December 22nd, 2020


My cars - phase I

When I was a little kid my parents had a 1941 Buick; it was one of the last cars that you could buy before the war started. After the war they got a 1946 Buick and in 1952 got a Chevy station wagon.

In my junior year in High School - spring 1955 - I took Driver Ed and got a New York junior Driver's licence. You could only drive alone in daylight - otherwise a licenced driver was needed to be present and you couldn't drive in NYC at all. Although normally you had to be 18 to have a full licence but because I took Driver Ed I could get one when I turned 17. We lived in NYC, but had a summer house in Dutchess County. I bought my own first car - a 1940 Chevy and could drive it around there. And after I got my full license I drove it to school once in awhile and had it at the summer camp in Maine where I was a counselor. I did lots of maintenance on the car and painted it. I took Auto Mechanics in High School which helped.

My next car, bought in 1956, was a 1947 Simca Cinq - French version of the Fiat 500 called a Topolino. Part of my motivation was that my Physics and Auto Mechanics teacher, Ray Darby, had one it seemed to be a really cool car. A very impractical car. a trunk not big enough for a sutcase, and the space behind the seats was so small so that if you went grocery shopping and had a passenger there wasn't really enough room for the bags. But I really liked it. The windshield wipers were hand operated as were the directional signal flags and I don't remember if it even had a gas guage.. It wasn't very powerful and you had to shift down several gears when going up a hill. Once when driving on an uphill portion of the Taconic State Parkway a cop stopped me and said I was going too slow and should take another route. It did get 50 MPG. I did some maintenance on it also.

I don't seem to have any pictures of mine.