Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Old cars were once the newest things on the block

1951 Hudson Hornet Hollywood hardtop looked like the future.
There was a suggestion on the website that motorcycles would be included in last Saturday's Antique Car Show at historic Sample-McDougald House in Pompano Beach, Fla.

I found not a single old-fashioned motorcycle there except the one I rode in on — my 1999 Royal Enfield Bullet. I parked discreetly so as not to show up all the mere antique automobiles on show.

But these were, in fact, delightful. I am personally enough of an antique to remember when many of these cars were new or, at least, not old. At the time they seemed wonderful to me. But, over time, I had forgotten how truly incredible they were.

Delightfully simple coiled springs helped lift the Hudson's hood.
"Hudson kind of spoiled the future for you," commented the gentleman showing a 1951 Hudson Hornet Hollywood hardtop. He meant that if you bought a Hudson at the time you didn't have to wait for the future. Hudson was there already.

It had a low slung, step-down frame, pillarless hardtop and push-button radio.

Not least of its features was the radio antenna that could be rotated into a folded down position from the driver's seat.

Hudson featured a rear armrest both passengers could use.
My favorite feature of this car was the massive folding armrest in the rear seat that instantly gave the big car "plus-2" seating. Very sporting.

Glance through a few of my photos.

1948 MG TC looks even older than it is!
But notice the green radiator slats. They match the upholstery.
1948 Chevrolet looked like a barrel. But what a clean chrome nameplate.
1959 Ford convertible looked snazzy. Owner didn't hide
the lowly six-cylinder motor and standard shift.
Nothing sexier. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette.
Exhaust really does come out that gorgeous bumper.
Tasteful original fins on 1953 Cadillac Fleetwood.
If only they had stayed so small.
1953 Cadillac Fleetwood also featured tasteful side scoops.
To ventilate what, I wonder?
1951 Ford Country Squire woody wagon looked regal indeed.
But to feel truly royal, choose the 1954 Chrysler Crown Imperial.
1964 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 was just a car.
But in name and looks, it promised tomorrow.


  1. Anonymous1/24/2017

    Remember the early 1980s Oldsmobile TV ad tagline? "This isn't your father's Oldsmobile!"
    Damn right it isn't. My dad's Olds said, "We got dough and you----don't"

    1. They were a lot of car with a lot of power and a lot of size and a lot of style and, of course, all the flaws typical of their day. Then they got smaller and more ordinary, but many of the flaws remained and the price asked did not go lower.


Follow royalenfields on Twitter