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Mike Love Remembers His 1949 Chevy Fleetline

Mike Love

Beach Boys co-founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Mike Love grew up in Southern California, performing with cousins Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson as part of the legendary Southern California group. With hits like “California Girls,” “Good Vibrations” and “Help Me Rhonda,” the Beach Boys became one of the best-selling groups of all time. Love’s newest album, “Unleash the Love,” features 13 new songs and 12 re-recorded Beach Boy classics.

What was your first car?

My first car was a 1949 Chevy Fleetline six-cylinder manual transmission. It was a combination of pea green and Bondo. I named it Gangrene. It was less than cherry, but I dug the style lines. I loved it nonetheless.

How did you acquire it?

I mowed a lot of lawns and delivered a lot of newspapers to save up for my first car purchase. I bought the car from a private owner for $500 in 1958; my car was 9 years old at that time.

What is your favorite memory of the car?

My favorite memory is my cousin Brian and I going to my high school, Dorsey High’s (the Dons) football game against Fremont High. I remember how the Fremont High School’s conga line was really intimidating, but we cheered on in support of the Dons. This football game, along with others, is the inspiration for the song Brian and I wrote titled “Be True to Your School.”

What happened to it?

I sold it after the shifting lever and rod fell through the floorboard while driving. I still managed to shift the metal through the floorboard – literally makeshift!

Want to share your first car story? Comment below!

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2 Thoughts on “Mike Love Remembers His 1949 Chevy Fleetline

  1. Our last brand-new car was a 1957 Ford.
    Had at least 10 cars since then. Long-lasting 1993 Maxima for 16 years. Now have my everlasting 2009 Toyota Camry. Had 43k miles. Will last me till my end. Love it.

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