Classic Tree Hauler

This gorgeous Ford F100 with famous Twin I-beam suspension and Custom Cab package is all decked out for Christmas. It would have made a terrific gift in December of 1965 when it would have only set you back a couple thousand bucks:

You can tell that it is a ’66, not a ’65, based on the grille (the ’65 grille is just two rows of squares):

This truck’s classic good looks and red and white paint job make it the perfect truck for hauling Christmas trees. Wishing you something equally cool to haul your own trees in, as well as a very

Merry Christmas!

WW1 Soldiers Leaving Fort Dix in a Dodge Brothers Car

This great National Archives photo is captioned, “Soldiers being mustered out at Camp Dix, New Jersey, 1918,” and the sheer joy captured by the photographer is palpable. Notice also the sidecar in the background, not to mention the unbelievably adorable dog.

Soldiers being mustered out at Camp Dix. New Jersey, 1918. Underwood and Underwood., 1917 – 1919
Courtesy National Archives, identifier no. 165-WW-139C(3)

Much of the automobile is obscured by the bodies of the 16 military men piled on top of it, but if you zoom in on the wheels, they do look like Dodge Brothers caps. That would make sense as the Dodges made many notable contributions to the war effort (see “More on the Dodge Brothers . . . .”). This advertisement, placed in 1918, also touches on some of their achievements:

The second paragraph mentions that the Dodge Brothers organization refrained from making any mention of its activities while the war was in progress. This tone was surely set by the Dodge brothers themselves, Horace and John, who, in addition to being brilliant machinists and manufacturers, were famously tight-lipped. One 1916 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story, “Dodge Brothers Hide Personality Behind Their Car,” reported that getting information from the Dodges was a hopeless task:

Horace positively will not talk. He refers everything to John. And John says, “The public is not interested in us but in what we make. Write about the car if you want to write about something.”

Imagine a time when people just kept their yaps shut.

1917 Dodge Brothers
1916 Dodge Brothers

First Car Through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is a mile-long tunnel that connects Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. According to the tunnel’s official website, it is the only existing subaqueous international automobile border crossing in the world and is made up of 80,000 cubic yards of concrete and 750 tons of reinforced steel. It also contains 574 lights so that drivers can safely make their way through this tube located 75 feet below the surface of the Detroit River. The tunnel was officially dedicated on November 1, 1930. Many current sources report that a 1929 Studebaker was the first car through the tunnel (here and here, for example). This is surprising, because contemporary newspaper reports were pretty emphatic that the first car through the tunnel was not a Studebaker, but a Graham:

The above photo was published in the El Paso Times, and it depicts the Graham at the international boundary with the radiator in the United States and the remainder of the car in Canada. It is easily identifiable as a Graham because of the large ventilation doors on the side of the hood that could be opened and closed separately by pressing small chromium buttons.

The Graham brothers, who had been in the truck business before selling out to Dodge Brothers, purchased the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company in 1927. This means the Graham Eight used to christen the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel must have been brand-new, because it was called a Graham-Paige from 1928 through the first series of 1930. This shiny, new Graham would have been powered by a 100-hp L-Head Eight with 3-1/4 x 4-1/2 bore/stroke and displacement of 298.6 cubic inches. The distinctive Graham emblem is a stylized depiction of the three Graham brothers, Joseph, Robert and Ray, as knights:

The reports from 1930 do not mention why the Graham was chosen to make that first trip under the Detroit River, but perhaps it had something to do with the automobile’s “dignity and class”:

1930 Graham taillight