Dear Bill Sherk
While reading the article about Art Fishenden’s 1933 Dodge Brothers Model DP Deluxe sedan in today’s March 5 2009 Hamilton Spectator it got me dreaming about some of the old cars in our family.
The year was 1944 and as farmers could buy new rubber tires for their cars dad decided to buy a 1935 Cheverolet sedan from a man in Listowel Ontario. This car was going to replace dad’s old 1928 Cheverolet sedan with wooden spoked wheels which he had driven all the way back from Saskatchewan with his wife and 2 year old son in 1930 when he quit farming there and bought his father’s farm near Atwood Ontario.
I rode to Listowel with dad in 1944 to pick up his new car .I was all excited.We had 4 flat tires driving the car home to the farm that day and I was pretty tired and weary when we finally got there.Dad took the car to our mechanic in Atwood to do a motor job and general overhaul.He had a push button starter installed on the dashboard as the starter switch which was below the gas pedal was giving a lot of trouble.I remember the brakes would freeze up in the winter time and the heater didn’t give much heat. He had a suction cup glass with electrical wires in it put on the windshield for the winter and when that was plugged in the frost was quickly cleared off the windshield. The car had a canvas roof whick leaked.He had a new one put on. He installed a trailer hitch and we always pulled a trailer filled with bags of grain which we took to Atwood chopping mill to be made into chop for the cows.That car was a regular work horse ! I learned to drive in it when I could barely see out the window. I got my driver’s license when I was 15 as farm boys were able to do that as they were needed to work on the farm.Of course this car had no turning signals you just used your arm.I don’t remember having any more trouble with the car for all the years dad kept it. He got a brand new Pontiac in 1950.
In 1963 I was teaching in Kincardine Ontario.Everyday I would walk by this old 1936 Cheverolet sedan parked behind the woodshed of this home.I would often stand and stare at it.One day a man came out of the house and said. “Are you interested in the old car?.All it needs is a battery and it runs fine”
I said,” I don’t know.How much do you want for it?”
He said,” 25 dollars”
I said .” What !” I bought it and took it home to the farm.For 4 or 5 years whenever I dropped a battery into it, it started right up and I would take it for a ride down memory lane.
Now I remember the first car I bought with my own money in 1955. It was a shiny black Commander in Chief 1948 Studebaker with wire wheels and a radio! But this is another story another dream and another memory.