This is the earliest picture I have of the
Yellow Dragon, taken about 1957.
We called it The Yellow Dragon because Dad painted it a flashy yellow-orange color and because it was indestructible.
We drove that jeep everywhere.
One time, like a lot of people, we went out to Coral Bay for the Labor Day celebrations. When it was time to leave we started up the road out of Coral Bay which is a long, continuous incline that rises from sea level to 1100 feet at Mamey Peak. We didn't get very far before the Yellow Dragon began to sputter and choke and eventually stalled out. We knew we had enough gas so after coasting down hill Dad tried again. The beast started right up and off we went. Again the engine sputtered and died. Several time we made the attempt but each time we stalled out. In the process, however, we discovered if the engine was pointed down hill it started and everything was fine. It was only if the engine was pointing up hill that it coughed and choked.
Something was obviously wrong with the fuel line. To solve the problem Dad decided to back up hill. This helped push fuel from the gas tank (under the driver's seat) into the engine. All the way out of Coral Bay and up every hill we came to, he backed up the jeep. Whenever we came to a level place or a down hill stretch, he turned the jeep around. It was long, hard way to drive the jeep, craning his neck over his shoulder. And the roads were dirt and rutted back then. Dad, being an ace mechanic (among other things) took the fuel system apart. Finally he found the cause of the blockage after he blew out all the lines. It was a cockroach! How it got in tank and made its way through the lines is mystery.
|Dad on the Allstate at the end of a long hard day of work.|
When the road out to East End was finally bulldozed through, we decided to make a day of it. Dad led the way on his Sears Allstate motorcycle and Mom drove the Dragon. Erva and I hung on! Ours were the first vehicles over the new road.
Here's a video of what some of the road looks like today. Just imagine was it was like some 50 years ago, freshly bulldozed. What a roller coaster!
Next Monday, a more adventures with The Yellow Dragon.
Do you name your cars? As a kid, did your family car have a name? Any family-car memories?