Re: Lovely image of early auto loading into a CIL gon

Ray Breyer

Actually, this is completely right for trucks, but not for automobiles. Those WERE generally tarped when transported on flats or in gons. There are several wonderful photos of cars shipped this way (Buicks and Fords) in the DL&W company photo collection at Steamtown. Some of the tarps are even branded.

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

From: edb8391@... [STMFC] To: ;
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Lovely image of early auto loading into a CIL gon
Sent: Wed, Jun 11, 2014 3:19:35 AM

Bill Keene pondered:
Very interesting. Hopefully the cars were wrapped after being loaded to protect them from the elements.

Well, most likely no, Bill. 
These were open touring cars, very popular in the post WW I decades.
So all they probably did after loading them was put their tops up. Seat upholstery and inside door coverings were leather. Floor mats were rubber,  over replaceable, wooden floor boards in most of these cars.

Fully enclosed sedans were less common in the years up to the early 1920s They were more expensive as well. Usually the enclosed autos were shipped in box cars. Shipping in box cars was also done for higher-end marques such as Durant, Packard, Lincoln, Cadillac, Chandler, Pullman (an auto maker in York PA, not related to the railroad Pullman Company), Hudson and others into the early 1920s.
So some rain or even snow would not overly harm those open touring cars being loaded by crane into a gondola. They would dry out if they got wet. Any accumulated dirt in or on them was cleaned up at the dealership before delivery to a customer. Any damage found would likewise be repaired by the dealer, before a customer saw their new car. 

New cars were sometimes covered with canvas shrouds when delivered by highway truck in the post WW II years from the late 1940s to early 60s.That was when 'new models' were being introduced with hyped-up secrecy and great fanfare in the Fall before their advertised model year. Once that hoopla was over, the new cars were shipped totally uncovered. Its fairly recent that new cars are now being delivered sheathed in strategically placed protective plastic sheets.

Ed Bommer

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