Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Model was your first car?

Stan Arendts sent along an email with a link to a web page containing brochures from cars manufactured prior to 1990.  The email said:

Find your first car or the one you drove to high school or college; hopefully your car brochure is available. This has to be one of the neatest websites whether you have gasoline in your veins or not. It features the original factory brochures for nearly every American car you have ever owned. Pick the manufacturer, the year and the model. Sorry, no Porsches, BMW's or Austin Healy's.

As usual, one thing leads to another, and Richard Holstad soon enough was waxing eloquently about his 1954 Studebaker, shown here.

Stan, thanks for sharing this link

This was my first car ….1954 Studebaker.  Oh what memories were made in this vehicle.

One night my girl friend and I were at the drive in movie east of Northwood. You know the drive in where the airplanes could fly in, park and see the movie?

Also the drive in where they would use another old vehicle that had a diesel fuel mixture (or whatever they used to kill mosquitoes) in the gas tank. The theatre operator would drive that smoky old vehicle up and down the parking lanes, gunning the engine all the time to maximize the smoke output.

This was done just before the movie started to reduce the swarms of mosquitoes long enough to play the outdoor movie.  It was thick enough oily smoke that one’s clothes would absorb the smell and stay with you long after you left the theatre.

Anyway, my girlfriend and I had one of those teenage tiffs at the movie. I drove that old Studebaker about 80 miles an hour from just west of Carpenter all the way to Northwood a grand total of no more than 10 miles or so.

I would buy re-processed bulk oil to put in this car because it really consumed oil.  In that short distance from the theater to Northwood ---- I blew out so much engine oil going 80 MPH that I and had to replace 3 ½ quarts when I got home …. It only held 4 quarts. There must have been a thick blue trail of smoke behind that car !!! But it was dark out so most likely no one really did see it.

On a separate trip to Mason City, I didn’t have the front hood securely latched down. A Greyhound bus passed me going the opposite direction. The hood flew up and wrapped over the roof …. It didn't fly off but the hood had this nasty concave warp in it from then on --- and I had to wire it down with bailing wire.

On the front ¼ panel just behind the front wheel is a super efficient air vent that was hinged on the door side of the vent. Driving down the highway with that vent all the way open, the air would come across your feet at about the same speed the car was traveling ….. you needed to have a bug screen over the vent because otherwise bumble bees, June bugs, and other large sized insects would be scooped in and impact against your leg with such force it wasn't funny. In Iowa the first thing to rust out was that air vent. Mine got rusted out so bad it wouldn't close anymore. When it was raining or snowing there was a constant spray across my feet from that air vent.

The manual shifter in the column wore out. I discovered that it was just a matter of rotating the stick from the right side of the column to the left side and it could be made to work again. Learning to shift gears with the left hand was quite a challenge for me …. But I did it.

If you need to, you CAN do most anything.  I loved that car! Just look at the body style …. And that was in 1954!  Wow was I ever in hog heaven!

Thank you, Stan, for the memories

If I'm not mistaken, the drive-in he references here is the old Bel-Air Drive-in located officially at St Ansgar, and cited in an earlier post in this blog.  Click here to read that post and you may understand how Richard may have gotten into a tiff.

And if you have a "favorite car" story, bring it on.  Email to share it.

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