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.

NASH

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 or Bentley.

 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.

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