of the exhaust port or runner, and relieving is the blending of areas from the combustion chamber to the inlet and exhaust channels. Both operations are designed to help the engine "breathe" better.
Stroking an engine is altering the crank pin location to increase or decrease the piston travel in the cylinder which then increases or decreases the engine's displacement. Boring increasing the diameter of the cylinders and pistons. These modifications are meant to increase engine displacement, or the total volume of air/fuel mixture
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