Mt. Pulaski Vonderlieth Living center Vintage Car Day
October 22, 2012, Story BY Phil Bertoni, Slideshow By Mike Fak and Phil Bertoni, Four vintage cars, a vintage truck and a neo-classic Lincoln look-alike brought back memories for many on-lookers at the Mt. Pulaski Vonderlieth Vintage Car Day. One Vonderlieth-cottage resident, 97 year-old Ruth Crenshaw, happened on the scene and remarked: “Gosh, my father used to sell those Dodge Brothers’ cars back in Indianapolis when I was growing up”. Ruth was referring to that 1937 Dodge Brothers sedan that Tony Soloman of Lincoln drove over for the afternoon’s display. The slideshow is presented by Idle Hour.
Tony remarked, “hey, look at the emblem – what do you see?” And there it was, the Star of David in the background – discontinued in 1938, as it was suspected that this Jewish symbol would not be well accepted on cars marketed in Europe at that time. Upon research, this symbol was more simply an interlocking of two Greek Delta letters –aptly describing the two closely associated non-Jewish Dodge brothers who evidently were not aware of the Jewish Star of David symbol.
Ten years before, in 1928, Chrysler had bought rights to make the cars from the Dodge Brothers. The extremely mechanically-inclined Dodge brothers originally started as a parts-supplier for the Ford Motor Company in 1901, then broke away in 1914 to begin manufacture of their own line of vehicles in the following year (1915). The Dodge Brothers gave Henry Ford a “run for his money” with improved design of the chassis, engine and various other mechanical parts.
Next to the Dodge was a 1963 Nash Rambler bought in by owner Elmer Snyder of Lincoln. One like this American Motors’ car had been “proudly owned” by Earl Phillips (93), remarked the Vonderlieth resident upon gazing upon this beauty, “dad passed it on down to me and I enjoyed driving it”. One on-looker asked Earl if he enjoyed taking his girl friends on dates in the car and he answered, “sure did”. Another asked him: “how was the back seat”, to which Earl seemed to give up a smile.
Next to the Nash was parked a flathead 6-cylinder D100 1958 Dodge pick-up. Owners Aaron and Sally Little of Lawndale announced proudly that they their eye-popping Matilda had been painted with Snergy Green and Cool Vanilla. Aaron remarked that Dodge only displayed the “6” or “8” chrome numerals on their 1958 trucks – never to do it again.
The fourth vehicle in line was a Zimmer, a neo-classic brought in from Springfield so that its Vonderlieth-resident owner could have a good look at her lovely car. Even the vintage car owners were intrigued, one remarking: “it looks like an old Lincoln”. The Zimmer neo-classic Motorcars Corporation was founded in 1978 by Paul Zimmer and was very prosperous in the early going. The sales faltered after the owner and his brother passed on and was eventually bought in 1996 by Art Zimmer (no relation) who had become aware that this manufacturing company shared his surname.
This Zimmer Golden Spirit two-door sports coupe is built on a Ford/Mustang chassis with a Ford Mustang engine, which allows the company to use the legal certification of the Town Car and Mustang, cleverly averting the need for crash and emissions testing. In addition, the Zimmer can be serviced at any Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealer. Zimmers are manufactured "on order" and sold through an international distribution network. The driver revealed that there is 24 caret gold in the golden-eagle hood ornament and in the emblems on the wheel hubs and three spare-tire wells .
Two Ford Model T’s Touring cars were on exhibit – a 1918 owned for many years by the Ed Oglesby family and a 1915 owned by Fred Lipp III – both of Mt. Pulaski. The brass tag on the Lipp car reads: “This car was purchased in Mt. Pulaski, ILL. by A. F. Lipp at a price of $515, including accessories. A refund of $50 was received from the Ford Motor Co. for meeting a sales quota. It was in general use until 1939. This car has been driven by 4 (now five) generations of the Lipp family." These early Model T’s 3-door touring cars did not have a door on the driver’s side, as the gear shift was in the way – Henry obviously did not want to be liable for impaling the driver! Fred provided rides to some of the willing residents of Vonderlieth: Mel & Shirley Singley and Earl Phillips.