From a correspondent:
JUST HAD A 3 1/2 HOUR SOLO RUN FROM OUR KIDS' HOME UP IN THE TALL PINES COUNTRY, AND HAD PLENTY OF TIME FOR MEMORIES TO MAKE THEIR WAY IN, FROM LONG PAST...BUT ONE, WAS VERY SPECIAL - IT HAD TO DO WITH OUR MUTUAL OLD CAR INTEREST. IN HIGH SCHOOL MY MAIN RIDE WAS A '36 PHAETON...ALL ORIGNIAL, UNTIL I INSTALLED 6 INCH LOWERING SHACKLES ALL AROUND AND ADDED MY CAR CLUB PLAQUE , WHICH HUNG FROM SMALL CHAINS FROM THE REAR BUMPER.
WELL, A WHILE BACK, I HAD MY '14 T SPEEDSTER AT A LITTLE, LOCAL, OLD CAR SHOW. THEN IT HAPPENED...I CAUGHT SIGHT OF A PARTICULAR OLD CAR PARKED A WAY DOWN THE ROW, THAT ABSOLUTELY BLEW ME AWAY...A TOTALLY, CORRECTLY RESTORED, 1936 FORD ROADSTER! I MEAN, MY HEART RATE AND BLOOD PRESSURE WENT UP...I HADN'T SEEN ANYTHING OF ORIGNALLY RESTORED, '36 FORDS! (THAT IS, THAT SPORTED THE ORIGINAL, FAITHFUL, FORD "SIXTYHOUSER." ENGINE...) AND THE OWNER SURPRISED ME WHEN HE WALKED OVER TO MY CAR AND WAS FASCINATED BY IT, AND I TOLD HIM WITH A TWINKLE IN ONE EYE, "HURRY AND LOOK IT OVER, I GOTTA SEE A TRUE TREASURE PARKED RIGHT OVER THERE," AND POINTED DIRECTLY AT HIS JEWEL...HE LOOKED THE T OVER REAL WELL, AND GAVE MANY ACCOLADES, AND I, RETALIATED, AND SHARED MY GENUINE LOVE FOR HIS...AND WE WALKED OVER TO IT TOGETHER. I OF COURSE TOLD HIM OF MY TEEN AGE LOVE FOR MY '36'ER, AND THEN HE MOST KINDLY INVITED ME TO GET IN THIS BEAUTY, AND SIT DOWN TO SEE HOW IT FELT! I DID! AND WHAT A MOMENT THAT WAS. I MEAN, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WAKING UP MEMORIES FROM OVER 50 YEARS AGO! AND OF COURSE THE INTERIOR INCLUDING THE DASH, WAS EXACTLY LIKE MINE...FORTUNATELY, I HAD A HANDKERCHIEF, AND ASSURRED MY NEW FREIND NOT TO WORRY ABOUT UNCONTROLLED DROOLING...THEN HE SAID IT...HE SAID, "WANNA' DRIVE IT?" I COULDN'T BELIEVE HIS MOST KIND, THOUGHTFUL AND EXCITING OFFER! I WONDERED WHAT HE WOULD THINK IF HE NOTICED THE UNCONTROLLED TEARS TRYING TO FORCE THEIR WAY OUT...AND I HAD ONE OF THE MOST, NEVER- DREAMED- OF, UNEXPECTED, ADVENTURES, SINCE I DISCOVERED MY '36 THAT SATURDAY AFTERNOON, ON THE BACK ROW AT "NORM'S CAR LOT" AND PAID NORM PERSONALLY THE FULL 1954 ASKING PRICE FOR THE CAR... I DIDN'T EVEN TRY TO TALK HIM DOWN...I FORKED OVER THE FULL AMOUNT OF $56 DOLLARS AND .76 CENTS! I MEAN, I WAS LIVEN! AND IT WAS A STRANGE, YET VERY DISTANTLY, FAMILIAR FEELING,SITTING IN THIS BEAUTRIFUL, MEMORY CREATING, '36 ROADSTER, AND PUTTING THAT KEY IN THE IGNITION LOCK, NESTLED ON HE EDGBVE OF THE DASH, RIGHT UP AGAINST THE STEERING COLUMN, AND STARTING AND HEARING THAT WONDERFUL, UNIQUE, QUIET, VALVE- IN- BLOCK LITTLE V/8 ENGINE TURN OVER AND IGNITE! AND STEERING TGHE BIG WHEEL, AND SHIFTING THAT GENUINE STICK SHIFT THAT WENT DIFECTLY INTO THE TOP OF THE TRANSMISSION, WITHOUT LINKAGE OF ANY KIND! OH MY OH MY...WHAT A JOY!
WE RETURNED TO THE SHOW PLACE, AND I THANKED MY NEW FRIEND GRACIOIUSLY, AND THEN ASKED HIM IF HE HAD EVER DRIVEN A MODEL T FORD? AND HE SURPRISED ME WHEN HE OPENLY CONFESSED THAT HE HAD NEVER HAD THE EXPERIENCE, BUT ALWAYS WANTED TO...AND WE SWITCHED CARS, AND HE HAD BLAST... AND I MUST ADMIT, DID DARN GOOD FOR HIS MAIDEN RUN, WITH THAT OLD, PLANATARY TRANSMMISSON...SPORTING "TWO ON THE FLOOR!"
AND YOU, MY SPECIAL OLD CAR FRIENDS AND FAMILY, HOPE YOU'VE HAD MUCH THE SAME EXPERIENCE ALONG THE WAY, OR WILL HAVE IN THE NEAR FUTURE, AND FILL YOUR YOUTH MEMORY FILE!
Wonderful. Herb. Just wonderful. Thank you for the day brightener.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Herb, that is the true spirit of our hobby.
Beautiful car, the '36 Ford. Isn't the ignition switch wonderful? It shows up ever so briefly in the movie Paper Moon when Ryan O'Neil is making his getaway. He had the "key in-key turn-toggle down-push starter" procedure down pat.
Enjoyed the visit to your car show. Thanks!
A lovely story. One I can relate to.
Once our Speedster is finished, Sandy and I would like to visit the USofA with the intention of bringing home a "33 or "34 Ford V8 coupe. We just love the things and a chap in our club has a recently imported (ex Boston) '34 Sedan.
Recently I had our T at a local car club show and shine event. About an hour after we arrived the '34 drove in and drove right past where he should have parked and pulled along side "Anastasia".
I stood between the two cars drenching my optic nerves with delight when I realized the owner of the '34 was standing next to me doing the same thing but facing our old girl. We got talking and a mutual admiration of our respective cars continued on for a few hours. He said he saw our car from the entrance and deliberately parked next to us for "Old Fords sake". Later he started giving us advice on how to get a car out of the US based on his experience. Another great day that wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been in this hobby.
Here's the scene from Paper Moon. It kind of hurts to see them treat a '36 convertible sedan like that but... it's just a movie...?
We recently traded driving lessons with a fellow who shows a 1990 Kenworth (Or maybe it was Peterbuilt. I don't remember). He had brought it to a friend's place for a small farm show we do. I had my TT there and showed him how to drive it. Then he showed my wife how to drive his truck. He did drop the trailer first, but she was still very happy (And proud). My son drives for a living, but he's not allowed to let anyone else drive the truck, so all she has done is sit in his. I've driven one, but it was years ago when I was in the Army (AM General M-920).
Break open your piggy bank Herb, here is your chance...
I didn't see any price listed for that cabriolet near Placerville. If you have to ask how much it is...
The keys for the 36 Ford were very thin and would break off very easily. Same with the 35 Ford. There was a steering wheel lock which was turned by that small key which locked both ignition and steering. If you weren't careful to turn the wheel to a place where it didn't bind the lock, you would twist off the key. My 35 had a key broken off in the lock which was unlocked and I just used the flip switch for ignition. Drove that car to high school and everywhere else until I totaled it. No one ever stole the car! I think people in those days were more honest than today.