American Car Spotters Guide - 1954

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American Car Spotters Guide - 1954


1954 saw important mergers involving four of the few remaining 'independents': Nash and Hudson formed the new American Motors Corporation and Studebaker and Packard combined into the Studebaker-Packard Corporation, both with headquarters in Detroit.

Manufacturing was subsequently concentrated in Kenosha, Wisconsin and South Bend, Indiana, respectively.

These two companies, together with the Kaiser-Willys combine, formed in the previous year, now battled against the 'big three' (General Motors, which produced its 50-millionth car, Ford and Chrysler), but only American Motors eventually stayed in business, after absorbing Kaiser-Willys (later Kaiser Jeep) in 1963.

Ford, following Chevrolet's lead in the two-seater sports-type car field, introduced its Thunderbird in October (see 1955). Experimental 'dream cars' this year included DeSoto's Adventurer 11, Dodge's Granada, Ford's FX-Atmos, General Motors' gas turbine-powered Firebird XP21, Lincoln-Mercury's Monterey XM800, Packard's Panther and Plymouth's Belmont and Explorer.

Total passenger car sales reached just over 5½ million and by the end of the year tubeless tyres were being fitted on all new cars.
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1954 Buick Series 50 Super Riviera Model 52
USA

Buick

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
 
Buick reintroduced the Century range (Series 60), which had formerly been in existence during 1936-42. The other series were the 40 Special, 50 Super and 70 Roadmaster. Estate Wagons were available in the 40 and 60 Series, but dropped from the 50 and 70. Model availability numbered 16, including the Skylark Convertible, which was now designated M/100. All models had V8 engines. The wheelbase was 127 inches on Series 50 and 70, 122 inches on all others. Pictured left is the Series 50 Super Riviera Model 52, with optional wire wheels.
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1954 Buick Series 50 Super four-door Sedan, Model 52
USA

Buick Super Series 50

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
 
1954 Buick Series 50 Super four-door Sedan, Model 52. All 1954 8uicks had panoramic windscreen.
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1954 Cadiliac
USA

Cadillac

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
 
Cadiliac were the first to equip all their models with power steering. A new grille was adapted from the 1953 experimental LeMans fibreglass convertible.
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1954 Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood Sedan
USA

Cadillac 60 Special

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
 
Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood Sedan. All 1954 Cadillacs had wheelbase increased by three inches.
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1954 Chevrolet series 2100 (or Two- Ten) DeLuxe Sedan, Model 21034
USA

Chevrolet Two-Ten

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
Pictured left is the 1954 Chevrolet series 2100 (or Two-Ten) DeLuxe Sedan, Model 2103. The bodywork was much the same as for 1953, with styling changes mainly to radiator grille, bumpers and tail lights. Engines were Blue-Flame 115 for gearshift models, and Blue-Flame 125 for models with Powerglide.
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1954 Chevrolet series 2400 Bel Air Sport Coupe
USA

Chevrolet Bel-Air

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
Pictured left is the Chevrolet series 2400 Bel Air Sport Coupe, model 2454.
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1954 Chrysler New Yorker
USA

Chrysler New Yorker

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
In 1954 the Chrysler programme was further reduced and now comprised Windsor DeLuxe C-62 Six, New Yorker and New Yorker DeLuxe C-63-1 and C-63-2 V8 Body styles numbered six, five and four resp. The name Town & Country now applied to Station Wagons in Windsor DeLuxe and New Yorker lines. The Firepower 'hemi' engine developed 195 bhp in the C-63-1, 235 in the C-63-2. The Spitfire L-head Six of the C-62 was rated at 119 bhp. All had 125½-inch wheelbase.
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1954 Chrysler Custom Imperial C-64
USA

Chrysler Imperial

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
Chrysler Custom Imperial C-64 and Crown Imperial C-66 had 133½-inch wheelbase and 145½-inch wheelbase resp. Both were powered by the 235-bhp version of Chrysler's Firepower V8.
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1954 DeSoto V8 Firedome
USA

DeSoto Firedome

  Also see: DeSoto Brochures
 
The DeSoto Powermaster Six S-20 and Firedome V8 S-19 retained the earlier wheelbase and engine dimensions, but the compression ratio and power output of the V8 were up from 7·1 to 7·5:1 and 160 to 170 bhp respectively. Sales of the V8 Firedome (pictured left) now accounted for 70% of total production. Chrysler's PowerFlite auto-trans. was made available as an optional extra.
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1954 DeSoto Diplomat
USA

DeSoto Diploat

  Also see: DeSoto Brochures
 
The DeSoto Diplomat SP-25-1, Diplomat DeLuxe SP-25-2 and Diplomat Custom SP-25-3 were export models based on the Plymouth P-25-1, P-25-2 and P-25-3 resp. The engine was 217·8 CID (3·57-litre) 100-bhp with 7·1:1 compression ratio. The Hy-Drive auto-trans was optional.
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1954 Dodge Royal V8 Sedan
USA

Dodge

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
 
Dodge's US programme for 1954 was rather complex with eight basic series, two wheel bases and two engines: Sixes comprised 0-51-1 Meadowbrook (wheelbase 119 inches), 0-51-2 Coronet (119), and 0-52 Coronet Suburban (114 or 119). These had the 230·2 CID 110-bhp 6-cyl. L-head engine. V8s comprised 0-50-1 Meadowbrook, 0-50-2 Coronet and 0-50-3 Royal with 119-inch wheelbase, 0-53-2 Coronet and 0-53-3 Royal with 114-inch wheelbase. The 241·3 CID V8 provided 140 bhp in the Meadowbrook, 150 in all others For export there was also the Plymouth-based Kingsway Series 0-49 with 114-inch wheelbase.
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1954 Ford Crestline Victoria Hardtop
USA

Ford

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
Ford used the same bodyshells as in 1953, albeit with styling changes to radiator grille and bright work. Pictured left are the Crestline Victoria Hardtop (Model/Body Type 60B) and the basic Mainline Tudor (70A). The former was also available, for the first time, with a transparent plastic roof front section. This model was called the Crestline Skyliner (60F). Other newcomers were the Crestline Fordor Sedan (73C) and Customline Ranch Wagon (59B). 1954 saw the end of the flat-head V8 engine in US production. It was superseded by a new 130-bhp OHV power unit. Every model could now be ordered with either the OHV Six or the new V8 engine.
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1954 Hudson Hornet Convertible Brougham
USA

Hudson Hornet

   
 
The Hudson D Series consisted of Jet 1D, Super Jet 2D and Jet Liner 3D with 105-inch wheelbase, Wasp 4D and Super Wasp 5D with 119-inch wheelbase, and Hornet Special 6D and Hornet 7D models with 124-inch wheelbase, all with six-cylinder side-valve engines. This was the last year of 'real' Detroit-produced Hudsons. Only 32,293 were made. Illustrated is the Hornet Convertible Brougham.
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1954 Hudson Jet Four-Door Six-Passenger Sedan
USA

Hudson Jet

   
 
The Hudson Jet four-door six-passenger Sedan. All Hudsons, except the Wasp, were optionally available with twin-carburettor (Twin H-Power) engine.
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1954 Kaiser Manhattan four-door Sedan
USA

Kaiser Manhattan

  Also see: Kaiser Road Tests and Reviews
 
The 1954 Kaiser featured many detail changes, mainly to bumpers, radiator grille, tail lights, etc. The three-piece rear window was even larger than before. Low-priced models were named Special and again and had the 226.2 CID Six which from 1953 was rated at 118 bhp. Manhattans had the same engine but were equipped with a supercharger, boosting the power output up to 140 bhp at 3900 rpm.
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1954 Kaiser-Darrin 161
USA

Kaiser Darrin

  Also see: Kaiser Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Kaiser-Willys manufacturing organization, as it was now known, also produced a fibreglass-bodied sports car, designed by Howard A. Darrin on the Kaiser chassis. It featured a three-position Deauville convertible top and sliding doors.
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1954 Lincoln Capri Special Custom Convertible
USA

Lincoln

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
 
The 1954 Lincoln models were not much different from the previous year's. Again there were Capri and Cosmopolitan models with various Coupe, Convertible and Sedan body styles. Wheelbase and overall length were 123 and 215 inch resp. for all models.
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1954 Mercury Monterey Sun Valley Coupe
USA

Mercury

  Also see: Mercury Road Tests and Reviews | Mercury Brochures
 
The Mercury Monterey Sun Valley Coupe featureda transparent front roof panel. A new 161-bhp overhead-valve V8 engine replaced the earlier flat-head (side-valve) power unit on all models.
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1954 Meteor Standard Fordor V8
Canada

Meteor

   
 
The 1954 Meteor standard Fordor V8, made by Ford of Canada.
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1954 Metropolitan
USA

Metropolitan

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Metropolitan was a Nash-designed 85-inch wheelbase two-seater, produced in Great Britain jointly by Austin and Fisher & Ludlow. Hardtop and Convertible variants were available. The first ten thousand cars had a 1200-cc engine (8/53-7/54), second series (8/54-7/55) had 1500-cc, both OHV. Nash sold the Metropolitan in the USA and Canada.
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1954 Nash Rambler Custom four-door Sedan
USA

Nash Rambler

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Nash Rambler Custom four-door Sedan, Model 5425, was new and styled by Pininfarina. It had a 90-bhp L-head Six, known as Super Flying Scot and 108-inch wheelbase.
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1954 Nash Rambler Custom Country Club Hardtop
USA

Nash Rambler Custom

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Nash Rambler Custom Country Club Hardtop, Model 5427, had continental spare wheel mount as standard equipment and 100-inch wheelbase. Weather Eye air-conditioning and radio were standard on the Super (Model 5417), optional on the Custom.
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1954 Nash Ambassador Custom four-door Trunk Sedan
USA

Nash Ambassador

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Nash Ambassador Custom four-door Trunk Sedan, Model 5475, had 121¼-inch wheelbase and 130-bhp engine (OHV Six). An exterior spare wheel mount was standard on all Custom models in Statesman and Ambassador lines. The Statesman had a similar appearance but 114-inch wheelbase and 110-bhp Dual Powerflyte twin-carby engine. All were styled by Pininfarina.
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1954 Oldsmobile Super 88 two-door Sedan
USA

Oldsmobile Super 88

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
 
All 1954 Oldsmobile models featured new body styling with panoramic windscreen and many technical detail changes and improvements. The V8 Rocket engine now developed 185 bhp.
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1951 Buick Special 1954 Oldsmobile 98 Deluxe Holiday Coup
USA

Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
 
Oldsmobile production in 1954 reached 433,810 cars and Olds advanced to fourth place in US new car registrations during this year.
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1954 Packard Regular Convertible
USA

Packard

  Also see: Packard Road Tests and Reviews
 
Packard jumped from their 26th Series to the 54th and offered 212-bhp regular and 185-bhp Clipper ranges, each with seven body styles, not counting Ambulances and Hearses. New in the Clipper range was the Super Series which included a two-door Hardtop named Panama. The Convertible shown (from the regular range) featured Ultramatic No-Shift transmission which was now standard on most regular models and optional on others and Clipper models. Air-conditioning, power steering, power brakes and tubeless tyres were optional also.
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1954 Plymouth Savoy P-25-2 Sedan
USA

Plymouth

  Also see: Plymouth Road Tests and Reviews | Plymouth Brochures
 
The Plymouth 1954 range comprised Plaza P-25-1, Savoy P-25-2 (Sedan shown) and Belvedere P-25-3 models, all on 114-inch wheelbase. Early production examples had the same engine as 1953 but later the piston stroke was enlarged from 230·2 to 217·8 CID with 7·25:1 compression ratio. The new engine developed 110 bhp and torque was increased from 177 to 190 Ib ft at 1600 rpm. Power Steering and the PowerFlite two-speed automatic transmission were optional.
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1954 Pontiac Custom Sedan
USA

Pontiac

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Pontiac introduced a new range of top-line cars for 1954, named Series 28 Star Chief Eight. It came in four variants: Convertible. Custom Catalina, DeLuxe Sedan and Custom Sedan (pictured left). all with 124-inch wheelbase. The 122-inch wheelbase Series 25 Chieftain Six and Series 27 Chieftain Eight were continued with nine models each. The Sedan Delivery was discontinued.
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1954 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina Hardtop Coupe
USA

Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina Hardtop Coupe

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Pictured left is the Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina Hardtop Coupe, one of Pontiac's top-line models. In June this GM Division produced its five-millionth car (since 1926).
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1954 Studebaker Commander V8 Regal Conestoga Wagon
USA

Studebaker Commander

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
Studebaker introduced its first Conestoga Station Wagons with DeLuxe and Regal versions in both the Champion (Series 15G) and Commander (Series 5H) ranges. Pictured left is the Commander V8 Regal Conestoga, Model 5H-D5, which, like the Champion version, had 116·5-inch wheelbase. The engine was 232·6 CID V8 (169·6 CID Six for Champion) Coupe models and Land Cruiser Sedan had 120·5-inch wheelbase, other Sedans 116·5 inch wheelbase.
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1954 Studebaker Commander V8 Starliner Hardtop Coupe
USA

Studebaker Commander Coupe

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Studebaker Commander V8 Starliner Hardtop Coupe, Model 5H-K5. On the 1st October 1954 Studebaker merged with Packard into the Studebaker-Packard Corporation, headquarted at Detroit (South Bend from 1956).
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1954 Willys Aero-Eagle Custom Hardtop
USA

Willys Aero-Eagle

  Also see: Willys Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Willys Aero-Lark, Willys-Ace and Willys-Eagle models were now available with either the 161 CID Hurricane 6 90-bhp F-head engine or with the 115-bhp Continental 226·2 CID power unit which had been used in Kaiser and Frazer cars. Willys called this the Super Hurricane, rather confusingly because unlike other Hurricanes it was an L-head (side-valve) engine. Conventional, overdrive and Hydra-Matic transmissions were available.
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1954 Wilys Jeep
USA

Willys Jeep

  Also see: Willys Road Tests and Reviews
 
Willys offered two Universal Jeeps, the CJ3B and the more expensive CJ5 (shown) which was a 'de-militarized' Model MD ¼- ton 4 x 4 Utility Truck. Both models had the 71-bhp Hurricane 4 engine and remained in production for many years, in North America and in overseas licencees' plants.
1954 Pontiac Silver Streak Chieftain
1954 Nash-Metropolitan with film and TV star John Bromfield.
1954 Pontiac Silver Streak Chieftain
1954 Pontiac Star Chief and Silver Streak Chieftain.
 
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