A SHOOTING STAR


My very first car was a 1923 Star and this is what it looked like the day I bought it in December of 1944. I bought it from my Uncle John who lived in a rather remote area where the snow got so deep in the winter that the only way in or out was with horses and sometimes it was even too tough for horses. That winter was an exception and my Dad took me there in his 1927 Chevy. The snow was deep enough that tire chains were required on the car but we got there without shoveling. My Aunt Ida liked the Star and was a little sad about parting with it. She asked me to come back someday and give her a ride in it. I said I would and fully intended to do so and felt guilt and sadness when she died seven months later before I had fulfilled my promise.
The Star had a small flat head, four cylinder engine. I don’t know what the horsepower rating was but I know there are garden tractors today with more horsepower than my Star had. It had a three speed transmission. Stick shift, of course, and the tires were 30X3.5 (very common at that time). It had a pickup style body and the top of the cab was cloth. The windshield wiper was mounted at the top of the windshield with the wiper on the outside and a handle on the inside for sweeping the wiper back and forth by hand. No, that was not a backup method in case the motor failed, there was no motor. There was no starter either. There was a crank permanently mounted on the front, behind the bumper, and the engine was started by turning that crank. There were no brakes on the front wheels and the rear brakes were connected to the brake pedal with mechanical linkage that was tricky to adjust and wasn’t very effective. The parking brake was a lever beside the gear shift lever and it operated a brake on the drive shaft. Most times, by pulling on the parking brake and stomping hard on the foot brake, I could slide one rear wheel.
The engine probably didn’t turn more than a thousand rpm with the pedal to the metal so it was not a fast car by today’s standards but that didn’t make it a half fast car. It would do fifty miles an hour on a gravel road and fifty-five on pavement so those were the speed at which I usually drove it. Paved roads were scarce in this area at that time so I didn’t get in much fifty-five time. Once when my brother was riding with me we dropped off a hill at fifty just before the right front tire blew! As was typical with the type of rim that was used at the time, the tire flew off the rim and the bare rim dug into the gravel road. It was now a shooting Star and it shot across the road toward the left side ditch. I reefed on the steering wheel and managed to bring it back from there but then it shot toward the right side of the road. The third time we were crossways in the road my brother looked at the speedometer and saw it at thirty-five. He braced himself for a wreck because he was sure I could never bring out of another skid. But somehow I did and we rescued the tire from out in the adjoining field. That’s when I discovered that I didn’t have a jack but, with an old fence post from along the fence and a rock for a pivot, we raised the Star just slightly toward the sky and put on the spare tire and rim.
Look at the picture! Wouldn’t you like to take that fine old car for a drive? Incidentally, it didn’t have a heater.

Fuller, Jim  with first car 1944

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About authorjim

I grew up in the country near a small Montana town, I have spent a lot of time in the outdoors, working, fishing, hunting and camping but have always been interested in mechanical and electrical things. Most of my life has been spent in the use, care and repair of things mechanical, electrical an electronic. After being retired for several years, I began writing and published my first novel at the age of 79. Now, at the age of 82, I have recently published my fourth noveland it is available from me or from the pulisher or book distributor.
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5 Responses to A SHOOTING STAR

  1. Steeny Lou says:

    By the way, what’s with all the titles in this blog that are to do with “Amazon”? I click on them but the stories have no mention of Amazon.

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    • authorjim says:

      The Amazon Books titles are part of my spam efforts. The title of a post is what goes out on line for Google and other search engines to home in on when they match the words that are entered in a search with what is available on the internet. I try to put words in my titles people might be using in a search. I have used cancer among others and the words ‘naked girl’ keeps drawing people in. I started using Amazon Books for a couple of reasons. The first being that when someone Googled Amazon Books there would be a chance that they would be led to my blog and second, that they might look at one of my books when they got to Amazon Books. Please let me know if you find this objectionable. I am always hoping for feedback from visitors. Incidentally, I got the idea for the poetic posts that I have been using lately from Burma Shave. Did you ever see their roadside signs? If I could have a fraction of the success that they had I would be overjoyed. See you in the funny papers!

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  2. Steeny Lou says:

    Fifty-five miles an hour, and no heater? Sounds like one of my old cars, the 1969 Beetle. Yo! That thing could NOT go!

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