1928 Essex For A Depression-Igniting $500,000!

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The seller of this Prohibition-era Essex may have tipped back one too many before setting his price, but Nice Price or Crack Pipe is ready to speakeasy on the matter.


Yesterday, 73% of you thought that 70,000 was too many dead presidents for one dead president's car. Now pour yourself a stiff drink, and let's roar back to the '20s for something a little more modest.

Starting December 16th 1920, and for thirteen years following, alcohol sales and consumption was banned in the U.S. That of course opened up whole new venues of commerce and industry with the blossoming of an underground effort to make and supply a nation suffering from the DTs.

Prohibition was a failed experiment forced upon the nation by a few tight-assed busybodies who saw people having fun and, grinch-like, decided to put a stop to it. Suddenly, everything that alcohol had made palatable was held under the harsh new light of unwanted sobriety. Baseball games were now interminable, family gatherings diminished due to the increased likelihood of bloodshed, high school proms broke up at 10 pm, and homely people stopped getting laid.

While the Carry Nations of the country smiled in sweet satisfaction, regular folk gave a collective "eff-this!" and set about getting booze through black market channels. Speakeasies popped up on back alleys across the land, and a new fad arose in creating and memorizing special knocks. Winking came back into fashion after a thirty-year lull, and there was a run on long, heavy coats with lots of deep pockets. As being caught transporting alcohol was punishable by fines and imprisonment, open cars were shunned as thirsty Americans carted home cases of illicit hooch. Recognizing a new market that this created, the Hudson brand- Essex introduced a low-priced closed car, which seated five - or two and 120 bottles of Tennessee Tipple, - bringing home-inebriation to the masses.

The Essex that we are examining today is listed - as you move down the ad - alternatively as a 1927, '28, or '26. Judging by the shape of the radiator, we'd say it's not a '26, but it really doesn't matter, as the seller has set the price at half a million dollars. He does his best to describe the car, in Cat in the Hat verse; It's not rusty, just dusty, and the interier (sic) can be cleaned. You half expect him to go on about the green essex and ham, but instead he gives us a brief family history about the car, his dad's wedding, and how he doesn't have a clue what to do with the car. Obviously, his quandary extends to the appropriate value for the wooden-wheeled wagon. Perhaps he is over-valuing the supposed "sterling silver" handles, or maybe he is simply presaging a massive drop in the dollar, and wants to stay ahead of the game? Or, he could have been drunk at the time. Whatever the reason, the limited information provided makes judgement on his choice of price point difficult to make. But we know you have it in you.


So, is $500,000 a Nice Price for a car with Essex appeal? Or does it make your still run dry?

You decide!

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eBay or go here if the ad gets prohibited. Hat tip to AxelRipper.

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I'll sell my '22 Essex for a lot less than that and you can keep $490,000+ of the half-million to spend on one of GM's surplus corporate jets or something. Plus mine's one of the super-reliable 4-cylinder models not the lousy 6-cylinder models like the one in question that spin a rod bearing whenever you go over 35 mph.