1952 Dodge Meadowbrook

In Manhattan, land of the cabbie and the unobtainable parking space, someone drives a 1952 Dodge.


This was just a great car to take pictures of – so many large, wide curves to play with, so many details to grab onto. The Dodges of this time were very plain, stodgy cars that were designed to be unfashionable and overly tall, in contrast to the showy longer/lower/wider design language of GM and me-too Ford. There really is a lot of plain, unadorned sheetmetal on this car, in spite of the detailing on the front end and elsewhere.

I sometimes wonder what cars were like back then, when they were new. This Dodge looked so bland compared to nearly any other car on the market back in the early 1950s – but how were they driven in the decade after victory in the Second World War? What did it mean to have a car then, with LA just beginning to complain about smog? With the interstate highway system being freshly planned out? With the Negro Motorists Green Book still very much current? Car ownership must have been different then, and I wonder how well I can understand how cars have changed in the past sixty years.

Certainly this is a curious addition to an East Village street. It seems odd enough now, even if it was as ordinary as they came back in 1952. I bet the streets of Manhattan look very different behind that flat, split windshield, sailing through traffic with that vast steering wheel as cabbies fly past.

For reference:

if you are looking for a good read on cars of this vintage and don’t have the willpower to spend your life searching through Allpar’s organizational system, look here to TTAC’s Curbside Classics (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/editorial-curbside-classics-1951-plymouth/) for a readup on the near-identical ’51 Plymouth, or here (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/curbside-classic-review-1951-oldsmobile-super-88/) to see some of the contemporary flash that this Dodge so very much lacked.

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