Monday, September 21, 2009

"It's a Mowtar Car" - J. Thaddeus Toad

While this blog is billed as a railroad blog, I had an interesting experience the other day I think you will enjoy. I was down to Safeway getting gas and this old 1913 Buick pulled in beside me!

If you have never heard one of those old time automobile engines, they sound exactly like J. Thaddeus Toad, Esquire’s automobile in “Wind in the Willows!” A kind of “pookty-pook pookty-pook” sound. This one really sounded neat!

In talking to the driver, I learned there was a gaggle of these pre-1916 machines billeted down the street. So I whipped back to my apartment to grab my camera.

[Ed. Note: One of the nice things about living in a small town is that nothing is very far. All this is taking place within four blocks of home!]

Next stop was the motel down the street. There were about two-dozen of these machines in the parking lot, hardly a sole around, so I just started taking photos. The group is The Skagit-Snohomish chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America stopped in Port Townsend for a day or so. Several dozen antique cars are on a four-day tour of the Olympic Peninsula.

While most of the vehicles were transported in large trailers, two members of this unusual caravan traveled in style – behind a 1967 Peterbilt Motor Home, out of Golden, Colorado.

Now to be sure, Peterbilt never built motor homes, but enterprising folks for years have taken the chassis of Pete’s, Freightliners, Mack’s – you name it, and put motor home modules on the frame rails, resulting in some nifty machines!

This matching trailer transports two classic cars. Connection is made with a standard highway truck "converter dolly." Often referred to as “Class C+” motor homes, these are beautiful and very spacious machines.

Now I do not know a darn thing about these old tyme auto-mobiles, other than that they represent the lower branches of the motor vehicle family tree. And I am not going to muck it up by yakking about them. Just enjoy the photos!

[Click on the Magic Lantern]

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