Older Vehicles vs. New Models


My mother-in-law was always glued to the set, and also watched all the reruns on Public Television. The dance music was great if you like ballroom dancing. I could not stand the “Lovely Lennon Sisters”.

Car-wise, full size cars was about all you could buy in the fifties unless you wanted a truck.

Only the Nash Rambler and the Kaiser Henry J were what we now call compacts.


I am the heretic here. I was driving age when Chrysler corporation introduced its Virgil Exner designed 1957 models. I didn’t care for the styling. The 1959 GM cars were even worse.
Also, in the late 1950s, the cars were longer, wider and lower and seated 4 people instead of 6. The seats were hard in the middle section due to the driveshaft tunnel. I remember when my dad was going to get a newer car to replace his 1954 Buick. The whole family took a test drive in a new 1959 Buick. The seats were so uncomfortable for us we were happy to get back in our 1954 Buick. Back in 1959, the only car that appealed to me was the 1959 Ford. My dad didn’t care for Ford products, so he never gave them a second look.


I agree!
Although I still think that DeSotos were the best-styled Chrysler products, I much prefer the restrained styling of the '59 Ford to the over-the-top excess of GM’s products, and even Chrysler’s models were more extreme (and not in a good way), as compared to Ford’s styling. But, in retrospect, I think that Studebaker’s '59 Lark beat even Ford in terms of tasteful styling.

Around 1964, my brother bought a well-maintained '59 Ford Custom 300, with a six-cylinder engine and three-on-the-tree. He loved that car, but–unfortunately–it was totaled in a winter driving accident only a few months after he bought it.


@VDCdriver. I liked the Studebaker Lark also. What is interesting is that the Studebaker Lark V8 with its 259 cubic inch engine got as good or even better gasoline mileage than the Larks equipped with the 169 cubic inch flathead 6. Had I been in charge of Studebaker, I would have only manufactured Larks with the V8 engines. The cars could have been advertised as cars with V8 performance and 6 cylinder economy.
The Lark held 6 passengers with more legroom than many full sized cars. To me, the Studebaker Lark offered far more than the Ford Falcon or Chevrolet Corvair.


It’s likely that the list price difference was the deciding factor on the 6 vs the 8 @Triedaq. The price of fuel was very low in the late 50s and early 60s. Gas price wars were common with prices often as low as 10c/gal. But Studebaker, even with Mr Ed’s help couldn’t capture much market. The super charged V8 was used by the park rangers on the Natchez Trace here in my area and it had a great reputation among scofflaws who were unable to out run the little family sedans. A Corvette owner here once outran one of the Larks but when he arrived home the county sheriff was waiting for him and a federal Marshall was soon there to impound the Vette so there was no getting away from the rangers even if you could outrun them.


… and Studebaker’s name for their police model was… the Marshal!


If we are discussing older vehicles, how about the products that we used in those vehicles?
I remember that the brand-name for Pep Boys antifreeze was the fodder for a lot of immature, adolescent jokes. Do you recall this product?



My 20 year old Father purchased a new 1926 Ford Model T roadster for $290. It was $304 shipped by rail to Denver Colorado. He travelled from Rifle Colorado (West slope) by train to pick it up. He had driven Model Ts a bit and knew how the pedals worked. He drove it home across very primitive roads over the Rocky Mountains and was amazed he only had one flat tire.
Magneto powered lights. My 1966 Triumph 650 Bonneville motorcycle had magneto ignition. At idle the lights nearly went out. When stopped at a traffic light or stop sign I increased RPMs to hopefully not be rear ended!


I always used Prestone. My dad used Prestone, but my uncle used water. Until it froze and cracked the block one winter. Usually the stuff was on sale for about $1-2 a gallon in the fall. We didn’t have any Pep Boys around here.


Many years ago, I worked with a guy who decided–on his own authority–that the way to avoid having to buy antifreeze was to drain the radiator when he arrived home at the end of the day, and then to pour BOILING water into the radiator, and to start his engine the next morning… when everything was stone-cold.

I don’t think that I need to detail the damage to his engine as a result of his “cost-saving” measures.



1958 thru 1960 Ford Galaxies are my least favorites. 1961s remedied that.


Anything built after 54 with a Hudson nameplate on it was really a Nash, you could get a 6 cylinder Hudson sngine in a few models, but the chassis, body and styling were pure Nash, The even put the Hudson name on some Metropolitans.

I don’t know if they will let you into the Hudson owners club with a 55 or 56 but they shouldn’t.

Same goes for the Studebakers with Packard badges after 56.