Boiled water to drive the car

from our December 2012 issuessue

By Rose Skobin – Campbell River, B.C.

Taking the car, a 1929 Chev four-door, out in winter in Moose Jaw, Sask. was quite a challenge.
This involved a lengthy procedure. The battery would have been stored in the house. It would be made ready.

A couple of pails of water were heated on the stove because antifreeze hadn’t been invented yet. When the water was hot, the pails were taken out to the car which was inside the garage out back.

The hot water was poured into the radiator and the battery was brought from the house at the same time. With the warm water and battery, the car started easily as I recall.

Blankets were piled around the hood and radiator and off we went. There was no defrosting of windshields because there was no heat.

We parked downtown in Moose Jaw to do our shopping. Winter driving meant driving on snow-covered roads. There were few cars, no driving licenses required, and gas was nine cents a gallon.

Hand-crank, huffing and puffing

When we returned from the trip, the car was put in the garage, the water was drained from the radiator, and the battery was taken out into the house.

I recall a lot of commotion in getting the car started. Maybe it was hand-cranked and a lot of huffing and puffing! I don’t recall how we got the car, but I think my dad did some plumbing for someone and he was unable to pay, so dad got the car.

Summers were hard on the car. The radiator got plugged with grasshoppers and you had to stop every once in a while to clean them off.

We didn’t go in the car very much because we couldn’t afford the gas, as cheap as it was. The trips were only for essentials or visiting our farmer friends.