Cars from yesteryear
March 7, 2011
When I was a child my dad had a Model T Ford pickup. I reckon you could call it a convertible pickup because it was very definitely exposed to the elements. It had a box not a whole lot bigger than a large suitcase.
I drove that vehicle some and thought that was a great deal of fun. I guess it would still be fun for awhile. If you have ever driven a Model T you will know the driving comfort in vehicles has improved immensely. After cranking it by hand to get the engine started you pushed a pedal on the floor to start it moving, held it in until you gained enough speed to push another pedal. Then when you got to going a fairly good clip you reached for a lever, above the running board, with your left hand, shoved it ahead and you were off, at maybe a good 20 mph.
When Dad got better transportation that old pickup sat by a corral fence for maybe 20 years, with the wheels sunk in the sand up to the wooden spokes. A man finally came along wanting to buy it. I think Dad sold it to him for $25. We learned later that he had fixed it up, got it running, painted it and was driving it in parades.
We can talk about old vehicles with a certain amount of reserved nostalgia, but oh how they have improved through the years. I have heard someone say, “They don’t make ’em like they used to.” My response to that would be “thank goodness.”
Transportation back then was sketchy at the best for ranch people. They were still using horses to do most of the ranch work, but they had discovered a new kind of transportation that could get them where they wanted to go off the ranch faster. It was not all that reliable and some times a team proved to be the best way. It took a while for the comfort level to improve much over traveling in a team-drawn wagon.
Motoring was far from being a pleasure. I think there were heaters in not much later models, but they were very inefficient. Air conditioner?? Cars were well air conditioned – in the wintertime.
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Dad usually had a pickup of some kind, without much room in the cab, so I rode many miles and many hours in the box, in all kinds of weather.
Brrr, talk about cold.