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River crossings in the 1920's


Southern Rhodesian river crossings in the 1920s
The early days of motoring in Southern Rhodesia were often hard work if you left the major cities and ventured into long-distance travel. Apart from the fact that the roads to the outlying districts were merely tracks, dusty in the dry season and muddy in the rainy season. Whether dry or rainy weather, problems nearly alway arose crossing the many rivers in your path. In those days there were no bridges across any rivers. In the dry season, the loose sandy river beds, sometimes 100 meters or more wide would get your car stuck in the sand and you might end up walking for many miles to the nearest farm and ask for assistance. The farmer would usually come to your aid with a team of oxen to pull you across. If the river crossing was made fairly often, dry wood and branches laid on the sandy bed might get your vehicle across without needing further assistance. The only problem left then was trying to get up the always steep embankment on the other side. In the rainy season, with the rivers in full flood, your journey could be delayed by hours, days or even weeks, if the rain persisted. Can you assist in identifying the cars in the pictures?

Text and photos by Andre van de Loo
 

Comments 

 
#10 2017-11-11 03:40
For the avoidance of any further doubt: The first photo shows a 1925 Chevrolet Superior early 'K' tourer with no exterior door handles and 23 inch wheels and the second photo shows a 1929 Chevrolet tourer, the first year of the six-cylinder engine.
 
 
#9 2017-11-08 00:59
These RHD Chevrolets would have been built in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada for export to British Commonwealth countries.
 
 
#8 2017-11-07 09:14
'H757', from the shape of the instrument panel and the the car's general demeanour (though the wheels might not be original) looks like a late 20's - possibly 1929 - Hillman 14.
 
 
#7 2017-11-07 08:12
The first one looks to be a six cylinder 1928 Chevrolet and the second one could be the same year of Nash.
 
 
#6 2017-11-07 08:00
That would be a 1925 Chevrolet Superior K
 
 
#5 2017-11-07 07:44
Chevs must have been popular in Rhodesia.
The one in the main picture is a 1924-26 Chev 4 and the other is a 1929 Chev International - The first of the of the 6 cylinder models.
 
 
#4 2017-11-07 07:40
first car looks like a humber
 
 
#3 2017-11-07 05:43
The car front-on is a 1925 or 26 Chevrolet, and the other a 1929 Chevrolet. Southern Rhodesia was not alone in providing such interesting conditions for cars. My Dad, John L Simpson traversed Australia North to South and back, in 1924, travelling in the prototype 13.9 HP Bean with Francis Birtles. Although the Bean handled the rough terrain well, it could not compete in this market with the Ford T, the Dodge 4 and the Chevrolet.
 
 
#2 2017-11-07 02:58
1925 Chevrolet
 
 
#1 2017-11-07 00:56
1925 Chevrolet Superior K
 

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