Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 5, 2010

Cars, Cars, Cars!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Like most fellows, I have always been interested in cars.  As I watched a commercial on television, I was reminded of my love for cars.  I have even written a Chronology of Cars that give pictures of cars that I have owned and some unique experiences  that I have had in those cars.

I wrote of the first time I drove a car.  I was six years old! (Angels at Christmas,  There are other blogs that I have shared about cars in my life. (My First Car,; My First Convertible,; The VW Bus!,

But what prompted this blog was the commercial that showed the “new” starter button on vehicles.  New?  I don’t think so!  It is a recycling of what existed in the 1940s!  I have owned cars that started with  pushing hard with your foot on the starter pedal to pushing a button on the dash to an ignition switch!  Of course, I also remember the hand crank starting!

My grandmother had what I believe was a 1930 four-door Chevrolet.  It was a big car.  It was parked in the barn, and I had the freedom to play in it and pretend I was driving.  Whenever we went somewhere in it, I recall sitting in the front seat as she would go to the front and turn the crank to start the engine.  On some occasions she would call out to me to move the “spark” up or down a little.  I do know that my deep interest in automobiles probably began in that barn!

I remember the second car I owned was a 1941 Plymouth.  It had a heater and a radio!  It also had a push button starter.  After turning the ignition key on, the button to the left of the steering wheel was pushed to engage the starter.  (And now they are advertising this new concept?)  One problem with this ’41 Plymouth!  There was a hole in the floorboard on the driver’s side.  I was always trying to find a good way to repair it.  If you ran through a puddle of water, some would splash around the edges of whatever I had used to cover the hole.  On one occasion, I had parked in a new lot at a ballgame.  Heavy rain came and all the cars had to be pulled out of the mud by a tractor.  I carried a lot of the mud with me!  It came up through that hole!

One of the most unique cars we owned was a 1958 Hillman/English Ford.  We did not really have an interest in it, but we accepted it as part payment from the man who bought our Volkswagen Bus.  Everything was different on this foreign car.  I knew little about it in the first few days we had it.  Judy had gone to the doctor for a routine appointment.  Our second child was due most anytime.  The doctor examined Judy and admitted her to the hospital immediately.  She called me, and I assured her I was on my way.  What would have been a ten minute drive resulted in almost 45 minutes.  That strange little car!  It ran out of gas!  I didn’t even know how to read the gauges!  I had to abandon the car on the side of the road and hitchhike to the hospital!  All the way I was saying, “The VW Bus wouldn’t have done this to me!”

Perhaps at the top of the list of my favorites is the little red VW Bug we owned.  This vehicle served as my work vehicle in Clearwater and Miami.  I used it in so many ways.  I even used it to pull cedar trees out of the ground!  And the boys’ favorite time in the Bug?  Those flooded Miami streets and floating through them in that Bug!  Yes, it would float!

I still love and appreciate cars.  I cannot identify most of them now as I could earlier in my life.  There are so many models and specifications that it is impossible for me to know them.  But one thing I do know.  The technology is better today . . . but we still learn much from the older models!  And in my heart, none today will replace the joy that those of the earlier days brought to me.



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