Saturday, April 15, 2017

My invitation to Bay Ridge

I've been apartment hunting lately and my search has brought me through several neighborhoods. I stepped out of a viewing thinking to myself how much I liked the place. As I was making the decision that I'd just seen my future apartment I found this car parked on the same block. Kismet!
This is a 1950 Chrysler Windsor Club Coupe in Racine Blue. It is just beautiful in this deep color with brightwork that isn't overly chromed.
Chrysler had a surprising array of models and body styles in 1950. There was the base Chrysler Royal below this in stature, and the Saratoga, New Yorker, and Town and Country above it. They all looked very similar but the higher end models had a solid chrome panel surrounding the square turn signals where this is body colored.
The Club Coupe was the 2 door non-hardtop style.
For no reason other than it's one of my favorite front ends I'm including the above pic. It is the Chrysler Windsor Club Coupe from 1942 and I love the front so much I want to hug my computer.
This is a classy ride for someone who's made it. The bank manager might drive this car is Cadillac wasn't his thing. Smooth, quiet, and powerful were hallmarks of this sweet rig.
You can tell this is a 1950 because the taillights on the '49 were on top of the rear fenders. The 1951 had a very simple grill with only one vertical bar in the center.
Back-up lights (as they were called in their brochure) were standard in 1950! Most cars built mid century only offered them as an option if at all. Advances in engineering were many, with improved water-resistant brakes, independent front spring suspension, Hydra-Lizard(!) rear shock absorbers, waterproof ignition, padded dash, and Super Cushion tires all being mentioned.
Wide white walls need a real car to look appropriate. That formal roofline allows for the business man to drive with his hat on!
This year Chrysler came with the Prestomatic Fluid Drive transmission. This was a semi-auto where you used the clutch to set off from stopped but then shift without the clutch to high gear at speed.
That speedo cluster in the center of the dashboard was marketed as a safety feature as well, with a compliment of gauges all in one easily viewed space. Seems like common sense but it was advanced thinking for the time.
Original hubcaps complete the tone. I had the feeling that this car was restored carefully many years ago and kept up since. The fit and finish were overall very good with only the slightest of door alignment called for.
Dig this copy from the original brochure: "You'll thrill to a new kind of riding pleasure when you first try the Chrysler ride! For, truly, here is riding magic!"
Obviously Chrysler was confident in their product and they had good reason to be. This was the company who produced the Imperial; a car whose only possible competition in the domestic luxury market was Cadillac. They also brought acres of innovation to their rides while Ford and Chevy were glitzing out their relatively primitive lineup.
Being a 67 year old mid tier offering from a high end brand makes this car pretty rare today. There is currently one on eBay for only $18,900 in great shape with only 49,000 miles on it so they're still not a super hot commodity. I'm looking forward to meeting the owner of this ride once I settle in to my new place.

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