How Marvin hacked his Model T in high school (he later died serving in the Pacific…)

article-0-1943211B000005DC-364_964x754Mr. Lester’s family is from Seattle, one of two places in the United States (before Global Warming) where doctors recommended you live if you had sun allergies. No kidding. It was dreary and drizzled nearly every day.

Back in the 1940s Mr. Lester’s father, and his best friend Marvin, went in on a Model T that cost $75. They wanted wheels, had saved money from their after school jobs, were mechanically inclined, and had hot dates for the prom… But to make their car run they had to do some work. They pulled the transmission (getting grease-coated in the process), fixed it, reinstalled it, and got cleaned up for their big double-date, suits and all. Marvin and the original Mr. Lester climbed into the car, put it into gear, and discovered they’d put the transmission in backwards. They could drive forward in “reverse” at a mighty ten mile per hour clip. However, they could drive backwards at full speed. They then careened through Seattle with their necks craned around to pick up the gals, hoping beyond hope they were good sports.

Here’s another part of the story I can neither confirm or deny. Marvin, besides mechanical aptitude had a rollicking sense of humor. Sometime in his life with the Model T he switched the placement of the gas tank with theΒ  water intake. He would drive into a gas station, fill the tank with water (which caused the attendants much alarm) saunter up to counter and purchase one tablet of aspirin, drop it into the tank, and boast, “Sixty miles per gallon!” as he revved the engine and peeled out…

Well, that’s what the original Mr. Lester used to tell us πŸ˜‰ .

To all those who served…

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  1. May 27, 2014

    I love old car stories! My dad had quite a few of those, too. One of my favorites was when he pulled into a gas station (full service meant a lot more back then) and the station attendant came up with a squeegee to wash the windows… except my dad had his driver’s window rolled down. He got a big squeegee full of soapy water in the face!

    P.S. Good Golly, the man in that photo is delectable!

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