Notice: The next story was excerpted from the February 2017 subject of Collectible Car journal
The wood-bodied station wagon was in its twilight years by 1950. It had progressed from business depot hack within the Teenagers and Twenties to one thing of a standing image within the Thirties and Forties. Station wagons have been simply the factor for looking journeys or carrying using tack to and from the stables. Within the 1939 film Darkish Victory, Bette Davis’s socialite-horsewoman character describers herself as a part of the “station wagon crowd.”
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By then wagons have been properly styled and crafted. The high-quality wooden steered yachts and required nearly as a lot upkeep. Correct care meant yearly varnishing however even then the wooden might rot, and sections wanted to get replaced. Adjustments in temperature precipitated wooden to broaden or contract. Screws and bolts needed to periodically be tightened to keep away from squeaks and rattles.
In the meantime, households of extra common means observed that wagons could be good to hold a rising household and its gear. Nevertheless, the station wagon was usually the most costly bodystyle in a make’s lineup, and no person needed so as to add varnishing the household automobile to the checklist of family chores. The steel-bodied station wagon modified that. A brand new form of station wagon crowd was extra more likely to be seen at Scout jamborees or PTA conferences than at horse reveals.
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Willys and Crosley constructed the primary metal station wagons, however the Crosley was a tiny subcompact and the Willys was extra of a sport-utility automobile. The primary mainstream full-size metal wagon was the 1949 Plymouth Suburban. By 1953, Buick was constructing the final American wagon with structural-wood building. Nevertheless, many individuals preferred the “woodie” look and woodgrain appliqués have been utilized to metal wagons to evoke a bygone period.
The 1950 DeSoto Customized featured right here was among the many final DeSoto wagons with actual wooden. DeSoto adopted Plymouth’s lead and changed its woodie with a steel-bodied wagon late within the 1950 mannequin 12 months. Solely 600 wooden wagons have been in-built 1950. Maybe solely two or three restored examples stay.
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The upright styling beloved by Chrysler Company President Ok. T. Keller labored properly on the DeSoto station wagon. For 1950, there was a brand new variation of the model’s toothy grille, and a brand new hood decoration that featured the helmeted head of Hernando de Soto with a plastic face that glowed when the headlights have been lit. Underhood was a 236.6-cid L-head six that developed 112 horsepower. The engine was extra spectacular than its specs. The six was easy and a very good hill climber. It included a high-compression head, well-engineered
ignition system, and low-friction Superfinish inside components to cut back put on. A 3-speed guide transmission was customary on base DeLuxe fashions, whereas Customs had a semiautomatic transmission dubbed “Tip-Toe Hydraulic Shift with Gyrol Fluid Drive.”
Picture Characteristic: 1953 Chrysler New Yorker City & Nation
This automobile is owned by Jim Edwards of Valley Heart, California. He purchased it restored, however went by it completely to get it into the situation seen right here. The DeSoto received the San Diego Automotive Museum Director’s Alternative Award on the La Jolla Concours d’Class. Edwards says the wagon is sweet to drive and climbs hills with ease. “The engine is so easy it’s loopy. At idle, you don’t know that it’s working,” he says.
Simply Your Common 1948 Chrysler City and Nation Convertible…with a V10
Click on beneath for enlarged photos.
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1950 DeSoto Customized Station Wagon Gallery