The $5 car

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: The $5 car
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Horton on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 04:45 pm:

It’s Sunday afternoon here in Northern Utah. I just finished shoveling the driveway after a skiff of snow fell this morning and it is still a couple of hours before the family arrives for Sunday dinner with the wife and I. Cabin fever hangs heavy, so I’m going to tell you a little story to pass the time. Some of you old dogs might have known Joe Salstrom Jr of Tigard (Portland) Oregon. In 1941, when he was 10 years old, he bought a 1923 roadster for $5 and hid it at a friends house until his dad found out about it. When he did, he gave Joe a whuppin’ and a lecture. “One of these days you’re going to give up this sort of nonsense”. When Joe crossed over the river in 2011, he still owned his beloved $5 car, BetsySue, along with several other Model T’s. Obviously his dad wasn’t even close to getting it right. As far as I could gather, he spent his entire life in, around or among Model T’s. He had a large professional sign on the wall of his shop that said “Joe’s Garage, T’s Forever”.

Anyway, 3 years after the dust had settled, his cars came up for sale on the Internet. I contacted the lady that was managing the estate and made arrangements to meet her on the 17th of September, 2014. My son, grandson and I, towing a borrowed enclosed trailer,
arrived in Tigard, liked what we saw and agreed on the price. We slapped leather, loaded the car into the trailer and hightailed it back to Utah after a 1500 mile trip in 36 hours.

After we got her home, it became apparent that a new radiator was going to be needed before I could drive the car. Took a while to get it ordered and installed, so I was pretty anxious to have our “get acquainted” drive. I had decided to name her “Maude” since I’ve named my 26 Touring “Gert’ in keeping with the times that were.
Anyway, things weren’t going all that well, probably because I’m not all that well versed in the operation of Model T’s, being a relative newcomer to the sport. I’m patting her on the dash and saying, “Come on Maude, we can to this, come on”. About then I remembered that the lady that sold the car to me said that Joe had called her BetsySue, so I thought, what the hey, can’t hurt anything. I patted on the dash again and tried calling her Betsy, since I’m not into double names. “Come on Betsy, we can do this”. I’m here to tell you, the car smoothened out and has been running great ever since!! It wasn’t until some time later that I realized that about the time I quit calling her Maude and tried Betsy was about the same time that I tried switching over from battery to mag!! Not sure that had anything to do with it, but I can assure you that I haven’t called her Maude since!!

I hope Joe is sitting up on top of a cloud somewhere, looking down and smiling because his BetsySue is sitting in my semi heated garage being spoiled rotten.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!

Cheers,

Ron


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 05:07 pm:

Great story.

Wait we can't call it a story because stories are usually not true or at least partially made up. I think it goes tall tail, fairytale, yarn, story and then truth.
You have shared the truth about Betty.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel D. Chicoine, MD, Pierre, SD on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 05:08 pm:

Love it, Ron


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