Sunday, January 18, 2009
Boulevard Motors and Steering Wheel spinners
I was riding by Boulevard Motors last week and thought about how long it has been in business and what a great place I thought it was when I was a teenager. Boulevard Motors was just another used car and new car dealership in the mid 1950's but it had the more interesting selection of cars than other car lots. Notice in the 1959 ad the 1957 Isetta they had for sale for $475, now there was a car.
First, it was the Fiat dealership in Salisbury and in 1960 those cars, compared to American cars, looked like they came from another planet and you asked yourself who would possibly drive one. No doubt the reason why they don't have the dealership anymore. I never bought a car from Boulevard, looked at a lot of them, but never bought one. The closest I came to buying from them was when Phil Johnson and I were 17 and we were looking at buying a 1939 LaSalle hearse from them. I think the cost was $80. Common sense, the fact it wouldn't run, and the Air Force ended up overcoming the purchase of the hearse.
While on the subject of cars in the 1960's one item I had on a couple of cars I owned was a steering wheel spinner (some people called them a suicide knob or Brody knob).
It was knob that clamped to the steering wheel and allowed you to drive one handed. They are still around and handicap and other cool people use them. In the days of cars without powersteering it was a big help. The problem with the spinner was you had to clamp it on the steering wheel so tight it left an indentation if you removed it, so once on it pretty much stayed on. Some pathetic old people I understand now put them on their riding lawnmowers so they look cool cutting the grass.