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Bob Lind, Published September 22 2009

Lind: Postcard stirs memories of prices past

Ah yes, the fabled old Model T Ford.

Even those too young to remember it know about it.

But did it cost a lot to maintain it?

Well, that’s relative to the economy at the time.

Don Harris of Seattle came upon a postcard that spells it out.

The card was mailed in 1928 by the C.R. Gleason Co., Bottineau, N.D., to Chester Bjorngaard of Maxbass, N.D.

Here’s what the card says:

“Dear Sir:

“We’re writing to you today because we want to help you get your money out of your Model T.

“It’s still as good a car as it was the day the new Model A Ford was announced and there’s no need to sacrifice it.

“The Model T Ford is still used by more people than any other automobile. Eight million are in active service right now and many of them can be driven one, two, three and five years and even longer.

“Bring your car to us and let us look it over. You’ll be surprised to see how little it costs to put it in tip-top shape.

“New fenders, for instance, cost from $3.50 to $5 each, with a labor charge of $1 to $2.50. Tuning up the motor and replacing commutator case, brush and vibrator points costs only $1, with a small charge for material.

“Brake shoes can be installed and emergency brakes equalized for a labor charge of only $1.25.

“A labor charge of $4 to $5 will cover the overhauling of the front axle, rebushing springs and spring perches and straightening, aligning and adjusting wheels.

“The labor charge for overhauling the average rear axle runs from $5.75 to $7. Grinding valves and cleaning carbon can be done for $3 to $4.

“A set of four new pistons and rings cost only $7.

“For a labor charge of $20 to $25 you can have your motor and transmission completely overhauled. Parts are extra.”

Wonder what it would cost to replace a commutator case and vibrator points today.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com