The Curwin sisters lived in a big home on the east side of highway 8, just outside Goderich. I believe these two maidens were named Minnie and Maude. They shared ownership of a 1927 Essex Super Six Sedan and had it serviced by Gordon Bannister Garage on Picton Street. As we had two barns on that street I would often wander up to look at the car because not only was it now an antique but was in remarkable condition.
One of the sisters passed away. I believe it was in 1958. The car was put up for sale and I immediately bought it.
The wood spoke wheels had been painted the body colour, a medium grey, and I wanted the natural wood look. I put the car up on a hoist an started sanding away at them, and what a job that was. An old timer came by and said to me, “ Get a broken piece of glass, and use that to peel off the paint.” I did, sanded the wood smooth, put on a good coat of varnish and shellac and the wheels looked great.
I decided to get rid of the grey paint and had a local body shop do an excellent paint job on the car.
Now I needed to do the chrome. I had the radiator shell done, both bumpers, both park lamps, all the door handles and the headlight bezels. This cost me a whopping $106.00! I then put 4 new 525X20 tires on it. The car had a beautiful grey and green checked interior that looked like new but then again, the car only had 22,000 miles on it. The surviving sister told me that they took it to the Fall Fair in Stratford sometime in the 1930’s, but other than that it was only used to come into town.
It’s now the summer of 1959 and I was going to get married the next year so I advertised the car for sale in Motor Trend magazine which is where you had to go to advertise an old car nationwide in those days.
I got a long letter on August 27, 1959 from a Walter K. Gross of Baltimore Maryland interested in the car. I still have all the correspondence.
I told him all about the car and how to get here if he wanted to see it and that I wanted $600.00 for it. He replied on September 15, 1979 saying he was 700 miles away, that he would have 8.5% duty to pay and this made the deal impossible for him and that he was withdrawing his interest.
I did sell the car before my marriage but sure wish now that I had kept it.
The Essex car was a moderately priced car built by the Hudson Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan from 1918-1932.
It was built to compete against Ford and Chevrolet and was quite successful. By 1929 it was third in sales. The 1927 Super Six Sedan like the on in my story cost $960.00 Canadian.
The car was very low geared; I think it would haul the world if there was a place to hitch onto, even at 50 mph the engine was roaring.
Locally, the agent for Essex Car Sales was L. J. Baker, owner of The Goderich Inn Garage on Hamilton Street.