Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Cars, Journeys and Change part 8

During WWI there was a brief hiatus in automobile production and sales lagged after the war when there was a brief depression. Then the economy picked up and, with new found prosperity, car ownership was on the rise. In the 1920s motoring became a national pastime. Roads had to be improved and dotted with filling stations to make “road trips” possible. 

Touring may have been pleasant on a fine summer day but early cars still lacked many amenities. Windshield wipers were optional and, if available, were operated by hand – a tricky proposition when trying to also keep the car on the road. And driving in snow? Picture driving with hand operated windshield wipers, a burning candle on the dash for a defroster and chains on your narrow tires. No wonder so many people put their cars up on blocks until the spring. 

There were many design changes along the way before they arrived at the automobile as we know it. The steering wheel used to be on the other, or curbside, of the front seat where the driver could keep a close eye on the ditch until Ford change the steering wheel to the left side so the driver would be aware of oncoming traffic. Early cars rarely had doors and weren’t enclosed forcing the driver and passenger to brave the elements. By 1929 the production of closed cars predominated. 

 There were many design changes between the beginning of car production to this model.


Sherk, Bill. 60 Years Behind the Wheel: The Cars We Drove in Canada 1900-1960. Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2003.

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