Lost to the passage of time for many, other than pre-war car enthusiasts, is the fact that up until the early-1930s as much as twenty-five percent of the content of many automobiles was comprised of wood. The interesting pair of videos presented here, show three of a series of four films that were produced in 1929. In them, the construction of the wooden-frame Packard-made body was covered from start to finish.
Part I above, covers the harvesting and transport of logs from the woods of Northern Michigan, and includes a 1929 Packard Sedan and a Model AA Ford Truck. You can find Part II here filmed at a sawmill, covering the processing of log-length timber into kiln-dried dimensional lumber. Below in Part III, the entire process of turning the lumber into a complete wooden-framework can be seen at the Packard factory in Detroit. Part IV covering the forming and installation of the sheet metal appears to have been lost to time.
Special Delivery model at the Stanley Hardware Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio
The American Austin Bantam was a hit from the moment the first one left the assembly line. The body design for the little car was by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky for the Hayes Body Corporation, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As Robert D. Cunningham has stated in our earlier history of the car: “The Hayes designs captured the hearts and emotions of people who loved puppies, kittens and babies.
Full details of the little car, “Automotive Industries”, June 28, 1930
The cute little car should have been a runaway success, but it was the victim of bad timing. The company’s stock went public just nineteen days before “Black Tuesday” the day stock market crashed in 1929. You can learn the complete and interesting story behind the development and production of the little car in the four-part American Austin Bantam Storyhere on The Old Motor. Photo courtesy of the Benjamin Ames Photo Collection.
Mirak Chevrolet OK Used Cars, Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center
There aren’t many car dealers that can say they have been run by continually by the same family for seventy-eight years, but that’s precisely the case at the business shown in our photo today. After being orphaned in his native Armenia at the age of thirteen, John Mirak emigrated to the U.S. in 1920 and learned auto repair on the job. By 1932, he had saved enough money to open the Arlington Center Garage and Service Corporation with a few partners.
He began his long career as an independent businessman in 1936 after acquiring a Chevrolet franchise. A move to 1125 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Heights came in 1982, a location where they continue to do business today, almost eight decades after the company was founded. The rest of this series can be found here. You can find more photos and stories about garages and car dealers on The Old Motor. Photo by Nishan Bichajian courtesy of the MIT Libraries.