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History were power antenna actually used ?

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by The G00SE, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. The G00SE
    Joined: Nov 9, 2011
    Posts: 152

    The G00SE
    Member

    Got a antenna question for you history buffs and people who lived it. Were power antenna actually used for frenching back in the late 50's to early 60's by average joe car builders?? Were they too expensive for the kid in his drive way to use on his build? Been wondering so please school me up on some history
     
  2. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If you wanted to add something fancy a power antenna was probably one of the cheapest things you could buy. Easier and cheaper than shaved door handles and solenoid operated doors, or frenching in Packard tail lights, or a lot of other popular mods. Barris put them on hundreds of cars.

    Most of the well known customs were late model cars owned by young guys with good jobs, no family and no responsibilities. They could spend most of their earnings on their cars.

    Bob Hirohata figured he spent $7000 on his 51 Merc in the 4 or 5 years he owned it. He could have bought a couple of Cadillacs for the money.

    Not everyone had that kind of money to spend, but a lot of guys spent whatever they had.
     
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,828

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "Traditional" or not I'd say for most of us with customs with frenched antennas the power antenna is a matter of convenience as much as it is a trick item. I hate the look of my truck with the antenna up out of the hole it sets in more than an inch or so but it's a pain in the butt to go around and push it down every time I park the truck and pull it back up when I go to leave. No one knows the difference unless they see it go up or down anyhow.
     
  4. The few Customs around my area back in the late 50's,early 60's the guys were using power antenna's. HRP
     

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  6. The G00SE
    Joined: Nov 9, 2011
    Posts: 152

    The G00SE
    Member

    Thanks for the responses. I guess I was thinking more a long the lines of mild custom as oppose to show car. Would the AVERAGE car guy in his drive way in the late 50's use a power antenna or were non power more common for frenching ? I just want to know what was the norm? Which would lead me two question number 2 how about door solenoids? Were they commonly used ? Or did you just reach in the window and open the door?
     
  7. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 7,151

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    From 1957 on, any customizer with average income or better would watch for a '56 Cad coming into the local wrecking yard ... probably the most commonly used, and the cleanest of the bunch. Many were used in pairs as the show trophy chases escalated.
    As for the 2nd item, again income was the factor. Possibly half the cars got solenoids, and so many were wrecked, sold or traded in progress that the work wasn't ever finished in many cases.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
    The G00SE likes this.
  8. Back in the day 70ish we used to have power antenna drags at our local Drive-ins.
     
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  9. The G00SE
    Joined: Nov 9, 2011
    Posts: 152

    The G00SE
    Member

    Alright thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback. I feel like my finger got a little closer to the pulse.
     
  10. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,111

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Sure! It was a high dollar upgrade. The only down side? When I was a kid living around Chicago, WLS gave away promotional antenna balls. A little sunshine, so to speak. But when the power antenna retracted, you'd loose your ball (or raccoon tail, or daisy, or peace symbol, etc.). Lots of places did promotions with antenna balls, and such. Gary

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Dick Lobach
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 63

    Dick Lobach
    Member
    from Emmaus Pa

    For door silenoids, starter silenoids were used in the 50's
     
  12. The G00SE
    Joined: Nov 9, 2011
    Posts: 152

    The G00SE
    Member

    Thanks Dick Lobach I hadnt thought about where they came from. Thats pretty cool
     

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