American Car Spotters Guide - 1949

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American Car Spotters Guide - 1949


1949 American Car Models



The 1949 US models of all major manufacturers were the first true post-war models. Practically all of them had been introduced during 1948, a few even earlier, to supersede the 1946/47 models which had been, in fact, facelifted versions of the cars produced in 1941/1942. Public acceptance of these new cars was reflected in their sales figures which, totalling 5,119,466, were more than 1·2 million higher than for 1948. Export of complete cars was down to just over 140,000 units, but assembly of US cars with incorporation of locally-made parts and materials took place in a number of overseas countries.

US production of trucks and buses amounted to 1,134,185 units. The American Trucking Association reported that about 60% of the total freight transport in the US was now carried by trucks. The US automotive industry in its totality turned out over 6 million vehicles, thereby breaking its own 20-year old annual production record. Buick introduced a hard-top body style, soon to be followed by other auto makers. This type of pillar-less sedan, usually in two-door form, became very popular throughout the world.

Buick fender-lines also flowed into each other but in less extreme fashion than Cadillac’s, the metal sculpturing of the front fenders dropping in a low arc to blend into the front curves of the rear fenders. The other G.M. divisions still retained their pre-war appearance, until envelope bodies were adopted across the board in 1949. A major breakthrough had occurred during 1948 in new styling advances, once again pioneered by an independent manufacturer. Hudson introduced its 'Step-Down Design'. The occupants were cradled between the frame rails and the '48 Hudson was the first of the new breed of wider, lower-built American cars, needless to say, also with an envelope-type body and no separate fenders.

Ford-Mercury-Lincoln were next, in 1949, to field new-concept envelope bodies, and Nash - not then merged with Hudson also introduced that type of coachwork design together with a fully-curved windshield with no centre separation. Both front and rear wheels were enclosed, and Nash gave the new line a distinctive new name: Airflyte. Instruments were enclosed within a Uniscope cluster around the wheel. Chrysler Corporation also provided envelope bodies for their '49 Plymouths, Dodges, DeSotos and Chryslers, and although rather bulbous and massive, they were, as usual, soundly engineered. Packard's version was conservative but smooth, with gracefully flowing fenders and well proportioned overall dimensions. Old elegance in modern trim, as befitted the image of the marque. It was to be the swan song of Packard elegance, however. Crosley's buzzing little mini-cars, with their tiny O.H.C. four-cylinder engines, also possessed envelope bodies.

Clearly the new styling trend was there to stay and the universal acceptance of the envelope body was perhaps the most significant achievement of the decade. Most European manufacturers still clung to separate body and fenders at that time and the American marques were a step ahead. As far as other styling elements were concerned, curved windshields, tail fins, the more extensive employment of heavy chrome trim and the move towards lower bodies had all been made evident. The real pioneers of the decade had been Kaiser-Frazer, Studebaker and Hudson; newcomers and smaller independents.

Two-Car Families



The rise in two-car families was noted in the U.S.A. in a 1949 car survey, with 1,400,000 families then owning two or more passenger cars. Urban areas had 5 per cent, of families in this category; rural areas, 4.3 per cent. The total of American families owning one or more cars was 68 per cent, or 28,700,000. Between them, they owned 30,100,000 out of the 33,300,000 passenger cars then in use in the country. Forty-six per cent, of them bought their cars new, and the survey indicated that 12.9 million persons intended to buy new cars by the end of 1950. Another 2! million planned to buy used cars, and 5,000,000 were undecided.
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Buick Series 50 Super
USA

Buick

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
 
Buick Series 50 Super, Model 51 Sedan, 'popularity bellwether' of the Buick line 'Portholes' were first used on 1949 models and remained a Buick feature for many years.
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1949 Buick Series 70 Roadmaster
USA

Buick

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
 
The Buick Series 70 Roadmaster, Model 76R Riviera (hardtop) Coupe made its appearance in June as an additional model. All Roadmasters had four 'portholes' (three on other series). A new Special line was introduced in August (Models 43, 46, 46S).
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1949 Cadillac Series 62, Model 6269 Trunk Sedan
USA

Cadillac

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
 
Cadillac Series 62, Model 6269 Trunk Sedan. A Coupe DeVille model (hardtop) was added to the line in July. Other series: 60, 61, 75.
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1949 Chevrolet DeLuxe Styleline Sedan
USA

Chevrolet

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
Chevrolet introduced its first post-war models, in Series GJ Special (1500) and GK DeLuxe (2100). Of both there were Styleline 'Bustleback' and Fleetline 'Fastback' versions. All had 115-inch wheelbase and the familiar six-cylinder OHV 216·5 CID engine. Pictured left is the Series GK DeLuxe Styleline Sedan, Model 2103.
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1949 Chrysler Royal Station Wagon
USA

Chrysler

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
Chrysler models were completely new and came in two basic series: C-45 (Six) Royal and Windsor, and C-46 (Eight) Saratoga, New Yorker and Town & Country. Pictured left is a Royal nine-passenger Station Wagon. The body sheet metal was covered by a special photographic transfer process, simulating highly polished mahogany.
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1949 Chrysler Crown Imperial C-47
USA

Chrysler Crown Imperial

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
Chrysler Crown Imperial C-47 had same wheelbase and engine as preceding C-40 but shared new body styling with other Chryslers. All Imperials had disc brakes.
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1949 Crosley
USA

Crosley

  Also see: Crosley Road Tests and Reviews
 
Crosley CD models featured many modifications and improvements (the company actually claiming that 'hundreds' of improvements had been made). Crosley's now had a cast-iron engine block (CIBA engine) and Hawley-designed Goodyear disc brakes. In addition to five CD models, there was the Model VC Hotshot two-seater Roadster, designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and selling at US$849. Most Crosley prices were under US$900.
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1949 DeSoto Custom
USA

DeSoto

  Also see: DeSoto Brochures
 
The DeSoto Custom and DeLuxe S-13 had new bodywork and 125½-inch wheelbase. Their 236·7 CID L-head six-cylinder engine developed 112 bhp at 3600 rpm. Like other 1949 Chrysler Corp. cars they had key-operated ignition/starter switch. SP-18 Diplomat models had 118½-inch wheelbase and different grille.
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1949 Dodge Wayfarer Sportabout
USA

Dodge

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
 
Dodge offered four series on three wheel bases: the Wayfarer D - 29 (115-inch wheelbase), the Coronet and Meadowbrook D-30 (123½-inch wheelbase), and the Kingsway D-32C (118½-inch wheelbase). Pictured left is the Wayfarer Sportabout Roadster, which featured take-out door windows (later production had conventional crank-up windows).
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1949 Ford Custom
USA

Ford

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
Ford announced its first real post-war models in June 1948. There were two series: 98HA (Six) and 98BA (V8). both on 114-inch wheelbase. Standard and Custom versions were available in a variety of slab-sided body styles. For the first time Fords had IFS, with coil springs, replacing the old transverse leaf suspension. The rear axle was suspended on conventional leaf springs and the prop shaft exposed.
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1949 Ford Custom two-door Sedan
USA

Ford Custom Two-door Sedan

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
Ford Custom two-door Sedan Model 70B was, as usual, designated Tudor (four-door was Fordor).
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1949 Frazer Model F496 Manhattan Sedan
USA

Frazer

   
 
The 1949 Frazer had dual-manifold engine, developing 112 bhp.
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1949 Hudson Convertible
USA

Hudson

   
 
1949 Hudsons were virtually similar to the previous year's models. There were four series: 491 Super Six, 492 Commodore Six, 493 Super Eight and 494 Commodore Eight.
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1949 Hudson Commodore Six
USA

Hudson Commodore Six

   
 
Hudson Commodore Six four-door Sedan had 124-inch wheelbase, as had all other models. The six-cylinder engine was 262 CID L-head.
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1949 Kaiser Vagabond Sedan
USA

Kaiser

  Also see: Kaiser Road Tests and Reviews
 
Kaiser offered two series, the K491 Special and the K492 DeLuxe. Among the individual models were Traveller, Vagabond and Virginian sedans, and a convertible in the DeLuxe range. All were four-door six-seaters on 123½-inch wheelbase with Continental 226·2 CID L-head Six engine.
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1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Sport Sedan
USA

Lincoln

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
 
Lincoln produced two lines, the 9EL (Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, wb 121 in.) and the 9EM Cosmopolitan (Coupe, Sport Sedan, Town Sedan, and Convertible, wb 125 in.). V8 engines only were offered. Hydramatic was optional.
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1949 Mercury 90M Sedan
USA

Mercury

  Also see: Mercury Road Tests and Reviews | Mercury Brochures
 
Mercury offered one range, designated 90M, and four body styles: Coupe (72), Sport Sedan (74, shown), Convertible (76) and Station Wagon (79). All had 118-inch wheelbase and 255.4 CID V8 engine. The French Ford Vedette had similar body styling, except at rear.
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1949 Meteor 58 Sedan
USA

Meteor

   
 
The Meteor 58 was sold by Canadian Lincoln-Mercury dealers, replacing the earlier Mercury-based Monarch 114 (1946-48). It was introduced on 29 June 1948, in Coupe, Tudor and Fordor form, and was very similar to the US Ford except for the distinctive grille and trim features.
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1949 Meteor 58 Sedan
Canada

Monarch

   
 
The Monarch name was continued by Ford of Canada for the Canadian version of the US Mercury. It was a higher-class car than the previous Monarch models.
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1949 Meteor 58 Sedan
USA

Meteor

   
 
Meteor 58 was sold by Canadian Lincoln-Mercury dealers, replacing the earlier Mercury-based Monarch 114 (1946-48). It was introduced on 29 June 1948, in Coupe, Tudor and Fordor form, and was very similar to the US Ford except for the distinctive grille and trim features.
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1949 Nash 600 Super Sedan
USA

Nash

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Nash 600 was available in nine versions (Special, Super and Custom two and four-door sedans, and Broughams) and had completely new bodywork, known as Airflyte. The engine was a 172·6 CID Six, wheelbase 112 inches. All nine models were also available as Ambassador, with 234·8 CID Six engine and 121-in. wb.
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1949 Oldsmobile Series 76 DeLuxe Sedan
USA

Oldsmobile

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
 
All Olds 1949 models had the new Futuramic body styling. Series 76 had 257 CID L-head Six. 119½-inch wheelbase.
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1949 Oldsmobile Series 88 Sedan
USA

Oldsmobile Series 88

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
 
Oldsmobile Series 88 was basically similar to 76 but powered by 303·7 CID eight-cylinder engine. Oldsmobile's top-line was Series 98, with 125-inch wheelbase.
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1949 Packard DeLuxe Eight Sedan
USA

Packard

  Also see: Packard Road Tests and Reviews
 
Packard's 22nd Series was produced during 1948 and early 1949. The 23rd Series started on 2nd May 1949. The model 2211-9 DeLuxe Eight Sedan had a 120-inch wheelbase and 288 CID engine. Many others were available (ten ranges, 20 models) Custom models had additional vertical mouldings in grille and front bumper.
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1949 Plymouth P-18 Special DeLuxe Eight Station Wagon
USA

Plymouth

  Also see: Plymouth Road Tests and Reviews | Plymouth Brochures
 
Plymouth also offered its first real post-war models in 1949. There were two basic series, the P-17 De Luxe with 111 inch wheelbase and the P-18 DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe with 118½-inch wheelbase. All had the familiar 217·8 CID L-head Six engine which now developed 97 bhp at 3600 rpm.
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1949 Plymouth P-18 DeLuxe Sedan
USA

Plymouth P-18 DeLuxe

  Also see: Plymouth Road Tests and Reviews | Plymouth Brochures
 

The Plymouth P-18 DeLuxe was available as 6-passenger Club Coupe and 6-passenger four-door Sedan.
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1949 Plymouth P-17 DeLuxe Station Wagon
USA

Plymouth P-17 DeLuxe Station Wagon

  Also see: Plymouth Road Tests and Reviews | Plymouth Brochures
 
Plymouth P-17 DeLuxe 5-passenger all-steel Station Wagon had one (folding) rear seat.
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1949 Pontiac Silver Streak DeLuxe Sedan
USA

Pontiac Silver Streak

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Pontiac Silver Streak models shared Fisher bodywork with other GM products.
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1949 Pontiac Silver Streak Chieftain two-door Sedan
USA

Pontiac Silver Streak Chieftain

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Pontiac Silver Streak Chieftain two-door Sedan. All 1949 Pontiacs had 120-in. wb. Engine was 239·2 CID Six for BR Series, 248·9 CID Eight for 8R Series.
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1949 Pontiac Silver Streak DeLuxe Streamliner Coupe
USA

Pontiac Silver Streak 8 Streamliner

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Pontiac Silver Streak 8, Series 8R DeLuxe Streamliner Sedan Coupe.
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1949 Pontiac Silver Streak 8R Chieftain DeLuxe Sedan
USA

Pontiac Silver Streak 8 Streamliner

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Pontiac Silver Streak 8, Series 8R Chieftain DeLuxe Sedan. Sun visor, radio and WSW tyres were among the optional extras.
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1949 Studebaker Champion Regal DeLuxe Sedan
USA

Studebaker

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
1949 Studebaker Champions featured slight styling changes to radiator grille and bumper overriders, to distinguish them from the 1948 models. There were coupes (3 and 5 passenger), two and four-door sedans, and a convertible.
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1949 Studebaker Commander Regal DeLuxe Convertible
USA

Studebaker

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
Studebaker Commanders differed from 1948 editions in having restyled bumpers, the addition of ornaments on top of front fenders, and more engine power. Automatic hill holder in transmission was standard (optional on Champion).
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1949 Willys Jeepster
USA

Willys

  Also see: Willys Road Tests and Reviews
 
Willys Model VJ2 and VJ3 Jeepsters were 'Jeep'-inspired phaetons on Model 4-63 104-in. wb 4-cyl. Station Wagon chassis. Engine was 134 CID L-head Four. Willys-Overland also produced a 6-cyl. (148 CID) Station Wagon, Model 6-63, and the Jeepster was available on this chassis as Model VJ3-6.
1949 Chrysler Town and Country Straight 8
The 1949 Chrysler Town and Country Straight 8 illustrated what was to become the classic 1950s American sedan style; the large amount of chrome already foreshadows the styling extremes of the late 1950s and 1960s. The ash wood trim was an oddity for a sedan model.
1949 Dodge Coronet
1949 Dodge Coronet.
1949 Keller
1949 Keller.
1949 Packard
1949 Packard.
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