Collector Car Corner

Which American Car Manufacturer Sold the Most Cars in the 1950s?
I enjoy most the articles on cars from the 1950s, so can you tell me which American car manufacturer sold the most cars during the great decade of 1950? I think I know it is the Chevy, and then Ford. But how about after that?
The Rare 1958 Mercury Super Marauder 430 V8 & 1956 Golden Hawk 374 V8
That 1958 Mercury Super Marauder was a very rare option, and did appear on the option list. The 1956 Golden Hawk model was available with either a 352 Packard V8 or the rare but available 374 as an option.
The Best Classic Car Songs
Many years ago you wrote an article about car songs and the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean that I saw in a recent issue. The article covered the best classic car songs, and I’d love if you could touch on some of these great classic car songs again.
1940-1942 Willys Coupes Are Very Popular Today
Those 1940-1942 Willys Coupes are very popular today, and several companies produce complete fiberglass bodies for use on the street or strip.
The Very Rare 1971 Corvette LS6 454 Cubic Inch V8 With 425 Horsepower
The very rare 1971 Corvette LS6 454 cubic inch V8 with 425 horsepower was similar to the LS7 engine that could be ordered from the factory as a crate motor (I bought one for my race car in 1979 for $1,448), and came with a solid lifter camshaft.
What Happened to the Lincolns From Back in the 1950s?
I'd like to know about what happened to the Lincolns from back in the 1950s. Up until 1958, I thought the styling was quite nice for a luxury car. Then in 1958, Lincoln came out with a massive piece of monstrosity.
Is There a One Mile Dragstrip in the East That Officially Sanctions Races?
Is it true that there is a one mile dragstrip in the East that officially sanctions races? Yes and no. The track you are talking about is a 9,000 foot long private airport used mostly by DHL business delivery airplanes.
How Many Shelby AC Cobras Did Ford Build?
Overall, only 654 small blocks and 350 or so big block AC style Cobras were ever built in those seven years of availability, and many were indeed for street use.
Diana Motor Company Automobile History
The Diana Motor Company built cars from 1925 through 1928, so it sounds like your dad bought his Diana in its last year of production.
The DKW German Steam-Powered Automobile
The DKW was a German built car from 1928 through 1966. The word means "Dampf-Kraft-Wagen," or, translated into English the "steam powered vehicle."
Is My 1968 Mercury Worth Restoring?
Your car is currently listed under NAPA Old Car prices somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,620 to $2,948, mainly because of the six-cylinder engine which is a 10-percent deduction in value.
How Long Were the Muntz Jet Cars Available on the Market?
Muntz said 394 Jets were built, and it is estimated that today some 49 survive. Movie starts, of which he was friend with many, usually bought them, but from the beginning Muntz was losing money on every sale as production costs were very high.
Who Marketed the First Front Wheel Drive Car?
The first consumer available front wheel drive, mass marketed car came from the DKW F1 company from Germany in 1931. Other German car producers, of which there were many back then, followed as Stoewer later in 1931 offered a front drive.
Studebaker Golden Hawk Transmission Types
Specifically, two transmissions were available for the 1956 Studebaker Goldenhawk, including the manual Borg Warner T85 three-speed with overdrive or Packard's "Twin Ultramatic" automatic transmission.
Why Did General Motors Drop Oldsmobile?
General Motors dropped the Olds because of declining sales numbers. That's pretty much the same reason Pontiac fell by the wayside, too. Olds was first to go in 2004 following several years of trying to prop up the brand with new marketing.
Brief History of the Graham Cars
I was wondering if you could give any information on the history of the Graham cars? The first Graham car was dubbed a “Graham Paige,” released in 1928, and the Graham cars continued along through 1941.
5 Things You Need To Know About the Collector Car Market
Collector car journalist and racing legend Greg Zyla presents five things you need to know about the collector car market including values of classic cars, restoration tips and where to find the most resourceful collector car news.
The 1954 Ford Skyliner - The Grandfather of Moonroofs
I own a 1954 Ford Skyliner and enjoy your column very much. I have read somewhere that Ford tested two Skyliners in 1954, one with the plexiglass top and one with a steel top in Arizona with all of the windows up.
Which Production Car Had the First Moonroof?
Which production car had the first moonroof? I was really taken in by Ford’s new 1954 Skyliner, which was a Crestline Victoria that featured a green, transparent, Plexiglas window roof right above the driver’s seat.
How Many Panteras Were Built?
To give you the scoop on the Pantera, the mid-engined beauty was sculpted by noted designer Tom Tjaarda and manufactured by the Italian car company DeTomaso.Overall, a total of about 7,500 Panteras were built, with most sold by Ford/Lincoln/Mercury.
More Volkswagen Beetle History
The evolution of the Volkswagen Beetle model is very interesting. From the sporty Karmann Ghia to the VW Camper and Bus line, Volkswagens were the mode of transportation for so many of my friends during the 1960s and 1970s.
Is My Numbers Matching 1967 Chevelle Worth More as an Original Car?
I have a 1967 Chevelle 2-door that has a 283 with a two barrel carb. I would like to do an engine upgrade to a new muscle car crate motor and put some SS badges on it, but some of my friends say it is worth as an original.
Hudson Cars of the 1930s
Model 73 Hudson Custom vs. Model 74 Hudson Deluxe with all the specs: weight, horsepower, prices, and even the option of a 3-way hot water heater and defroster unit for $21.65, plus 65-cents tax, totaling $22.30. Now, how great is that?
Was the Studebaker Golden Hawk Considered a Muscle Car?
The Studebaker Golden Hawk was powered by a 374 cubic inch Packard twin four barrel engine that produced 310 horsepower and 400 pound foot of torque, so I think it should be classified as a muscle car.
When Did Buick Begin Their Car Manufacturing Operations?
Buick actually began producing a horseless carriage in 1903 utilizing a chain driven twin-power engine. The inventor was David Buick, a Scottish industrialist. All Buicks used inline six cylinder engines until 1931.
The Fabulous Hudson Hornets
The most famous of the performance Hudsons was the 308-inch 6–cylinder “racing” versions that allowed race drivers like Marshall Teague to win 12 of 13 scheduled AAA stock car races in 1952 in a Hornet.
How Rare is the 1968 Mercury Cougar 427?
As for the 1968 427 Mercury Cougar, only 357 were ever built, making it the rarest of the rare Cougars because of the 427 “W” Code side oiler engine. (I guess I’d probably opt for the 427 based on numbers only).
Did the Hemi Engine Come Out Before 1965?
Those famous 426 Hemi engines came out way before 1965, but in smaller dimensions. My dad had a 1953 Dodge with a Hemi in it. The 1953 Dodge Hemi came with a scaled down version of the already introduced in 1951 Chrysler 331 Hemi V8.
Can a 440 Wedge Block Accept Hemi Heads?
I was going to buy a new 1965 Plymouth Belvedere. The salesman told me he could get me a 426 Hemi for it. Was the salesman telling the truth about being able to buy the 426 Hemi for the Belvedere? Is there a kit to make my 440 into a Hemi?
Did the 1968 Camaro RS SS 396 Engine Have Aluminum Heads?
Back in the 1960s, it was a great time to own a performance car, and I owned a 1968 Camaro RS SS. Did the 1968 Camaro RS SS 396 engine have aluminum heads?
Bill Bratko's 1965 Chevy Nova Survivor Car
I still have my 1965 Chevrolet Nova that was bought brand new in 1965 and I consider it a true survivor collector car. It has a 355 cubic inch V8, 12.5 to 1 compression, dual quad carburetors, 4-speed transmission and a 4.88 posi rear end.
Rare COPO 427 Chevys
Chevy allowed two specific "COPO" allotments, numbered 9560 and 9561 for the 1969 model year. COPO 9561 included the L72 427-425 horse big block and was by far the most popular of the two.
Are the Interior Parts the Same in the 1959 Ford and the 1959 Edsel?
The 1959 Ford had similar mechanical parts as the 1959 Edsel Ranger, including engines, rears and transmissions, but are any of the interior parts the same?
Building Model Cars in the 1950s and 1960s
I want to dedicate this column to model cars and model car builders. Building models was and still is an enjoyable endeavor of my "car loving" life. Just about every car lover goes through the model building days.
Eastern Museum of Motor Racing
The Eastern Museum Of Motor Racing (EMMR) is located in York Springs, PA and was purchased in 1982 by EMMR, a 501-c nonprofit organization is home to the EMMR museum that houses an extensive collection of historic race cars.
1957 Ford Fairlane Model Car Kit
A few years ago I found a 1957 Ford model car kit. I think it was a Revell. My car was light green and white, and the photo of the Revell model was the same color, so that's what color I was going to paint it.
Did the Chrysler Newport and Dodge 880 Receive the Same Sheet Metal in 1962?
Chrysler had regularly used the Newport logo in the 1940s and 1950s, but it wasn’t until 1961 that the Newport became a standalone model.
More Plymouth Collector Car History
I’ve been reading your columns recently and liked the GTX column last month. I still like the old Plymouths, and ask if you think Chrysler should have kept the name instead of Dodge.
1957 Ford Police Interceptor
My dad said the 1957 Ford business coupe had a 270 Police Interceptor engine in it with two 4-barrel carbs and a 3 speed transmission on the column.
How Many 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 312 V8 Superchargers Were Made?
I had a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 with the optional 300-horsepower supercharged 312 V8. It was quite a fast car back then, and I'm wondering if you know how many of these 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 312 V8 Superchargers were made?
Why Did Checker Motor Company Go Out of Business?
I really miss those old Checker Taxi cabs. Whatever happened to the Checker Taxi cabs and why did Checker Motor Company go out of business?
How Much Is An Original 1947 Pontiac Silver Streak Worth?
I have a 1947 Silver Streak Pontiac with only 24,000 miles showing on the speedometer and it has the Straight-8 with a 3-speed manual that runs great. Could you please tell me what a fair price would be for this car?
When Was the Last Official Packard Built?
In 1958, even less Packards were sold, and the Packard-Studebaker board announced it would end all Packard production midway that year.
What is the Definition of a Muscle Car?
The term muscle car is any American-produced vehicle with a high horsepower engine built specifically for performance. The years 1956-1957 were loaded with fine examples of Detroit muscle.
How Much Is My 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 XL 2-Door Hardtop Worth?
How much is my 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 XL 2-door hardtop worth? Our Galaxie has an AM/FM radio, 390 V8 engine, 4-speed transmission and only 69,000 original miles.
What Was the Best Year for Collector Cars of the 1950s?
What was the best year for collector cars of the 1950s? If you had to choose one year from the decade of the 1950s as the best overall for cars, what year would it be?
1957 Dodge Coronet Lancer
The 1957 Dodge Coronet Lancer was one of Dodge's most popular all-new cars of the era, featuring a 325 V8 engine producing 245 horses, 3-speed push button Torqueflite transmission, lots of chrome and beautiful interior.
Is It True That a Monkey Used To Ride With One of the NASCAR Drivers Back in the 1950s?
Is It True That a Monkey Used To Ride With One of the NASCAR Drivers Back in the 1950s? The driver who took a monkey with him in the NASCAR races was the legendary Tim Flock.
1950s Saabs That Sounded Like Bumblebees
Do you remember those great Saabs of the late 1950s that sounded like bumblebees? I sure do. I, too, was a Saab fan, especially of those “bumble bee” sounding 1956-1959 models with a four speed on the column and a three cylinder, two stroke engine.
Collector Car Insurance Options
I am planning on buying a Lincoln or Cadillac from the late 1950s or early 1960s and want to know about collector car insurance. How do you insure your collector cars?
Who Won the Very First Indy 500 in 1911?
A Bosch-powered Marmon Wasp driven by Ray Harroun did indeed win the very first Indy 500 in 1911, so Bosch’s roots in motorsports goes back a long, long way.
How Many Different Engines Were Available in the 1965 Dodge Coronet?
The powerful 426 Hemi engine was available in 1965 in the Dodge, and five other V8 engines including the 273, 318, 361, 383 and 413 power plants. Additionally, two Slant-6 engines were available.
Did a Nash Car Ever Pace in the Indy 500?
Nash was the official pace car of the Indy 500 in 1947 and was driven by George W. Mason, president of Nash-Kelvinator. Mason was a marketing genius who utilized Nash automobiles in the Superman TV series, too.
What is My 1937 Buick Series 40 Special and My 1969 Midget Worth?
I have a 1937 Buick that I restored about 30 years ago and a 1969 MG Midget that I worked on 20 years ago. I'd like some ballpark figures on what my 1937 Buick Series 40 Special and my 1969 Midget are worth?
Should I Install Aluminum Rods In My 454 Chevy For My 1969 Chevelle?
I am rebuilding a 454 Chevy to put in my 1969 Chevelle and came upon a set of used aluminum rods I picked for only $200. DO NOT run these aluminum rods in your 454 engine, or any engine for that matter.
How Can a Car Collector Tell if a 1968 Mr. Norm Grand Spaulding 440 Dart is Real?
How Can a Car Collector Tell if a 1968 Mr. Norm Grand Spaulding 440 Dart is Real?
I have a 1940 Graham Supercharger and I would like to know what it’s worth. The supercharger is designed and built by Graham and has a serial number of F82857.
1940 Graham Supercharger
The Graham became known as the car line with a “Supercharger” series, and many of their production models came with a supercharger.
1950 Plymouth Business Coupe
You do have a rare piece of automotive history on your hands, as just 16,861 1950 Plymouth Business Coupes were ever produced in a total run of 610,954 Plymouth cars that year.
What is the Value of a Crosley Today?
What is the value of a Crosley today? How well do these cars do at auctions nowadays, as they weren't a very expensive car back when they were built?
Honda Insight Memories and the Modern Electric Car
I’d love to hear your comments on the original electric car to come to America, the 2000 Honda Insight. I know it came before the Toyota Prius and I would guess you test drove the car back then as I see you’ve been doing this since 1994.
How To Rebuild a Mopar 383ci V8 Engine for $2,500
I am preparing to rebuild a Mopar 383 V8 engine that has been sitting around my garage for years and I am going to put it in a 1968 Plymouth 2-door Satellite. How can I rebuild my 383 V8 engine for $2,500?
1939 Chevy Sedan Delivery Model JB Sells For $673!
1939 Chevy Sedan Delivery was called a Model JB, and it sold new for $673.00. The vehicle has a 112.25 in wheel base and weighed 3005 lbs. from the factory on the original chassis.
The Writing Is On The (Side) Wall
If I inflate my tires past the recommended tire pressure number by a few pounds, will I get better gas mileage in both my muscle car (1970 Plymouth Barracuda) and my street car 2010 Dodge Avenger R/T?
Lincoln Continentals of the 1950s
Lincoln produced a Continental from 1939 to 1948 and then let the name sit for several years until bringing it back as a stand-alone model in 1956.
What Was the Very First Sport Utility Vehicle?
Of all vehicles out there, the 1949 Willys Jeep Station Wagon in my opinion is the very first SUV ever built, as it included a strong four-wheel drive underbody with the flexibility of the station wagon body design.
Who Built the First Hatchback Car, and What Year Did It Happen?
Who built the first hatchback car, and what year did it happen? I'd give that vote to the 1949 through 1954 Kaiser Traveler utility sedan.
What is a Fair Price for a 6-Pack, Three-Two Barrel Setup?
What is a fair price to pay for a 6-pack, three two barrel setup, for my 440 Dodge R/T?
Fastest American Car in 1957
What was the fastest American car in 1957? In my view, the 1957 F code T-bird was the fastest American car in 1957.
The Crosley Motor Company
Crosley Motors Inc. was founded by Powell Crosley Jr. in Cincinnati, Ohio, back in the 1930s. I remember Crosley because I was a big Phillies baseball fan beginning in 1958, when I used to listen to the games on a Crosley manufactured radio!
Great Old Packards
I want to ask about your feelings on the Packard automobile that was built up through 1958. Also, do you know what the “Thee “P”s were in luxury cars?
Did Ford Produce Enough 1969 Talladega Fastbacks to be Legal for NASCAR Racing?
Did Ford Produce Enough 1969 Talladega Fastbacks to be Legal for NASCAR Racing?
Famous Mercurys on Highway, Dragstrip and Oval
Which year do you feel was most important to Mercury as a car brand on the dealer showroom, on the drag strip and on the racing ovals?
Was the 1967 GTX the First True Muscle Car Effort from Plymouth?
Was the 1967 GTX the First True Muscle Car Effort from Plymouth? The 1967 Plymouth GTX wasn’t the first muscle car effort by any means.
1967 Chevelle:  Real or Clone?
1967 Chevelle SS a few years ago that had a 350 small block crate motor in it. However, it does have all the correct SS396 badges inside and out. After doing some research, I read that the SS Sport Coupes came with 396/325hp engine.
Remembering the 1956-1959 Saab Model 93
Saab was founded back in 1949. Saab is still best known by car collectors for these very unique “humpback” sedans and coupes that roamed the roadways in the Fifties.
Lee Iacocca and the Ford Mustang
Didn’t Lee Iacocca start with Ford Motor Company and help bring the Mustang to market as well?
Earl Madman Muntz and his Muntz Jet
Another car manufacturer that I remember from the 1950 era was a man called “Madman Muntz” and his Muntz Jet. I’m sure you remember him and would appreciate if you could give us some information on him and his car?
Growing Up with Cars, Model Kits, and Drag Races
I remember the wheelstander drag vehicles you mention like it was yesterday, and I, too, built a model of the “Little Red Wagon” just like you did.
Car Shopping in the 1960s
Buying a car back in the 1960s was a lot different than it is today and the marketing was so much fun with the new model year dealership “new car celebrations”.