Rushville Republican

Columns

November 5, 2013

Fond memories of past automobiles

I guess this is just one of those times I tend to wax nostalgic but also maybe just reliving my past. I honestly miss those automobiles when you had to push a button on the floor to start the thing. I also remember windshield wipers that had handles on the inside of the car to push them back and forth during rain storms. Dad sold Pontiacs and you ordered the car YOU wanted with what YOU wanted on it. The customer came in and looked at a lot of booklets showing the accessories available. Basically they were the color of the vehicle, the interior and white wall tires. There is another old idea not too much thought of today.

And speaking of white walls, remember those wire doodads that fit on the fender of the car and rubbed on the cement curb to warn you not to get close to the curb and scuff your white walls. And those fender skirts that fit on the back wheel wells were very popular.

I miss the real big roll outs for the upcoming year’s new car models. Dad would clean up the shop, order cookies and drinks for the event. We would tape paper over the windows of the shop to heighten the desire to see the new product. The cars would be covered with tarps on the car carriers so few would be able to see what they looked like. They were rapidly unloaded during the day or it was delivered after dark if at all possible. Dad usually had a back log of orders for cars and the first of the new model year he would take what ever the Pontiac people wanted to send him. This was the one and only car not specifically ordered by a customer, and one available for sale to anyone. A lot of people wanted a new car and some dealers made hay with the new model celebration. It was always in October or late September and well publicized prior to the official unveiling. Dad never took a lot of advantage of the new car he got but it was fun to see certain individuals go from dealer to dealer in an attempt to buy the first new car for the year. The car companies would spread out the introduction so you would not have all of the new models to look at all at once. This also made the whole introduction longer and brought in traffic to check out the differences in car models.

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