Thursday, June 9, 2011

Daily Driver

by Derik Price

Well, maybe not daily, but weather permitting.....

We have moved the 1932 Ford Phaeton to our corporate office for the summer.  Nancy and I will be driving it around town, on errands, for the next few months.  Because we got it ready to go yesterday, of course, today is the first significant rain we've had in town all summer.  But yesterday I did get to drive it around the office a little and I have to say, it's pretty much as easy to drive as any newer car.  And for that, big thanks to Willy and Charlie for preparing it!

You may remember this vehicle from the post - The Tax Man Cometh -
This isn't just any old Ford, but one with right-hand drive and a rich history. It was built in 1932 by Ford of Canada (Ontario) and shipped new to Bombay, India. The car's first owner was a zamindar who collected taxes from peasants for a maharaja. 
We won't be doing any tax collecting, but I'm sure we will be turning heads.  The horn button is on the floor, pretty much right underneath the clutch.  So with nearly every shift you get a nice AH-OO-GA!  Willy thought that was a nice 'feature' to leave in place for Nancy and me.

Other notable history -
The Model 18, styled by Edsel Ford, was a handsome car that incorporated the sculptured lines and fine detailing of the larger Lincoln. It was lower and sleeker than the Model A, and handled better due to its lower center of gravity. This was the first Ford to feature a grille that hid the radiator, but in keeping with Ford tradition, all fenders were dipped in black enamel.
We will not be testing the 'claimed' 80 MPH top speed, or exercising the boundaries of its handling prowess.  Nope, we're just pleased with the opportunity to occasionally exercise the "Indian Mistress".  Now then, bring on the sun!

2 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, the AH-OO-GA! The classic honk of a vintage car! It's nice to see someone like you who appreciates good cars. I wonder if cars built during that era could really go beyond 80 mph?

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  2. Tari,

    Most definitely! Henry Ford set a land speed record of just over 90 mph in a Ford racer in 1904. This was shattered by a Stanley steam car (the "Stanley Rocket") traveling 127.66 mph in 1906. Of course, these were modified for racing, but there were passenger cars that could go faster than 80 mph. Our big 1917 Pierce-Arrow, 1927 Stutz, 1932 Cadillac and 1933 Auburn are four examples. The Stutz Bearcat, Mercer Raceabout and foreign makes like Isotta Fraschini are others.

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