My First Car: 1949 Dodge Cornet


’49 Dodge Cornet

That’s me in 1965 proud as a peacock with my first car, a 1949 Dodge Cornet. The only engine available on this model was a 230-cubic-inch flat-head six-cylinder. The most notable feature was a three-speed fluid drive transmission that was operated by a foot pedal. It required no shifting but still had a steering column shift lever as a standard shift would have had. However, at first I would still use the clutch pedal and shift through the gears. If you left the clutch out too far on a fluid drive, it would not stall the engine or buck, as a regular shift transmission would have. This is how I learned to drive standard shift without being embarrassed by stalling the engine. This was also my high school girlfriend’s first car. After graduation, she went to Airline School in Hartford, Conn., and I bought the car. After 49 years, I regretfully no longer own the ’49 Dodge, but I proudly still have my high school sweetheart. We will be celebrating 50 years of wonderful married life together in 2015.

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