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Flat backseat floor 1950s or 60s

When I was young, I remember lying on the floor of my grandfather’s car in the back. I don’t recall it having a hump. Were their cars in the US in the 1950s or early 60s that didn’t have a center hump? Where can I find out? What terms should I use if not “flat floor” to search?

Try Transmission Tunnel Or Drive Shaft Tunnel.


The only cars I remember in the 1960s that had a flat floor (no driveshaft hump) were the Chevrolet Corvair and the Checker. In fact, I think you have to go back earlier than the 1950s to find a car that didn’t have the driveshaft hump.

The front wheel drive vehicles did not have a hump in the floor. The Olds Toronado came out in the mid sixties. Some Cords were FWD as well.

Checker Marathons had a flat floor…But they were a body on frame construction with a high roof-line…

As I remember, my dad’s 1939 Chevrolet 2 door sedan had a driveshaft tunnel and the rear seat floor was not flat. I am certain that the cars after that which he owned–a 1947 Dodge, 1949 Dodge, 1952 Dodge and a 1954 Buick had the driveshaft tunnel. The only front drive cars that were available in the 1950s in the U.S. that I remember were the Saab and the DKW.
Some rear drive cars did not have as large a driveshaft tunnel which made the floor a little flatter than cars today. Could there have been a slight hump in the floor?

You must have been in a really old car. If you go back to the thirties cars were built with the floor sitting on top of the frame and no center tunnel. Floor pans dropped lower and lower through the forties and fifties as cars got lower. By the late fifties GM was even building cars with X-shaped frames that had no frame piece down the side (just reinforced side sills that were part of the body.) It wasn’t a very strong design, but it allowed for low side sills and eased entry into swoopy cars like the 1959 Impala my parents had when I was born.

@Triedaq Yes, OP must have been in a car with just a slight hump. Our 1941 Chevy had just a slight bulge with carpet on top. Completely flat floors were only found in trucks and front drive vehicles after the mid thirties, except the Checker Marathon.

“Completely flat floors were only found in trucks and front drive vehicles after the mid thirties.”

…except for Checker Marathon sedans, which were made up through the 1982 model year.
While not many Checkers were sold for non-fleet use, it is possible that the OP’s grandfather owned one of these cars. Not likely, but possible.

I have a similar memory, a black car and think it had to be a checker. The Checker is the only car with enough space and a flat floor I can think of, and I seem to recall 2 or 3 of us. Another vague memory is there was a circle on the floor that could be pulled up to be a stool for extra seating. The occasion was a funeral, maybe funeral homes used to provide them. Looking at the models a checker A5 looks like the ticket.

There are some modern cars with almost flat rear floors, especially Hondas. They have somehow flattened out the exhaust system so it needs essentially no hump. The carmakers claim they’re flat, but I have yet to see one that’s totally flat.

The Oldsmobile Toronado immediately comes to mind. It was front wheel drive and debuted in the 1960’s.