October 28, 2013

Vintage car a part of the family

We’ve had a beautiful streak of autumn weather this October, especially during leaf-peeping season. So on one of those crisp, sunny days when the colors seemed so vibrant that they popped against the brilliant blue sky, I decided to set up a flea market table at one of the scenic roadside stops along Route 9N just outside of Keene Valley.

Knowing that my vintage car would attract attention and hopefully be good for business, I loaded her up with boxes of antiques and collectibles and set off to make a little extra spending money for an upcoming trip to Cape Cod.

Now my car isn’t just any old vintage car — she is a beloved family member with a personality all her own — and she has been in my family longer than I have. Her story begins back in Lyndonville, Vt., in the year 1954 when my 65-year-old widowed great-grandmother, Mayvelle Eaton, decided she needed a car “to go to the post office and store, so to be a little independent.”

There is no doubt that she was well-advised in her choice of vehicle. That year Dodge was celebrating its 40th anniversary with a trio of new model automobiles: the Royal, the Cornet and the Meadowbrook. The most conservative of the fleet — the two-tone green Meadowbrook — was priced at just under $2,000. On April 28, 1954, Great Grammie made her way to CH Goss Co. in St. Johnsbury, Vt., and took possession of her brand new car, which she named “Miss Dodge.”

Now Miss Dodge wasn’t the proverbial little old-lady car that was just driven back and forth to church on Sunday, but rather she went on wonderful trips through the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Every summer, Great Grammie would drive to Maine, collect her seven grandchildren and bring them back to Vermont for a visit.

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