Saturday, February 28, 2009

Built to last.

Here's a funny thing. I don't know if it's just me, but sometimes I have a chain of thought that works it's way backwards... Ok here I'll give you an example.

I originally intended to do today's post on cars made in 1949 to mark their 60th anniversary, and of course because many of my favourite models were introduced in '49! What happened next set that reverse chain of thought in action to bring forth this post that is the result.

So here's how it works. On my last post on the old Ford that had been stored for many years I said that I'd rather have an original car than a restored example, mainly due to the authenticity and 'honesty' of a nicely patinated vehicle.
I then got to thinking of the oldies that I have owned and the stories they could tell if only they could talk. I've mentioned before how I tend to wonder who owned them, and what their stories were? I look at the curves of the bodywork and chrome finishings and can easily imagine the original owner back in the 1940/50's running a polishing cloth along them.

I get to wonder where those cars have visited in their long lifetimes? When I take a trip in an old car to a different city I find myself wondering "has this car been here before perhaps?...maybe back in the 1950's?"

As the thinking regresses further, (and here's the thing about 'all original' rather than restored cars) when dismantling some part for maintenance I feel a direct connection with the last guy to turn that nut over half a century ago...which then gets me wondering who he was too!

Well below are a set of great photographs that go some way to answering that question by showing the faces of who built those old 'Jellymould Jalopies'.
This first photograph shows a fella working on a Buick Eight, it may just be my eyes but the guy in the background looks like his brother!

These next ones show the production line in full flow, the year is 1950 as the cars wear that wonderful 'Chrome waterfall' grille.

Here we have three more shots of those beautiful old cars on their way to completion and then on to the GM showroom windows!

Of course every factory has its managers, ensuring good quality control and consistent output, then, like today they had offices that overlooked the factory shop floor from where they kept an eye on things.

And finally, the guys that made it all possible! The next time I ponder who it was that turned the nut tight that I am about to undo, maybe I can picture these old timers faces and give a little nod of appreciation for the work they did. Notice the sign 'Don't run to the clock' LOL...some things never change!

Well so long all you old timers, you did a great job back then, and as testimony to the craftsmanship you put into your cars there are examples still around despite many years of neglect.


Viewliner Ltd. said...

My favorite car, the Buick. Great pics.

PIGNOUF said...

The first illustration is superb. It requires that car...:)

Muddy Acres said...

I don't know why that brought a tear to my eye...but it did! Thank you for sharing that you feel a "connection" to someone from the past when you touch a part and muse about its whereabouts - I knew I wasn't the only one who feels this kind of "vibration", as I like to call it. Well put. If only everyone could understand this interconnectedness in life, we'd be living in a better place. Thank you for such an inspirational post.

Red-SSR said...

I am so happy that someone cares enough to focus about our great automobile history...thanks!

Raggmunk said...


emikk said...

I have a buick 322 ci "nailhead " engine in my back garage tent....that's a great engine.