A couple of Readers (or maybe their wives) have sent me emails concerning last Saturday’s post, which pictured the interior of a 1950s-era Mercedes 300S. To combine and paraphrase their messages: “O no Kim, that old car looks dreadfully unsafe!”
Whereupon I publish this response (courtesy of Mr. Free Market):
There are so many memes about how things were when we were kids vs the bubble-wrapped kids nowadays that’s it’s beyond parody.
I had so many skinned knees, chipped teeth, near misses from drowning in a nearby creek… it’s a miracle that I never actually broke a bone. Common activities with my friends were kickball, soccer, tackle “football” when the teachers weren’t watching, etc. And we’d get together after school and on weekends in large enough groups to play those also, at times. In addition to the organized sports leagues our moms made us go in to.
No cell phones. Summer evening rules were “When the streetlights turn on, then come home.”
And we were the nerds. . .
By modern standards, any car from before the 1980s is a deathtrap. So what? Drive it and enjoy it!
Love the sticker. That vehicle reminds me of the WWII surplus jeep we had on our ranch. I was driving it by age 8. Bubble wrap indeed. By the time I graduated high school, I had been knocked unconscious twice. Second time, a horse went down at a gallop with me aboard. Broke my left arm too in that wreck.
We had a WWII surplus jeep on the Farm. 3 speed crash box, Multiple ” Gear shift levels”, no doors, no seat belts, no roll bar, no muffler, rust holes in the floor. Farm Plates so we could drive at 14.
Great fun. We went everywhere in that jeep.
Had a 53 3100 the doors would not stay latched on so I took em off to reduce surprises. Amazing how fast you can corner in one of those. Not the least of the death defying things we did. We built a ramp and launched a vespa scooter once. Not to mention a whole buck load of dirt bikes and assorted other devices that had a motor and wheels. Sometime 4, sometimes less.
No broken bones till much later.
I learned to drive in one of those in 1968…. only it was still OD green, no seat belts (what are those?) and had a black knob gear shifter . The engine (well worn) made maybe 30 HP. Learn with that and you can drive anything the instructor said. He was right and it prepared one to drive in Europe and all those former Brit. colonies that use the wrong side of the road. Let me tell you about driving a Hummer in Tokyo some day over a few beers.
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