Cool Cars: Industrial Maspeth Edition

    by

    As mentioned in earlier postings, I spend a lot of time walking back and forth from Astoria to Newtown Creek. Often, given the number and quality of “classic cars” encountered on these ambles, I wonder if all the environmental pollution has somehow ripped open a hole in the space time continuum – a wormhole which allows the automobiles of yesteryear to jump forward for a short tenancy in the tyranny of the now in the same place which they were parked some sixty or seventy years ago. 43rd Street, or Shell Road as it was once known, was the border between Blissville and Berlin. Today it’s part of the so called “West Maspeth” neighborhood, and if my theory is correct – this car might have been parked here in the late 1940s.

    Of course, I’m an idiot, but you have to occupy your mind with something while walking around in DUKBO. At 43rd’s intersection with 55th Avenue, that’s where I noticed this very “cool car” – a 1947 Dodge two door sedan, which I believe is a D24.

    bsQ_102214_coolcars_004

    More after the jump…

    55th Avenue is a dead end, truncating at the lots found beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge. On the other side of these lots are Review Avenue and Calvary Cemetery. There are some pretty big companies found nearby, almost universally they are construction oriented businesses – cranes, cement, plumbing supply, HVAC, etc. This area will be ground zero for the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement project on the Queens side, and all of the buildings you see in today’s shots have already been acquired and will be demolished as soon as the bridge builders kick into high gear. On the Brooklyn side, Cherry Street has already begun demolition.

    Anyway, the car.

    bsQ_102214_coolcars_003

    Dodge released this model, along with a four-door version and other variants, beginning in late 1946 and sold them through early 1948. It seems to be a favorite car for conversion into a “hot rod” by motoring enthusiasts, but the specimen pictured above appears to be close to its factory condition. There’s a six cylinder flat head under the hood and you’re riding 102 horses if you stamp down on the gas pedal. Specs on the thing claim that it can go from 0-60 mph in 20.4 seconds.

    From Wikipedia:

    Founded as the Dodge Brothers Company by brothers Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge in 1900, Dodge was originally a supplier of parts and assemblies for Detroit-based automakers and began building complete automobiles in 1915, predating the founding of Chrysler Corporation. The Dodge brothers died suddenly in 1920 and the company was sold to Dillon, Read & Co. in 1925 before being sold to Chrysler in 1928.

    bsQ_102214_coolcars_002

    What would a cool car post be without some of the period advertising in it? Check out the first image at top left at vintageadbrowser.com, or scroll down to the “1947 Dodge 4 Door Sedan Ad” at oldcarandtruckads.com.

    bsQ_102214_coolcars_005

    If my identification of this auto is correct, and I presume that somebody out there will let me know if I’m not via the comments, then the 1947 Dodge D24 found on the streets of Maspeth, Queens is one of just 3,698 such automobiles produced in North America and it originally retailed for $1,743.00.

    And… umm… don’t think I didn’t notice that yellow VW microbus just blinking into the picture on the opposite corner, either. That’s the effect that Newtown Creek has on the space time continuum for you, right there.

    Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman lives in Astoria and blogs at Newtown Pentacle.

    What's Happening