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Rare press releases

In his search for “Vintage Ads” to feature in Old Cars Weekly through the years, Mitch Frumkin came upon some very rare press releases and other literature. There are too many cubic zirconias in the collection that it would be a shame not to share them.

A Rare 1959 Press Release: The Chrysler Climax

According to a press release, “Climax, the mid-year, limited-edition model is named in honor of ‘Climax!,’ the popular one-hour long anthology television series sponsored by Chrysler Corp. on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). The 1959 Chrysler Climax hardtops represent the zenith of sophisticated Forward-Look styling and the peak of performance with the new Golden Lion V-8 engine and push-button TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Arriving at Chrysler and Plymouth dealers on April 1, 1959, the Chrysler Climax is guaranteed to bring you to the pinnacle of motoring pleasure.

1959_CHRYSLER_ CLIMAX_BrochurePage_MJF

Lost Literature files: The 1969 Studebaker Scotsman brochure cover

From the lost literature files comes this announcement from 1969. That year, Studebaker made a last-ditch effort to remain a viable American automobile manufacturer with the release of the second-generation Scotsman.” The frugal Scotsman lived up to its “Common-Cents Car” slogan by cutting all luxury features, and was offered as bare-bones two- and four-door sedans. Cost-cutting measures eliminated the radio; power steering and brakes; and a three-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission available with the stock 120-hp six-cylinder engine. To keep the factory price around $2,100, the ’69 Scotsman came with roll-up front and fixed rear windows; rubber mats instead of carpeting inside the cabin; black sidewall tires; and painted dog-dish hubcaps. The use of chrome was limited to front and rear bumpers.

1969 Studebaker Scotsman_MJF

Prototypical 1955 Ford Brochure

Found at a swap meet in Pyrite, Mich., this page from a 1955 Ford brochure shows a Crown Victoria with an open roof section above the front seating. The image suggests that Ford had toyed with the idea of making the tinted Plexiglas roof panel removable for true “open sky” motoring. The similarity to early ’55 Thunderbird ads that showed the two-seater with the Fairlane “dip” side trim hints at the possibility that this lift-off targa top for the Crown Victoria and the Fairlane T-Bird trim were both dropped at the last moment for technical reasons, cost considerations or design decisions.


Mystery illustration identified

The featured photograph is of a proposed Pontiac for model year 1949 that was discovered several years ago in an estate sale. Old Cars Weekly featured it in 2014 and asked if readers had information on the unidentified model, with little luck until early this year. Thanks to retired automotive employee Floyd Early, the mystery has been solved. Mr. Early identified the highly retouched photo from March 1948 and remembered what he said was the Pontiac Cherokee Silver Streak. Painted in Titanium Yellow, the chrome trim-laden four-door hardtop prototype wore five-inch whitewalls, deep-dish hubcaps with spinners and a tinted Plexiglas sun visor. The amber-tone Chief Pontiac hood ornament, hood emblem and center grille lens were each illuminated with the headlamps. Pontiac management was aiming at the upscale car market after World War II, and Mr. Early stated that GM nixed the Cherokee Silver Streak early because the luxury Pontiac would’ve cannibalized sales from Oldsmobile and Buick.


Un-released 1957 Metropolitan 3000 Literature Discovered

Have you ever wondered what a Metropolitan 1500 convertible with four-doors would have looked like? Well, it appears that American Motors did, as evident by the discovery of the adjacent piece of advertising literature from 1957 which was never released to the public – until now. Notice the “V” emblem in the grille and the mention of Nash’s V-4, which was an experimental engine at the time. With an estimated 110 hp, double the horses from the original Austin inline four, the new powerplant would have provided the necessary muscle to propel the heavier Metropolitan 3000. Admittedly, the Metropolitan 3000 four-seater made for an interesting prototype. But, thanks to clearer heads, American Motors management did not greenlight the “World’s Smartest Smaller 4-Door.”


If you are scratching your head on these you are not alone. More than likely you are reading this around the first of April. From all of us at Old Cars Weekly we would like to say... APRIL FOOLS!

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