Saturday, June 3, 2017

Truman era licorice behemoth for post 399!

Tomorrow will be my 400th attempt at this endeavor and I have a hooptie picked out that perfectly encapsulates my mission statement. But first there's this licorice behemoth that lives just blocks from my new spot in Bay Ridge. The mechanics were very nice when I asked to snap a few pics and I got the impression people do all the time:
This is a *1948 Chrysler Windsor sedan in Black. This car is executive, classy, and authoritative. It is also ready to start up and drive away 69 years after it came off the assembly line! The overall shape harkens back to the pre-war era of the fenders being separate from the body.
*The registration sticker claims this is a '49 but there was a comprehensive restyle. Perhaps this languished on the lot and was first titled in 1949?
First of all get a load of this pointy-lipped grill. Those turn signals tucked under the top horizontal bar are legit glass. The hood ornament is an eagle in flight looking down (at the whole world I'm sure).
This is a big car in person with the hood just continuing on forever like the prow of an ocean liner. The front fender itself is about as long as a Smart Car.
Beneath that mighty hood lies a 250 L-Head 6 cylinder good for a measly 114 horsepower. This was mated to a 4 speed manual transmission. Overall this car was about getting there in style and comfort as opposed to being swift.
The Windsor was a higher trim level of the Royal. The Saratoga, New Yorker, and Town & Country were all tonier than the Windsor, making for an impressive array of offerings for one make.
The original Windsor was introduced in 1939 to replace the Chrysler Airflow. The Airflow was a departure from almost anything built up to that point in that it had a slippery body born in a wind tunnel of Chryslers design. The Airflow was a flop but the lessons they learned influenced their designs for decades to come. This slippery shape is a direct descendant of the Airflow. 
You just know looking at these taillights that they are the pet project of some designer in the Chrysler studio. Beautiful and architectural, these could just as easily be installed on the Chrysler Building itself. The trunk is so tall that the spare tire sits upright in a little well to one side. 
This interior seems like a slightly out of date fancy restaurant in some grand hotel. The admittedly stained seat is still without tears though and it does match the secondary colors on the dash and door.
That is a manual transmission on the tree allowing for 3 abreast seating in comfort. There is a radio installed in the center with pushbuttons to remember your favorite stations. How satisfying are those chrome knobs under the dash? They control the lights (in 2 switches; the first is just for those bumper mounted running/fog lights and the second for headlights), temperature, and defrost. Under the closest of those is a clear acrylic knob which is actually the choke.
Well there we have it; a lovely old post war yacht roosting mere blocks from my new home. The oldest car I ever owned was a 1947 Dodge which, while being downmarket from the haughty Chryslers, was more similar than dissimilar to this ride. My old beast had the semi auto Fluid Drive trans and drove like an old truck for $850. I have no doubt this would be a bit more refined but these are truly basic cars that are a cinch to work on. If you have a driveway or garage and like to tinker you can pick up a lovely postwar classic pretty cheap and drive around town with ease.
Tomorrow brings the 400th post!

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