Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday Drive: Rough Road Ahead

When our ancestors set off on their Sunday drives in first decades of the 20th century, most of them were probably envisioning traveling along roads like the one below.

[Road Trip 1 of 2-San Diego County (1900-1920) California State Library]
But they could never be sure what the condition of the road would be around the next bend.*

[Road Trip 2 of 2-San Diego County (1900-1920) California State Library]

Of course early automobile manufacturers had to take bad roads into consideration in their car design. The video below shows what some cars were capable of.**

["Oilfield Dodge" Promotional Film]

As far as I can tell, the Dodge in the video above was this one, although it could be a later model.
[1919 Dodge Brothers Ad]

Since the "Oilfield Dodge" film was shot in the silent movie era and some stock music has been added as background, I thought it would be fun to see if I could find out what the car would have sounded like and the internet didn't let me down.  You can read a modern review of  a 1922 Dodge car here which includes the video below.

[Driving around in a Dodge Brothers car]

*I don't think these two photos from the Robert Ford collection at the California State Library show the same car.
**Although the video is described as a promotional film, I wasn't able to find out where it originated or if there is any connection to the Dodge Brothers or their car company.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Surely the oilfield car had been modified for the rough terrain! And we all know the secret to driving thru mud is keep your speed up. That is how I once ran off the road into a ditch driving a 1956 IH pickup, apparently it was a bit too much speed. The are in the second film looks much like the car my aunt and uncle drove to California, but I believe it was older. Great post!