American Car Spotters Guide - 1958

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American Car Spotters Guide - 1958


American car designs for 1958 featured new high-scolloped tail fenders, low, wide body lines and full-length "dollar grin" radiator grilles. General Motors spent over $730 million dollars on re-tooling and assembly of its production hoping to recapture the boom market of 1955 / 1956. It shaped up as a year in which there would be a real battle between G.M., Ford and Chrysler, the "Big Three".

Most of the 1958 designs featured double headlights and very low silhouettes. The length of G.M. cars for 1958 was about 9 in. greater overall and, on Chevrolet, air- suspension was offered for the first time. Most of the G.M. line had about 300 b.h.p. and top speeds round the 108 to 118 m.p.h. mark. Improved suspensions and transmissions were also featured.

For 1958 the traditional Buick port¬holes were missing for the first time in many years and the lines of the car were much cleaner. Buick were attempting to regain third sales place which it had lost in 1957 to Plymouth. Oldsmobile also undertook a cleaning up process and for 1958 had optional engines available with outputs up to 312 b.h.p. The Olds also got the air-suspension ride.

American Motors discontinued production of Nash and Hudson cars, while the Rambler remained as the sale produce in the motor car field. The lines of the 1958 Rambler Station Wagon offered more individuality than perhaps any of the other makes, with the exception of Chrysler products.

Five from Ford



There were five new models by Ford of America for the 1958 sales race. Bold styling changes were made throughout the range and there was also the extreme-design Edsel. All 1958 models were fitted with twin headlights, in some models in horizontal line and others in near vertical line. Air-suspension was available on all models as an optional extra. Fuel injection was not yet available on Ford cars, and the 1958 models had improved carburation only. Power was increased through the series. The "Six" cylinder model remained available. For 1958 the Ford Thunderbird was a four-seater with a very hot engine. But Ford's hottest product was the Lincoln which was putting out 390 b.h.p.

Beautiful New Chryslers



After their great leap in sales for 1957 the Chrysler products were set to dominate in a market which was insisting on advanced styling. The new Chrysler range was beautiful and, here at Unique Cars and Parts, we feel they lead the field. Engine powers were also way up, for average models the power output was around the 335 b.h.p. mark while on the Imperial power went up to 390 b.h.p. The engines were new and other changes to the cars included new headlights, tail lights and radiator grilles. A new bubble windscreen was also fitted to increase general all- round vision. Optional on Chrysler's Imperial were 11.00-14 tyres, claimed to be the largest passenger car tyres in the world.

Oldsmobiles New Type Radio



The 1958 Oldsmobiles were fitted with a then new type of radio - all transistor, and portable. The radio would slide out from its dash mounted housing so that it could be used as a portable battery-operated type. When replaced into the dash for driving, the radio would plug in automatically to the cars electrical system, and it even featured a self locking mechanism to help prevent theft. It weighed only 3lb., was 6.5 inches long, 4.5 inches wide and 2 inches deep, and came standard with dry cell batteries that would provide around 160 playing hours when the radio was used outside the car. A chrome plate flipped down to cover the dashboard slot when the radio was taken out.

Suddenly It's 1960



That was the slogan used in 1957 to boost sales and the experts were predicting that the same slogan would hold good for them again in 1958. But passenger car sales during 1958 were down again, to just over 4½-million. Truck sales were down also, to under 900,000. General Motors and Ford may have been celebrating their golden anniversaries, but it was not a great year in thd showrooms. Ford commemorated theirs, i.e. their Model T's, by reassembling a 1909 'Tin Lizzy', and produced their 50-millionth vehicle. Ford also introduced the Edsel car, which featured push button automatic transmission controls in the centre of the steering wheel, self-adjusting brakes and other attractions.

The car did not live up to Ford's expectations, however, and was discontinued in November, 1959. Chrysler Corp. produced its 25-millionth vehicle. Most 1958 cars had dual headlights with four 5inch 'Sealed Beam' units. Air suspension was optional equipment on all General Motors' car makes and both Chrysler and Cadillac offered a device designed to hold a car at a preselected speed - a precursor to modern day cruise control. Studebaker-Packard decided to drastically curtail their production programme and to concentrate on their new Lark compact car.

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1958 Buick Series 60 Century Convertible
USA

Buick Century

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
 
The Buick Series 60 Century Convertible Model 66C was one of 20 models in five series: 40 Special, 50 Super, 60 Century, 75 Roadmaster and the new 700 Limited. All models had a new and unusual radiator grille and dual headlights. The 'port-holes' had disappeared.
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1958 Buick Series 60 Century Caballero Station Wagon
USA

Buick Century Caballero Station Wagon

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
  The Buick Series 60 Century Caballero Station Wagon, Model 69, featured hardtop bodystyling.
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1958 Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood Sedan
USA

Cadillac 60 Special

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
 
Pictured left is the Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood Sedan, Model 6039. Some of the features which distinguished it from other Cadillacs were the extruded aluminium shields at the bottom of the rear quarter panels and the stainless steel moulding extending over the bottom of the doors. The wheelbase of this model was 133 inches, overall length 225.3. All models were optionally available with air suspension.
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1958 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
USA

Cadillac 62 Eldorado

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
 
The Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, Model 6267S, and its hardtop companion, the Seville, had a silhouette and rear view distinctively different from other Cadillac models.
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1958 Checker Taxicab
USA

Checker Cab

  Also see: Checker Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Checker taxicab was of straightforward and sturdy design, with L-head Six engine.
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1958 Chev Sport Sedan, Impala Coupe & Convertible
USA

Chevrolet Bel Air

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
The Chevrolet range was entirely revised for 1958 and came in three series, with Six/V8 engines: Delray (1100/1200), Biscayne (1500/1600) and luxury Bel Air (1700/1800) In addition to Powerglide, Turboglide transmission was optional on V8s. Other options included power steering, power brakes, Positraction self-locking differential and Level Air suspension. Pictured left are the Sport Sedan, Model 1839, Impala Sport Coupe, 1847 and Impala Convertible, 1867, all from the Bel Air 1800 Series.
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1958 Chev Impala
USA

Chevrolet Impala

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
The Impala was introduced in 1958 as a new, upmarket, sporty trim package created for Bel Air coupes and convertibles. Unique to the model were its six taillights, which set it apart from lower trim levels with only two lights on a side. This classic styling cue would become its trademark.
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1958 Chevrolet Nomad four-door Station Wagon
USA

Chevrolet Nomad

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
Pictured left is the Chevrolet Nomad four-door Station Wagon, Model 1893 (1793 with 6-cyl. engine). Other 1958 wagons were the two and four-door Yeoman and four-door Brookwood.
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1958 Chevrolet Corvette Sports Roadster
USA

Chevrolet Corvette

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
The Chevrolet Corvette Sports Roadster, Model 867, had a new front with dual headlights and other styling changes. 3 or 4-speed manual or Powerglide trans. could be specified, with four versions of the Super Turbo Fire V8 engine.
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1958 Chrysler Windsor four-door Hardtop Sedan
USA

Chrysler Windsor

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
The Chrysler Windsor four-door Hardtop Sedan, LC1-L-43, was one of five models in the 122 - inch wheel base LC1 - L Series. Their 354 CID Spitfire V8 engine had a 10:1 compression ratio and developed 290 bhp.
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1958 Chrysler Saratoga two-door Hardtop Coupe
USA

Chrysler Saratoga

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
The Chrysler Saratoga two-door Hardtop Coupe, LC2-M-23, was one of only three models in the LC2-M Series: conventional and hardtop four-door sedans. They had a 310-bhp 354 CID Spitfire V8 engine and 126-in wheelbase.
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1958 Chrysler New Yorker
USA

Chrysler New Yorker

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
As before, the Chryser top-line series was the New Yorker LC3-H with 345-bhp 392 CID V8, 126-inch wheelbase and six body styles. High-performance 3000 (LC3-S) had 380-bhp engine or optional 390-bhp unit with fuel injection. Dual head lamps became standard equipment on all Chrysler cars. An electrically operated fuel injection system was offered on the 300D, and the Sure-Grip, a limited slip differential, could be purchased for a Chrysler. The Windsor had a new, shorter wheelbase of 122 inches.
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1958 DeSoto Diplomat DeLuxe Hardtop Sedan
USA

DeSoto Diplomat

  Also see: DeSoto Brochures
 
The DeSoto Diplomat Six LF1 and V8 LF2 Series resembled Plymouth except for distinguishing grille and badges. Standard, DeLuxe and Custom models were available, albeit only in certain export markets. They had a 118-inch wheelbase except station wagons (122-in).
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1958 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman Hardtop Sedan
USA

DeSoto Fireflite

  Also see: DeSoto Brochures
 
The DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman Hardtop Sedan, Model LS3-H-43. shared 126-in wb chassis and 361 CID V8 engine with Series LS2-M Firedome and LS3-S Adventurer but horsepower ratings differed. FireSweep (LS1-L) had 122-inch wheelbase and 350 CID V8 engines. All had 10:1 compression ratio except Adventurer (10·25:1) which was available with fuel injection also.
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1958 Dodge Custom Royal LD3-H Convertible
USA

Dodge Custom Royal

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
 
The 1955 Dodges had restyled grille, dual head-lights, compound-curved windscreens and other styling changes. An electronic fuel injection system was available, boosting power output to 333 bhp. Of US produced Dodges in 1958, 96·4% had automatic transmission, 62·5% had power steering, 34% had power braker. The Coronet range (LD1 Six and LD2 VS) accounted for 70% of all sales.
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1958 Dodge Sierra Wagon
USA

Dodge Sierra

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
 
The Dodge LD- 3 Sierra was one of five station wagons offered. Two-door models were known as Suburban. Sierra Spectator variants had rear-facing third seat.
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1958 Edsel Citation
USA

Edsel Citation

  Also see: Edsel Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Edsel Citation Hardtop and Convertible were two models in a new line introduced by Ford in the medium price field ('priced from just above the lowest to just below the highest'). It was claimed that the Edsel was the result of eleven years of planning and testing, including more than 1,250,000 test miles. However, although styling and controls had some unusual features, the technical specification was much like that of other contemporary Ford-produced cars. There were 18 models, including five station wagons, in four Series: Ranger, Pacer, Corsair and Citation.
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1958 Edsel Citation Hardtop and Convertible
USA

Edsel Citation Hardtop Convertible

  Also see: Edsel Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Edsel Citation four-door Hardtop was the top-line model. Equipment included self-adjusting brakes, push button automatic transmission controls in centre of the steering wheel and floating drum-type speedometer. Options included dash-mounted compass, tachometer, etc. Engines were E-400 361 CID 303-bhp V8 for Ranger, Pacer and Station Wagons, E-475 410 CID 345-bhp V8 for Corsair and Citation 660.
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1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner Convertible
USA

Ford Fairlane 500

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
The 1958 Ford front and rear end styling was changed dramatically and featured dual head and tail lights. The body side mouldings were also redesigned. Pictured left is the Fairlane 500 Sunliner Convertible, Model 76B. Engines were 145-bhp Mileage Maker Six and 240, 265 and 300-bhp Interceptor V8s. Transmission options included manual, overdrive and Fordomatic or Cruise-O-Matic automatic.
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1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner
USA

Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
The Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner rear view, showing dual tail lights and exhausts. Ford-Aire suspension was optional on V8s with automatic transmission.
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1958 Ford Thunderbird
USA

Ford Thunderbird

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
The Ford Thunderbird was entirely restyled for the first time. It was now a four-seater prestige model, rather than a sports car, and the body was of unitary construction. Convertible and Hardtop body styles were available 300-bhp Thunderbird 352 Special V8 was standard but for export a 235-bhp engine was offered.
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1958 Imperial Crown Southampton Hardtop
USA

Imperial Crown

   
 
The Imperial Crown LY1-M Southampton four-door Hardtop with Landau top roof section and FliteSweep rear deck (boot) lid with simulated spare wheel cover. There were also Imperial LY1 and Imperial LeBaron LY1-H models. All had 129-inch wheelbase and 345-bhp 392 CID engine with 10:1 compression ratio.
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1958 Kaiser Carabela
Argentina

Kaiser Carabela

  Also see: Kaiser Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Kaiser Carabela, Model KA1, was a South American continuation of the 1954/55 North American Manhattan Sedan. It was produced, until the 1960s, by Industrias Kaiser Argentina SA in Buenos Aires, to where all the body dies and other tooling had been transferred. IKA also produced various Willys Jeep models.
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1958 Lincoln Capri Landau
USA

Lincoln Capri

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
 
The 1958 Lincoln models were completely restyled and featured unitary body-cum-chassis construction. The 7-litre V8 had 10·5:1 compression ratio and developed 375 bhp. Body styles in the Capri and Premiere lines were the same, namely four-door Sedans (53A), Landau Hardtop Sedans (63A) and Hardtop Coupes (57A and B resp).
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1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III
USA

Lincoln Continental

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
 
For 1958 the Lincoln Continental was no longer sold as a separate marque, as in 1956-57. It was Lincoln's top-line model and designated Mark III - available as Coupe, Landau (hardtop sedan), Sedan, and Convertible.
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1958 Mercury Park Lane Phaeton Sedan
USA

Mercury Park Lane

  Also see: Mercury Road Tests and Reviews | Mercury Brochures
 
The Mercury Park Lane Phaeton Sedan was one of 20 models offered for 1958. It was 220.1 inches long and the wheelbase was 125 inches. Coupe and Convertible models were also available. Other series were the Montciair, Monterey and Station Wagons, with various body, engine and transmission options. Air Cushion Ride air suspension was among the optional extras.
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1958 Meteor Rideau 500 four-door Hardtop
Canada

Meteor Rideau

   
 
The Meteor Rideau 500 four-door Hardtop was one of the cars produced by Ford of Canada, using US Ford Fairlane components but carrying their own distinguishing grille, badges and trim.
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1958 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Series Holiday Sedan
USA

Oldsmobile Dynamic 88

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
 
The Oldsmobile offered Dynamic 88, Super 88 and 98 models. Completely restyled for 1958, Oldsmobiles had dual headlamps, an aluminium grille, new decorative trim on the side panels and choice of three 371 CID Rocket engines, ranging from 265 to 312 bhp depending on carburettor specification. Optional equipment included New-Matic Ride air suspension and Trans-Portable (easily-removable) radio.
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1958 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight
USA

Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
 
The Olds-mobile 98 Convertible Coupe, Series 98, had a 126½-inch wheelbase. Dynamic 88 and Super 88 had a 122½-inch wheelbase.
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1958 Packard Town Sedan
USA

Packard

  Also see: Packard Road Tests and Reviews
 
Packard entered its last year of existence with three regular models: 58L-YB Town Sedan, 58L-J8 Hardtop Coupe and 58L-P8 Station Wagon. They were based on the Studebaker President and powered by a 225-bhp 289 CID V8 (Studebaker Sweepstakes 289). Transmission was Flightomatic or manual with overdrive. Not surprisingly, sales were dismal.
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1958 Packard Hawk Coupe
USA

Packard Hawk Coupe

  Also see: Packard Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Packard Hawk Coupe, Model 58L-K9, was attractive but not different enough from the Studebaker Golden Hawk, which it resembled technically, to keep the marque alive. If anything, the Stude looked better. Both had a supercharged 289 CID V8 with a maximum output of 275 bhp at 4800 rpm.
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1958 Plymouth Fury
USA

Plymouth Fury

  Also see: Plymouth Road Tests and Reviews | Plymouth Brochures
 
The Plymouth LP2-H Fury was available only as two-door Hardtop. It had gold-coloured anodized aluminium inserts between the body side mouldings. Engine was the Dual Fury V8 or optional Golden Commando (up to 315 bhp with fuel injection).
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1958 Plymouth Sport Suburban V8
USA

Plymouth Sport Suburban

  Also see: Plymouth Road Tests and Reviews | Plymouth Brochures
 
Pictured left is the Plymouth Sport Suburban V8, Model LP2-H-45. Series designation was LP1 for Sixes, LP2 for V8s. Model ranges were Plaza, Savoy, Belvedere and Fury cars - Suburban, Custom Suburban and Sport Suburban wagons. Engine outputs ranged from 132 to 315 bhp.
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1958 Pontiac Star Chief Catalina Hardtop
USA

Pontiac Star Chief

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
The Pontiac Star Chief Catalina four-door Hardtop was available as the Chieftain, Super Chief, Star Chief and Bonneville Series. The latter was new for 1958. Output of the new 370 CID Tempest 395 V8 ranged from 240 up to 310 bhp with fuel injection and Super Hydra-Matic.
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1958 Rambler American
USA

Rambler American

  Also see: AMC Road Tests and Reviews | AMC Brochures
 
The Rambler American was new 100-inch wheelbase small car of AMC. It had a 195·6 CID 90-bhp L-head Six and was 178½ inches long.
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1958 Rambler Rebel Custom Country Club Hardtop
USA

Rambler Rebel

  Also see: AMC Road Tests and Reviews | AMC Brochures
 
The Rambler Rebel Custom Country Club Hardtop Sedan, Model 5829-2, had a 108-inch wheelbase and 215-bhp V8. Top-line Ambassadors had 117-in and 270-bhp resp.
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1958 Rambler Rebel V8 Cross Country Station Wagon
USA

Rambler Rebel Wagon

  Also see: AMC Road Tests and Reviews | AMC Brochures
 
The Rambler Rebel V8 Cross Country Station Wagons featured distinctive notched roof line and chrome travel rack.
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1958 Studebaker Commander
USA

Studebaker Commander

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
New for the 1958 Studebaker Commander was the treatment of the air vents or cowls; they were now located in the grille, to leave body lines clean and sleek. Hawk Styling ditinguished the rear fins and tail lights of 1958 Commanders and Champions. The new hoodline was low and wide, blending into hthe new roof silouette. Dual headlights were standard on the Commander, optional on the Champion.
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1958 Studebaker Scotsman Station Wagon
USA

Studebaker Scotsman

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Studebaker Scotsman Station Wagon, 58G-01, was one of a new line, introduced as 'America's lowest-priced full sized automobile'. They were, in effect, austere versions of the Champion. Series designation for Scotsman and Champion lines was 58G. All had the flat-head Six Sweepstakes 185 engine, rated at 101 bhp. First Studebaker Econ-o-miler taxicab also made its debut this year.
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1958 Studebaker President
USA

Studebaker President

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
  The Studebaker President six-passenger two-door Hardtop, Model 58H-J6. A four-door sedan was also available (58H-Y6).
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1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk
USA

Studebaker Silver Hawk

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Studebaker Silver Hawk was available in the Champion Series with 6-cyl. engine as Model 58G-C3 (pictured left) and in the President Series with V8 engine as 58H -C3 Hardtop. Golden Hawk Series 58H-K7 continued as Stude's top-line sports-type car with supercharged Sweepstakes 289 V8 engine, developing 275 bhp at 4800 rpm.
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1958 Willys Jeep
USA

Willys/IKA Jeep

  Also see: Willys Road Tests and Reviews
 
Willys was one of the world's largest four-wheel drive vehicle makers and a wide range of models was available. Industrias Kaiser Argentina in Buenos Aires produced various Willys models, including the Estanciera Station Wagon (4 x 4: UA-1 RA. 4 x 2 : UA-1 R B) and various Jeep types (4 x 4 : JA-1 MA. 4 x 2 : JA-3U B, Convertible 4 x 2 : JA-3CB).
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1958 Willys/IKA Jeep
Argentina

Willys/IKA Jeep

  Also see: Willys Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Willys Jeep Model JA-3CB was an Argentinian derivative of the North American CJ5 Universal, featuring built-in side steps, chrome bumpers and wheel hub covers as well as removable doors and convertible top. On this model, which was exclusive to the Argentine, only the rear axle was driven, and consequently the usual Jeep transfer case was not fitted.
1958 Chevrolet Brookwood 4-Door 9-Passenger Station Wagon
1958 Chevrolet Brookwood 4-Door 9-Passenger Station Wagon.
1958 Plymouth Sport Suburban Station Wagon
1958 Plymouth Sport Suburban Station Wagon.
   
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