| Cars that ceased production in the 50's
There's all this talk now of the "Big Three" going
bankrupt if they don't get a taxpayer bailout. Many believe they should
sink into Chapter 13 and then restructure with less overhead. On the other
hand, why build cars if people can't afford to buy them in this down turn
in the economy. Have you seen all the new units sitting on the dealer lots
lately? During World War II, the car factories didn't build cars for five
years and we got through it fine. After the war, there was a huge demand
for new cars that even the smaller manufactures were able to sell theirs
for several years. What hurt sales with some was the failure to come out
with v-eight engines as they waited to long. Others had design failures
like making cars look like rocket ships such as Studebaker. Then they came
out with the "Hawk" series that was a design ahead of its time
and most folks shied away from it. Us kids thought they were very cool cars,
but our opinion didn't help sell cars. There were other problems the smaller
companies had, I only hit the surface. Maybe the "Big Three" were
flush with cash for all the war armaments they built over the previous years.
At the age of ten, I thought these other car companies were here to stay
and then felt disappointment when each one went into merger and/or eventually
dropped out of site.
I took the time to make cartoon drawings of a few car lines that have
stuck in my memory and make a few comments about each one.
The 1951 Nash is a car my father had no problem selling on his used
car lot. Nash had a reputation for building a dependable automobile at a
reasonable price. I was about 10 years old when one appeared on Dad's Chrysler/Plymouth
used car lot. It was there only a few hours when a couple showed up to look
at it. I followed everyone out side to see what would happen. Dad had his
usual big salesman smile on his face and started demonstrating the quality
features of the car. I was surprised when he folded the front seats back
and showed then how they became a bed across the width of the car. I believe
that Nash was a four door and had more room inside. After the deal was made
and the people drove off, he told his sales staff that he could sell those
Nash' all day long.
When George Romney was at "Nash" The company name became
Rambler and the old Nash name disappeared. The Romney era and later turned
the company around with Ramblers and Metropolitan. In 1968, the AMC name
was adopted with Gremlins, Pacer, Javelin and the four wheel drive Eagle.
| The only brand new Packard that I ever saw was in Boot Jack Michigan.
This was along the shore of Portage Lake where many families moved there
for the summer like we did. A few doors down from our place a family with
boys my age showed up from Detroit for the summer. Each year, their uncle
Art showed up for a few days and arrived in a brand new Packard for us to
drool over. In our opinion, those cars were in the class of a Rolls Royce
| Selling myself to get my first job
I got the job, but only to pump gas for a couple years while in High
School. Other than that, I busted some tires, patched some tubes and did
a few oil changes. I took in a job of packing front wheel bearing on a Chevrolet
and the customer had to show me how to do it. The good thing was, I saved
enough money to buy a 55 Olds 2 door sedan for $150.00 that got me to Minneapolis
so I could start automotive school.
It was some of the other neighborhood boys that that seemed to know
about those tough Hudson cars. They had a big high compression six with
dual carburetors and could outrun many of the V-Eights in those days.
The quick end of "Hudson" was its merger with Nash in 1954.
In the twenties and early thirties, Hudson company called its cars Essex.
After that, Terra plane was used until the war. After the war, Hudson used
their own name on the cars.