My Old Cars and Trucks
Naturally I was attracted by her beauty but only later did I realize her true qualities.
She is truth, she is loyalty, she is beauty, She is machine art!
1937 Dodge D-5 4 door touring sedan
These are not art photos. I just added them for fun.
However these vehicles are a true form of art. Machine Art!
When we lived in Trinidad as a child, my dad had an old 191? Ford touring car he had gotten in trade for a Gold watch, I only remember it was black, had puffy upholstery, wooden spoked wheels and brass trim and fittings. After we moved back to Denver, my uncle Jim lived next door and he always had a bunch of old cars from the 1920's and 30's including a 1932 Lincoln limousine. I still remember the first time he took me for a ride in a 1928 Buick sedan. What a special feeling! All these early experiences made a lasting impressions on me. Watching TV programs like "The Untouchables" and "The Roaring 20's" also influenced me. I dreamed of having my own old car someday. After I got out of the Army, I drove mostly 1960's Chevys and GM cars. I couldn't afford much so I tried to find the best used cars I could find for the money. The most dependable cars I have ever owned were the old Dodges from the 1930's and 40's.
It was in the early 1970's when I bought my first old car, a 1936 Dodge pick-up truck for $300. I was so impressed with the way it ran! I had always thought you would have to add a newer motor to make an old car usable. Man was I wrong!!! What I learned was that once these old Dodges were repaired and kept lubricated, they were more dependable, required less maintenance and were easier to keep running than newer cars, and at a fraction of the cost! This was a great discovery for a poor boy! A few years later, I bought a 1937 Dodge 4 door sedan for $350. It had beat up dented fenders, ugly worn down paint, and several bullet holes in the windows. People sure did look at us funny in that car with the bullet holes but my passengers who smoked like them for flipping the ashes without rolling the windows down. I drove that car for 13 years and then gave it to a guy in trade for bodywork and a paint job on my other 37 Dodge that I bought in the early 80's for $850. I drove it for years with no upholstery and in gray primer. It was rough looking but always ready to drive. I did the repairs myself with the help of old manuals and learned with time. Once things were fixed and kept oiled, they continued to work fine with little attention. I've had this car for 24 years now, it's almost 70 years old and it still runs great! It takes a certain kind of person to be willing to do what it takes to keep these cars running. You can't just take it to the local garage because modern mechanics don't know anything about them. You have to love a car to keep it for life. Most folks grow tired of the cars they choose and sell them when things get broken or worn out. I know its basically just transportation but many feel the car they choose is an extension of their personality or style. When I find something I like, I want to keep it!
My other favorite vehicles are the WWII military Dodge 4X4 trucks. These tough machines helped win world war two and earned a reputation for being practical, versatile and dependable. The soldiers nicknamed them "power wagons", a name that was later used by Dodge on the post war versions of the trucks. I bought my first Power Wagon "1941 1/2 ton pick up truck" from an 86 year old man who had used it for a welding truck for years, it had a giant military generator in the back attached to a Ford industrial motor. He had bought the truck from a farm in Haxtun Colorado where it had been adapted with a large storage tank, a motor and a spraying system that was used for spraying Corn fields. Who knows what work it did before that but it has been working hard since WWII. Not many other vehicles could survive the hard treatment and abuse these trucks were subjected to. I drove that truck for 15 years and had a lot of fun with it. It would go almost anywhere in any kind of weather. It worked hard for me and it survived several wrecks. Just as fighter pilots paint a symbol on the side of their aircraft for each enemy plane they destroy, I did the same thing every time I got into a wreck with another car, I used a stencil to paint another small car on the side of my truck. I eventually had 7 cars on the side of my pick-up truck and 3 on my carryall. The funny thing was that the wrecks were all caused by the other drivers! Most of them had been drinking. Their vehicles usually had damage sometimes major damage but the old Dodge always drove away with only scratches to the paint. I've owned several other WWII military Dodge trucks and I still drive a 1941 WC-10 1/2 ton Carryall. It was originally used as a radio communications truck in WWII. I've owned this truck for 23 years and its always ready to drive.
The only things I don't like about the old cars, are the vacuum windshield wipers and the 6 volt electrical system. Sometimes in cold weather or if the battery was low, they were hard to start but I never had to ask for a jumpstart. I would just get the hand crank from under the seat, stick it into the front of the vehicle and start it that way! It would often would start with a half turn of the crank! Many people didn't believe it until I showed them. Who needs jumper cables! Even if your starter went bad, you could still start it. I've had 40 different vehicles, most were from the 30's and 40's. There were hard times with some of the old cars. Doing my own repairs often meant working for hours outside in the cold and wet. I could buy many parts in auto parts stores and found other parts in junkyards. Sometimes I would buy a car or truck just to stock up on parts, dismantle them, keep what I wanted and sell the rest. This is how I kept them alive. It's a labor of passion! I don't drive them as much nowadays. They've served me well for many years and I'm giving them a break but they do need driven to keep everything working. Anyway here are a few photos taken over the years of some of my old cars and trucks. Hard times and good times!
Exposed to old cars at an early age.
When I grow up I want one of these!