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Ice Cream Runner: 1937 Oldsmobile Tudor Sedan

As we enter June, it is obvious to even the oblivious among us that summer is here.  It won’t be long before we are looking for cool respites from the sweltering summer heat.  During the day that means ice water, air conditioning, and swimming holes.  At night, that neon sign in your town that screams “ice cream” beckons.  People from all walks of life are drawn to that sign like the proverbial moths to the flame on cool summer nights.  One thing we all love in the old car hobby is taking a cruise down to get ice cream with the family in our vehicles.  If you are looking for a good ice cream runner, check out this 1937 Oldsmobile tudor sedan for sale on Craigslist in San Rafael, California.  This once-restored Oldsmobile is looking for a new owner.  Does the asking price of $16,500 leave you enough change to buy ice cream for the family?

I consider myself very lucky to have had a grandfather that was into old cars.  My brother and I spent a lot of time with our grandparents, and a lot of that time centered around his two older cars.  We helped him restore a 1939 Plymouth, and he didn’t believe in trailering.  He drove the car and we were almost always with him.  One of the best parts of that time was when the Steak and Shake in a neighboring town sponsored cruise-ins one Saturday night per month.  It quickly became a large affair that grew into the parking lot of the local mall.  Imagine walking around and looking at 100 or more cars on a cool Saturday night, then heading into the Steak and Shake for a hot fudge sundae.  We drove his old Plymouth there and back, with the ride being a large percentage of that fun.

Another memory happened when I was an adult.  Passing by the local Dairy Queen, I saw a 1932 Ford convertible street rod pulling out of the parking lot.  Instead of turning down my street, I followed the car for a while.  It was a true traditional roadster, with no fenders, a souped-up Flathead, steelies with wide bias ply whitewalls, and a bit of a rake, and it sounded marvelous.  Pulling ahead, I saw that the headlights were larger than stock Ford units and set low near the axle.  They had that golden glow that only a 6-volt system could make.  In the cockpit were a man in his sixties and a kid around 10 years old, both grinning ear to ear.  I never saw that car again, but I think about it often.  It was the perfect hot rod.

I mention these two stories for two reasons.  The first is a reminder that all of us have someone in our past that introduced us to the hobby and fed the fires in our hearts for these cars.  Second is that we all must create old car memories for those younger than us.  This hobby isn’t dying, but it is on life support in many areas because we have collectively done a poor job of passing along our love for old cars and making those connections.  This 1937 Oldsmobile, while not a particularly remarkable car in any way, has the potential to be the gateway for someone into our hobby.  That may be someone who has always wanted an old car but never had that person in their life.  Or it can be from a person who wants an old car to take the kids to get ice cream on Saturday nights.  These are not pieces of art only to be seen.  They are meant to be driven and experienced.

So, if you want a car to make ice cream runs in, this Oldsmobile will fit the bill nicely.  Evidently, this was the seller’s recently departed father’s car.  It has been four months and the seller has decided it needs to go to someone who has the time to enjoy it.  The car is described as one that needs some work but is in good overall condition.  The drivetrain has been rebuilt and it runs and drives fine.

We are also told that the interior is there and not in bad shape.  The same cannot be said for the weatherstripping.  It will need to be replaced due to age.  The paint is also described to be nice, but not perfect.  It does have an expensive set of whitewalls.  Unfortunately, we do not know the age of them.  The car is currently registered in California and comes with a period-correct set of license plates.

One of the final things stated in the ad is that this Olds is a great reliable road car.  While it is not an open car or even a coupe, it does seem to present well.  The price may be a little off, but sometimes it’s the regular, everyday cars that are the most enjoyable.  Especially if you are taking the family for ice cream.

Do you have any ice cream run related old car memories?  Please share your experiences in the comments.


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    “Not a show car” the seller said-maybe not but it’s a looking car! The weatherstripping could be an issue if it was outside for any longer than four months as that area has gotten some good rain, but it looks solid in the photos.
    As parking anywhere in SF is stupid money ($40-$100 @ DAY depending where it’s at!!!) but still hard to part with it IMO.

    Like 4
  2. JustPassinThru

    It’s telling, how memories change. In my suburban hometown city, old-car care-and-feeding was mostly a declasse pastime – done by greasers who made their money pumping gas, and fixed cars on the side. “Old car” definitions change, too – a ten-year-old car was an old car, and the kids all had Tri-Five Chevrolets. One older boy even had a Nomad. He had to pay extra to buy it, but not much extra.

    Cars like this were around – but not considered anything special. They would be the property of retired librarians, who still used them for routine errands. And to church, of course.

    We did have an annual “Old-Car” event – but the old cars were Model As, 1920s-era Chevrolets, an occasional T or curved-dash Olds. Our city had evolved a custom – in 1945, to celebrate the return of local WWII GIs, the city threw a three-day gala. Parades, games, entertainment – the weekend before Labor Day. It became an annual event, and the Friday Night parade was something half the city quit early to stage and attend.

    Ahead of the floats full of cheerleaders and festival queens, was a flotilla of these old cars. The local Shriners had a Krazy Kops unit, modeled on the Keystone Kops, and they’d have their paddywagon, a 1920s open-cab truck, lead the procession, with the comic cops pretending to direct the flow every which way. Then the Ts and As and wooden-spoked-wheel cars, rolled by – someone had a 1930s Franklin, that was about the newest car in the event.

    Kids were allowed to bicycle along the cars, so long as the bicycle was decorated to theme, with crepe paper, hats, etc. So it was literally a big neighborhood event – find your local old car and roll with it, to the end.

    Once at the destination, the city park, the old autos would park on the fair midway, on display, with owner’s placards giving information. Occasionally a FOR SALE sign. The cars would be moved off around sunset, and the fair would continue, with old men and vets drinking beer at the VFW tent, and couples looking for dark corners…the little kids out way too late, without adult escorts.


    Like 31
    • MikeG.

      Would that towns like these and their traditions still existed in places other than the Twilight Zone !!

      Like 14
    • Arfeeto

      Indeed, the phrase “old cars” is subjective. In my seventies, I consider car old if it was made before, say 1950. So I smile when commenters here, who are, apparently, substantially younger than I imply that cars of the sixties through eighties are old. They’re correct, of course, but because I can recall when these autos were parked on showroom floors, I suppose I’ll always consider them modern.

      Like 20
  3. LCL

    Do the rear seat windows roll down at all?

    Like 3
    • nlpnt

      They normally do on domestic 2-door sedans of this era, can’t see where this would be any different.

      Like 7
  4. nlpnt

    Nobody’s mentioned A Christmas Story yet? Ralphie’s Old Man’s ’37 Olds was a 4-door and he wouldn’t have shelled out for whitewalls if he considered a spare with tread left a luxury, but still…

    I wonder if that’s where LCL’s question came from – if the movie had a then-contemporary setting, I could see him having driven an Aeroback Cutlass. Diesel.

    Like 6
  5. TheOldRanger

    I really like this car, and wish I had the garage space and an extra $17 grand. My son-in-law and I would be headed west with a trailer behind his behemoth pickup to get this one… sigh!!

    Like 8
  6. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    If the rear windows do go down, where’s the crank to roll them down? I don’t think these go down.

    Like 7
  7. Homer

    Dad had a 39 Olds 4 door (my birth date) black that looked a lot like this. I do not remember the back window rolling down as we certainly would have done living in the Texas panhandle.

    Like 4
  8. Speedy D

    The rear windows roll down — check the back seat picture — bottom right corner of the photo the window crank is clearly evident

    Like 6
    • Les.s

      Chevy that vintage roll down about half way inner fender well gets in the way.

      Like 0
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Not sure what car you’re looking at but there is no window crank for the back windows, bottom right, or not. That is not a window crank, it’s a piece of rope/string, trim, I don’t know, but definitely not a window crank.

    Like 2
    • jetfire88

      Bottom right of pic, you described the upper left. Also, if you look at the lower rear corner of the glass of the left (passenger) side, the edge of the window glass can be seen and it’s slightly open

      Like 2
    • Solosolo UK

      Sorry Angel but if you look at the Craigs List photos it certainly looks like a window crank handle just in front of the arm rest ash tray.

      Like 4
      • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

        I only have BF photos and even blowing them up, can’t see anything in front of the ash tray, and that where my picture stops, right at the ash tray.
        I really need to get a laptop.
        Thanks everyone for pointing this out!
        When I’m wrong, I’m usually very wrong. LOL. 😁

        Like 2
      • JimmyinTEXAS

        The crank can be seen on the driver’s side in photo #5.

        Like 2
    • GitterDunn

      Check the OTHER bottom right corner of the back seat picture – it’s unmistakably, and without question, a window crank handle!

      Like 2

    I could never warm up to cars that had that “Hump Trunk”.

    Like 2
  11. Madlad

    This sure brings back memories, When I was 16 back about 1959 my dad bought a ’35 Olds 4 door and gave it to me. I almost lived in that car. Drove it all around our farm and local streets. Couldn’t get plates or inspection because I couldn’t get parts. Now that I’m 80 wish I still had it, last I saw it, it was still seating on the farm after I got married and left.
    If this one wasn’t so far away (I’m in PA) I’d think about it.

    Like 1
  12. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    People, I’m on my phone. I have 5 pictures, front, rear, front interior, back interior (no crank visible) and engine. Period.
    Let’s put it to rest.

    Like 1
  13. CVPanther Member

    That was a very nice article, Jeff. Very meaningful, I enjoy your writing style.

    Thanks for stirring up some old memories.
    I love the car, and if I had the resources I’d give this one a new home.

    Like 1

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