Saturday, April 20, 2013

1957 Oldsmobile

In 1960, we bought a 1957 Olds which looked very much like this car, spotted at a car show at Spanish Springs.  (I think this is a 1956 model).  Our car, however, was a four-door hardtop which means there was no center post so when you put the windows down it was like driving in a convertible with a hardtop.   It was also green and white instead of blue and white.

But the biggest thing was it had factory air-conditioning. At the time we lived in Phoenix, Arizona, so that was like a gift from heaven.  Very few cars sold back then had factory air-conditioning.  We had once owned a car with a small after-market a/c unit that was attached under the dash but it never worked very well.

I loved this car. It was all silvery and shiny and sleek and rimmed with steel. Then one day, on a job assignment driving through the desert (it was 120 degrees!) the heat generated under the hood blew the car's heater hose!  Kaboom!  Steam and rubbery parts exploded into the air to rain back down on the car.

I was 1/2 mile past a little gas station.  It was the only gas station for 15 miles in either direction.  Remember, it was 120 degrees Fahrenheit!  To make a long story short, I walked back to the station and the owner towed in the car mumbling about idiots who thought they could drive 70 miles per hour in the desert running their air-conditioner. No car could do that, he grouched. Eventually, he jerry-rigged parts, fixed it up, and sent me on my way.

Unfortunately, the car never ran right after that. Very small pieces of heater hose had insinuated their way throughout the engine which caused the car to over-heat on a regular basis.  Finally, and with great sadness, I sold the car.