This & That

Story published: 03-13-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Old Dodge has a new owner

By Jack Swift

Folks who read my column know I love to write about old cars because I have featured a few of them in this column. I Really enjoy seeing pictures of them and reading about them.

An old car was recently brought to my attention and it is surely a classic if there ever was one. The car is a 1939 Dodge Coupe. It has been well cared for. The original owner was the late Miss Cettie Keys, longtime Johnson County teacher. She was very particular with her vehicle and kept thorough records on it. She bought the Dodge in Marion, Virginia for $825. The original Owner’s Instruction Book is with it, along with a booklet containing the oil change record. Also, the car has with it most of the original papers, most all of the license plates as well as her umbrella and glasses.

The second owners of the car were the late Ted Shores and his wife Carol. Ted’s sister, Felsie Ward, was a caretaker for Miss Keys. Miss Keys had offered the car to Felsie’s husband, Earl. He wasn’t interested at the time and the opportunity to purchase it fell to Ted. He bought the car and parked it in his garage. The third owners were Pat and Mary Greene. It’s interesting how they came about owning the old Dodge. The Greenes and Shoreses were neighbors and Mary, Carol and Ted often walked together and during their walk on one occasion the subject of the old dodge came up. Mary said Pat had seen the car years ago and loved it. Before the walk ended, a deal was made and Pat and Mary became the third owner of the vintage auto. When Pat learned Mary had purchased the car, he walked over to Ted and Carol’s house and drove the car home.

The 1939 Dodge now has a fourth owner. Pat and Mary presented the car to their daughter Kimberly Greene Harmon as a Christmas present on December 24, 2012. In a letter to Kimberly, they pointed out how they came to be proud owners of the car and other information. The final paragraph of the letter of presentation says the car can stay at the Greenes until Kimberly is ready to move it. They emphasize that the car must have the best of care since it is so old. What a great present. I learned that the car was the official car of the Johnson County Bean festival in 1953. As were most of the cars then, the Dodge had the shift handle on the steering column. There were first, second, third and reverse gears. In that day Antifreeze was added to car radiators in the fall and drained in the spring. The dimmer switch is located on the floor and activated by the foot. How many folks remember that? Moreover, 1939 was the silver anniversary (25 years) of Dodge and it was a great year for the company. Miss Keys’ 1939 Dodge automobile has stood the test of time. Each owner has enjoyed it. A fourth one is embarking on a continuing affiliation with Miss Keys’ pride and joy. I’m sure it’s Kimberly’s pride and joy as well.