Sunday, May 25, 2008

Family Automobiles VII

The Folks' Fords:
It is plain that the first Allen & Genevieve car was a Model T Ford Coupe. The evidence is a photo of Mother with me as a baby on her lap sitting on the running board of a Model T. The dog "Biscuit" is also trying to get on her lap. It was taken in the fall of 1922 (leaves are off the maple behind the house). There is another photo of the Model T which shows me on the back fender and Dickie waving from the window. It is a tall, gangly looking car with rectangular windows. The two doors are hinged at the rear. Black, of course, and had to be started with a crank.
When Henry Ford finally quit making the Model T in 1927, he came out with the 1928 Model A. Dad was the first one in town to own one. It was one hot-looking automobile in my view. A Ford Roadster with a rumble seat. On the driver's side was a spotlight mounted on a column attached to the running board. (a Roadster was a two-door convertable with side curtains). In my mind's eye it was light colored but the photos show that it was dark.The folks drove the new Model A to the 1928 Indianapolis 500. Dad said that on the way home everyone had racing fever and that there were all sorts of challenges to the new Model A. It's supposed top speed was 65 mph. As I remember he said  no one could take him.
The following year they went to the Kentucky Derby in the Model A. The wiiner was Clyde Van Dusen, a mudder. Until Big Brown did it this spring, Clyde Van Dusen was the only horse ever to win the Derby starting from the #20 outside post.
What came next may seem unthinkable but the folks had good reasons. They had the Roadster body pulled off the chassis and replaced with a closed four-door sedan body.. Imagine the situation in the Roadster: Allen, Genevieve and three rambunctious little boys on one seat. There was no second seat and you couldn't put them in the rumble seat. Probably a good alternative to buying another car. I have photos of this remodeled car on the ice in the middle of Paw Paw Lake.  One shows the car with chains on the rear wheels and Genevieve and the three boys all dressed up for winter standing alongside.
NEXT: The 1924 Dodge.

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