Gene Herman has shared the results of several of his outings in his lovely 1949 (first series) Dodge coupe. On the fourth of Novemeber, he went for a drive and encountered a few other old cars all within a short time, and posted them at the Cohort. First up is this 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 limousine or sedan. Like many limousines (done right), the rear portion of its roof and rear-most window look like rather coupe-like, although that’s not how the Fleetwood was built. Although it does make for interesting speculation if Cadillac had made a very formal Fleetwood coupe.
Here’s the front ends of these cars, separated by eight years. As much as has changed in that time, many basic elements are still the same. Single headlights set high on the front end of the fenders, and a low, horizontal grille. Brand identification, as if it was really needed on the Cadillac, rides on the front end of the down-turned hood. And a hood ornament sits on top. All of these design elements date back to the 1938 Lincoln Zephyr, and would not be usurped until the 1959 GM cars, with their low set headlights and high-set horizontal grilles.
Somewhere further down the road, Gene encountered this old Chevy pickup, from about 1968 or a bit later. And what do they share in common? Maybe a six cylinder engine? Three speed manual? Four wheels?
And the final encounter was with a VW Beetle, a 1962 or older. Now here there’s quite a bit in common stylistically, even if this Dodge is a coupe and not a fastback. But they’re both originally products of the 1930s, and there’s plenty of evidence of that. The Dodge had lost its running boards by then, but the thick window surrounds and their rounded shapes are tell-tales. The Dodge’s rear window looks like it might swap out with the VW’s, although the Beetle didn’t use one that big until 1958.
Every time I see pictures of Gene’s Dodge out on the road, I get pangs. This is a car I could really enjoy taking out for a spin in the Oregon countryside, and I’d probably find four old cars to shoot with it in the first half mile. I’d never be able to actually get anywhere…