View Full Version : My Dad's car

02-02-2008, 08:45 PM
My father bought a 1951 Kaiser from the factory in Indiana. He drove it back to Seattle, and it was our family car for about three years. Our first vacation trip in it was to Banff, on roads which were then in the process of being paved.

Did any of you have fathers who bought off-beat cars like this?

02-02-2008, 08:59 PM
Bought it from a dealership that also sold Yugo's. When we all moved from Upstate New York to Tampa Fl in 1984, he drove it all the way down by himself.

My Mom drove it straight into a roadside ditch a few weeks later and emerged without a scratch.

After that, the car became my Dad's again until he passed it down to me about 6 years later. I destroyed the car in a single evening through my total inability to drive stick.

Now that I know about the 300 HP, Renault R5 Turbo, I respect that little car and the Renault company a whole lot more.

02-02-2008, 09:01 PM
My Dad had a '51 Nash Rambler station wagon (bathtub!) and later a '55 Packard Clipper. He said that Packard was the best car he ever owned. Packard ads tagline was "Ask the man who owns one."

Unfortunately, early in my driving career I ran a stop sign and a lady in a '66 6 cyl. Chevelle T-boned it on the passenger side. Her car collapsed to about half it's original length and stopped dead in the street. That 'ol Packard bucked & groaned, rolled up on the driver's side and scraped along for a bit before hitting the curb and finishing a complete roll. It ended up back on all 4 tires in a lady's front yard. I started it up and drove it out of the yard before the lady inside saw me.

Broke my Pappy's heart.;(

02-02-2008, 09:02 PM
There wasn't anything offbeat about a Kaiser, I had an uncle who sold them.

My father owned a couple of Hudsons, but the first car he purchased after the war was a Crosley station wagon. The Crosley was used and was an ex local part time police car. The previous owner had a roll up sign with a badge he hung on the side when he was on duty.

My cousin owned several Studebakers, and I had a '53 myself for a while. Mine had a hemi in it though.

Al Messer
02-02-2008, 09:06 PM
Dad's first car was a 1937 Chevvy business coupe. My first two were Studebakers: a 1957 Commander(?)and a 1960 Lark--4 on the column and Over drive. Fine sturdy machines in my opinion.

Lew Hartswick
02-02-2008, 09:35 PM
My dad had a Grahm Paige when I was a little tyke. I'm sure it was
a used car when he bought it. Lets see---- I must have been about
7 or 8 would have made it about 39 or 40 ,before the war at least.

02-02-2008, 10:12 PM
Dad bought a 57 DeSotso new. Smoked badly, took it back a week later, garage closed and Desoto out of business. It had a HEMI also.

02-02-2008, 10:18 PM
Wow, nice to hear older guys talking about the Lark....I have a customer who collects them. Has 3 that I've seen.....iirc, they were a Studebaker attempt at a sporty-ish car ala Corvette and T Bird.....Didn't save Studebaker as a company though....
Then there was the Nash Metropolitan from the same era......"smart car" or "clown car" you be the Judge....

Your Old Dog
02-02-2008, 11:19 PM
My pa bought a Corvair once. He wanted a nice car to drive back home on vacation. A guy at the gas station told him it was the only one he'd every seen with a clean back bumper. They all through oil and soot. The guy told my dad it was a bad omen. The engine blew up before they got to Ohio from California!

Nicest car I can remember being in our drive was a 1958 Cadillac DeVille in Aztog Green with White rag top. What a sweet ride. Dad got it 1964 and it was the first car I ever drove. Would give my eyeteeth for one now!

02-03-2008, 12:09 AM
my dad had a 53 pontiac with stright 8. it was the first car i helped change the motor in. we got the short block from sears.

02-03-2008, 12:34 AM
My uncle had a Crosley I remember.

The family bought a '48 Ford woody wagon used in '56. And I recall my father changing a water pump parked on the street in Canon City, CO as we drove west. That's the pig with one bolt inside the lower hose inlet so it will rust and corrode.

02-03-2008, 12:46 AM
My dad bought Studebakers from about 1950 until the sixties, swore by them, my mom swore at them. In 62 he bought his first station wagon, (there were four of us brats by then), a 1960 Plymouth Belvedere with fins as high as the sky and pointy festoons on the bumpers, I think they were called dagmars? Can anyone verify that?
LAter he was a VW bug guy, had two until he hit 40 and bought a Triumph GT6+ in 1969.
Now THAT was a helluva car, sexy and wood grained dash for days. Sure miss that one.

02-03-2008, 12:48 AM
When I was a kid my dad bought a new 1953 Willys. Thought we had that car forever, and when you're a kid eight years is forever. Then in 1961 he bought a Comet, this was a few years before the Caliente made a Comet a cool ride. My first car was a used 1960 Corvair. Of course, all of these were really cool (not) 4 door sedans.


Steve Steven
02-03-2008, 02:35 AM
My dad had a '51 Frasier, a companion to the Kaiser. I drove it for a few years while I was in High School, dad sold it to a soldier driving to Washington state from New Mexico (where we lived), it was about 1960 and the guy got all the way there with only a busted radiator hose!

Dad also had a '52 Packard, what a car! I helped rebuild that great long straight 8, he had hired a local mechanic to show him what to do, worked great after rebuild.


02-03-2008, 06:40 AM
My father bought a Corvair Greenbriar van back when they still had the swing axle suspension. He later also bought a Corvair Monza coupe with the turbo and Corvette suspension. Among American cars the use of a flat aluminum air cooled rear mounted six cylinder engine was pretty unusual. I'm not sure that any other American made car ever had such a configuration. The "Unsafe at Any Speed" book by Nader was a complete crock. The van handled just fine and any problems people had were due to the weight distribution, not the suspension. He also tended to keep his vehicles forever, something that I also do.

My dad also bought an MGA in about 1962 or so. He had very strongly considered buying the XKE Jaguar but the 12 cylinder version was too expensive and he didn't want the six. I'll say the MGA was the better choice as it was far easier to maintain and an absolutely excellent road racer.

My mother's car was a Morris Minor 1000, the car I learned to drive.

I have a Series II 1959 Land Rover which we bought in about 1976 or so. I still use it frequently although not on the road. It used to be our daily driver and my wife can drive anything with wheels having first learned to drive tractors. Like my father I tend to keep my vehicles forever. We have a 1988 Ford Ranger 4x4 pickup which is our daily driver in winter and a 2002 PT Cruiser for my wife to drive in good weather.

02-03-2008, 09:08 AM
my dad had a 53 pontiac with stright 8. it was the first car i helped change the motor in. we got the short block from sears.

Used to work in an Edmonton factory that produced many of those short blocks that were supplied to prairie department stores such as Simpsons-Sears, Eatons, Woodwards, The Hudson Bay Co., Mcleods, etc. etc. We shipped directly to the end user, a lot of DIYers, all over the west. Engines were all the same, just different colours, to suit each store. Had various jobs there, started painting and crating the final product, then teardown of the returns (very dirty), then on final assembly. The line I was on assembled mainly 6 cylinder Chrysler + Pontiac flatheads, Chevrolet babbit rod and the later pressurized oiled sixes, and the occasional OHV Ford Six. Ford sixes appeared around '57/58 in Canadian cars and trucks if I remember correctly. Sure learned a lot about a lot of things working there ( 1960/61), fun job.

The first car I remember at home was a 1936 Ford 2 DR slant back and it was black. It had no trunk as such, but the rear seat folded back to reveal a neat hiding spot, which was a favorite for my mother's smuggling activities. We made several trips to Washington state (on holiday) and that was the hiding spot for those cases of prohibited peaches and pears and cherries. Spent many hours in that car "driving" it in the driveway when I was five or six.

Bought my first car in 1957 with paper route money (Edmonton Journal) and it has been loads of fun since. You can see some of my past and present vehicles here:http://thumb5.webshots.net/s/thumb2/7/63/29/200776329ZnmWwl_th.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/album/200786637IqfPgy)

Your Old Dog
02-03-2008, 09:17 AM
He also tended to keep his vehicles forever, something that I also do.

That's gotta be the understatement of the year! We've all seen Scout :D But that's you Berkely guys, show it no mercy and see if it'll grow hair!

This is what I had to drive to high school everyday in my Jr & Sr years. At a time when the rich kids were riding around Hayward in the 57 Canary Yellow Chevies with the number painted on the back fenders !! It couldn't have been any more embarrassing but my dad wanted something I wouldn't get hurt in (read as in wouldn't go over 50 mphs). To make things worse, mine was red.

So while you and your dad were tooling around in the MGA this is what I was tooling around in.


02-03-2008, 09:41 AM
Looks like an Austin Cambridge. I had one of those in the early 70's. Paid $90 for it. Nice leather seats but didn't have a good battery and couldn't afford one since I spent all my money on my airplane. Used to start it with the crank as the battery had just enough juice to power the coil. Sold it later for $110 and made a tidy profit. :D

J Tiers
02-03-2008, 10:46 AM
Not my father but grandpa..... When my father was little they drove Franklin air-cooled cars, gotten cheap when they were a few years old. Just like poor folks used to drive Cadillacs.

Would have been interesting if they had kept one out in the barn.......

02-03-2008, 11:09 AM
My dad tried to buy a new Ford in the 40's which was never delivered. He finally settled for a 38 Studebaker which he drove for several years. As I recall, it had some type of brake associated with the clutch for stopping on a hill at a light or stop sign. Kept the right foot free for the gas pedal.

Lew Hartswick
02-03-2008, 11:12 AM
It sounds like most (note: most) of you guys fathers are my age
so : My first car was a '42 NOTE: 1942 Plymouth. A repainted
army staff car. :-) And I didn't get to drive or a car till the year
after I graduated from high school, 1949.

02-03-2008, 11:38 AM
We never had anything unusual. Dad liked your average middle range Fords. Especially after a series of junkers. Like a 39 Chevy coupe that the front end was falling off of. Then a late fortys Olds with a bad tranny. Followed by another Chevy with front end problems.

I remember the family going to Smith Gandy Ford in Seattle (on a bus). We came home home with a brand new 54 Ford. It was all brand new cars after that. Nothing else would do. That 54 was followed by a 56 that he really loved, and that made lots of trips to visit friends in California. The 56 was followed by a new 62 and then his real pride and joy, a 64 Fairlane two door hardtop with the 289 engine in it.

I on the other hand have not paid for a car for more than twenty years. Except for one of those Renault Le-Cars. I have had a long run of cars that people think are shot. As long as nothing major is broken I have been able to get them running, or keep them running, and drive them till the rest of the wheels fall off.

My last free car, an 84 Chrysler LaBaron, is sitting in the street finally broken. The guy I got it from was waiting for the wrecker to come and take it to a crusher. When I asked why, he said the front end was shot and needed lots of parts and labor to fix it. Got him to give it to me. That was more than four years ago. The engine still runs perfect, the trans works fine, all the glass is in it, and the doors open and close like they are new. To bad it had to loose a CV joint. I could fix it but the front end really is shot now so it's time to put the word out that I'm looking for another junker.

Mad Scientist
02-03-2008, 04:17 PM
In the late 30ís my father had a Cord. It was suppose to have been the car that was to take my mother to the hospital to have me. However the contacts on the electric solenoids that operated the transmission were corroded and it would not shift gears, thus wound up using my mothers Oldsmobile.
After the Cord he switched to Lincolns and in 56 got a Continental MKII. I STILL have the MKII it has been quietly aging for the last 40 years because of a cracked engine block due lack of anti-freeze one winter. But that is about to change as of about two months age I have started to seriously work on restoring it.

Doc Nickel
02-03-2008, 05:16 PM
'63 Studebaker Avanti, R2 Supercharged with a 4-speed.

He still has it, too. :)


tony ennis
02-03-2008, 05:28 PM
Unlike you old guys, my dad was born in the 20th century. We had an IH Scout with removable top, Plymouth Valiant, and an AMC Gremlin-X (8 cyl!).

As a small child, maybe 3 or 4, I remember being bundled in blankets and shoved in the backseat of the Valiant in the winter. I suppose the thing had no heater. We could see pavement through the rust holes in the floor.

02-03-2008, 05:55 PM
My dad's first car was VW Kubelwagen 1943:) He had it for 15 years or so and than sold it to some movie making staff. Yes, you can say it was a used car :D

Thomas Staubo
02-03-2008, 05:58 PM
1960 Plymouth Belvedere with fins as high as the sky and pointy festoons on the bumpers, I think they were called dagmars? Can anyone verify that?

That's correct, mate.

And a pretty matching name, too.



02-03-2008, 09:39 PM
My dad bought a 1949 Hudson Wasp, to this day when we go to car show and see one he say it was the best car he ever owned. Dad is now 81yr and owens two Chrylser Newports one hardtop and one conv., and when he gets tired of driving ther he get's his 50 Ply out. Can't keep home in the summer time. Thank God

Jim Geib
Mansfield, Ohio

02-03-2008, 10:31 PM
NOW I know why they were called Dagmars, from now on I'll Capitilize the name.

02-04-2008, 01:59 AM
My dads first car is (note is:D ) a 1937 Buick Roadmaster phaeton. The car was parked in 1954 and I just got her out of storage last year and started her up :p . Hope to be able to go on a short road trip with the car this summer.

02-04-2008, 04:45 AM
NOW I know why they were called Dagmars, from now on I'll Capitilize the name.

In the UK they are just called 'Overiders', pretty boring name. I think Dagmars sounds a lot better!


02-04-2008, 02:06 PM
Dad's first owned car was one he won in a contest while in college, a brand new 1954 Austin Healey 100-4. After that he got a '52 MG TD he towed home from a dealer on the end of a rope! Another TD and a '48 TC followed after that.

I started out with a '74 Opel Manta and progressed through a few others until getting my current ride, a '78 MGB convertible. I also have a '71 Triumph TR6 as a 'fun' car. Bunch of other projects in the garage including a '58 Austin Healey 100-6.

On the MG's those aren't called 'Dagmars', they're called 'Sabrina's' - but for the same reason! :D

02-04-2008, 09:15 PM
my dad had a whole pile of interesting cars, it's sorta family tradition. The car nut gene is strong...Grandpa had a 35 or so Indian for a while, 65 'Stang (6cyl four speed car, wish I had that one!) 68 Carmen Ghia, 69 Alfa, some others that escape me at the moment.

Dad sent me an email the other day with a few of the cars he's had; 53 willis Aero Eagle, mid fifties Borgward wagon...the list goes on. Sadly, none are still in the family, although I still hope that Indian is in one of the sheds out on the farm that is still owned by some of my great uncles...one can hope!

Frank Ford
02-04-2008, 09:27 PM
My dad took us kids car shopping with him in the 50s and test drove a Metropolitan. The sales guy in the front passenger seat looked back at my brother and me, folded up like a couple of carpenter's rules on the small platform that passed for a back seat.

Sensing there was no sale to be had, he said, "Yessir, room for two adults and two amputees." I thought the old man was going to crash the car we were all laughing so hard.

Later, he settled for a really cheesy substitute, a German Lloyd, and used it as a commute car to drive to the Southern Pacific train depot every morning. . .

02-04-2008, 09:55 PM
My Grandpa had a 1925 Essex. When I was a kid one of the doors was still lying next to Grandma's garage, quietly rusting.

Dad was a mechanic by trade, and he hated to work on his own cars. He bought several Ramblers, he said they didn't have enough power to hurt themselves. I think he was right. I learned to drive on a '66 Rambler Classic 770 (not a very cool ride in 1979, I can tell ya! :rolleyes: )