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Yesterday's cars used different oil types
A couple of years ago a good friend and close neighbor was the proud owner of a brown 1938 Chysler Royal Coupe in original condition. He was so kind to display this classic vehicle and others in his collection at the grand opening and neighborhood get-together Polly and I gave the previous year of the replicia of our early filling station and museum. It was a lot of fun and allowed Polly and I to become acquainted with some of the neighbors.

People always remember the old gasoline pumps, especially the hand-pumped glass visible type. In my collection I have but one of these.

This fellow, Dennis Putnam, is a generation apart in age from Polly and I and had worked for the telephone company for many years with lots of experience in that field. He had15 older vehicles in his garage at home and put in newer components so as to travel the highways at today's higher speeds. He had 15 such projects in different stages of progress.

This old Chrysler was "new" to him. He didn't have any experience in making old cars into newer cars to do what the newer ones will do. He did not intend on destroy the originality of this 64-year-old car. Also because of his age he did not know a few of the things about cars from the 1930s and 1940s. That's where I came in with my experience in the service stations in that time period.

So, at dusk one night Dennis called me and asked certain questions about this car as he was changing the motor oil and he couldn't find the oil filter. He asked what to do with the old style oil bath air filter and what went into it. Boy, this was right down my alley, and allowed me to relive those thrilling days of yesteryear and my youth in a service station. I was honored that he would ask an old fool like me! I decided that he was in trouble and I better go over there, a few blocks away. He asked many things about the old cars of that period and for a time the generations blended together in a common cause and purpose. I explained the various greases used in those days, about 10 or 12. Today only one multi-purpose grease is used and it probably does a better job than the old cup grease, water pump grease, universal joint grease, wheel bearing grease, hypoid grease, chassis grease, transmission grease, door jamb grease stick, differential grease and EP gear oil.

With proper care and frequent oil changes, using the improved oils of this day this old car should hum along todays highways and in parades to be seen and enjoyed by our great, great, grandchildren and their kids, too!

As an added note, we couldn't find the oil filter because this model, the Royal, didn't come with one!

Drive carefully.

Bill Noble may be reached via email at