Here's one for old_mopar-guy

My dad had the record player in our '57 Chrysler, it wasn’t too bad but the selection of records was very limited.

Not a Mopar product, but I still think that the advertising was… interesting.
Not necessarily accurate, but… interesting.

1 Like

No need to spend more on a Mercury or Lincoln!

I’m not sure about that. The Lincoln Capri was magnificent IMO.

As I remember, Ford introduced ball joint suspension in 1954. Chevrolet and Plymouth still had kingpins. Ford also had suspended pedals, which Ford introduced in 1952. This put the master brake cylinder under the hood rather than under the floorboard, where the master cylinder was located on the Chevrolet and Plymouth.
One feature that Chevrolet and Plymouth had that Ford did not have was an automatic choke. However, I preferred the hand choke to the automatic choke back in the days of the carburetors.


As i remember those cars, even when new they were junk.

My first car a '54 Dodge Meadowbrook (bought in 1965…) had kingpins, a manual choke and even a manual throttle, an emergency/parking brake the locked the driveshaft, not the rear wheel brakes. And writing of brakes, it had the pedals that went through the floor (not the swing type) and finding that master cylinder the first time was like a treasure hunt, under the driver’s side floor mat and unbolt a cover to get to the master cylinder screw cover. I guess cleanliness of brake fluid was high on the designer’s priority list… It also came with a Red Ram Hemi V8 with “three on the tree” and a Hydrostatic clutch (Fluid Clutch…) that worked like a torque-converter. You could let the clutch out in any gear and it acted just like an automatic with just one-gear. But to shift to any other gear, you had to use the clutch. My car was the two-door coupe (today we say “coop…”) as I did then, but back then a lot of “high brows” said it in French, “Coo-pay…”

From the original handbook that I still have, wish I had the car too…

Some of my favorites:
1992 Corsica brochure

The Shadow was much easier to maintain but the Corsica was the better riding/performing car. Didn’t you buy an old Shadow?

The Celica was in a different league.

1 Like

My brother bought a used '54 Ford from the local Shell station, which claimed that it was in good shape. Because he was only 18 and not very knowledgeable about cars, he believed them.

It turned-out to burn oil at such a collossal rate that he bought 40-weight oil from Pep Boys by the gallon. But, it was reliable and it started every morning (thanks to the hand choke), and got him back & forth to college each day… until it fell off of the lift at NJ State Inspection, damaging the ball joints.

The car wasn’t worth enough at that point in order to spend the money for front-end repairs, so he replaced it with a '55 Chevy, which was… slightly… better.

The “low priced three”, Chevy, Ford, and to a lesser degree Plymouth were simply basic transportation meant as “grocery getters”. As soon as people could afford it they could move up the price ladder to something more comfortable and reliable.

My uncle was the classic example of that syndrome. He was a Chrysler guy, so when he landed a better job, he moved-up from a Plymouth to a Dodge. A few years later, after getting a promotion, he bought a '58 DeSoto FireDome. 2 years later, he traded-in the DeSoto on a beautiful 1960 New Yorker convertible–white, with red leather interior.

He kept the New Yorker for 2 years, and bought a new Imperial–which he actually allowed me to drive, about 6 months after getting my license. What a car that was!

His final car before he died was another Imperial. It was still in beautiful condition, but for some strange reason, my cousin convinced his mother to trade it in on a new Plymouth Fury. The Plymouth was their new, much larger model–1969 or 1970, I think.

The Plymouth was assembled like garbage, with bad-quality paint and pieces of the instrument panel actually never having been completely connected to the dashboard, with huge gaps. And, to top it off, the Plymouth got worse gas mileage than the Imperial.

After enduring that Plymouth for a few years, she traded it in on a Chevy Malibu, which must have caused my uncle to spin in his grave.

That was unfortunately common. After 1968 Chrysler’s assembly quality dropped precipitously.

1 Like

My sister-in-law’s 1970 Barracuda was assembled even worse than my aunt’s Fury was. Somehow, I lucked-out with my '71 Charger, which was flawless.

I had a close friend who bought a '56 Chevy, 6-cylinder, with an automatic about 1968 or 69, back then cars like that normally sold for about $75 to $150. It was one of those advertised in the newspaper with R&H (radio and heater), but it was only $50. It was listed in the morning paper and my friend called immediately, I do not think the people were up yet, but he called me to take him over to take a look, he did not want to miss it. We skipped school and sure enough, the older couple had not even gotten dressed yet, but they let us look the car over. The owner said that they had recently bought a “new” used car and the salesman told them that they could probably get more for it at a private sale.

We found out why the salesman did not want it as a trade-in as soon as we started it. Oh did she smoke, blue smoke poured out the tailpipe and smoke poured out the crankcase vent on the bottom of the engine.

But Mike had fallen in love with it the moment he set his eyes on it, honestly, it was in really good shape body wise, most cars that vintage in upstate New York had all types of body rot from the salt.

He bought it and he drove it home and then we returned the plates to the owner. After checking compression, it was a wonder it could compress the mixture enough to ignite. Well, that explained the blow-by, the rings were shot. But the number four spark plug was almost fouled out with oil and while we were checking the car out further, the plug did foul out completely.

We went to Western Auto and bought a new set of plugs and within a day, that number four plug fouled out again… With a propane torch to burn off the oil and a stiff wire brush, we could get that plug working again… But that would not last.

Mike bought a whole box of the hottest spark plugs that A/C made but that that only delayed the problem…

So, every day, Mike changed that plug out with a “fresh” one and he carried the rest and a socket wrench in his trunk in case one fouled while he was out… And burning off the fouled plugs became a weekly ritual that I think Mike actually enjoyed…

It took about 6-months before Mike saved up enough to buy a used engine from a junk yard. When we broke down the old engine, the oil ring from the number four piston was not all there, there was only about enough ring to go two-thirds the way around the piston. And almost all the other rings, compression and oil were cracked or broken…

Within a year the “new” six was replaced with a 327 and the “slip 'n slide” powerglide had been replaced with a 4-speed and Mike drove that car for several more years…

Yes manual choke would have been better. We had a new 57 ford and we’re at a resort in Canada. Big steep gravel drive to get out wheels spinning. Dad took off and got half way up and the car stalled. Coasted back down and would not start. Resort owner came over and manipulated the choke and said something about those dang new ford chokes. At nine years old I learned about choke problems.

1 Like

Reminds me of the time I replaced my ancient 2-stroke lawnmower’s piston rings. The remaining metal was so thin it shattered into a dozen pieces just trying to pry it from the groove, any thinner and it would have been non-existent … lol … I have to say that lawnmower’s engine performance improvement was a night and day difference w/the new rings.

1 Like

Another blast from the past…

1 Like

Now those were nice cars with a really good engine.

My father had a couple of Buicks in the mid to late '50s. As a little kid, I remember him teasing me not to put my finger in the fender “exhaust-ports” so I did not get burned… I did not realize just how expensive those cars were then, up to $3,300. Wow, we must have been rich… L :grin: L . . .