QOTD: Got Any Relics Of Your Early Cars?

I had to charge the dead battery on my riding mower today, so I grabbed a very familiar device. And then I remembered that I had bought it for my very first car, a 1963 Corvair Monza. My brother had given it to me in the fall of 1972, when he went off to a stint at Thule AFB as a contractor. By the time the cold Iowa winter of those pre-climate-change days set in, I didn’t use the Corvair very often, as I lived close to downtown. But when I did need it, the battery had gone dead. And it would keep going soft, as there was obviously some continuous drain on it. So I bought this battery charger. And I still have it today. And has it ever been used a lot over the decades.

It has no automatic features, so one has to remember to take it off after some hours, depending on the size of the battery. But it’s still humming away. And I found a couple of other relics for cars #2 and #3.

In 1973, I bought my first VW Beetle; a ’64. Since I was a free spirit and hit the road with all my worldly possessions rather frequently, I bought a factory roof rack, which was a sturdy galvanized thing. Keeping all my things from flying off was a challenge, but then I saw this roof rack bungee-web in the JCWhitney catalog, and ordered it. It’s from France no less, which makes some sense. And it worked great.

I’d just keep tossing stuff up there, and when it was a big pile, I’d throw this over and hook it to the four edge rails of the rack. It’s very flexible (well, it was anyway), so it would cover quite a load.

My Peugeot 404 wagon had a great big factory roof rack, and I used it on it too. Haven’t used it since, but it’s still in my bungee cord bin, just in case.

This is a brake adjusting tool for my Peugeot 404s. As is obvious, it’s pretty necessary unless one happens to have a similar shaped tool to stick into the backing plate of a 404 drum brake. Like so many things on the Peugeots, their adjustment provision was a bit of brilliant engineering, as one just inserted it into the hole and turned it. Much easier than the typical drum brake adjusters, which can be a bit of a pain.

I bought it at the Peugeot dealer in Santa Monica, and have kept it for…just in case. I ground down the polished end of it for some other purpose that I have long forgotten.

Got any relics from your early cars?