I was 12 years old in 1935. That was the year I bought a 1926 Ford Model T for $10.
I did not need a driver's license or car insurance. I bought it from a painter who built a box behind the only car seat. Because of the paint box, the license bureau reclassified the car as a truck.
The price of gas was 9 cents a gallon in 1939, the year I drove the car to the junkyard in Ferrysburg and sold it for $10.
The first Spring Lake police officer was Dick Livingston. There was a speed limit in Spring Lake, but since my car did not have a speedometer, I could only guess at the speed. Occasionally, Officer Livingston would pull me over for speeding through town. Each time he pulled me over, he would ask if I knew how fast I was going. My reply was always, “I don’t know.”
He never issued me a ticket, but often mentioned that I really should get a driver's license some day!
During those years, I also occasionally drove my grandfather's 1927 cattle-truck in Muskegon, which was quite an adventure with a load of cattle and mechanical brakes known for failing after a long trip.
In 1939, I bought a 1930 Ford Model A for $22.50. My brother drove it while I was fighting in Europe during World War II. After returning from service, I sold it for $200.
I am now 89 with only one good eye, so I voluntarily gave up driving. What a very different world we now live in, contrasted with those days.
— Robert Boven, Spring Lake