When cars arrived in Jerusalem

A long-time Jerusalem resident chronicles the history of automobiles in the holy city.

August 11, 2017 01:29
4 minute read.
Henry Ford

Henry Ford, the father of modern automobiles. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The other night on television, there was a lengthy program about driverless cars. One of the main points made was that there would be fewer accidents, fewer deaths and fewer car problems.

Here in Jerusalem we live in an age of cars. In 1963, when my wife and I, as students, were here for the first time, we learned a real lesson. The local populace had been nearly stripped of cars following Israel’s independence. All the car dealers left and the government imposed enormous taxes on any private vehicles sold. In Jerusalem, except for some diplomat’s cars and for the prime minister’s car, practically the only cars here were giant Studebakers that were brought from the US to serve as paid urban transportation.


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