1953 Chrysler Windsor

Chrysler Corporation was formed in 1925, years after both Ford and General Motors. The company was begun by Walter Percy Chrysler in June of that year. Chrysler operated as an independent automaker all the way until 1998 when the comany was taken over by Daimler-Benz.

1953 Chrysler Windsor

1953 Chrysler Windsor

Walter Chrysler began Chrysler Corporation after spending over a decade in the automobile business and prior to that in the railroad business. He first went up the ladder at Buick while GM was controlled by the bankers. When General Motors was later controlled again by William Durant who had originally started the company, Chrysler was persuaded to stay aboard at Buick and given an enormous salary for the era.

Eventually, Walter Chrysler parted with GM and tried to help the bankers by running the Willys-Overland Motor Company which was in deep trouble. Chrysler was never able to take total control from John Willys and eventually resigned and bought controlling interest in Maxwell Motors. After the Maxwell brand was phased out the Chrysler Corporation grew by the acquisition of Dodge and by adding the Plymouth and Desoto marques.

1953 Chrysler

1953 Chrysler

Later in it’s history, Chrysler Corporation would make large investments to it’s Canadian plants.

Walter Chrysler began phasing himself out of the Chrysler Corporation during the late 1930′s with operation responsibility handed off to other executives. After suffering a stroke in 1938, Walter Chrysler died two years later in 1940. He was sixty-five years of age.

The 1953 Chrysler Windsor Design

The 1953 Chrysler Windsor like the one shown in this article was a full sized automobile that sold in the 1940′s and 1950′s.

The 1953 Chrysler line was totally new from front to back including dozens of new mechanical changes. As an example of the significant changes with the 1953 models, they included improvements in the windshield wipers, heater, chassis frame, carburetor, rear axle, suspension, fuel tank and drive train.

Chrysler Windsor Deluxe new 1953 styling

Chrysler Windsor Deluxe new 1953 styling

Just about any part of the automobile you could think of was changed by Chrysler that year. Designs were similar to both Dodge and Plymouth in 1953 but Desoto stayed relatively unchanged.

An interesting note is that after World War Two Chrysler was in second place among American automakers only to lose it quickly to a more competitive Ford Motor Company.  During the early 1950′s Chrysler was a profitable company with a combination of passenger automobile sales and a large military contract. This was the period of the Korean War which did hamper some civilian car production.

Another interesting note is that Chrysler Corporation’s production hit a record in 1953. Those numbers would not be surpassed until 1965.

The photo at the bottom of this article gives you an idea of how the Chrysler Windsor changed styling yet again with the 1956 Windsor Newport model.

Chrysler Windsor Deluxe

Chrysler Windsor Deluxe

1953 Chrysler Windsor Specs

The 1953 Chrysler Windsor came with the option of a three speed manual transmission or a three speed automatic. This was a new option introduced in 1953. The 1953 model also was powered with a 264.5 cid V-8 engine producing 119 horsepower. Both the displacement and horsepower were increased over the 1952 models.

An interesting note is that Chrysler engineering was pushing hard in developing their V-8′s since the late 1940′s. Many believe it was Chrysler’s success with more powerful V-8′s that started the horsepower was between the major automakers. That war would last all the way to the 1970′s. Chrysler would add more power with each new series of vehicles and Ford and General Motors would have no alternative other than to follow suit.

New styling on the 1956 Chrysler Windsor Newport

New styling on the 1956 Chrysler Windsor Newport

The wheelbase was 125 inches and the Chrysler Windsor’s length was 211 inches which would be increased to 215.6 inches in 1954. The car’s width was 76.8 inches and had a height of 62.5 inches. As a comparison, the 1953 Plymouth had a 114 inch wheelbase.

Links to three additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you’ll enjoy include…

1953 Pontiac Chieftain

1953 Kaiser Dragon

1952 Packard Packard Convertible

Power Flite, Chrysler’s first fully automatic transmission, was put into production and appeared in June, 1953. The one-piece curved glass windshield which had been initially introduced and used only on the Airflow Custom Imperial, CW, of 1934-35, now became a feature attraction of the Windsor model.

(1953 Chrysler photos from author’s private collection. 1954 Chrysler Windsor Newport is from the public domain)

 

1935 Chevrolet Half Ton Truck

 

1935 Chevrolet Half Ton

1935 Chevrolet Half Ton

Chevrolet produced only passenger cars through 1917. The company introduced its first truck models in January of 1918 when they came out with two different four cylinder trucks. This was also the year that Chevrolet became a part of General Motors. Since that time Chevrolet has always been a top contender in the American truck market. Another important note is that Chevrolet did not build the finished pickup truck between 1918 and 1928. The company provided the buyer with only the chassis and cowl. A coach maker would be required to complete the truck body.Buyers would purchase and install aftermarket bodies during this era.

During the middle of the Great Depression, both Chevrolet and Ford battled it out in the passenger truck category. In the year 1935 there weren’t a great many people able to buy a new car or truck. Just like during any severe financial downturn, people drove what they had for as long as they could. In many cases this lasted quite a long time.

Modified and restored 1935 Chevy Truck

Modified and restored 1935 Chevy Truck

Because of the discontinuance of civilian automobile manufacturing in 1942, many who managed to keep their cars and trucks running didn’t buy new until after World War Two. Pickup trucks like the 1935 Chevy half Ton just kept being used for perhaps ten years or more.

1935 Chevy Truck Specs

The beautifully restored 1935 Chevy Half Ton Truck shown in this article is a great find. Chevrolet made news when it introduced the light truck industry’s first overhead valve six cylinder engine in the year 1929. It should be noted that it didn’t take main rival Ford Motor Company long to respond. Ford came out in The main Chevy truck engine from 1929 to 1954 was an Oldsmobile inline straight six. In 1955, Chevy added a small block eight cylinder.

1935 Chevrolet Truck

1935 Chevrolet Truck

The six cylinder engine on the vehicle shown has a 206.8 cubic inch displacement producing sixty horsepower. The truck’s wheelbase was 112.0 inches. At new, this 1935 Chevy half Ton costs about $470. A relatively low price in 1935 and obviously a reflection of the nation’s poor economy at the time.

Wood Cabs

In 1935 some of the truck cab was built with wood which of course deteriorates over time. Soon the wood was replaced with all metal. Restorers of these wood cab trucks either replace all wood with metal or find reproduction wood parts. In some cases the wood is such that it can be restored without replacing. Several companies today supply the reproduction wood. Some of these parts include window framing and roof supports.

Chevrolet total truck production was about 138,000 units. This was quite below both 1934 and 1936 production numbers. Out of the total number of trucks built by Chevrolet in 1935, a little over 50,000 were half ton pickups.

Following are links to two additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you’ll find interesting. The Old Ford Trucks of the 1930′s and the 1931 Chevy Coupe.

1935 Chevy Truck interior

1935 Chevy Truck interior

Auto historians may remember that it was thought to be the 1935 Chevrolet Half Ton Truck chassis that ushered in the era of the SUV. This design in 1935 hardly compares to what many of us think an SUV to be. Regardless, this 1935 Chevy model actually had three rows of seats and could carry eight passengers. Chevrolet named the model the “Carryall“. The term “SUV” denotes a sport utility vehicle and by all means this early 1930′s SUV really pushed highlighted the feature of “utility” as opposed to what we today would describe “sport utility“.

The 1936 model Chevy pickup trucks changed very little from the 1935 models. The engine did put out about another three horsepower. The 112.0 inch wheelbase was the same as with the 1935 model pickup.

Collectors Prices

Like with all vintage autos and trucks offered for auction, the condition and degree of restoration is the key factor. As of this writing, the 1935 Chevy Half Tons that have been auctioned recently have received bids from about $16,000 plus.

(Photos from author’s collection)