Cars for carting

A-Z challenge - My memories of life on the farm in the nineteen fifties and sixties


Cars and utes

How many could fit in a sedan of the times?

Squashed in the front of the EH Holden my father drove, my brother sat next to him, Mum on the left passenger side and me jammed in between. In the back seat my five sisters were seated one back, one forward, one back, one forward and one more back.

That’s how we travelled to Mass each Sunday and no complaints were to be tolerated. No seat belts then, just packed in like sardines. That car was more spacious than the earlier green and white FC Holden we’d previously owned.

Teenagers and cars

I learnt to drive in the paddocks. Perhaps it was first steering the tractor or truck as it slowly progressed in a straight line while hay was distributed to sheep from the back. I then progressed to the family sedan learning to change gears along the way. I remember well the kangaroo hops made before getting those gears to change smoothly.

One sister acquired a two tone pink and grey Standard 10 which she needed to get between the towns where she taught dressmaking. My brother’s first car was a blue Holden ute for farm work often with sheep, equipment and tools loaded in the back. If that car could tell tales it would recall Rural Youth outings, taking sisters to dances and some romances.

My first car, a red 1955 Ford Prefect, came from my eldest sister as she left Adelaide to accompany her husband on an overseas posting in 1969. Unfortunately I had an accident, not serious enough to be hurt, but enough for the insurers to write the car off. The small red car was retired to the farm where it was cut off as a ute for a paddock jalopy.

Here's Dad with one of his earlier cars.


Next D - Drat that darn dog

21 comments:

  1. Visiting from A-Z Challenge. I think my favorite part of this story was how you fit the entire family in the car to go to mass. Fun memories!

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    Nancy

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    1. Thanks for visiting. It was squashy but that's what we were accustomed to 🚘

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    2. My husband is the oldest of 10 kids, born ithrough the '50's and 60's. They got all 10 kids plus parents in car every Sunday to get to Mass. I can't imagine!

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  2. You were lucky to have cars. We only had trucks. The first was called Sergeant Steel and the second was Colonel Steel. We finally progressed to a 1951 Chev ute where my teeth hit the metal dashboard in an accident. Oh happy days!

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    1. Well that was a great leap in rank, the new truck must have warranted the promotion 😀😀

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    2. Oh Carmel this brings back memories! I learned to drive in the country out near Coonabarabran. As you say much bumpy driving and my instructor saying "Yes, you seem to be doing well on the gears. Now we just need to improve the steering!!!"

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    3. 😀 Twas fun avoiding the 🐑🐑🐑

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  3. Hi Carmel - wonderful memories .. yes I guess having farmland helped kiddies learning to drive from an early age. I remember piling into cars coming home from school with friends - a batch would get dropped off at the nearest home, then the next and finally us ... the old days, good old days ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/c-is-for-cattle-and-cow-cooper.html

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  4. Loved this post! I spent my early childhood on a U.S. farm in the 1950s, which I'm blogging about for A to Z Challenge at http://mollyscanopy.com/ Glad I found your blog. It will be interesting to compare notes on our parallel childhoods!

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  5. Loved this post, especially the mental image of your sisters sandwiched in the backseat. That's pretty impressive -- nine people stuffed into one car going to church every week.

    I learned to drive on Grandma's farm and feel like it got me off to a great start. Mostly cars, but a combine now and again.

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  6. What great memories you are sharing for all of us to enjoy! Loved the learning to drive with the kangaroo hops part - I remember the shifting issues while I learned, too :)

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador

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  7. Love the photos and the memories. How did anyone survive without seatbelts? I know some young children that won't get in a car without them!

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  8. The older cars had beautiful lines, much better looking in my view than today's models

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  9. Thanks Hilary, Molly, Siouxsie, Emily, Julie and Anne. I appreciate your comments and now have so many blogs to visit. :)

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  10. Shared this on Facebook. Love the old cars and memories they bring to mind. Take care!

    "Female Scientists Before Our Time"
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  11. A car - what a luxury - it was buses, trams and trains for the Curry family....and we walked to Mass.

    Jill - Blogging the #AtoZChallenge at ballau.blogspot.com

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  12. I love the image of the five sister sardined in the back. It makes my mother's complaints of four kids squeezed into the back of the FJ Holden seem lame. Mind you they were driving from Queensland to Hahndorf. My grandfather was a Lutheran Pastor so money was very tight. They were allowed to share a bottle of soft drink at Talem Bend between the four of them. I've obviously heard that story a few times. xx Rowena

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  13. Hah! Finally confirmed it--I thought you were writing about a childhood in Australia (isn't the international nature of A to Z fun?). I, too, grew up in the era before seatbelts, where my brothers and I bounced around in the back of our VW bus.

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    1. The kangaroo hops in the car - how would one describe them internationally? :)

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    2. Shoot--I know what you are talking about, and at the moment can't think what we called them. Bunny hops? That doesn't sound quite right, but maybe...it'll come to me at 3 a.m.

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    3. I think you are right with bunny hops.

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