1. The large Ford flat bed truck you have viewed from the front is a 1949, given to Michael [Rubel] by his former tenant Glen Speer, builder of Mongoose Junction, a shopping center hand-built from stone (where did he get the idea?) in the Virgin Islands.
It's possible some of these have seen their last active days.
2. These are the 1924 International and 1924 Chevy flatbed trucks. Although they are rusting away, they were used in our field trips to collect stones for the Castle, and the last time they were run was in the 1987 Glendora centennial parade.
...passenger side. All three are views of the same truck.
3. These three pictures are of the 1925 Chevy one-ton flatbed.
4. The 1932 Ford Tudor is the first year V8 was made. Even though we had a bulletproof Mercedes, this Ford was more commonly used for our evening car when we were being spiffy. (The Studebaker was strictly for the best occasions.) I always like to mention that the Tudor was a gift to Michael from Edson Rorabeck, who was a beau of my grandmother's [Dorothy Deuel Rubel].
5. The Cletrac I cannot provide an accurate date. Giving a round number I usually say it's a 1918. Cletrac was made by the Cleveland Tractor Co. The last time all these tractors were put to much use was during the 1969 floods.
A couple of the cars were locked in a special shed. This is the grille of the car below.
6. The car with the "9" in front of the grill is a a six-cylinder 1929 GJ model. Only 1,200 were made that year. The "9" is supposed to be a "6", but my uncle [Michael Rubel], when he wasn't exaggerating numbers, at least would get things upside-down when he worked on things.
This is the interior of the "bullet-proof Mercedes." I don't know why anybody at Rubel Castle needed a bullet-proof car, but I can tell you the doors are damned heavy.
7. The bulletproof Mercedes is a 1957 model. It was a parade car for dignitaries. Charles De Gaulle rode in it for one parade, allegedly. It had a telephone in it which worked back then by radio. When my uncle and I drove it around in the 60s, he would pick up the telephone and pretend to talk on it whenever someone was watching. In the days before mobile phones this performance was a head-turner.
Michael would pick these cars and trucks up for nearly nothing during the 1950s. People were prospering after WWII, and during the 50s these old vehicles began to sit around in the Glendora ranches because they were being replaced by new vehicles. They were so easy to come by, just for the asking, that young teenage Michael had no way of valuing them. Some vehicles he didn’t manage to keep for a day because of his mistreatment of them. He was a superb mechanic at a very early age and could get an old truck or tractor running after it had been rusting for ten years in a field, then speed off through the orange groves until they would meet their end.
Thank you, Scott! And believe it or not, there's more to come. We haven't talked about the artists yet.