Friday

The Golden Age of Automobiles Still Exists

1935 Ford Tudor, Photo by Tom Nollan at 2012 GEAA Reunion
There was a time when more than 100 different companies were building cars in the US, many in relatively small cities and towns. The cars they made in the early part of the automobile's history were an eclectic mix of the practical, the sporty, the ordinary and the works of art.

They came in at all price ranges. And those that are still around? Well, they are still coming in at all price ranges.

Each generation seems to favor its own definition of what was the Golden Age of auto manufacturing in America's production history. Many think it's the styling of the 20's or the pragmatic depression-era 1930's. Others fell in love with the body styles of the 50's that ended with the space-age fin look that creeped into the early 1960's too. And the muscle cars of the late 1960's have their own fan clubs too. But then there are the early years. The years before World War II. Maybe it's because of nostalgia or the love of a simpler time and life. Maybe it's because the cars then just looked so darned good and were simpler machines and a thrill to ride because they were not so universally common in American society. The reason doesn't matter. The cars do. And the people who love them. I had forgotten how beautiful the cars were, until my older brother, Larry, reminded me with a link to GEAA.

Largely unknown except for those who love what they do, the Golden Age of Automobiles is still celebrated by devotees nationwide, many of whom are members of a unique group dedicated to this Golden Era, which is probably why they call themselves members of the Golden Era Automobile Association. They celebrate the unique vehicles built between 1915 and 1942.

Rows of GEAA Cars at 2012 Picnic, Photo by Tom Nollan
The GEAA members are not just car people. The vehicles they celebrate include the light trucks and sportscars that ran alongside the average man's car in the first half of the Twentieth Century, a time that many look back on as the best of the automobile manufacturers' years.

Take a look at their 2012 "reunion" picnic photos, courtesy of Tom Nollan, at their website and you'll see many of the unique cars that once were common on America's roadways and many of the GEAA members who look back on the time when 35 mph was an ordinary, routine speed.

These are marvelous cars and people. And they come from a marvelous time in the history of automobile manufacturing.

And there's not a lemon among them.

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