Learning from the best: Mom’s fast-lane driver’s education course – Jim van Orden @Hemmings


Dad taught Mom to drive his Model-T around 1928, and she taught me to drive my 1951 Mercury in 1960. She could shift and drive fast with the best. What a great “driver-ed” instructor. Photos by the author, except where noted.

Remember who taught you how to drive? And the car in which you learned?
Despite freezing cold, I sweated bullets waiting for the light to turn green. Looking in the rearview mirror, the car behind appeared too close for comfort. Would I roll on the steep hill and crush its bumper when I let out the clutch?
Mom, sitting next to me, wasn’t worried.
“Relax and give it some gas,” she suggested. The light turned green, I revved my 1951 Mercury’s flathead, slipped the clutch and pulled away smartly.
“Nice!” she sang with praise. I was proud, too. It was 1960 and this was my first mile of driving. I was so nervous I repeatedly stalled the Mercury. Thanks to Mom, who brimmed with confidence, my nerves calmed with each mile.
“Pull over and let me drive. I want to show you a few things,” she requested.

Categories: 1920's, 1950's, Ford Model T, Hemmings, Model T

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