Friday, July 17, 2015

Kicking off the weekend with a wicked patina!

In the South Slope portion of Brooklyn I recently ran across the following beautifully patinated ride:
This is a 1950 Dodge Coronet that is still wearing most of its original Island Green color. This particular one is special though.
This beast has every one of its 65 years on display! While rat rods aren't a new concept it takes someone with vision to hold back on the typical flat-black-with-red-wheels look and celebrate the well worn remnants of the original finish.
The Coronet was introduced in 1949 as the highest-end offering from Dodge. In an odd twist of fate it became the lowest-end trim line in 1955 before finally landing square in the middle of the pecking order in the '60s. This coupe body style was elegant and fresh when new, with just enough chrome trim to make a fancy entrance. The vintage 100 spoke wire wheels on this ride are a lowrider original but were not offered on this car.
This car proudly boasts the Gyro-Matic transmission which is essentially the same as the Fluid Drive from years previous. This would be a semi automatic trans where you use the clutch to pull away from a stop in first gear, but shift without the clutch into 2nd and 3rd. They were usually mounted on the column like a 3 on the tree.
In true rat rod fashion this car obviously has a different driveline in it. What looks to be a B&M floor mounted shifter sits in front of 3 aftermarket gauges, all complimented by the column-mounted tachometer. This could really have any engine you can imagine in it due to the colossal engine bay.
That beige thing attached to the center windshield bar is probably a period-correct compass. The dice are awful, because I hate car dice, and why would you put stupid dice in such a great car, and dice are the dumbest cliche in the book, and another thing . . .
That steering wheel sure is pretty though!
I love the presentation of this car. All the chrome and stainless are in fine shape without being too mirror-like. It looks like they spayed a clear coat over the patina as well since it manages to have a waxed look.
There is even a reverse light on the drivers side! This was not a common thing in 1950.
My guess is that this beast was resting fully exposed to the elements in the southwest somewhere since the paint is totally blown out from the top down. 
This generation Coronet represented the first new design for Dodge since the end of World War II. I breifly had a 1947 Dodge that looked like a car from the '30s with fenders completely separate from the body and a hood that was hinged in the center, opening on each side like wings.
For a car of this age the dimensions aren't crazy huge. This seems pretty manageable in traffic compared to many cars from the late '50s.
Aww she's grumpy! This frumpy face is just great, especially with the crazed and cracked paint job.
Close up of some mysterious spot where 4 rivets were called for. This patina is out of control!
From this angle you can see the vent that's popped up just under the center of the windshield. My '47 had this feature too; you simply grabbed a grip under the dash very much like a pistol and pushed forward, opening a scoop for cabin ventilation.
Fitting enough that the Ds are missing, leaving O G E (though I'd almost want to remove the E at this point). This cruiser is one of my favorites I've run across in NYC, and easily takes the prize for best finish. Hopefully I'll see it parked with the owner one day so I can find out what lurks under the hood.

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