Musings of An Old Man

by Brian K. Moore


I bought my first car, a 1921 Model T Ford, when I was 13 years old and spent most of the summer working on it so it would be ready to drive. When I turned 14 and got my drivers license, I paid $3.00 for it. My conscience still bothers me a little because I told my parents that I only paid $1.25 for it. I didn’t want them to think that I was extravagantly throwing money around.

This may seem to be quite a low price for an automobile but some other examples of my early purchases are: Two cars, a 1922 Dodge and a 1926 Model T, for $5.00. They were bought from a dealer on the last day of the year. He said he didn’t want to buy license plates for them, and a 1918 Chevy bought for $1.00. It was sitting in a guy’s back yard and he wanted to get rid of it. It was capable of running, but not very well, and it had four tires that would hold air although they were worn clear down to the fabric, and it had a battery. I later sold it for a dollar.

I finally got the old Model T fixed up pretty good, having converted it from a two seater touring car to a one seater roadster, and put a set of yellow wire wheels and second hand tires on it, which I bought for $4.00 for wheels and tires. Obviously money was worth more then.

Now that the T was about ready to drive, I decided to change the oil. I scraped together 40 cents and bought four quarts of oil. I drained the old oil and poured it along the fence to keep the weeds down and poured in my nice new oil. As I stepped back to set the last empty can down, I saw a puddle of nice clean greenish looking oil on the concrete floor under the car!

I had forgotten to replace the plug when I drained the old oil!
Oh my God! My 40 cents worth of new oil! I don’t have another 40 cents and I poured the old oil by the fence. What will I do? – - – Can I save it?

I pushed the car back out of the way and went and got my mother’s metal dust pan and a wide broad knife and a bucket. I scraped the oil into the dust pan with the broad knife and when I got all the dust pan would hold I poured it into the bucket. I finally got almost all of it up.

Of course it was full of dirt and grit from the floor, so I strained it through three layers of silk stocking and poured it into the crankcase.

This is certainly not the recommended procedure for changing oil but in this case it seemed to work with no apparent no ill effects on the car.