ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Jalopy in 1949

Updated on January 8, 2011

The way it was in 1949

I remember my jalopy

I was just 15 when I got my first car, and it was a real jalopy. It was a 1931 Chevrolet that barely ran. I traded a Whizzer motorbike for it - and my friend probably got the best of the deal..

The year was 1949, and the place was Miami, Florida, a much quieter, gentler time and place than now. It was a time when a kid could have fun with an old junker and nobody cared.

It had mechanical brakes that you pushed all the way to the floor board and waited for the car to stop. The gear selector was wasted, so you had to shove the floor shifter in a number of directions, kind of stabbing around, until you found a gear. That situation was aggravated by the fact that once you let the foot-operated clutch out about a quarter inch, it was out.

The steering was pretty loose, and the ignition was a real piece of work. There was a frayed wire that you stuck in a clamp - while sparks flew.

The battery was dead - probably had been for a long time - so my buddies and I always pushed it up the gentle incline that we called a hill in Miami, got it rolling and jumped in, stabbing the gear lever and hoping for the best.

Sometimes the engine started and we could have a joy ride around the neighborhood. Usually, we had to push if back up the “hill” a few times before we got it going. Once going, we didn’t dare turn the engine off for fear we would be stranded somewhere. But in those days it didn't take much for a few teenage boys to have fun. Riding around the neighborhood was a ball!

Speaking of the engine, it had a very loud rod knock - which I didn’t worry about.

It didn’t look like much, either. Somebody had taken the fenders and running boards off. The roof was made of tar paper and not much else, so I decided to make a “convertible” out of it. I got a hatchet and chopped the top out.

Then one day when I was in school, my little sister who was 4 or 5 at the time, filled the gas tank with sand. That was the final blow for that old Chevy.

I figure, if I learned to drive in that beat up old rattletrap, I could drive anything. In fact, I remember thinking when automatic transmissions first came out that anyone too lazy to shift gears didn't even deserve to drive.

After that old Chevy died, I soon had me a ‘36 Plymouth coupe, a big step up. But that’s another story

If you enjoy nostalgia, and especially if you like old motorcycles, you may want to read my book, OVER THE HANDLEBARS. It is a collection of 24 short stories and articles, most of which were first published in motorcycle magazines in the 1960s. It is available through I also have written two other books about motorcycling availalbe from  You can read all 3 of them on your computer for just $2.99 each. Go to


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)