My friend Spike Bardowski sent me this page from The Saturday Evening Post years ago.
It’s dated January 4, 1941. According to Siri, the automatic transmission was invented in 1921 by Alfred Horner Munro. I don’t know how many other car makers had automatic transmissions in 1941. Our 1949 Plymouth was manual as I recall. I owned a 1951 Austin Healey 3000 way back when. It was an old wreck. But it was manual. My 2002 Ford Ranger is manual. It is also a wreck. Loinfruit had a manual SAAB and now an old Audi, both manual, both wrecks. Personally I dislike shifting gears.
Back in 1964 I owned a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere, automatic. My friend Mike Fick owned a 1957 DeSoto. His car is what I base my comic DeSoto on. They were both wrecks. (By the way, last Thursday Frau Grace crashed my Chrysler. Now it’s a wreck) We always had a hard time starting them. He’d call me, or I’d call him and say “My car won’t start, will yours?” If my Plymouth would start, I’d drive over to his shack and push his
DeSoto up to about 60 mph to push start him, or vice versa. It’s a wonder we both survived.
And speaking further of DeSotos: (By the way, know what really bugs me? I must be the only English speaking person on the face of the planet who knows the difference between further and farther. Further means additional. Farther is a comparative term. Philadelphia is farther away than Baltimore. If you drive to Baltimore, you have to drive a hundred miles further to get to Philadelphia. I’m like Nero Wolfe. I remember reading years ago how he got bugged when someone didn’t know the difference between imply and infer. If you don’t know, look it up. Don’t get me started on the subjunctive case. I am the grammar police.)
The shmoo was a creature created by Al Capp in Li’l Abner.