Good Old days

February 19th, 2011

1940 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Convertible © 2011

The first 1940 Chevy convertible I saw happened at a new car show at the convention hall in Enid, Oklahoma right after the new 1940 models hit the dealer showrooms. It was a dark green color with tan leather interior. What a beauty!! Enid is home to Vance Air Force Base and when the forties were introduced, men were were there learning to fly B-25 Bombers. It seemed to me every one of those guys had to have a new Chevy convertible as there was seemingly an endless parade of them cruising the city square every evening. Man, how I envied them!! Cruising the square with the top down and a beautiful Enid girl sitting very close to that lucky guy. And, I was only 12 years old!! When I grew up, I was going to be one of those guys!! I was in the Air Force later on, but for some reason I passed on getting a convertible. I guess it was because I had thoughts of getting married and the convertible thing took a back seat!!

Open Car Beauty

February 19th, 2011

1931 Chevrolet Deluxe Phaeton © 2011

This picture was taken by the writer at Yellowstone National Park a few years ago during a Vintage Chevrolet Club of America tour. Imagine taking the tour in a gorgeous car like this and taking in the spectacular beauties of Yellowstone. There were only 852 of this model produced with a price of $510.00. This car is the only one I have ever personally seen. I did see one several years ago while looking at the Rose Parade on TV. I would think anyone who originally purchased one of these 852 would have really liked Sunday afternoon drives taking friends along and driving it with the top down or bought it for use in parades.

Geronimo the warrior

February 18th, 2011

Geronimo © 2011

The following information is taken from website geronimo automobiles and an article therein written by Robert Barron and published July 27, 2009. The Geronimo was built from 1917 until August 14, 1920. Production ceased because the building used for building the cars burned to the ground that date. During the period from beginning in 1917, 600 Geronimo automobiles were manufactured and sold.Two models were built and they were called the 6A-45 which featured a 6 cylinder engine and 4A-40 a 4 cylinder engine. Detroit, watch out-here comes Enid, Oklahoma!! William C. Allen was founder of the company and began by selling $500,000.00 in stock and within 2 years issued $500,000.00 more stock. A million dollars in those days was a huge amount of money! The first autos were built in a building located at 409 South Grand. The Geronimo name is still on that building. Due to the popularity of the car, a new building was built in the far west part of Enid. Employment ranged from 40 to 125 people. Before the building burned and the business shut down, the higher priced model price rose to $1955.00. The car pictured is the only known Geronimo existing. It is used in local parades and other Enid festivities.

Cool Car – 1929 Ford Model A Cabriolet

February 17th, 2011

1929 Ford Model A Cabriolet © 2011

The perfectly restored 1929 Ford Model A Cabriolet. I am quoting the following from statistics given in a book called Ford Chronicle written by James M. Flamming and David L. Lewis. This when new was one expensive Model A. It’s price was $670.00 compared to the price of a roadster of $450.00. Only 16,421 cabs were produced as opposed to 191,529 roadsters. With such a price variation, no wonder people went for the roadster if all they wanted was open air when the top was down. This was the first true Ford convertible since a Model T was produced called a Coupelet. It has windows which rolled up or down and gives the car a boxy look as opposed to a roadster, but both types looked sporty! All interiors were upholstered in imitation brown leather and all cabriolets came with black fenders regardless of the exterior colors. Model A’s of 1929 came in 16 different colors. I’m sure not just any of the colors went on a given model, the factory probably dictated applicable colors for a particular body style.

Black Beauty – 1925 Ford Model T

February 17th, 2011

1925 Ford Model T

1925 Ford Model T © 2011

This story was related to me by my father in law, Roy Millikin, of Burkburnett, Texas. He had an uncle, W.H. Millikin, that became very wealthy back in the early 1900’s via drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. and in Mexico. He owned a bank in Bowling Green, Ohio and one day Henry Ford paid him a visit wanting to borrow some start up money for his fledgling auto enterprise as he wanted to expand it and go into mass production. Mr. Millikin asked him how much do you need and Henry told him $70,000.00. MIllikin told my father in law he had that much laying in the top right hand drawer of his desk, but he just couldn’t loan Henry the money because he had beady eyeballs!!! Henry might have had beady eyeballs, but he was sure one smart hombre!! The source of the following information is taken from a book named Ford Chronicle written by James M. Flammang and David L. Lewis. The car in this picture was advertised as a runabout, not a roadster. Equipped with a starter and demountable wheels, this 1925 model sold for $345.00 and 264,436 were produced. Between the years 1909 and 1927 Ford produced 15 million Model T’s. Old W.H. wasn’t too smart, was he?

Chevy versus Cadillac

February 17th, 2011

1932 Chevrolet 5 Window Coupe © 2011

The 1932 Chevrolet art deco was largely derived from the Cadillac models of 1932. GM knew that because of the depression, they had to come up with a Chevrolet design that would be a winner and they did so by patterning Chevy after Cadillac. I am quoting figures and certain information from a book entitled Chevrolet Chronicle written by Arch Brown, Pat Chappell and Bob Hall. In 1932 only GM and Nash were able to squeeze out a profit. Overall GM sales were less than half what they were in the 1931 model year. The 1932 figure stood at 313,395-the worst year of the 1930’s depression. To many of us Chevrolet admirers, the 1932 was the most beautiful Chevy ever produced. The colors of the car pictured above must have been very popular as to me it is the most frequently seen in car publications. Hardly ever do other color combinations appear. Several more articles and pictures of 1932 Chevys appear on this site.

Seldom Seen – 1935 Ford Wagon

February 17th, 2011

1935 Ford Wagon © 2011

I was given this picture 20 years ago via it’s owner as he wanted to sell it. At the time, I was a sales manager at Capital Ford, Helena, Montana, and would like to have helped him, but was void of answers for him as I really wasn’t into antique cars at the time. He let me keep this picture anyway. I will quote statistics from a book entitled Ford Chronicles. Ford produced 4,536 of these units and called them simply 4 door wagons and the price was $670.00. In comparison, Ford produced 322,575 2 door sedans which included both the standard and deluxe models. More than likely, a lot of the ones produced were special orders as I can’t imagine a dealer wanting to stock any of them. Who was he going to sell it to in 1935? History tells us times were quite rough back then!!

Essex-winner of many races

February 14th, 2011

1928 Essex 4 Door Sedan © 2011

This is a 1928 model Essex, but my story is about a 1929 model 4 door sedan, tu-tone blue; light blue-major color trimmed in dark blue with a dark blue velour interior. It was owned by an uncle and with only a few miles on it, the motor went south for whatever reason and it was stored in my grandmother’s garage just collecting dust for over 12 years before being hauled off to a junk yard in 1944. I asked my uncle why he didn’t take care of the motor and get some good out of the car and was told it was impossible to get parts for it. I remember riding in it one time with my uncle, aunt and cousin on a cold winter night! One of the features of 1928 and 1929 models was louvres in front of the radiator that could be opened or closed to force the engine to run hotter or colder. The car in this picture was owned by a resident of Helena, Montana. He ran an ad in some car publication and someone on the East Coast bought it and had it transported to his East Coast home.

A Chevy to remember

February 14th, 2011

1930 Chevrolet 4 Door Sedan © 2011

This model car was a work horse deluxe. My Dad bought a new 1930 that I recall very vividly. When purchased, it was a tutone with the main color being burgundy and trimed in black-really a sharp looker!! Late one night , Dad was real tired about 2 oclock in the AM and enroute from Waynoka, Oklahoma to Enid, Oklahoma, he mistakenly turned left on a railroad crossing that he thought was a county road and rolled the car down an embankment which through the body out of kilter!! A body man did the best he could, and painted the car solid black which Dad drove many miles until he could afford a new one in 1935 at which time, he bought a new 1935 Chevy. I recall that while Dad and I were in downtown Waynoka he made a u turn and the right front door swung open throwing me out and up against a curb. I was 3 years old and it scared the dickens out of me! Another time, my Mom was driving in Enid and when parking, hit a curb too hard and through me through the windshield. I was given a scar on my right temple which I carry today!!

First College Car

February 14th, 2011

1938 Plymouth Coupe © 2011

This was my first college car. It was a light tan color with red wheels and I found it very reliable transportation. I don’t remember how many miles I put on it nor do I remember ever changing the oil, I probably did, but I don’t remember doing it. It boasted a radio, heater and sealed beam headlights. I paid $450.00 for it in 1948 and sold it to my Grandad for $350.00 in 1949 to give him a good deal after he had totaled his 1935 Ford 4 door. I never even thought about having any kind of trouble with it as it was so reliable. It made the 135 mile trip between Stillwater, Oklahoma and Waynoka, Oklahoma many times in all kinds of weather. Form those of you who don’t know, Stillwater is the home of Oklahoma State University, formerly Oklahoma A&M College.

Want to see the sights

February 12th, 2011

1927 Chevrolet Phaeton © 2011

I have a story to tell about this car!! The owner lives in Butte, Montana. Several years ago, our antique car club, Capital Carriages, of Helena, Montana, was having a tour out of Three Forks, Montana and we decided to go to have a great steak at The Oasis in Manhattan, Montana, about 15 miles from Three Forks. While returning to Three Forks, my wife and myself were driving the last car in the bunch. It was dark and as we drove, all of a sudden, we saw all these car lights. The left tie rod of the ’27 had come loose right after crossing a bridge and it veared to the left side of the highway and when stopped, the left front wheel was dangling over a 60 foot drop!! All of us that could find a place to stand, stood on the right rear of the car to keep it from taking the 60 foot drop while one of the guys hooked up a tow strap and pulled it back to safety!! We loaded it on a car trailer and off we went!! Luck was riding with us that night!!

Car of cars

February 12th, 2011

1934 Ford © 2011

This car brings back many memories!! One of my uncles sold new Pontiacs and Cadillacs and used cars during the 1930’s in Enid, Oklahoma, and when the firm traded for a roadster, he would always take my brother, Bill, and myself for rides in the rumble seat. Obviously to us, that was a real treat!! Not many kids got to ride in a rumble seat!! Naturally the ride also entailed double dip ice cream cones at Weibels Dairy Store. I remember on one of these excursions, Weibels featured Robert Wadlow-the tallest man in the world, there for advertising purposes. I don’t recall how tall he was , but it was over 7 feet!!

Stylish New Design 1941 Ford 2 Door

February 9th, 2011

1941 Ford Deluxe 2 Door © 2011

The 1941 Ford 2 door was a totally different style as compared to it’s 1940 predecessor. It was designed to look more blocky than any previous Ford and anyone who was lucky enough to have bought one just prior to World War 2 had enough luck-they didn’t need any more!!!

I grew up in   small town, Waynoka, Oklahoma, and a local insurance salesman had a 1941 Ford the same color as the one you see. He doubled as our football and basketball coach and took us to play ball at all out of town games in his ’41.  Due to World War 2, anyone who might have been hired as coach was in the service, so this guy, Kiss Godfrey, assumed the position of coach and under his coaching, our teams did very well!

Enter 1935 Ford

February 9th, 2011

1935 Ford 4 Door © 2011

You know during the 1930’s depression it was seldom anyone bought a new car, but my Grandad, George A. Clark of Enid, Oklahoma  was the exception.  He bought a new 1935 Ford four door just like this one except it had green wheels. What a surprise this eight year old kid got when my Mom, brother and myself went to visit Grandad. One of my most treasured memories.

Jim’s first time driving

February 9th, 2011

1936 Chevrolet Standard Coupe © 2011

The 1936 Chevy was a very popular model year for my family in that my Dad owned 2 of them and Uncle Charlie bought a coupe just like this one only the color was gray including the artillary wheels. It’s accessories included a clock rear view mirror, cigar lighter, gray colored horn button and a hot water heater!! He drove this car from 1936 until 1950 when he sold it and bought a new 1950 Ford 2 door. It had one overhaul on the motor which included only bearings, rings and valves and when sold the car had 236,000 miles on the odometer It also was repainted one time in the origial gray color. Uncle Charlie would take me on trips with him occassionally and one time while enroute to a sand plant he and my Dad owned in northern Oklahoma, he stopped the car and advised me it was time for me to have my first driving lesson. We were on a sandy county road and he let me drive about 10 miles. Boy, for a kid 11 years of age-what a thrill!! I always had a place in my heart that car!!

Chev’s Answer to the Model A

February 9th, 2011

1927 Chevrolet 2 door © 2011

This 1927 Chevy 2 door sure brings back a story my Dad told me about me. His 1930 Chevy was in the Chevy dealers shop in our hometown of Waynoka, Oklahoma being repaired and the dealer loaned him a car just like this, same color and all, to drive while his was being repaired. I was about 3 years old and overheard Dad say somthing was wrong with the headlights on this loaner. So, I grabbed a hammer, went outside and proceeded to knock out the headlight lenses!! As I recall, Dad said thanks Jimmy!! Ho!Ho! Ho! It seems to me this color green must have been very popular on the 1927 and 1928 models as I seldom see any other color on cars at various shows. I have seen a few dark blue ones, but not many and the models are usually 2 doors or sport coupes.

Black Beauty went to Arizona

February 9th, 2011

1950 Chevrolet Convertible © 2011

This 1950 model convertible is the only one I’ve seen in Montana after living in the state 20 years and I only had the opportunity to see it once as the owner took it to Arizona and sold it at auction for an astronomical amount. It was a car of perfection! Montana is real convertible country after one survives the winters as there are so many beautiful places to see and a convertible makes it so much nicer for viewing. Put that top down and enjoy the scenery!! I lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico most of my life and I can tell you I have seen many more convertibles in the Northwest than I ever saw in the southland. The source I am using shows that 32,810 convertibles were produced by Chevy in 1950. This compares to 2787 produced in 1938. Some increase!! I would guess that happened because all us guys that had been envious of the people that were lucky enough to have them in the 1930’s when we were growing up were now older and prosperous enough to own one for ourselves.

Assembled by Owner

February 9th, 2011

1938 Chevrolet Master Cabriolet © 2011

This gorgeous Chevy convertible wound up a work of art as it was made of two 1938 Chev’s put together. Just by looking at it and inspecting it unless you are a real pro, you would never know it didn’t come off a new car assembly line in Flint, Michigan. The man who owns this car has several prized model automobiles. He hails from Montana and is a member of the Pioneer and Classic Auto Club which has several chapters in the state. According to a book entitled Chevrolet Chronicle only 2787 cabriolets were made in 1938. All were of the Master series, not Master Deluxe. Chevy didn’t produce cabriolets in 1939, so I have an idea people bought the 38’s knowing 39’s were not going to exist. All you car buffs know there is very little difference in the body styles of 1937 and 1938 models, but to me a 1938 is a much nicer looking car than the 37’s just because of the hood design. Chevy really added just the right touch!!

Years of reliability Our 1936 Chevrolet

February 9th, 2011

1936 Chevrolet Standard 2 Door © 2011

This car was a 2 owner when my Dad bought it in 1944. When purchased, it had 32,000 miles on it and when traded for a 1941 Chevrolet in 1948, it had 226,000 miles on it and was still running very well with only one valve and ring  job in all those miles. This car was a light gray color including the wheels.  I will never forget the night Dad and I went to Jess Bell’s house in Waynoka, Oklahoma and made the deal to buy the car for $450.00. The colors I remember for the standard models of this year were black, gray, tan and a light green. All had the same grayish color upholstery with bucket seats. I always wished it had been a deluxe model as they had bench seats making it much handier to court a girl friend!!!

Gorgeous 1929 Chevrolet Coupe

February 9th, 2011

1929 Chevrolet 3 Window Coupe © 2011

Chevrolet for 1929 was a real break through in both styling and engine-enter the new Chevrolet Stove Bolt 6 cylinder engine which was the basis for power in Chevrolet cars through 1954. One of my uncles, Charlie O’Connor of Enid, Oklahoma bought one of these beauties-an all black coupe!!! I don’t know why, but he always preferred the color black!! Perhaps it was because of black Friday and the stock markert crash of 1929!! He was a banker in Enid,Oklahoma that hung on until 1932 before the bank crashed. I am sure it was a tough business period from 1929 until 1932. This car served him very well until he traded it for a new 1936 Standard Chevrolet coupe. If you will check out my story about a 1936 Chevrolet coupe included in this website, you will be surprised at the durability of that engine and auto in total.

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