I was just watching "It Happened One Night" (1934), staring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert and I noticed a flaw, I think. I imagine many of you will remember the famous scene where they are hitchhiking and Colbert flashes a little leg to get a ride. Alan Hale, Sr. is driving what appears to be a 26/27 T Touring. He jambs on the brakes and there's a flash of his feet on a set of pedals that are clearly gas, brake, and clutch pedals in a car with a sliding gear transmission.
So, did they just goof up the detail or is it not a T?
It's definitely a 26/27 Model T in the exterior and interior shots.
It has a very large after-market foot-feed. The three Model T pedals can be seen if you slow it down or pause it.
Yes it is a 26/27. Running on the mag and as any good 26/27 T driver knows, if you want to stop fast, use the hand brake.
And so it is, Erik! Thanks.
Thanks t you too, Jim. It was too fast for me to see the detail I guess.
There is one goof up though. If the car is stopping fast the key hanging on the key ring should be swing forward rather then hanging straight down. Filmed at a dead stop even if the tires are screeching.
Dang Jim. Maybe we're working a little too hard on this!
Frank Capra knew that a lot of his audience were or had been regular Model T drivers, so he showed both feet stepping on two pedals and the hand pulling the lever to emphasize the point of the humor that, seeing Colbert, the driver wanted to stop NOW.
Comic effect aside, flooring the brake and clutch pedals and pulling on the brake lever would have been standard procedure for a panic stop with a standard transmission, but it doesn't make sense with a Model T. Pulling the brake lever puts it in neutral. If you floor the clutch while pushing the brake pedal, you're just pitting low gear against the brake - low gear just may win.
Laurel and Hardy parody of the scene in Way Out West - starts around 2:59 in this clip:
In a panic stop, it makes no sense to me to put the transmission in low and press the brake pedal at the same time. Low means the driveshaft is still being propelled by the motor and the car will want to continue to move forward in spite of the transmission brake being engaged. (If the goal is to lock up the rear wheels, if the brake lever is pulled back and the brake pedal is pressed, maybe stomping on the clutch and then quickly removing the foot would be a better procedure. Who knows?)
Stanley lifts his pant leg at 4:00 exposing his gam ala Claudette Colbert.
The best part of the Laurel and Hardy clip, IMHO, is the sound of screeching rubber tires on pavement as the steel tired on dirt road coach wheels skid to a stop!
OH, man .. don't get me started on Laurel and Hardy ... Here's an 'instructional' video on how to change a tire, start your car ... and even pull a clutch!
Try stomping on the low band some time at any speed above 15 miles per hour. It makes a pretty good brake, especially if you also are on the brake pedal at the same time.
BTW that was Alen Hale Sr., the Skippers father and great character actor that stomped on those pedals. To stop and pick Claudette.