Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Vintage Cars of Walter P. Chrysler, Batmobile, The Godfather — and More

The first car with power windows was built in 1937.

Before Walter Percy Chrysler acquired a controlling interest in the Maxwell Motor Company — which was failing and became integrated into a company he founded that eventually became known as the Chrysler Corporation — he was hired as the chief of production of the Buick Motor Company in 1912.

Vintage Cars of Walter P. Chrysler, Batmobile, The Godfather — and More

Chrysler became a very wealthy man as a result of being involved in some shrewd deals that expanded his company to include Plymouth and DeSoto — in addition to the acquisition of Dodge Brothers in 1928 — which led to his company becoming one of the big three automakers in Detroit to rival General Motors and Ford.

1937 Chrysler Imperial C-15 LeBaron Town Car
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

A custom limousine — the 1937 Chrysler Imperial C-15 LeBaron Town Car, in which seven passengers could fit — was built as a gift to his wife Della. Even though 275 units of the C-15 were manufactured, this one was the first — and, possibly, only model — which was equipped with spring-loaded power assisted rear windows and door locks; and an art deco vanity that was trimmed in rare tiger maple for the passengers in the back seat.

Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The car was in poor condition for years before it was restored into its current condition.

1937 Cord Model 812 Beverly Sedan

1937 Cord Model 812 Beverly Sedan
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The 1937 Cord Model 812 Beverly Sedan served as both the inspiration for the original Batmobile in the 1930s; and as a convertible coupe version appeared in the 1972 film The Godfather.

According to the plaque on the side of the vehicle — which includes a color panel from a comic strip which was to become known as Batman:

1937 Cord Model 812 Beverly Sedan
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

As Americans began to recover from the Great Depression, Gordon Buehrig was finishing the design for the Cord 810/812. With front-wheel-drive, a 4-speed pre-selector gearbox, and a V-8 engine, it was very advanced for its day. The coffin-nose shape of the hood made the Cord 810/812 one of the most recognizable American cars in the world.

Despite low production numbers, the car became immortalized in popular culture. The Cord Phantom Corsair by Rust Heinz served as the blueprint for the notorious Batmobile, a Cord convertible coupe also appeared in the classic crime film, “The Godfather” (1972).

The original retail price for this car was $2,545.00.

1930 Ramblin’ Wreck Ford Model A Replica

1930 Ramblin’ Wreck Ford Model A Replica
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Although it is a replica, this 1930 Ramblin’ Wreck Ford Model A Replica is the only official one of its kind — it is the official “mascot” to the research university and is maintained both mechanically and financially by the Ramblin’ Reck Club — as no backup vehicles or replacement vehicles exist; and it has led the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets team into Bobby Dodd Stadium in downtown Atlanta since 1961.

1930 Ramblin’ Wreck Ford Model A Replica
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The expression “Rambling Wrecks from Georgia Tech” dates back to the late nineteenth century; and it was used originally to refer to the makeshift motorized vehicles which were constructed by engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology, who were employed in projects in the jungles of South America. Other workers in the area began to refer to these vehicles — and the men who drove them — as the “Rambling Wrecks from Georgia Tech.”

1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout

1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Last — but not least — is this 1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout, which originally sold for the whopping sticker price of $650.00 and was the best selling car in the United States between 1902 and 1905. Its top speed was a blistering 20 miles per hour.

1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The famous classic Model T automobile was not introduced by Henry Ford until 1908.

Final Boarding Call

I intend to give information and details on where you can see these — and other — classic cars and vintage automobiles in an upcoming article soon.

All photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

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