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The Princess's First Driving Lesson


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Posted (edited)

The thought of our youngest child learning to drive has been weighing heavily on my mind. I may be a bit over protective but short of a tank this was the next best thing I could come up with. Just to be clear... she did not try parallel parking!

 

Regardless, she had a lot of fun!

 

 

 

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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I love it!

 

Reminds me of a story my dad used to like telling. 

Shortly after World War 2, when dad was in high school still, he did odd jobs for several places around where he grew up (Elko Nevada). One place was a kind of big wrecking yard. The owner of the yard had some family situation, requiring him to care for a three year old son. He also had some big OLD truck he used in the yard. He would start the truck, put all FOUR transmissions in the lowest gear, and set the throttle at an idle. The three year old would stand on the seat and steer that old truck all day long! With the low truck gearing and extra underdrives, the truck moved so very slowly, the little boy couldn't really get into trouble. The ground was rough, a wheel would come against a small rock or sit in a small hole, while all the gears moved forward enough to take out the gearing slack and the truck would lurch forward a couple inches. Then sit for several seconds while all the slack in the gearing would tighten up again.

The little kid was having a blast 'helping' daddy by driving the truck while the man did his work, looking up every few minutes to make sure the kid wasn't headed for trouble. Geared that way, the truck might move a whole hundred feet in a day.

 

Soon, my dad headed off to college. As far as he knew, nothing bad ever happened. Can you imagine anyone doing something like that today? He did hear years later that the young fellow grew up to be a fine young man.

Times were different back when. Maybe a dozen years later, I was driving my grandfather's Ford 8N and 9N tractors. I was driving them solo when I was six! I was also helping to pull trailers out of the orchards at the end of a harvest day (they often had three to five trailers being loaded by the pickers that needed to be brought in at the end of the day). 

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Just before we got married my wife bought a Fiat 850 Spider 4 speed in early 70.  She had no idea how to drive a stick. I drove the car home from the dealer. I then put her in my VW I bought for $400 and drove out into the country. We switched places and told her to get us home. By the time we got home she could shift without the clutch! She’s been driving a stick shift car ever since. 

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1 hour ago, wayne sheldon said:

I love it!

 

Reminds me of a story my dad used to like telling. 

Shortly after World War 2, when dad was in high school still, he did odd jobs for several places around where he grew up (Elko Nevada). One place was a kind of big wrecking yard. The owner of the yard had some family situation, requiring him to care for a three year old son. He also had some big OLD truck he used in the yard. He would start the truck, put all FOUR transmissions in the lowest gear, and set the throttle at an idle. The three year old would stand on the seat and steer that old truck all day long! With the low truck gearing and extra underdrives, the truck moved so very slowly, the little boy couldn't really get into trouble. The ground was rough, a wheel would come against a small rock or sit in a small hole, while all the gears moved forward enough to take out the gearing slack and the truck would lurch forward a couple inches. Then sit for several seconds while all the slack in the gearing would tighten up again.

The little kid was having a blast 'helping' daddy by driving the truck while the man did his work, looking up every few minutes to make sure the kid wasn't headed for trouble. Geared that way, the truck might move a whole hundred feet in a day.

 

Soon, my dad headed off to college. As far as he knew, nothing bad ever happened. Can you imagine anyone doing something like that today? He did hear years later that the young fellow grew up to be a fine young man.

Times were different back when. Maybe a dozen years later, I was driving my grandfather's Ford 8N and 9N tractors. I was driving them solo when I was six! I was also helping to pull trailers out of the orchards at the end of a harvest day (they often had three to five trailers being loaded by the pickers that needed to be brought in at the end of the day). 

 

I think most who grew up on agricultural properties were on the tractor before the age of ten. In my case I started at about ten - and we still have the same tractor, a Ferguson TEA today, although at present it is 'parked up' as the (bought new in '76) M-F 135 gets most use. We are longer growing commercially but the tractor is handy for moving cars, and gets a good run once or twice a year at haymaking time.

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My dad told me once about trying to teach mom how to drive around 1939/1940.  It was in his 1938 Buick, he had to have a new transmission installed afterwards.😬

 

I learned to drive in a 1929 Chevrolet that dad bought for us in 1966.  I also took my driving test in it too.😊

 

Capt. Harley😉

 

Skirts are for women and not car fenders!

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When I was four my Dad made me a go cart using parts from an old reel mower (without the blades) and powered by a REO mower engine. My first over the road experiences was at 14 driving bulk potato trucks. Mastering the 2 speed rear end was the biggest issue. That and not hitting the harvester boom. No one was really concerned that I didn't have a drivers license as long as the crop got in!

 

I remember well trying to backup to the potato house with a gentleman yelling "Backup ahead! Backup ahead!" in a heavy Quebec French accent. You can clearly understand their was some confusion on my part.

 

 

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I was thrilled when my father asked me to move the truck while he was up on the house roof tossing shingles down onto it.  I was 8 or 9 and the truck was a 1945 Chevy 1 ton flatbed ( no chrome )

I also had the awful job of picking up the ones that fell on the ground.

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My son wants to take his drivers test in my 1928 Graham-Paige.  He has been driving it around our property for 3 years so I am positive he can handle the car.  Not sure what a drivers test instructor would do with an 93 year old car?  My guess is they would say it wont pass the safety inspection? 

 

image.png.f3ddf85c99b43acc12f52f1e7e8d83e8.png

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1 hour ago, Graham Man said:

My guess is they would say it wont pass the safety inspection? 

Here in Calif they would not allow the car unless it had seatbelts and full lighting front and rear, that includes blinkers.

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24 minutes ago, zepher said:

Here in Calif they would not allow the car unless it had seatbelts and full lighting front and rear, that includes blinkers.

It had never occurred to me to check the vehicle requirements for the driving test to see if they were different from the equipment requirements for having the car on the road. Turns out they are slightly more restrictive for the driving test. Thanks for getting me to look it up!

 

Apparently seat belts are only required if “if the vehicle was manufactured with safety belts”. The requirement for two mirrors is actually in the equipment section of the motor vehicle code for all cars so that should be met by any street legal car. Looks like the only requirements hard for a stock older car to meet is the turn signals and dual brake lights (both of which lots of old cars have been retrofitted with). From https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/educational-materials/fast-facts/preparing-for-your-driving-test-ffdl-22/

 

Quote

 

Test Vehicle Requirements

The vehicle you use for your driving test must be safe to drive. Before the test, the examiner checks for:

  • 2 license plates. The rear plate must show current registration.
  • Functioning front and back turn signals and brake lights.
  • A working horn designed for the vehicle.Tires with no bald spots.
  • Adequate brake pressure (you will be asked to step on the brake pedal to see if it works properly).
  • A driver’s side window that rolls down.
  • A windshield that allows a full unobstructed field of view for you and the examiner.
  • 2 rear view mirrors. One must be on the left, outside of the vehicle.
  • Driver and front passenger doors that open from both the inside and outside.
  • A glove box which is securely closed.
  • A passenger seat permanently attached to the vehicle.
  • Working safety belts, if the vehicle was manufactured with safety belts.
  • Working emergency/parking brake.

You will be asked to locate the controls for the vehicle’s headlights, windshield wipers, defroster, and emergency flashers. You must demonstrate how to used the parking brake.

 

And from https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbook/driving-test-criteria/pre-drive-checklist-safety-criteria/ Interesting they call for demonstrating “arm signals”. I’d always called them “hand signals”.

Quote

 

The requirements for each Pre-Drive Checklist item (Safety Criteria) are as follows: 

Item Requirement
1. Driver window The window on the driver side must open. You will be asked to open the window if the window is closed.
2. Windshield  The windshield must provide a full unobstructed field of view for you and the examiner.
3. Rear-view mirrors The vehicle must have at least 2 mirrors. 1 must be located outside on the left side of the vehicle. The other mirror may be located inside in the center or outside on the right side of the vehicle. Mirrors must be secure, unbroken, and provide clear visibility. 
4. Turn signals Both right and left turn signals on the front and back of the vehicle must be operational.
5. Brake lights Both brake lights (1 on the right side and 1 on the left side of the vehicle) must be operational. NOTE: This does not include the center light (usually on the rear window).
6. Tires Each tire must have 1/32 inch tread depth in any 2 adjacent grooves. NOTE: The vehicle cannot have bald tires.
7. Foot brake There must be at least 1 inch of clearance between the pedal and the floor board when the pedal is depressed.
8. Horn The horn must be: Designed for the vehicle and in proper working condition. Loud enough to hear from a distance of at least 200 feet. NOTE: The horn cannot be a bicycle horn.
9. Emergency (Parking brake) You must be able to locate and demonstrate how to use the parking brake (set and release). NOTE: Your driving test will be rescheduled as a mechanical failure if your parking brake does not work or if the brake does not set during the check.
10. Arm signals You must correctly demonstrate arm signals for: Left turn. Right turn. Slowing down or stopping. 
*11. Windshield You must correctly locate the windshield wiper switch and/or control wipers.
*12. Defroster You must correctly locate the front windshield defroster button.
13. Emergency flasher (Hazard lights) You must correctly locate the emergency flasher switch/button if the warning vehicle is equipped with emergency flashers. 
*14. Headlights You must correctly locate the headlight switch.
15. Passenger door The front passenger side door must open and close properly.
16. Glove box The glove box door must be securely closed.
17. Seat (Safety) belts All vehicles designed with seat (safety) belts must have seat (safety) belts for both you and the examiner.
All seat (safety) belts must work properly and be used by the individual(s) in the car.
*During inclement weather, the driver must demonstrate that items 11-14 work properly or the driving test will be rescheduled. 

 

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Please tell us more about the vehicle. 

 

Tracks were around in the first decade of the 20th century. The solid front tires and and vehicle design have me thinking 1907-1908 ish? Some type of heavy payload hauler I assume?

Diesel or gas engine?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, keithb7 said:

Please tell us more about the vehicle. 

 

Tracks were around in the first decade of the 20th century. The solid front tires and and vehicle design have me thinking 1907-1908 ish? Some type of heavy payload hauler I assume?

Diesel or gas engine?

Hello Keith,

 

It was built by the Lombard Tractor & Truck Corporation of Waterville, Maine in 1928. Alvin Orlando Lombard patented his track system in 1900 and began building steam powered log haulers for use in the woods here in Northern New England. In fact he is credited with developing the first practical track system that was produced commercially. There was a big lawsuit involving Best and Lombard V. Holt centered around Lombard's patents which was after many years settled out of court. Eventually they developed gasoline powered tractors and log haulers - the last steamer was built in 1917 and the last combustion engine machine in 1936. 

 

The machine in the video is their Model 'T' dump truck intended for construction, snow plowing etc. It weighs in at about 8 tons and as a four yard capacity body. Lombard also built a much larger machine known as the CS88 which weighed 15 tons. 

 

The engine is the original Hercules YXC2. 

 

Here is a photo of its 10 ton brother dating from 1934

IMG_0632.JPG.0bc5bf74b25ef4d1b298cee6ddc7d419.JPG

 

And its even bigger brother. This one dates from 1907 and was originally designed to steer with skis - we have wheels on it so we can demonstrate it during the non-winter months.72611077_424850221569142_7748748148813594624_n.jpg.72524e4bfb05dac098caf63b87e9a8ed.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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I have seen a video of the 1907 steamer running somewhere a few years ago! Probably a youtube link posted on one of the several forums I have followed over the years. 

 

 

An era photo of my grandfather with the Holt he and his dad owned, taken about 1919. The little girl is my aunt, born in 1918. I sure wish the Holt could have been around for me about sixty years later. I did get to look over a nearly identical one about fifty years ago. It was still owned by some friends of my grandmother. Very impressive machines!

Your Lombards are also incredible!

 

 

SCAN0147.JPG

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32 minutes ago, wayne sheldon said:

An era photo of my grandfather with the Holt he and his dad owned, taken about 1919.

 

That is a fantastic photo and wonderful piece of family history Wayne.  Thank you for sharing!

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