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History low & rare production numbers - all makes would be interesting

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,405


    thanks, - that explains all the odd looking aussie ‘33 - ‘34 5 window I see in photos !
    Something I had never quite understood for 40 years......
    Dago 88 likes this.
  2. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 7,423


    I wish I could remember all the cars that I've seen at shows and cruises that were low production rare cars as I've been told that on so many occasions that I just blow it off as the usual car hobby BS. My Kaiser Darren post #55, I saw one in a body shop here in the north woods of Wisconsin under restoration, recalled the car and looked up the production number and found a picture. I do not know if that car was finished as I did hear the owner passed away and his car collection was sold. A local contractor that did some work for us bought one of the cars from the collection, very large and full of high dollar cars I was told, never met the man or saw his collection, lived around 5 miles from me.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    Dago 88 likes this.
  3. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,155

    Dick Stevens

    Only 300 1953 Corvettes were produced
    wicarnut and chevy57dude like this.
  4. But gee, when I look at ads on C@*&$%list, I see a lot of "rare" cars.
    54 ford coupe likes this.
  5. Has anyone mentioned the Tucker 48 yet? They only made 50, plus 1 prototype. I took this photo with the grandkids at the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. 20170421_135055.jpg 20170421_134934.jpg 20170421_135254.jpg
  6. I can't find my pics, but I used to own a 1956 Pontiac sedan delivery, one of 1583 built and very few left as all it took was a dash and front sheet metal swap and you had a 55 Chevy....
  7. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,052

    from oregon

    In 1964, Chevrolet was considering offering the new Chevelle with the 327/365 hp Corvette engine option (L76), this is the solid lifter single four barrel version of the famous fuel injected engine, it was even mentioned in early assembly manuals.
    Most would call this a prototype but based on the article below there were a small handful of them actually built, interesting theories have been bantered about for years.
    Anyone else heard of these cars?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    echo ed and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  8. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,164

    Dave Mc

    My Dad built three of these Miniature Tenwheelers in his lifetime first one in 1954 , last one 1997
    IMG_0189.JPG IMG_0188.JPG Dad's Truck Rod&Custom nov.56 1.jpg Dad's Truck Rod&Custom nov. 56 3.jpg Dad's Truck Rod&Custom nov. 56 2.jpg Dad's Truck Rod&Custom nov. 56 4.jpg Dad's Truck Nov. 56 Rod & Custom.jpg Dad's Truck Rod & Custom Nov. 56.jpg our pic`s 182.jpg
    mgtstumpy, BigDogSS, 302GMC and 3 others like this.
  9. kabinenroller
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 674


    Yes the Tucker 48 was a very low production vehicle, my father and his brothers were in the group of car dealers who purchased a Tucker dealership. The factory had demo Tuckers that would tour the dealers so they were able to “sell” to customers for future delivery. Here is a photo of my father taken in 1948 with a Tucker demo, note the dealer plates. I also attached a photo that I took at Pebble Beach a few years ago when Tucker was the featured marque. There were 12 examples on display including the Tin Goose and a complete chassis.
    C2421FD9-B743-49D5-809C-1235DE9A2F7D.jpeg 096E08FF-D964-47F7-8120-1EC4AC73DCB3.jpeg
    Lil32, mgtstumpy, Special Ed and 3 others like this.
  10. jay t.
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 136

    jay t.

    FF4C5EE5-1044-434F-AEC6-7379492A0DED.png My 65 Falcon sedan delivery original v8 car. Falcon website says only 649 built. No breakdown of v8 only
  11. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,052

    from oregon

    Here is another one, heard that it went to either New Zealand or Australia.

    Lil32, mgtstumpy and Dave Mc like this.
  12. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,654

    41 GMC K-18

    I have always loved the weird and oddball stuff , so this one does qualify . Its the 1963 Westinghouse/Studebaker prototype pick up truck, they only built one ! It Lives in the Studebaker museum.

    63 studebaker prototype # 3.jpg 63 studebaker prototype .jpg 63 studebaker prototype #2.jpg
    mgtstumpy, chevy57dude and cfmvw like this.
  13. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,077

    Joe H

    How about one of one, 1911 Stanley Steamer runabout. I rebuilt all the pumps and valves, then replaced the engine block. It was my uncles car for many years. IMG_0034 touched.jpg
    echo ed, Deuces, Lil32 and 9 others like this.
  14. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,072

    Stan Back
    from California

    Sedan Pix copy.jpg

    This 1928 Mercury Torpedo Sedan prototype was built in California. Al Simon designed the chassis in Fontana and several metal-smiths finished the custom body work in San Bernardino. It has a V-6 engine, 3-speed automatic transmission and adapted Ford rear end along with bespoke Halibrand wheels. Apparently it was a one-off pre-production vehicle although I 've been told there is a 1928 Mercury Sedan in the Temecula area, but it's not the Torpedo model.
  15. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,978


    upload_2021-4-30_3-43-45.png from April 1957


    I was doing some research on Suburban Pontiac for a story about a friend who bought the only Pontiac hardtop sedan in all of our teenage group’s Chevy world. I decided to keep this photo out of the information on the Suburban Pontiac dealership story in the Auto Dealership Thread. It was a rare one indeed. A 375 H.P. fuel injected Pontiac Convertible that would have pushed it into the SS class in 1957. But, the different local dragstrips all over, had their own classifications during this early drag racing era. most were standard, but there were some odd names and lettering to accommodate all that came stock out of Detroit.


    Although we did see plenty of Pontiac Sedans in our A/Stock class, we did not see a convertible racing in the SS class or some places, in the F stock classes. Finally in July-August of 1957, a result of the races was posted. It is possible that the 375 hp Pontiac Convertible was around and winning the trophies over some Chevys in those various classes.

  16. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,452

    jimmy six

    Less GMC’s
    Torkwrench likes this.
  17. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,535


    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
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  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,978




    When my brother wanted a new powerful car, he sold his 1951 Oldsmobile Sedan to his friend. Then we went to the local Chevy dealer to order a new black, 1958 Chevy Impala with the big 348 motor. When given the options, he got everything heavy duty (brakes, cooling, battery, suspension and of course, a heavy duty clutch), a custom Positraction 4:11 gear set up, and the standard 3 speed stick.

    When given the choice or a 280 HP or a 315 HP motor, he opted for the 315 HP motor. The difference was a different cam/lifters, massaged cylinder heads and higher compression pistons. Also noted was that it was definitely faster than the 280 HP model.
    But, the salesman said that he would have to call around to see if anyone (dealer) in So Cal would have a 315 HP model. He called several big name Chevy dealers and the answer was that there are no 315 HP models in stock, let alone a black 58 Impala version. The estimated wait list was at least 6 months. “But, order now and maybe it will arrive by then.”


    Special Super turbo-thrust, 3 x 2 barrel, 315 HP model was the desired choice.

    “Chevrolet's Engineering Department knew this was coming, so after a few months in the dyno lab, they countered with a brand-new "Police Cruiser" 348. It cost about $150 extra. It looked like a 280hp 348 (Tri-power induction), but it had a solid lifter high-performance camshaft (PN 3755946) and an 11.0:1 compression ratio. Horsepower was rated at 315 at 5,600 rpm."

    "Its torque output rating was 356 at 3,600 rpm. With good numerical gearing and Positraction, acceleration was excellent. It took the extra torque and horsepower of the 315hp 348 to pull the extra weight of the engine and chassis. A good driver could do 0-60 in 7.2 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 15.0-15.2 seconds at 96-99 mph."

    "Chevrolet's '58 car sales were 1,291,050. Of these, 784,667 were V-8-powered. That's 60 percent. Actual RPO engine sales were said to be lost in a fire decades ago. We estimated total 348 engine production at 30,000 with the 315-horsepower version at 1,000. Very few remain today.”

    The 315 was a massaged 280 horsepower version. 3x2 carbs, mechanical cam and higher compression ratio. The cylinder heads also received larger valves, although the 58 only engine still had the standard exhaust manifolds (2") Compression was 11:1. Put this order into a black 1958 Impala and it was or would be a very rare version.

    “If you have an original 1958 315 engine - the engine suffix code will be "GB".

    "In 1958, Chevrolet retained their #1 Sales position from Ford (hard to believe when the '57 seems so popular these days)."

    "The production totals were no longer broken down my series - but by body style.
    1958 total production - 1,216,597
    Four hardtop (available in BelAir only) 83,330
    Two door hardtop - 142,592 (of this total - most were Impala bodied)
    Convertible - 55,989
    Two door wagon - 16,590
    Four door wagon - 170.473"

    "The 2 door hardtop was very rare - since it was only available as a Bel Air or Impala. Since most of the hardtops were Impalas - the Bel Air becomes fairly rare in this body style.
    Keep in mind, the 2 door shared the same body between the hardtop and sedan. Only the door frames and rear windows were different.”

    Then one year later, in 1958 we started to see this ad in the Drag News for a choice 12 months earlier was not available.
    So, what did the 315 HP models do when they were at the dragstrip? The ruled the stock car class and when the next year’s models (1959) started arriving with more powerful motors, the were still competitive with the right drivers and set ups.

    1958 315 HP vs 1959 335 HP

    (and the black 1959 Impala was no slouch, either, winning in his respective racing class. )
    Hamtown Al, Lil32 and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  19. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    My 1965 Comet 202 wagon was one of 1400 ever built. Lots of 404 wagons, but not many base models. DSCF3721.JPG
    Lil32 and mgtstumpy like this.
  20. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,872

    Special Ed

    '53 Muntz Road Jet built Evanston, Illinois
    One of approx. 230 cars built from 1950-1953
    This is evidently the "last" factory assembled Jet.
    One of one ... originally equipped with fiberglass fenders, quarters, and the only known fiberglass hood. '53 Jet.jpg
    echo ed, Hamtown Al, Lil32 and 2 others like this.
  21. The Santa Monica Historical Society has at least one and maybe more photos of the '32 Deluxe pickup.
    It is my understanding that they acquired a photo collection from a local newspaper. The head Lifeguard had received a new truck and the newspaper photographed the event.

    Charlie Stephens
    Hamtown Al and Fordors like this.
  22. 36, 37 Cord - 3500+-, Hupp Skylark - 500 +-, Graham Hollywood 1500 +- all low production cars that were great.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
  23. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 783


    1956 Packard Carribean convertable, 276 produced. 372 cubes/310 Hp
    Hamtown Al, wicarnut, Lil32 and 2 others like this.
  24. caseofthewillys
    Joined: Feb 10, 2010
    Posts: 15

    from Midwest

    As I understand it, Willys exported partial vehicle chassis to Australia/New Zealand from its Los Angeles California factory back in the 1930's and Holden [and others] created the bodies for them. This is my 1936 hard top Ute with a body by Holden. Its here in the states, but I know of only one other example in Tasmania? Its still all original, running and a brown color. I forget the gentleman's name who has it, but we corresponded some years back. Production numbers for these? Less than 20? Anyone else have one?

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  25. caseofthewillys
    Joined: Feb 10, 2010
    Posts: 15

    from Midwest

    And here is a '35 in Australia I believe that I think was turned into the ubiquitous "gasser" The rooflines on'35's were more horizontal, as opposed to the raked look of the '36 model year hard tops. Also, look at the windshield. The '36 has round corners all around, whereas the '35 has pointed lower corners [I assume because the windshield flips out and the '36 is fixed in place.

    Attached Files:

    Deuces likes this.
  26. caseofthewillys
    Joined: Feb 10, 2010
    Posts: 15

    from Midwest

    Deuces likes this.
  27. The Pontiac Custom Safari wagon that was produced from 1955 to 1957 would qualify I think. Out of a 3 year production run of about 9300 cars the 57 was the rarest;1,292 being built before they started pushing the Transcontinental wagon. I had #444 for awhile.I still have my 55 of which there were,3,760 made. The 56 was pegged at 4,042. 57Safari.jpg
    Deuces, jimmy six and chevy57dude like this.
  28. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,993


    I owned a 57 back in the 70's, but never paid any attention to what number it was.
  29. And sadly many many were parted out to restore Nomads....
  30. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,122


    There were 603 '56 Meteor Crown Victoria glass tops built.
    Hamtown Al likes this.

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