Thursday, June 19, 2008

Promised parade pictures

Here are the pictures of the cars and the commentary during the Downtown Kennewick Show and Shine. Walter P. Chrysler built this 1931 CD-8 roadster when American motor cars were approaching the peak of artistic design. The white and red convertible has maroon upholstery and dual sidemounts, which were standard. A straight-8 engine powers the car easily, and a 4-speed transmission gives the driver enough options to take advantage of the roadster's road-handling features and those 110 horses under that long hood. One of Chrysler's claims to fame is that he introduced hydraulic brakes to the motoring world. The driver, John Trumbo of Kennewick, could have owned one of these new in 1931 for a mere $1,535.
Jim Vetrano of Kennewick is driving his gleaming 1931 Studebaker Commander 8 that has spent its entire existence in the Tri-Cities. This luxury sedan was top of the line for Studebaker when it was purchased originally at a Pasco dealership. Vetrano found the sedan intact, but with a broken engine, where it was stored in a barn for 40 years. He did a total mechanical restoration, but was able to retain the original upholstery. It's green and black paint is a correct color scheme for a Studebaker of that vintage. Dual sidemounts give the old Stude a commanding stance. Studebaker engines, which had nine -- count them -- NINE main bearings, were known for having gutsy power. They could pull the heavy car from less than 10 miles per hour to 70, in third gear. Climbing hills was no problem, but coming down was something else. Those 4,000-pound Studebaker sedans had mechanical brakes! The Commander sold in 1931 for $1,850.
Elegance overstated embodies this rare 1932 Chrysler Imperial 4-door convertible, with chauffeur Dave Stands of Kennewick at the controls. The massive straight-8 uses 384 cubic inches to generate 150 horsepower, and the wheelbase is the largest ever built by Chrysler. It is 11 feet from the front bumper to the driver's seat. Produced as 1 of only 18 such models, this fabulous vehicle was purchased new by MGM movie studios to transport movie stars to and from the locations for shooting pictures in the West. The likes of Roy and Dale Rogers and Tom Mix could have been celebrities who enjoyed the luxury of this Chrysler. The emerald blue body with tan top and interior is the epitome of opulence on wheels. Cost when new, only $3,195.
This 1935 Auburn cabriolet, driven by Ed Edwards, is a sleeping beauty. Its black cherry body and burgundy leather interior are accented with silver trim. A Lycoming straight-8 engine and manual 3-speed transmission provide the motive power, while a rare 2-speed rear axle gives the Auburn extra ummpf when needed. The builder guaranteed the cabriolet would do 100 mph, and it still can 73 years later. The owner found this rare classic in a museum in South Bend, Ind., not far from where it was built by the Auburn Motor Car Company in Auburn, Ind. And here's a tidbit: the Auburn Motor Car Company also manufactured two other American classics -- the Cord and the Duesenburg, better known as a Duzy. This car was modestly priced in 1935 at $1,361.
Here's a rare name from highways of the past. This 1940 LaSalle convertible coupe was the last of the line. They did not return after car makers resumed production following World War II. A black cherry exterior, tan top and tan interior give the LaSalle a classy look, while its flathead V-8 delivers 120 horsepower to a 3-speed column shift tranny. The decade of the 1930s brought changes for automobile design, as seen in this LaSalle. The rumble seat went away to be replaced by a exceptionally large trunk space. But this 2-door convertible does have a back seat, which is tucked behind the two folding front seats. The original price of this pre-war classic, which is driven by Fred Fraser, was $1,535.

That's all for today. I'll post the rest in the next couple days, include a slide show of all the pictures of the preparations and the parade.

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