Lloyd Davis’s Antique Car in 1953 was a 1925 Davis, one of 692 made that year in Richmond, Indiana.
Lloyd is pictured above, not because of his car, but because he is one of the 29 Charter Members of the VAE.
The VAE began 70 years ago, in 1953, with these 29 Members.
Bradford Benson, Hyde Park
C.M Broadwell, Morrisville
John Cummings, Essex Jct.
Lloyd Davis, Middlebury
Ruie DuBois, Rutland
William Egger, Essex Jct.
F.W, Fredette, Barre
Rodney Galbraith, Essex Jct.
Kenneth Gypson, Essex Jct.
Clifton Havens, Burlington
Robert Jones, Morrisville
Walter Jones, Morrisville
Dale Lake, Ripton
Charles McNally, Katonah, NY.
David Otis, Burlington
Peverill Peake, Bristol
Roderick Rice, Burlington
Al Romano, Rutland
Edward Rotax, Ferrisburg
Robert Russel, Underhill Ctr.
P.A. Ryder, Wolcott
Steve Scott, Burlington
Kenneth Squier, Waterbury
Bert Sweetland, East Hardwick
Robert Sweetland, East Hardwick
Ronald Terrill, Morrisville
I mentioned Lloyd Davis’s antique auto that he had in 1953, on the front page. He still has it! Like all of us, once we get our hands on an old car, we do not let go. I sat down with Lloyd recently and was able to get a little of his history, I hope I took good notes, Lloyd.
He used his GI Bill for college when he got out of the Army in 1954 and graduated from UVM with a degree in Ag Economics. The “old car” fever might have begun at UVM when he became friends with people by the name of Pevy and Hockeye, to name just two.
He was drafted in the Fall of 1950 when Korea started heating up, but luckily he never left the states. He was assigned to the 980th 1st Engineer Army Battalion, Company B, at an ammo depot in Virginia called Camp Pickett. He was trained as a plumber, an electrician, low pressure boilerman, plus a number of other skills and became an Army Utility Repairman. The jobs he had could fill all the pages of this publication.
The one job that is the most memorable for him was being a part of building a movie set on the Army base for the 1953 movie “Battle Circus”. The movie was about a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit that later was used to base the weekly TV series. The movie stars were Humphrey Bogart, June Allyson, Keenan Wynn and Robert Keith, all of whom Lloyd met while the movie was being made.
Lloyd and a couple of GI friends were actually in the movie… well “in” meaning involved. There was a scene where a jeep had crashed and while on its side, you can see a front tire still spinning. Lloyd and his pals were assigned to pull a long piece of clothesline, off camera, to make that tire go around. I have found the movie online and when I finish this column, I plan on finding that spinning jeep tire.
As mentioned, Lloyd went to UVM after being discharged, and after college, spent much of his career working for Eastern States Co-op and The Agway Corporation. He was born and brought up in the Rutland area where he still resides. Like many of us VAEers, his love for old cars has lead him to many adventures over the years and he has met and become friends with an amazing group of people.
One brand of automobile in Lloyd’s garage is the air-cooled Franklin. Lloyd is the ‘go to’ person for those first-time Franklin owners, and for those of us who have had Franklins for a while. He was the librarian for the H.H. Franklin Club for many years. Beside his knack for details and extensive personal library, I am sure those years as librarian also helped in his knowledge of the car.
Lloyd went through the VAE’s 4-year process of being 2nd Vice, then 1st Vice, President and Chair. It appears from our history books that this happened twice as he was president in 1958 and again in 1971. We all try to do our part for our club and Lloyd has certainly done his.
I need to get one more thing into print so it will never get lost. I stopped at Lloyd’s home one afternoon unannounced and found him repairing shingles on the roof of his two story home. This was not too long ago. I reminded him how far the fall could be, but he didn’t seem concerned. I often ask, when we talk, if he has been on the roof lately and a couple of years ago he told me his southern roof was a definite no no, but the other sides were OK to be on. Asked why, he told me his doctor lived next door to the south, and he didn’t want to have deal with him if he got caught. Sorry, my friend, but this had to be written.