Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Running Boards

Miss them. Of course, cars are much lower to the ground now, so we really don’t need the boards that ran the length of the passenger compartment, but at least you could stand on them if there were no cops around. Now that roads are available everywhere, and paved at that, you don’t need cars high enough to clear rocks and high mud ridges.

Rumble seats. Never been in one, and not likely now what with all the safety features designed to keep you safe and alive. Seen photos and drawings of them and they looked fun. I think of them now and they seem dangerous.

Windshield wipers that stopped when you went uphill. Anybody reading this remember them? When you accelerated, especially on hills, the wipers would stop. To get a clear view, you’d let off on the gas for a moment to get a single swipe across the glass, then you’d hit it again so you wouldn’t stop. When it got to the point where you couldn’t see again, you’d do the same routine.

Starting a pickup. Right toe on the starter button, right heel on the gas pedal; left toe on the clutch, left heel on the brake. Kick the starter, pump the gas, let go of the clutch and brake, in that order if you are on a hill, and start moving. It was an art, the real test of a new driver. Do that and you should automatically get a license.

Everybody has a story.
Edward Urbanski died. He was an avid traveler who visited all 50 states and recently achieved his goal of standing atop the highest point of 25 of them.


Anonymous ColdJoshVail said...

Remember all that stuff. Starting a pickup back then was probably like starting a jet today.

Well the old running boards, with a hit man squished down on it firing a gun from a 1928 Ford....They made good movies back then.

The older you get the higher your vehicle is off the ground. I had a Honda Civic SI and almost had to crawl out, but with my pickup, high off the ground, it is a pleasure. How much of a pleasure? Sometimes I go out in the driveway and just get in and out of the truck for a half hour. I call it quality time for my knees.

Lou Barmmer had an old Chevy, 1932 mebbe and I sat in the rumble seat, but only once and whe nhe wasn't around.

June 17, 2007 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

My brother-in-law has a 1960ish, stick-shift, Chevy pick-up truck in mint condition. Recently he had to replace the tires and he took it to a tire shop near his home. He picked out the tires and the manager had him drive his truck into the work area.

A short time later the manager advised him that modern tires would not fit on the old rims! So, my brother-in-law "bit the bullet" and agreed to purchase new rims.

Eventually the manager advised him that the tires and rims had been mounted on the truck and it would be out shortly.

A short time later, the manager approached my brother-in-law and in an apologetic manner, asked him if would mind driving the truck out himself? When my brother-in-law inquired "Why?", the manager advised him that no one in the shop knew how to get the truck into reverse gear!

Your comments serve to remind us old guys that we sometimes take too much for granted! I guess we think that the "kids" know how to drive cars the old fashioned way! Do you miss the dimmer switches on he floorboard? Or the vacuum operated winshield wipers? Carburetors? 6 volt batteries? Motor oil in glass jars?

Thanks for the memories, Tom!

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