02 July 2013

Ed's Chevrolet

My first car was this 39 Chevrolet, pictured here in front of my Grandparent's house in August of 1949.

I had been saving my money from working for Mrs Kimes at the grocery store after school and Saturdays - no one was open on Sunday back then - for about a year. That summer, I had also helped Old Man Thornton hay, which paid real well. However, bucking those bales was hard on your Levis. Seemed like I had to buy a new pair about every second or third day, which cut into the profits!
I was actually saving to buy a 34 Ford coupe, but when Orville Gamble said he was going to buy a new car and sell this one, I decided, with a little prompting from my Dad, to try and buy it. See, Mr Gamble owned the Texaco station in town and had a small garage, so this car had received extra good care. Plus it was very low miles for its age. I don't think the car had been out of town more than once a year on vacation since he brought it home from City Chevrolet, which was about a hundred miles away.
Orville was asking $200 for the car. Not only was that a lot of money in those days, it was a lot for that car. But it was extra nice and everybody knew how well it had been cared for. Dad and I went and test drove it and boy, did it run out smooth! After all the 'dealing' was done, they finally agreed on $185. Only problem was, I was twentythree bucks short and that left me no money even for gas! Mom and Dad donated the final dollars needed and Orville even filled the tank for me. I was set!
I thought the car was beautiful - it was dark green with a tan and brown interior. Back in those days, "Body by Fisher" meant something. The paint, body work and interior were very nice. It didn't rattle , squeak and leak like most of my friends old Fords did. They may have outrun me with their flatheads, but I arrived clean and in style!
I kept that car almost exactly 10 years also. It took me from coast to coast and into Canada once even. It was very reliable and quite comfortable. I maintained it well, changing the oil, with Havoline naturally, every 2 thousand miles. When I reluctantly sold it, the car had a split manifold and dual exhaust, chrome wheels with thin whitewall tires and a little tan pinstriping. Hated to sell it, but I couldn't afford to keep it and the new 59 Impala I wanted. That was a great car too, but that's another story.
That 39 Chevrolet got me started with the brand, and I have never owned anything else. I've been fortunate to have owned some really great cars in my life, but if I could ever have just one of them back, it would probably be that 39 Sedan.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading about this car! I see these old ones and always bend down to see the dashboards. I think they are fascinating.