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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 12, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta JIMM II, THE LCTHSXiDOE HMAIO ft Fraser Hodgson THE POOR OLD DURANT CAR When cars first began to take over transportation there were several names that be- came prominent all at once. Among them was Ford, Mc- Laugb'in, Studebaker, Reo, Dodje Brothers, Hupmobile, and several others you prob- ably remember, and by the end of the roaring twenties there were literally hundreds of different names on radiators and hub caps. The decline set in around 1930, and since then they have all disappeared ex- cept the four or five modern survivors. They all died through financial troubles or amal- gamation with larger more ag- gressive companies. One of these cars that was born late in the twenties, and died a very few years later, was the Duramt. This was really the Star car, and I think was taken over by General Motors, and with a drastic body change had Ourant's name hung on it. I believe it was sort of a mem- orial to the Company's founder. I well remember the old Star and Rugby truck in the twenties, and as vehicles went in thoce days it was considered pretty reliable. But when revamp- ed into a classy glassed-in auto- mobile intended for the com- fort of particular well-off clien- telie, it didn't do so good, and laslcd quick. Discontinued I don't recall exactly just what year the car was discon- tinued, but it was soon after 1930 when I went to work for Gimby and Peterson in Cabri, Sask They had taken over the In- ternational Harvester agency the year before, but didn't want the Durant car franchise that went with it. I started work sometime in July, and Ab Gimby pointed out that I could get along fine with him if I kept his Durant Coupe in good driving shape all the time. He used it for running around the country hunting machine sales, and the roads and trails in 1930 weren't up to much, so it looked like I had a very steady job. About the only car the form- er dealer sold was the oce Gimby bought, and there was still a big sedan left in stock when I started that summer. A few days later a couple of men came from Regina to pick up the year old new car, and drive it back to the main agency. I wont out to the storage room and helped push the dust-covered leftover into the yard, after they pumped up a couple of tires. 0 I was back working at my bench, when I heard a commo- tion outside and somebody yell- ed "FIRE." I looked up and saw flames leaping high from the open hood, and grabbed the Pyrene extinguisher from the wall, and ran out and pumped it on the burning carburetor. About four squirts and the blaze was out, and before I could step back the guy from Regina gave me a big push with, "Leave it atone, let 'er burn." Well it was too late, the fire was out, and though they would have liked to collect the insur- ance they had to drive it away. That's the ociy time I ever got bawled out for saving something from burning down. As I half expected, Ab's car was in the shop about as much it was out. Just little things like a broken gssline, cotter pins falling out of throttle and brake rods, hood latches wouldn't stay hooked, and body work and rattles were continu- ous. The rough roads, ruts, and dust didn't help carefree driv- ing, and tire trouble was ex- pected on every car, but that coupe seemed bound to take every spare minute I had, and a lot of overtime as well. One of Ab's everyday com- plaints was the doors wouldn't shut without damming them almost inside out, and all the hinge bending and shimming I did only lasted a few days. Then I discovered the frame had sagged in the middle, and when I raised the body and shimmed it with a long tapered half-inch strip- of lumber, I cut the door irouoies out. It didn't sag any farther, so there was just the other habi- tual difficulties to contend with, and they seemed to multiply every day. There was a small summer resort across the river about 20 miles north of the Saskat- chewan landing ferry, and Ab Gimby and family often drove that 50 or 60 miles Saturday afternoon and back late Sun- day evening or early Monday morning. It was named Clearwater Lake, but seme referred to it as Mudwater Slough, but it was the only water within a hundred miles except the treacherous Saskatchewan River. A few weeks after I went to work Ab took a weekend off and went to the lake. He didn't get back home till near supper- time Monday evening, with him and family very mad, tired, and their Clothes looked slept-in. The Durant bad burnt out a connecting rod bearing coming up the Landing hill Sunday night. A country garage hauled them in and they slept on cots, the floor, and in the car. A new rod came out from Swift Current by the mailman, and after a tot of fooling around they got it running again. Summer Farm Employment Program MIEUM YMm MJEfTA FMNEM Mil Ewumnrrmomw Farmers benefit by getting the HELP they need! Students benefit by getting the JOBS they need! Young men and women can earn a month, plus room and board, plus holiday pay, plus a chance to work on a farm and find out if ag- riculture is their "bag." And any young Albertan, 16 years and over, may qualify. Farmers can receive a rebate of per month during June, July and August, plus all holiday pay, C.P.P. and U.I.C. contributions for each employee under this program, but each farmer is limited to two employees and must not replace regular farm labor. For more information, apply today to your: District Agriculturist District Youth Representa- tive of the Department of Culture, Youth and Rec- reation or Local Operation Place- ment Officer Sponsored by: The Department of Agricul- ture, Culture, Youth and Recreation, and Manpower and Labour xfccria GOVERNMENT OF ALBERT ;