Saturday, October 04, 2014

Beautiful Old Cars!

On today's "Anything Goes Saturday" post, I thought I'd take a look at some fun vintage cars.

This first one was hand-labeled with the note "Dad & Gary, 1954". They both look pretty proud of that amazing car, which is a Nash "Statesman Super". I'm not sure of the year, maybe a 1950 or '51? The color is odd, sort of a dark khaki I guess. Or maybe just "brown"? According to Wikipedia, the Statesman was, "… the lower-priced version of the two main Nash Motors ' automobile series"; the other series was known as the "Ambassador". It's not the most beautiful car ever, but I love it.

I am trying to figure out at what point in my life did I start loving vintage station wagons? My mom and dad were fond of Buick station wagons when I was a kid, but they were not as lovely as this next example, a 1956 (?) Ford Country Sedan. What does Mr. Wikipedia say?

"The Ford Country Sedan was a full-size station wagon built by Ford Motor Company from 1952 to 1974. ….Unlike the Country Squire, the Country Sedan featured plain body sides. As a full-size wagon, it could carry up to 9 passengers". The example below almost looks like the Ghostbusters' "Ecto 1" (though that was a hearse)! It's pulling a pretty sweet little motor boat, which is awesome.

I admit that this next one is only partially about the car, which I believe is a 1956 Nash Cross Country station wagon. Seeing it "in the wild"(parked on a soft bed of pine needles, with the back open to reveal a load of camping equipment) makes me want to go on a family road trip! They've got the cooler and the Coleman range (can of fuel ready to go), which is making me think of cold drinks and sizzling burgers and hot dogs. 

Oh, and the car is nice too! Rambler "… introduced the industry's first four-door hardtop station wagon in 1956. The station wagons used the same rear doors as the sedans, with the back roof dipped lower over the cargo area and featured a roof rack". Who wants a brewski?


Chiana_Chat said...

That last pic, is perfect. 'Scuse me, I'm jumping in for the afternoon!

Nanook said...

Oh, Major-
Look at these fine motoring contrivances-!

And.... you've been doing your homework. Car #1 is actually a 1950 Nash "Statesman Super". A fine motor vehicle, to be sure.

The two-tone Ford is a 1955 Country Sedan Wagon - with trailer hitch, apparently.

And the last two-tone blue beauty is indeed a 1956 Nash Cross Country station wagon. This year offering a new roll-down rear door window, 'AIrliner' recliner seat luxury and a broader grille encompassing the headlights. After all... "Rambler - You'll make the Smart Switch for '56".

Once again - Happy Motoring. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Any idea how I can get into the third picture?

That appears to be a Coleman 425B two-burner stove, manufactured from 1954 to 1962, on a No. 10 stove stand. The venerable 425 line has outlasted its slightly-larger older brother, the 413, and is still being manufactured today. I have a 425E myself that the family bought in the early 80's and is still going strong, never even having to be rebuilt. Can't say the same for any of our indoor appliances.

I think my next station wagon will be two-tone blue.

Anonymous said...

When we would go car-camping, my
Dad would let me fill the Coleman appliances (stove and lantern) with fuel, always insisting that I use the little funnel with a felt filter to "keep impurities" out of the fuel tanks. Then we had to hand-pump the tanks to build enough pressure before starting them...I can smell the fumes right now.

Great pics Major!

Bill in Denver

K. Martinez said...

The last image evokes childhood summer vacation memories of camping in Calaveras Big Trees, and Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. We'd pack our stuff in and on top of the station wagon rack with four kids in tow. Me being the only boy, I was usually tossed in back with the camping supplies while my sisters sat in the car seats. Can't wait for the barbecue burgers, potato salad and the big can of Van Camp's Pork and Beans.

I also remember my older sister had a late 1950's Nomad station wagon back in the 1960s. That thing was hot in the summer.
Nice set today. Thanks, Major.

MRaymond said...

It's hard to explain to the kids about station wagons. I know we had several growing up. One had the Tail Gunner rear seat while the other had the twin Jump Seats. DOT would never allow that stuff now.

Dean Finder said...

The roofline of the Cross Country lives on in the Nissan Armada:

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, I know, it looks like heaven - except it probably has more mosquitos.

Nanook, I did do a bit of homework. I didn't want to look ENTIRELY lame. I love the after-market (or optional?) windshield shade on the first car. I don't know how you car nuts keep all of those makes and models straight, with so many variations on chrome trim, grilles, etc. I just don't have the knack.

Chuck, did you just know all of that Coleman stove history, or did you have to look it up? I'm impressed. If only manufacturers still made nice two-tone cars.

Bill in Denver, I think we had a similar little funnel for our old Coleman lantern. Don't remember the felt filter though. The fuel shouldn't have any impurities right out of the can! Maybe they were afraid of pine needles or bugs getting into the works.

K. Martinez, ha ha, the delicate girls got the kid glove treatment, while the boy gets thrown in with the luggage! It's always the way. I spent plenty of time in the back of my parent's Buick station wagon, and yes, that thing got hot.

MRaymond, I don't think ours had jump seats or a tail gunner seat (that would be cool)… just plain old fold-down bench seats. Vinyl, of course, which was always fun to sit on after the car had been sitting in the full sun for hours.

Dean Finder, I see a resemblance, though the Country Sedan isn't so flat. I'd take the station wagon over the Nissan any day!

Chuck said...

I didn't know *all* of the stove specifics off the top of my head, but I have a general familiarity with Coleman stove models and their history and knew where to look for specifics like manufacturing dates and model iteration (425B vs 425C, for example). I did have some trouble deciding whether it was a 425B or a 413E since there's only a couple of inches difference in width and depth (check this photo of a 425 on top of a 413 for a size comparison) and the fuel tanks were identical.

Our station wagons - a '66 and a '72 AMC Ambassador - didn't even have a seat in the "wayback" as we called it (sorry, it didn't do time travel). I logged thousands of hours in that unrestrained space. Can hardly believe it now.

I can remember my dad calling me forward to the back seat and handing me a map to help him navigate through LA. We were moving from central CA to IL and my mom and sister were in the other car. I was seven.

Oh, the memories...

Chuck said...

Oh, what finally made me decide in favor of the 425B in the photo was how it sat perfectly on the No. 10 stand without any overhang. That was a minimum design parameter when they introduced the 425 series - any smaller, and they would have fallen through the stove stands the company was already making.

Nanook said...


I know enough about American cars to get in the ballpark - sometimes very far. But I also have a couple of books with documentation speaking to just such things as year-to-year trim, bumper, styling changes, etc. Those publications are of innumerable help, for as I'm sure you've discovered, searching for a specific image of a year and model car on the internet - including Wikipedia - often returns a cornucopia of years, only adding to the frustraion.

And it appears the winshield 'shade' was optional on the Nash. Golly - i sure don't know why - it adds so much to the low, low look of that car.

Melissa said...

Nash Rambler, you say?

Chuck said...

Boeing builds satellites in the old Nash factory in El Segundo. I took a tour of it some years ago, and after the program manager showing me around told me the plant's history, that song was my mental soundtrack for the rest of the day. Not quite like having the Sherman Brothers in your head for an afternoon, but it could have been much worse.

Chuck said...

Just realized I forgot to add the 425 vs. 413 size comparison link above:

Sorry about that.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, if I am ever on the daytime version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire!" and get a question about Coleman stoves, I know who I am going to call! (hint: it's not Ghostbusters).

Nanook, I am only able to look up cars when I can see even a bit of the name (as on all three of today's examples. I have plenty of other photos in which I don't have the slightest clue. You'l love those, it will be more of a challenge!

Melissa, that's one I don't think I've heard before.

Chuck, I have a "Midwinter" magazine from the Los Angeles Times from the 1950's, and it is astonishing how many ads and articles there were about huge manufacturing plants around L.A. Car factories, aircraft factories, you name it. My, how things have changed.

Melissa said...

Mom used to sing that song to us when we were little. We had a very eclectic collection of lullabies.

Dave said...

Sorry I'm so late on this, but point of order, "Ecto-1" was a 1959 Cadillac Ambulance (Miller-Meteor I believe), not a hearse. Trust me, back in my misspent youth I owned a 1963 Caddy ambulance built by Superior Coach, drove me nuts when someone would call it a hearse (or worse a "hurst"). Ever seen a hearse painted orange and white, with a bunch of red lights and a siren? I think not.... Somewhere, stashed in a book or something I know I still have the ticket I got in Turlock CA in the mid 80's.... "Equipped with siren" and "Unlawful lighting". Got another one a year or so later for "unauthorized lighting". For Christmas season we had it parked out front with x-mas lights on it, then I realized, holy crap, that 110 outlet in the back works! So off we go, clear across town (Oakdale Ca) to Round Table for pizza, clear back across town and I get red lighted in front of a 7-11, half a dozen people out front watching my car go by, and they all boo the cop for pulling me over..... ahhh, to be in my twenties again, no, not really, I'm much better off at 51, but if there was one car, out of the 50 (60?) I've owned I could still have, the old ambulance hands down.

Major Pepperidge said...

Dave, I guess it shows that I did NO research on the Ecto-1, and just assumed that it was a hearse because it seemed to make sense when dealing with ghosts. Plus, a hearse and an ambulance, they're not that different really! OK, maybe they are.