When you buy a car, new or used, the glove box can be a source of untold treasures. For car people, the documents, books, manuals and other bits and pieces can be real prizes. When you buy a vintage car, the treasure hunt can be really rewarding.
When I bought my ’65 Rambler Marlin, the car came with no keys and a locked glove box. Not taking “no” for an answer, I reached behind the dashboard and split the seam on the cardboard glove box and tripped the lock on the glove box door. The treasures within were both prizes and penalties. A broken bottle of cheap cologne gave the rest of the contents a nasty smell when combined with the odor of the mouse nest sharing the space. With the penalties out of the way, it was time to count the prizes.
Most of the original books and documents that would have been found in the glove box when the car was new, were still there when I opened it 45 years later…though they smelled a little different.
One of the treasures from the Marlins glove box was the envelope that the original keys for the car came in. On the downside, this envelope was empty when I got it so I had to have keys made for the car. On the upside, the lack of keys didn't keep me from starting the car or opening the doors or trunk.
Seat Belt Instructions
Seat belts, while in existence for decades by the time my car was built, they were mostly a new thing for standard passenger cars, and the rear seat belts were still optional in most cars, the Marlin included. The instructions on their use and care were still in the glove box though it appears that a mouse or two made a meal out of it.
Radio Warranty Card
Apparently the AM radio in my car never gave its owners any trouble as the original radio warranty tag was still in the car. Had the radio been a problem, it would have been removed from the car and sent in for service with this tag tied around one of the knobs.
Like it says, this is the folder the warranty card came in. This item is in amazing condition and its colors are still as vivid as they were when the original owner drove the car off the lot.
And inside I found the plastic warranty car with the original owner's name and address embossed on it. Along with that information, there is also identification information for the car as well including the paint and trim colors, the engine number, the VIN and the body number. It's one of the coolest artifacts I have found in all the glove boxes I have ever searched.
The crown jewel of the glove box archeological dig, the original owner's manual, was in pristine condition. While these older manuals are far smaller than the owner's manuals of today, they still have plenty of information and cool pictures to pour over.
While this item did not come in the glove box, it is a fun piece of paper to have when you have an old car. This original sales brochure, or one just like it, would have been something that the original owner of my car picked up from the Rambler dealer when he was shopping for his car. The dramatic cover photo and the technical cutaway drawing inside may have convinced him to buy this car instead of something else on the market at that time.