In May 2011, I noticed these cars sitting together at a used car lot in Newark, NJ. You know those inner-city lots with barbed-wire fences and pushy salesmen? Yes, that kind of place; right beside modern, plasto-matic cars exceeding 150,000 miles.
My curiosity and desire to write about them prompted a closer look. The owner and his son were more than happy to meet me, until I told them that I wasn’t able to buy the cars, but might be able to find someone who would. The son escorted me out to the cars for a few minutes. I wasn’t able to sit in them or open the hoods, but I got a general idea.
Our first car was advertised as a 1940 Dodge. The car was dark blue, appeared to be in good “driver” condition and looked very close to original. This creampuff could come home with me for $19,995.
Our second car was advertised as a 1948 Chrysler Windsor. The car was grey. The body was nice and the chrome wasn’t terribly bad, but a closer look showed some modifications. I saw newer wheels, an aftermarket automatic floor shifter, dual exhaust, and a trailer hitch. I bet there was a modern V-8 under the hood to accompany that transmission.
I imagine a previous owner wanted a unique tow vehicle and something to surprise people at stoplights. I laugh when I think of the old joke about a car allegedly driven “by a little old lady, only a quarter mile (several quarter miles, actually) on Sundays.” This little beauty could jump the fence for $13,995.
I drove through the area about nine months later. The dealership was closed and the lot was empty. So I apologize if you would have liked to purchase one of these. Has anyone ever seen one of these cars? I wonder if both cars came from the same owner?
This story originally ran in the National Chrysler Products Club Journal.
Books by MoTales writer David Zatz
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