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Rare Bear: The Rumble Seat

By Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner

Any one ever heard of a Rumble Seat?

This was a back seat in a place where there wasn’t a back seat. It occurred in Coupe’s of an Ancient age, from 1928 until perhaps 1934 or ’36. A coupe, by the way, is a two-door car, with one seat, and generally a hard top automobile but there were some convertibles as well.

Mainly Ford and Chevs had them…but there were other makes of cars who featured them for a short time, such as the 1936 Willys. The word Coupe has not been used in the Market Place for a number of years, so for those of the 1970 or later generations, you may have learned a little bit of trivia,

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The Rumble Seat was named as such because it was behind the car, and over the rear wheels…and it made a rumble. The drive shaft turning and the gear’s changing made the rumble.

I don’t know for sure if it was a dealer slogan, or just a “saying”, but everyone knew it as a “Rumble Seat.”

I had many rides in a rumble seat…especially in a 1933 Chev that was my uncle’s pride and joy. He traded an Indian Motorcycle for the car after my Grandfather told him he couldn’t take my Aunt Doris—my mother’s sister—out on a motorcycle.

They were quite common for a few years and some were even equipped with windshields.

Some European and British cars were also equipped with a Rumble Seat…I remember a 1949 Sunbeam with a one. It had a windshield and as you opened the entrance to the seat, the windshield popped up as well.

The Rumble Seat

Another reflection
Of years long passed;
The Rumble Seat
Has gone at last.

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