Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cars, By Evelyn Taylor

Evelyn has been a Taylor for almost 74 years. She married Aunt CB’s first cousin Bryant (son of Floyd Taylor, twin of Lloyd) on October 9th, 1942 (Happy Anniversary two days early, Eve!). She always comes up with terrific story ideas and memories.

          What a change in cars in my lifetime! It has spanned a period from the Model T Ford to the Ford Fusion and all the foreign names such as Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan that we have today.

Young Evelyn and her mother, Hazel Laufer
 on a Camping Trip to Washington, DC driving in 
their 1924 Model T Ford

     My family, with the exception of my grandfather (Oldsmobile), were Ford owners.  Dad traded every three years.  He did not go to a Dealer to trade, as a salesman from Holly would automatically appear with the new car when it was time to trade.

     I remember our black Model T which was the only color made then.  Dad would have to hand-crank it to start it.  When it took hold, he would run to do something at the steering wheel.  Perhaps it was to choke it or feed it some gas.  I was just a little girl, so I do not know what exactly he was doing, but he was real busy doing it.

Bryant Taylor by Bryant and Evelyn's
 First Car, a 1946 Ford

     These cars were so high that you had a birds’ eye view of the road. When the lower Model A arrived, at a traffic stop, it was easy to look down from the Model T and see the whole interior. This new model did not need to be cranked.

     At 17 I obtained my driver’s license and borrowed my parents’ car.  Even when Bryant and I married in 1942, we had no car.  However, in 1946 we had the first 1946 Ford delivered to a Dealer in LeRoy, NY.

     Over the course of our married life of 51 years, we owned 22 cars, some new and some used; Ford, Plymouth, Chrysler, and Oldsmobile.

Bryant by their Last Car
1983 Oldsmobile

      I miss those big cars with chrome trim and bumpers, white sidewall tires and distinctive styling.  They can still be seen today in Vintage car shows--restored and gleaming.

Those were the days!


Pat Herdeg said...


Thank you for writing about cars! I know you told me how much Bryant loved cars and knew who was coming to visit by looking to see which car was outside.

I am already scanning in some pictures of Mom and Dad's old cars. We'll see if some of the cousins want to weigh in with 'favorite car' stories!

Aunt CB/ Mom said...

OH gosh! A car story! Remember the running boards? They did make it easier to get in and sometimes provided an extra space for luggage, securely tied! I remember going to Center Lisle to visit my Baker cousins and Grandma all of ue tucked in the car in the 1930's.Mom and Daddy driving, Mom with Harold on her lap, Ruth in the middle, that filled front seat. Esther, Doris , Arnon and me in the back seat , and all around us tucked the canned goods that MOm always took to her MOm! When we hit the Ithaca hill, we all groaned to help Daddy to make it up to the top! and winter drives to Batavia for the Taylor's, well, the heater never worked so we were all nestled in blankets and usually, Arnon or Ruth, was walking outside of the car in snnnnnowy stretches to help Daddy see where the road was! No thruway then, and country roads! No wonder we carried a pottie in the car!

CB/Mom said...

A comment about the model T. This is another case when I miss my siblings! Living across from us in Geneva, were the Devines! ,A lovely elderly couple! Mr Devine had a model T Truck, that started vas Eve described. It was a sketch to see him, cranking and then running down the street after the truck to jump in! We all have always kidded about it at every family gathering!

Chuck Lochner said...

Lots of memories of both family cars and personal cars. When a kid, riding to Grandmas on the Thruway we would go over the concrete separators. "Thunk, thunk ... thunk, thunk ... " would gently rock us to sleep in the back seat.

And, of course, I'm famous for my $100 cars ... the challenge was to see how long I could go on a $100 car. Longest was 3 1/2 years, shortest was 2 weeks! That one was so bad, the cop wouldn't let me drive 2 block home to unload the car!

Lots of other stories about things falling out of the holes in the floorboards and holes in the trunk. Sometimes I would see pieces of my car fall off and skitter down the road in the rearview mirror.

Girlfriends enjoyed watching the road between my legs. Got cold when I ran over slush and it would splash up my pant leg!! Even had a fire once when the rug fell through the floor board and contacted the exhaust pile. Great fun and always an adventure.

Tim Kinsella said...

I remember once finding several abandoned cars way back in the pasture at the cottage. One of them had a rumble seat in it which I had never seen. I played around in them for awhile and then ran back to get the rest of the gang to see these wonderful treasures. When we returned and were playing in them somebody ended up getting stung. We then looked around the cars more carefully and found they had several wasps nests hidden within the cars.

Pat Herdeg said...


I remember those cars so clearly and yes, the rumble seat was the best part of them!

Susan Kinsella said...

Can cars have a soul? My 1997 Subaru station wagon (which I'm now trying to sell with 215,000 miles on it - according to the Kelley Blue Book, it's still worth $1,000) always took good care of us. It got some dents here and there but protected us. But I was most convinced it must have a soul when Alex took his driver's test.

Several days before the test, the car's Check Engine light went on. This had happened before and my wonderful mechanic always told me it did not indicate an engine problem, just a breakdown in the circuitry of the environmental equipment (but not a failure of the equipment itself). Eventually the light would go out again. He said it would cost too much to trace where the problem was and it still might not be fixed.

So I hadn't worried - until now. I knew that if there was any problem with the car - and the Check Engine light would be such a problem - the driver's test examiner would fail the car and not allow Alex to take the test. What to do? I took the gas cap off and put it back on several times over the next few days; sometimes that had helped in the past but not now.

It was not until the morning of the test, when I went out to start the car to go get Alex, that suddenly I saw the Check Engine light blink off. Hallelujah! I drove with Alex to the DMV and waited tensely while he took his test. After checking out the car, the examiner let him start out on the course so I figured that the light was still off. When Alex returned, he was very proud to have passed.

We got his temporary license, then went to the car and started it to drive home. That was when the Check Engine light came right back on. It had stayed off ONLY for the time that Alex needed to take the driver's test. Thank you, Subaru station wagon!

Laura Dunn said...

Am SO looking forward to ALL this blog reading, now on my high priority TO DO list. Not enough time at the moment, but DID read Susan Kinsella's "Can cars have a soul?"

CLEARLY the answer is YES, and what a kind soul that Subaru has!! :) :)

Laura Dunn here .. just getting introduced to the whole concept of blogs and bog comments. Will "enter" and see what happens.

Steve said...

I totally agree that they can have a soul. I bought a brand new 2002 Lexus GS430 on Christmas Eve, 2001 as a Christmas/I've arrived present to myself. It had 24 miles on it when new and 247,500 when I traded it in this past February 16th. The dealer gave me $2,000 for it (KBB pegged it at $2800) to put towards a 2010 Lexus LS 460L (there's no way I'm buying that car new). I drove the GS all over this continent. From long weekends in Bar Harbor, Maine to Louviers, Colorado (Julie, Wes and I caught up on life and my upcoming trip to Alaska) to three trips to the Canadian Rockies. Driving non-stop from Key West back to Newburgh, NY wasn't the smartest thing to do but the GS got us home safely. That car and I went through a lot together. I never pushed it too hard but it had some giddy-up when needed. It was very difficult to trade it in. I've always been told to never fall in love with X (insert inanimate object here) because it won't love you back but I loved that car. I changed the oil every 5-7500 miles and did all the required major services. After a little over 14 years and almost 250,000 miles I think it's safe to say it loved me back. RIP, Winston.