Auto Hierarchy…………….. …#40 (the 50’s)

1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster

Sitting beside his Dad backing out of the previous owner’s driveway,  the teenager having mixed feelings.   It was different,  it smelled different, it sat different,  its dashboard was different  and most of all it had a column shift,  no gear shift raising  from the transmission beneath the floorboard that a person sitting in  the middle had to straddle.   The faithful 1936 Oldsmobile,  the never fail to start,  the iron horse of mobility and on occasion, Gary’s moving paper route platform for throwing the Tribune from the running boards  was being replaced with this new addition to the family,  a 1948 battleship gray,  four door Chevrolet Stylemaster.   Still there remained that sense of pride he had from knowing the Oldsmobile with its eight cylinders,  coil front springs,  steel bodied structure ,  an indestructible truck of a car and having a been part of his world,  he would miss its aura of invincibility.

1948 Chevrolet Dash

1948 Chevrolet Dash

36 olds – Iron Horse of mobility

The new car, as referred to by the family,  having something called vacuum shift which made it easier to move the column shifter when changing gears,  a sun visor mounted over the windshield and a single hood that raised from the front instead of the two hood side panels as on the Oldsmobile.   In one respect he felt elated, the family having moved up in the hierarchy of automobile class,  although never one to brandish an accomplishment,  he still had awareness of family achievement.   Gary couldn’t help but observe that his best friend Hank Ball’s family still drove a 1946 Ford and Don Bryant’s family a 1947 Chevrolet and with his family’s 1948 Chevrolet  accession,  he recognized a sense of escalating  self-esteem.

Chevrolet Plant at 73rd Ave & Foothill Blvd in Oakland.

Gary having toured  the Chevrolet Plant located at 73rd ave. and Foothill Blvd. during his cub scouting endeavor and like all budding teenagers waited every year in anticipation for the new models to arrive.  Every fall the plant workers  would drive the new models off the production line to a fenced in parking area which was downed with a covering in an attempt to keep from revealing the new modifications to the public.   This practice was more entertaining than practical, Gary and most other inquisitive people having no problems observing the recent production thru the gaps in coverings and deciphering the changes made from last years models.   This years event like always being highlighted by the industries advertisement and sale initiatives propelling the vicissitude to a waiting audience.

Gary’s discernment of self-esteem from the family’s newly acquired 48 Chevrolet was found to be short-lived due to the actions predicated by the Bryant and Ball families.    The youth discerning a new 1956 Chevrolet parked in Don’s driveway and a new blue 1956 Ford parked in Hanks.  Taking stock of the situation he noted the change in auto hierarchy, concluding that his family’s new car just became old.



One Response to “Auto Hierarchy…………….. …#40 (the 50’s)”

  1. Winter Russo Says:

    Auto Hierarchy………………………….#40 Inquisitive Quest is an interesting name for a blog, keep up the good work, thanks, from Winter Russo

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