Pure comfort

February 28th, 2011

1939 Buick Roadmaster 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

The 1939 body style was very different from it’s 1937 and 1938 predecessors in that it appeared longer, sleeker and heavier. This picture was taken by the writer at Whitehall, Montana several years ago and I believe it was 2 years ago I saw it at the Deer Lodge, Montana antique automobile museum. A friend of my family in Enid, Oklahoma purchased a new 1939 that wes adorned in a dark green color. I’ll never forget how nice it looked and how I wished my family could afford one like it, but I knew our finances at the time precluded that ever happening!! Dad was doing well with his 1936 Chevy with over 100,000 miles on it! The depression wasn’t over for us for about another 10 years!!

Not quite the Same

February 28th, 2011

1954 Chevrolet Bel Air 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

The 54’s got a minor face lift, but that was enough to make them remain in the winners column. 1954 model Bel Air 4 Doors out sold their 1953 counter parts by 1466 units!! One very popular color combination was a brownish-orange color and ivory that came out on the ’54 models. A friend of mine bought one of those beauties and when doing so, he ordered every chrome option available. It was really a showy automobile!! The 210 4 door was a nice looking car, but even with adding many options, it’s looks didn’t come anyplace near those of a Bel Air! I find it interesting that when the Stove Bolt Six was introduced in 1929, it’s horsepower rating was 46. Revisions made over the interim increased the 1954 horsepower rating to 125!!

Advent of Beauty

February 28th, 2011

1932 Chevrolet 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

This picture was taken at a VCCA Rally in Grand Junction, Colorado in 2006. The owner of the car was obviously very proud of it and giving it a very thorough going over before judging time. All 1932 models were called the Confederate series and came in Standard and Deluxe models. The car pictured is a Deluxe model 4 door Sedan which featured chrome hood ports, cowl lights, fender wells and twin spare mounts. I would have thought twin trumpet horns would have been included, but my research reflects that all models came with one trumpet horn as standard. Economic times were much tougher in 1932 as compared to 1931 causing sales of 1932’s to be much ebbed as compared to 1931. Also, Ford had just come out with their V/8 engine creating havoc for Chevy! Compared to this featured model, it’s 1931 counterpart production was 109,775 versus only 52,446 1932’s. My statistics were taken from a book called Chevrolet Chronicles written by Arch Brown, Pat Chappell and Bob Hall.

Fond Memories

February 26th, 2011

1937 Buick 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

The 1937 BUick was my idea of an automobile when it appeared. When it came out, one of my uncles sold them and I recall him letting me sit on a right front fender and watching him do his sales presentation on the showroom floor of Stevens Buick Company, Enid, Oklahoma. The reason I say they were my idea of an automobile, when compared to a Chevy or Ford, the Buick looked monstrous!! Long, sleek and beautiful with those gorgeous paint colors! You would think that during the depression, both my uncle and Mr. Stevens would not have wanted a 9 year old kid sitting on a fender like I did while the presentation was going on, but when I think about it, they wanted the customer to feel no pressure at all and I helped. I didn’t say anything unless I was asked! I always admired my Uncle Jack’s sales ability. If there ever was a no pressure salesman-he was it!! I asked a co worker of his one time if Jack ever had any ambitions of owning a dealership or of being a manager and he said no because during the depression he was a money making dude right where he was in comparison to other salesmen in the city! He lived pretty good during the depression, I know that!!!

1929 The Rise and Fall

February 26th, 2011

1929 Chevrolet Landau Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

Everything was going great!! The economy was booming and people felt they were flying high!! Then came October 29th and the bottom fell out of the stock market and so started a horrible depression!! The 1929 Chevrolet Landau you might say suffered a similar situation!! It rose and fell in that only about 300 of this model were produced! It just was not well received in spite of the fact it was equipped with the new Stove Bolt Six engine and complete new body styling. The rear quarter of the body folded down like a convertible, but that just wasn’t much fun. If you wanted a top that folded down, you got a roadster or a phaeton! Since there were so few produced, this model is a rare commodity these days!! I took this picture while attending a national rally of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America in Rapid City, S.D. in 1996.

Fun at the Tour

February 26th, 2011

1931 Cadillac 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

This 1931 Cadillac 4 door, the gangster and his moll, came from Canada to an International tour in Kalispell, Montana several years ago. They really added a touch to the tour!! Check out his machine gun carrying case and his spats!! The paint job on this car was the finest I have ever seen!! It was simply perfection to end all perfections!! The interior was gorgeous and the dash looked as new!! It happened my wife and I were at the same table with these people the night of the banquet and they were a joy to be around!! I laughed until my jaws ached!! That is one of the great things about our car club tours. You meet some very nice as well as interesting people and get to see a variety of cars!

Great Improvement

February 26th, 2011

1934 Master Series 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

Great improvement, Maybe!! It’s styling was great!! Oh, those trumpet horns next to chromed headlight shells, more streamlined body styling, but that knee action!! I don’t know how many of you ever rode in a Chevy with knee action, but I can tell you they really did give a great ride, but they were a real pain in keeping them functioning!! If anyone in Oklahoma happens to see this article, I wish to tell you my family made innumerable trips between Waynoka, Oklahoma and Enid, Oklahoma. One of the fun things when my brother, Bill, and I were very young was to do the ride between Cleo Springs and Orienta, Oklahoma enroute to Enid or Waynoka! There was a stretch of pavement in there that Dad would hit doing 60 miles an hour and his 1935 would go just like we were riding a wave!! That was the only thing we liked about knee action!!!

Needed Change is Required

February 26th, 2011

1936 Chevrolet Master Deluxe 2 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

1935 model Chevys were not well received by the buying public, so Chevy had to do an immediate turn around-the public said-“Get rid of those suicide doors!!” So, they did!! This was the first year for Chevy and hydraulic brakes!! It is hard to believe old Henry wouldn’t put them in his cars until 1939!! This model Chevy was the best selling car in America in 1936 and Chevrolet had the second best selling year in it’s history!! When comparing the Master Deluxe series with the Standard series, the Master was a lot more attractive although the body styles were virtually the same. The Master featured chromed headlamp shells and hood vents which really set it off! The interiors were more plush and the Master featured a bench front seat as opposed to buckets in the Standard. I well know as my Dad had 2 Standards and I hated the bucket seats!!

Really Nice

February 26th, 2011

1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

This is one of two 1935 model sedans I have ever seen. This picture was taken at a VCCA rally in Rapid City,S.D. in 1996. The other was owned by Mr. DeVaney of Waynoka, Oklahoma, who had bought his new. As we know 1935 was right in the middle of the 1930’s depression and very few people in my end of the world could afford to buy new cars and in addition to that suicide doors just were not well received by the buying public. Consequently Ford overcame Chevrolet in sales for the first time since 1930. Previous to buying a new 1935 coach, my Dad had driven a 1930 model Chevy and one day here he came driving up in this new beautiful green 1935 with yellow wheels. What a change from the old 1930!! And what a surprise!! That is one of the great things about the old days-styling changes were obvious and car companies made so many immediately identifiable changes!!

New Styling

February 26th, 2011

1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Coupe © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

Styling for 1935 was certainly a change in that it included doors rear hinged called suicide doors by us laymen, radiator cap under the hood, solid steel bodies including the top and knee action!! Of note, if one did not want knee action, solid axles were still available. The picture of this coupe was taken at a Vintage Chevrolet Club of America rally in 2006 at Grand Junction, Colorado. I did a little research and found that options included wire wheels, right tail light, wheel trim rings, a clock and ash tray combination on the glove compartment door, or a clock on the rear view mirror, fender skirts, left side spotlight, horn button color to match the window knobs, radio, heater, hood ornament and tutone paint if desired. The basic hood ornament was zeppelin like looking and I hated it! My Dad bought a new 1935 coach with that basic hood ornament and even at age 7, I disliked that ornament! At age 7, I personally bought with my money, a horn button to match the window knobs!!! The local Chevrolet dealer in our town of 1800 was one of my mentors and gave me a real good deal on the horn button!!

First For Me

February 23rd, 2011

1933 Chevrolet 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

I guess I have been a car nut since I came into this world! I remember when I was 5 years old my Dad brought a 1933 Chevrolet Sales Brochure home for me to enjoy. I even remember this body style and the same color combination on it included in the brochure. This was the first year of rthe starterator, combination starter switch and accelerator. It was a combination that just didn’t work out very well. I remember my Dad had a 1935 model that had this feature. It was a real pain, so he had it rigged for the units to be separate. Chevrolet sales in 1933 were 44% greater than Ford which is hard to believe when we now see all the 1933 Fords running around the country as opposed to 1933 Chevys. Another thing hard to believe and seldom seen, the 4 door sedan of 1933 came within 300 units of a 2 door sedan being sold.

Last of Ford Phaetons

February 23rd, 2011

1939 Ford Phaeton © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

Once a year the Helena, Butte and Bozeman chapters of the Pioneer Antique and Classic car club of Montana meet and when the owner of this beautiful Phaeton drove this car to a meeting several years ago, I just had to have a picture of it. With only 45,000 miles on it, it was in great condition. It is among the last of it’s breed in that 1939 was the last year Ford produced a 4 door ragtop. Total production was only 3561 units. Compared to a deluxe tudor with total production of 144,333, it’s not hard to see why Ford decided building them in the future would not be worthwhile.

Fun time in Helena, Montana

February 23rd, 2011

1950 Chevrolet Styline 2 Door © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

This 1950 Chevy was restored and donated to the City of Helena in 1996 by Steve Wong, a local used car dealer. It was used in a raffle to help offset costs of routing participants in the Great American Race to come through Helena, Montana in June of 1996. The writer, Jim O’Connor, was Committee Chairman in making arrangements for the tour. One wouldn’t think this would be a big deal to have such a number of cars and people hit town all within 2 hours, but believe me it took a lot of doing on the part of a lot of people including the Governor of Montana and the the Mayor of Helena. 115 antique cars participated in the tour and all were parked diagonally on our main street, Last Chance Gulch, for the citizenry to view. We had over 14,000 people checking out the cars which was the largest crowd ever behind the parade immediately after World War Two. It took a lot of work, but it was sure worth it!!

Bert’s Dream Car

February 21st, 2011

1928 Ford 4 Door Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

The restoration of this car was several years in the making , but when done, it was perfection!! My long time friend, Bert Carlson, owned this car and took great pride in showing it in parades and car shows. Bert was a member of Capital Carriages Antique Car Club in Helena, Montana and took great pride in his prowess as a chef!! He was really a good steak man!! The ’28 was a radical change from the
Model T’s of a past era. 10 million people saw it within 36 hours of it’s debut. Ford produced 82,349 of this model for the calendar year 1928. The hot model was the 2 door in that same period. Production hit 208,562, so it is no wonder we see many more 2 doors around than 4 doors.

Loves to go—and Looks It

February 21st, 2011

1956 Chevrolet 2 Door Hardtop © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

Some items used for this text are taken from a book titled Chevrolet Chronicle written by Arch Brown, Pat Chappell and Bob Hall. Chevrolet’s slogan for 1956 was”the Hot one’s even Hotter” It was backed up by a disguised ’56 making it up Pikes Peak in 17 minutes, 24.05 seconds, which set a record!! The ’56 models were styled somewhat off the 1955 models but looked longer and sportier. The 1956 Bel Air 2 Door hardtop was the first Chevy ever fitted with seat belts, shoulder harness’ and a padded dash. The 210 model of ’56 was a good looking car, but not anywhere near the look of the Bel Air because of the trim. I was furnished a car by GM at the time and I really looked forward to getting my 1956 model because the powers that be decided it would be a nice touch to furnish us cars with automatic transmissions!! This was a 210 four door, not near as nice looking as the Bel Air. They still would not let us have air conditioning which had come out as a factory option for 1955 models.

Every One’s Favorite

February 21st, 2011

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

This baby was a winner from day one!! What a beautiful automobile!! I took this picture at a Vintage Chevrolet Club of America rally at Rapid City, South Dakota in 1996. I remember asking the owner of the car what it was worth and he told me he had turned down $85,000 for it. It was perfection!! My wife and my 96 year old Mother were with me on that trip and were in a store shopping. I had to go in and ask them to come view the car as it was so beautiful!! Chevy produced 47,562 of these great cars in 1957. The color on this car was called Sierra Gold, one of 16 colors Chevy offered in 1957. I would guess that this color and Tropical Turquoise were the two most popular colors as I have seen more of these colors than any other in my travels.

Totally New Design

February 21st, 2011

1933 Ford Deluxe Phaeton © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

This was not a good year for Ford versus Chevrolet in spite of the fact Ford came out with a totally new body design, and upgraded the V/8 brake horsepower to 75. Ford total sales for 1933 were 334,969 versus Chevrolet 481,134. 1483 of these Phaeton Deluxe model beauties were produced. I’m sure not many still exist. I was fortunate to have seen one that had less than 10,000 miles on it about 22 years ago at a car show in Oklahoma. In looking ahead as I write this article, I find that Ford discontinued the 4 door rag top in 1939. Chevrolet had discontinued their rag top with the Standard model in 1935.

On a Whim

February 19th, 2011

1952 Chevrolet Styline 2 Door © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

After completing my college education, I spent 2 years at Sheppard AFB, Texas and while enroute there one day on my way from visiting my parents in Enid, Oklahoma, I drove by the Chevy dealership in Chickasha, Oklahoma and on the showroom floor was a car I just had to own, just like the one pictured only it was a medium gray color. Shortly after buying this car, I met my future wife and we later drove it on our Honeymoon to Colorado including doing Pikes Peak on our trip. My wife, Alice, had never learned to drive, had no desire to learn, so since General Motors furnished me a car, I sold this one. I remember it had 46,000 miles on it and the original tires had never been replaced. I never had even one problem with it, but I was adamant about changing the oil every 1000 miles. I took my parents on a 7200 mile trip out to California, up the west coast to Tacoma, back down thru Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Denver and home to Oklahoma, changing the oil 6 times before getting home! My Mom thought I was nuts, but that was alright, we stopped pretty close to each 1000 miles! She never had time to stop. She always wanted to see what was over the next hill!!!

Grand Entry

February 19th, 2011

1955 Chevrolet 2 Door Hardtop © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

Dealer show day for the 1955 model Chevys was truly a memorable day with the introduction of complete new body styles, V/8 engines and factory air conditioning!! The car pictured was done in one of the most popular color combinations, shorline beige and gypsy red. Chevy in 1955 had 14 colors total, but had 21 tutones. The Bel Air 4 door sedan was the largest seller with 345,372 manufactured,and the Bel Air 2 door Sport Coupe was second with 185,562. I was a District Manager for General Motors Acceptance Corporation at the time of introduction and I made it a point to call on all Chevy dealers in my district that day. They were all elated! They knew they had a winner in the ’55’s and they were right!! The fact was, they had a winner every year after World War Two ended and this model was the icing on the cake!! Imagine having factory air conditioning!! This sure made our hot summers in Oklahoma much more palatible!

The Sistern Story

February 19th, 2011

1934 Lincoln Sedan © 2011 antiquecarnut.com

My father-in-law, Roy Millikin of Burkburnett, Texas, purchased a new 1934 Lincoln the same color as the one in this picture. He always believed that the larger the car the less chance of having an accident resulting in serious injury. Over the years he developed cataracts in both eyes and had to wear really thick glasses. My mother in law was convinced he had no business driving due to his bad eye sight. One day, he defied her and was going to drive. He backed the car half way out of their carport and stopped as Mother was raising so much fuss. She grabbed the keys and threw them down the sistern next to the house. Roy left the car where it was parked until he sold it about 16 years later. When sold, all the body was in good condition, but the top had deteriorated and ruined the interior and of course the paint was badly faded. The man who bought it got it started right there in the car port after installing various items and drove it to Florida!!

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