The Dodge when she was new

Mom surprised me with something special when I was at my parent’s house yesterday – it’s a picture of the 1947 Dodge from way back when my Great Uncle Elmer owned her (*see note below on the Dodge’s history). The picture was taken, most likely, in 1949. The Dodge is bright and shiny and my Mom’s Cousin Renny is sitting behind the wheel with a big smile on his face.

1947 Dodge (New)

On the back of the picture someone (maybe my Great Aunt Harriet?) wrote:

our 47 dodge
Renny sitting in it

It’s so cool to see what the Dodge looked like back in the day when she was almost brand new!

The thing that jumps out at me the most about the picture are the wonderful tires with white sidewalls. When I showed the picture to my brother, Joel, he was excited to see that the Dodge had fog lights. We weren’t sure if the fog lights were original or added on later by my Grandpa. Now we know that they were in place back when Uncle Elmer owned the car.

How did we get this fabulous picture? Well, according to Mom: Aunt Harriet is 101 years old now and lives in a nursing home (Uncle Elmer passed away some time ago). Her daughter, my mom’s Cousin Joanne, has been going through Elmer and Hariett’s things. Joanne gave a box of Elmer and Harriet’s old pictures to my Uncle Marvin. I believe Joanne passed on the Dodge picture with the intent that we get it. Marvin passed off the box of pictures to Mom knowing the Dodge picture was in the box and Mom gave the Dodge picture to me.

It’s kind of a miracle this picture has been around since 1949 and it’s really a treat that it found its way to us!


*Note on the Dodge’s history: I can’t remember if I’ve actually spelled out the Dodge’s history in a past blog post or not so I will give a little background now. According to the stories I’ve been told, My Great Uncle Elmer bought the Dodge in 1949 and later suggested that his brother (my Grandpa Howard) buy the Dodge from him. Our Grandpa Howard bought the Dodge from Uncle Elmer when the car was about 10 years old.  We know that Uncle Elmer’s son, Renny, drove the Dodge a few times when he was younger he told us this at my parent’s 50th anniversary party just over a year ago. We know that Grandpa owned the Dodge up until his death. At that time, my Uncle Marvin took ownership and owned the Dodge for about 19 years  then my Uncle Marvin

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

A Page of Dodge Pictures

Not much is happening with the 1947 Dodge these days. I’ve been working mornings and can’t easily get over to Joel’s to help him work on Josephine. Add to that, there’s that little problem of needing extra cash to move ahead with the Dodge project – and neither Joel nor I have had much extra cash as of late. Oh well. We’ll keep working on Josephine as we can!

Over this last year (can you believe we started this wonderful 1947 Dodge project over a year ago already?), there has been a lot of interest in our Dodge project.  I have found myself talking about our Dodge project with all sorts of people – people at the coffee shop, at car shows, at the grocery store. I’ve met all sorts of great people and have heard their car stories in this past year and have shared our stories of Josephine. It’s been great fun!

It seems that almost everyone loves old cars and Joel and I are more than happy to share stories and show pictures of Josephine with anyone who will listen. So in this past year I’ve found myself visiting our 1947 Dodge Blog website fairly often with the intent of showing a certain picture of the Dodge to a car lover – but I’ve discovered I can’t quickly find the picture I’m looking for.  Well guess what? I I created a gallery of Dodge pictures on our new Pictures page so now many great pictures of Josephine are easy to find.

To view the gallery, just click on the Pictures tab at the top of this page. It’s way up top on the right.

You can also click HERE

Can’t bother with clicking right now? Well, here’s a nice picture of Josephine for you to look at right now 🙂

The Dodge in its new home

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | 2 Comments

Another Treasure from Grandpa’s Farm

Last week my son, Ryan, got to hang out at Grandpa’s old farm with my parents for the day and managed to find another treasure from Grandpa’s Farm – Grandpa’s old 1980 Honda Express moped.

Along with having old cars like our 1947 Dodge, Grandpa was always a motorcycle lover and had many motorcycles over the years. In his later years, Grandpa bought a moped that he could use for quick trips to town.

Ryan has been excited about all things motorized lately and especially keen on getting a minibike or moped. He had a chance to drive a neighbor’s minibike a year ago and has been talking about buying one ever since. He’s been saving his money and checking out Craigslist for a moped, minibike or go-cart to drive (basically, he’s been looking for any sort of motorized vehicle to own) but hasn’t found something he can afford to buy.

Ryan knew Grandpa’s old moped was tucked away in a shed at the farm. It hadn’t really run in years but Ryan has had it in his head that he could get it going again. Ryan must be a bit of a charmer because after spending one day at the farm, he had talked my parents into letting him take the moped back to our place to see if we could get it going again.

So, last Wednesday evening we found ourselves loading an old moped in the back of my minivan. Ryan sat next to the moped the whole way home and couldn’t have looked happier.

Ryan with Moped

The following day I found Ryan sitting on the moped in our hangar with a big smile on his face making “vroooom, vrooom” noises. He had already washed the moped at the farm but I gave him a toothbrush and some rags and got him going on cleaning tiny areas of the moped. Later in the day, I found Ryan was texting my little brother, Joel, and talking to him about what he felt he needed to do to get the moped running again. Joel was sounding as excited about the moped as Ryan, so I invited Joel and his son, Liam, over to check things out.


Within a couple of hours, Joel, Owen and Ryan had the old moped running once again! Then it was time to test drive it. Joel rode it first. Then he checked Ryan out on how to drive it – he sure looked happy! I even had a chance to take it for a cruise.

Joel & Ryan w/moped

At the moment, “Howard the Honda” (my name for the moped – Howard was my Grandpa’s name) kicks out quite a bit of blue smoke but it’s running a-ok. Seems like the more Ryan drives the moped around, the better it runs so I guess we’d better make sure Ryan gets out on it often.

Howard the Honda

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Josephine in the Snow – 1979 or so

I was at my parent’s house the other day and stumbled upon a picture of the 1947 Dodge in Mom and Dad’s office. It’s fun to see Josephine making cameo appearances in old family photos (like she did in this pic from 1962) – and here she is again sitting quietly in the background while my big brother, Don, and I pose for a picture in the snow. The picture was taken at Grandpa and Grandma Anderson’s house in about 1979, about a year before Joel was born. I would have been almost 12 years old, the same age my son, Ryan, is now. I’m betting Mom took the picture simply to show how much snow we had that winter but here we are 35 years later all excited to see the Dodge in a picture and getting all nostalgic for days gone by.

Snow Dodge - 1979?

Grandpa’s farm was full of cars, tractors and farm equipment. Most of the cars and tractors worked but some just sat there in the yard or pasture. Donnie and I would play on them. We’d climb onto tractor seats or into cars and pretend we were driving. I mostly remember playing in old “Herbie”, a VW Bug Grandpa used as a parts car for his running Bug. Then there was Wanda, the one ton Dodge from my Mom’s childhood that I blogged about some time ago. I have a lot of good memories of running around and playing on the farm and it’s so fun to see my kids and nephew, Liam, do the same when they visit the farm. iPads, cell phones and computers are quickly forgotten when the kids get outside and start running around…

Can anyone ID the make and model of the car I’m standing on? I remember the car but sure can’t remember the make and model. Donnie, do you know? And can you identify the tractors in the background?

The picture is a bit of a time warp when it comes to fashion. You’ve gotta dig Donnie’s big framed glasses. Our cool hats stocking caps were one of a kind creations knit on a knitting machine (they were pretty new on the scene back in the 70s, I believe) by family friend, Joan Swanson. I remember liking my yellow coat and my cool boots.

As for the latest on the Dodge – well, it’s not really running. We were hoping to drive it to Back to the 50s this coming weekend but that’s not going to happen. Oh well. There’s always next year.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Good news, everyone!


Good news everyone!

So, here we are.  Literally six months after my last exciting and promising story.  I’ll officially classify that as a bummer.


Back in January we experienced some pretty intense lows and the dodge decided that after it hit -18 degrees that it was done.  Just done.  I then experienced what I can best describe as the worst case of Seasonal Affective Disorder I’ve ever experienced.(also I’m not exactly sure its a thing as much as just “it’s dark and cold all the time and I’m bummed out”)  So finally it got warmer and I was ready to get the dodge started again.  But it didn’t, and then I moved on.

Months passed. 

I would hook the car on the charger, charge the battery, turn it over, and walk away.  Each time making virtually zero progress and losing more hope, and more importantly losing interest.

Finally I got some time off of work, the temperatures increased and I set two goals for myself.  Get the Dodge started and fix a recently cracked sidewalk.

I charged the battery once again, turned it over, added gas, turned over again, added starting fluid and finally got the car started again.  But boy, it was running BAD.  I said to myself ‘these unknown aged spark plug wires need to go.” So off to the parts store I went, and purchased a generic cut your own spark plug wire set.  This is a new concept to me, I’ve never cut plug wires before, how do I even know if I cut them or crimp them correctly.  Who knows!  Lets give this a go.


fresh new amazing spark plug wires. but will they blend?

Car started again, this time worse. But hey! Started!  I then proceed to call the parts store up again and special order a new distributor cap, they say it’ll be there on Monday.


Oh yeah, my car has a habit of being a Frankenstein.  The distributor never arrived(they had no records of it being ordered either, which was mysterious) but when I said “well, lets order it since I’m here” they say “there are four available, which brand distributor do you have”  … … I give up.

A month or so later

I just can’t stand looking at this poor girl every day and not doing something about it.  So I buy a new battery charger(deciding that my father’s loaner is just not up to the task anymore)  I plug it into one of the two batteries I have and it pops up a message (reversed polarity)  WHAT?  I plug the charger into the other battery, charge it for 10 hours and it reads 6.85 volts(that’s more than enough for a six volt car, right?)  Nope.  I now own two completely useless six volt batteries.


I finally venture back to the parts store with a battery and say ‘I think this is broken, it won’t take a charge’  They test it, they agree that it is garbage and immediately swap my battery for a brand new one, free of charge.

Liam and I return home and enjoy some Popeye’s Chicken.  Which I should note was quite delicious.  But I don’t want to build up my excitement for a new battery too much, so I take my time.

Finally, I wire the new battery up and the darn car turns over like a champ.  It even starts.  The doggone thing finally started again.

But it is running bad.  Really bad.  Seems that a lot of the little things I’ve done to tweak the car in the last six months have just taken it back two steps.

After a little more fussing and feuding I actually have it up and idling.  The idle is rough as nails and somebody is going to have to come over and flip that magic switch that puts her back in her place.  But either way I’m past my winter blues and I’m ready to start updating again.


I like how the winter made this brand new water pump look right at home, the patina was free of charge.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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