After a three-year hiatus during World War II, Dodge resumed post-war production in late 1945. Its 1946 models were essentially updates of 1942 pre-war cars, but they were still eagerly met by a public hungry for something -- anything -- new after years of wartime rations and shortages.
Dodge churned out the same car from 1946 all the way through the first three months of 1949 even after the "second series" 1949 was launched, largely because the first series '49 was so popular (this car is identical to the 1948 Dodge, although it's technically a 1949 because of the build date).
These first series '49s, along with their brethren from '46 through '48, were often used as New York City taxi cabs because of their durable drivetrains and ease of operation.
This particular first series '49 was purchased from the nephew of an Episcopal priest right out of a church garage in Massachusetts. We believe it may have been the Parish Car. We also believe the odometer reading of 32,311 miles is correct, owing to the incredible original condition of the car.
Often you equate the terms "survivor" or "original" with ratty, worn and rough around the edges. But this example is in extraordinary original condition, with its original interior completely intact and very well preserved. The seats are wearing their original upholstery, in grey flannel with a tasteful and understated pinstripe. The car also retains its original green factory slipcovers for the seats (pictured only on the back seat bottom, but still in great shape for all of the seats). The door panels and headliner are also original, and as you can see from the photos are in like-new condition.
The body is nice and straight, panel gaps are good, and even the chrome is still in very good shape. The hubcaps are showing some minor wear, but are quite presentable. She has been re-sprayed in correct Gypsy Green, but aside from that, this Dodge is all original and simply magnificent.
"Options" in 1949 for any car were few and far between, but this car features electric windshield wipers, a rarity in the era of vacuum-operated wipers. The original owned must have preferred motoring in silence, because the car was ordered with the "radio delete" option -- no factory radio was ever installed.
Under the hood, this car features a smooth-running flathead straight six mated to a three-speed Fluid Drive transmission. Dodge's Fluid Drive is a three-speed manual gearbox with a fluid coupling (the predecessor to a torque converter) ? you must press the clutch to change gears, but you can come to a complete stop and idle in first or second gear without having to depress the clutch thanks to the fluid coupling.
The column shifter, gearbox and clutch feel great. Brakes have been rebuilt, and both the brakes and steering feel good. I'm impressed with how easy this car is to drive, and I can see why it was the choice of New York's taxi drivers 60 years ago. If you're interested in seeing this remarkable survivor up close, give us a call at 404-692-5250.
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