Monday, October 14, 2019

Running boards, straight drive and recaps

 An American car
 1928 Model A Ford. the running board is just below the door, there is still a hole at the bottom of the radiator to insert a CRANK to start the car without a battery.
And now:
Older people remember running boards, recapped tires and pushing a car off to get it started.
      (Okay they were officially called retreads)
Cleaning the old transmission gave me plenty of time to just think. I remembered when I had a rough time affording new tires, so I seemed to always run recapped tires.
It was probably in the mid 60s that most folks could afford a new battery. Up until then many people drove straight drive cars and parked on an incline so they could let it roll off the incline and then drop the clutch to start the car.

That was a good thing about the old 3 speed transmission, it allowed you to ‘crank’ the car by pushing it off. Many times growing up I have jumped in behind and helped someone pushing their car to help them start it. It was a normal thing. Even at red lights, some people let the car die and several people would give him a push by hand if the ‘bumpers’ did not match. Back then we always cranked the cars, a carryover from the time you actually did turn a crank to start the car.(Rick still does, and I smile when I read it.)

Bumpers! Yeah there was a time you could jack up your car with a bumper-jack, or easily give someone a push without any damage to your car. There were many ‘bumps’ between cars back then that would ‘total’ a car now.
I am amazed at myself now. It is hard to believe I am now the OLD person, I was young for so danged long. Some of us still call that plastic at the front and rear of the car, bumpers, but they ain’t! 

 The Bumper became decorative....

I have told this before, but once in Dale Hartness’s ’48 Desoto he lost his brakes coming down Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee. He hit the car ahead of him and the man slowly braked and stopped both cars. Both drivers got out and the man only said he was glad he could help! No fuss or accusations. That was in 1955, how things have changed.

BTW: Running boards was the protrusions just below the doors that you could run alongside the car and jump on to ride or make it easier to get into the car, like a step.

Nite Shipslog
PS: The Oxymoron for today:
Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?



Chatty Crone said...

I never started my car that way. Hey another thing - my husband used to be able to fix cars - they were so simple. Now with all these computers and such - you can't begin to do your own work.

betty said...

Sandie brought up a great point. No one can work on their own cars these days unless they are a mechanic. It is though nice to see when a car breaks down that there will be people out there trying to help push it to a safer area. I'm just always glad our cars start when they are supposed to.


Mevely317 said...

I think Tom's going to really enjoy this one! What conveniences I take for granted when it comes to turning a key to get from Point A to Point B. BTW, my former hubby worked in the tire industry all his adult life -- first for Dayton Tire, then as GM for a retread manufacturing plant called Bandag.

Susan Kane said...

We have started our old cars many times by pushing it down a hill to start it. I crashed only once.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

How cars have changed. not at all for the good. We used to be able to fix our own, but now it usually takes a special computer. I too am old as I do remember all those things in my lifetime. It's a blessing though to see all the changes we have seen.