sam r 1947 plymouth

Schlitz Shifter knob

My older brother and I worked at a used car lot cleaning up cars, the car lot, the office, and running gopher errands. Most of the used cars weren't much to speak of. On the back row was a 1947 Plymouth. Somewhere along the line someone had painted it entirely white, even the chrome bumpers and trim ... with a brush! The only thing not painted white were the windows. On the column gear shifting lever someone had replaced the original knob with a Schlitz Beer knob, the kind you would find on a draft beer lever in a tavern. My brother and I fell in love with this car. It was the Schlitz Beer gear knob that sold us. I didn't have a driver license yet, but my brother did. Though the ink on it was hardly dry. The owner wouldn't sell it to us on credit. He wanted 50 dollars. What he did do was promise he wouldn't sell it (as if someone was actually gonna buy it), and let us work and pay it off weekly. After we had paid it off. He let my brother have the keys and title! We were mo-bile!

The interior was shot. Our Mom gave us a couple of old blankets to spread over the seats.

I can not begin to tell anyone how much 'we' (I got my license a couple months later) drove that old car. We use as much oil as we did gas, probably more. It was our (my) first car. It isn't a very original name, but we called it The White Elephant!

After many adventures, evenings at the drive-in movies, dates, and errands ran for Mom. It gave up the ghost. The junk man came and hauled it off. He gave us the usual junk car price, twenty dollars. Ha Ha! He did not get the Schlitz Beer knob. My older brother is now 72 years old, and he still has that Schlitz Beer knob!

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