In conjunction with the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and their February, 2013, "Big Read" focusing on F. Scott Fitzgerald and his 1920s novel The Great Gatsby, Fairlawn Plaza Mall welcomed an antique auto show featuring several cars from the Great Gatsby era.

Max Yoho, along for the tour, knows a lot about old cars. He once owned and drove a 1926 Ford Model "T."

Here are several items Max and the car owners shared about old autos:

If a car has a permenant roof it is referred to as a "coupe" or a "sedan."

A "roadster" usually has a rumble seat, openable as needed behind the interior body of the car. A joke infers that it was invented to carry mother-in-laws.

Old cars had front windshields but might not have side windows.

Many early Ford Model "T"s had no dashboards... just a steering wheel, foot pedals and a horn. The horn acted like a pump. Push in the plunger and the horn shouted, "A...ouuuGH!" Such a horn was called a "klaxon."

Besides having electric headlights, many older cars had "cowl lights," an aid to driving at night, and a carryover from carriage lights used for driving a horse and buggy at night. Car owners would use a match to light the cowl lights, and then cover the flames with glass covers to keep the wind from blowing out the flames.

A "Jitney," like the grey-and-black Dodge Brothers vehicle on display, was used primarily like a taxi... moving people from place to place in groups. The word "jitney" is derived from an archaic name for "nickel" (perhaps referring to a nickel fare to be taken where you want to go).

Old car "trunks" often were storage trunks, like you might find in an attic, but attached behind the rear seat of a vehicle.

A "touring car" is a two-seated car with a removable roof.

Early Model "T"s all used the same key. Buy a Ford and your key would start any Model "T."

Ford Model "A" models first left the assemble line in December, 1926.



The Great Gatsby Auto Show

Select a thumbnail photo to view the larger version

Great Gatsby Auto Show: Sat., Feb. 2, 2013
Overview AOverview B1949 Packard convertible left: 1949 Packard

Ford Model "T" 1915:
1915 Ford Model Tflaxon horncowl light, just litcowl lite, cover closedCrank starter1915 Ford Model T overview1915 Ford Model T and ownerOwner shows his key for 1915 Ford Model T. All keys were identical at that time. 1914 Model T wooden wheel

Carol and Max with 1915 Model T Carol and Max with 1915 Model T C
Carol and Max with 1915 Model T B

Ford Model "T" 1923 Touring Car:
1923 Ford Model T touring car1923 Model T rear1923 Model T front1923 Model T running board1923 Model T wooden spokes on wheel1923 Ford T  motor crank and shock absorber1923 Ford T  touring car's back seat1923 Ford T dash and steering wheel1923 Ford T rear view mirror

Dodge Brothers 1925 Jetney:
1925 Dodge Brothers JetneyA Jetney is a means of public transportDodge Brothers Jetney overview1925 Dodge Jetney trunk in the back1925 Dodge Jetney running board

Ford Model "A" Roadster:
Model A radiatorFord Model A rumble seatford Model A overviewFord Modael A dash and steering wheel

Cheverolet 1931:
1931 Chevy spare tire1931 Chevy running board1031 Chevy rumble seatChevy 1931 etched glass side windows1931 Chevy, steering wheel and interior fanMax looks over the 1931 Chevy

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All photos © 2013 by Carol Yoho
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