First post here, let me introduce myself first. Name is jeff, I am a younger guy, army vet, and been into cars for years. I have mainly had firebirds/camaros and have owned quite a few over the years. Anyway, while over at a buddies house I noticed a old Chrysler. I started checking it out and just honestly feel in love with it. It had some pretty cool features that just stood out, things like chrome window cranks that had spinning ends, nice chrome pull-handles on the rear seats and it just seemed like such a awesome car. Anyway, I got to talking with my buddy, and its been parked there for 25 years, his dad bought it new in 52. I asked him if he would be interesting in selling it and to my surprise he said yes. I ended up paying 1500 for the car plus delivery. I don't really know if the car is worth that, but I had to have it. I have always been interested in the 50's cars, but hadn't really been up close and checked one out. He told me it is missing some stuff, but once I had decided I wanted it, I wasn't phased. The car itself is fairly solid, the only major issue is the rear drive door is pretty banged up and the rear driver fender area. I have done body work many times though on projects so I am confident I can make it straight again.
As far as missing parts, I need a transmission but I am having a hard time knowing which one I need and more importantly, how the heck to find a replacement one. I know its a fluid drive, but how do you tell if its a manual or semi auto? Any ideas where to find a replacement? Oh yea, and a driveline
Also, I am missing the distributor, water pump, and radiator from the engine bay and probably more...any ideas where to get these parts and from what years?
Do you guys see anything else missing off my flathead? I am gonna have to get a book on flatheads as I have never seen one in real life lol.
Thanks and heres some pics!!!!!!
You have a classy car there Jeff. It is definitely a 1952, you can tell by the tail lights. 1951 and 52 were practically the same but 51 had separate tail light and backup light, 52 had them together in the same housing.
The 52 had the best flathead six Chrysler put in a car. 265 cu in, 120 HP with full flow oiling system. It will fit in other Chrysler built cars and trucks from the thirties to the late fifties. So if you decide to get rid of it do not junk it, advertise it for sale. Maybe someone can use it.
The reason I bring the subject up is that your car has already been stripped of major parts like transmission, engine parts etc. This means a lot of work and expense to put it back original. I am all for originality but in this case it might be better to find a good running Fifth Avenue from the eighties and install the engine, trans, and rear axle in your car. I'm not saying one way or the other but it is something to consider.
One good thing, the 51 and 52 Windsor were available with a V8 ( the V8 Windsor was called a Saratoga) so one will fit in easier than a pre 51.
Did you ask the seller if he has any parts like chrome, hubcaps, trans, driveshaft, heater? They are no good to him, you might as well get them. The heater is a black box the size of a bread box that sits under the hood, on the inner fender, on the passenger side.
Also ask for spare keys, owners manual , repair manual, and of course the ownership. It's best if you ask these questions before you pay for the car. Leave your phone number in case he finds something later. On a car that old, parts are sometimes hard to get. It would be a shame if the last owner threw a bunch of stuff in the trash, and you had to hunt and hunt for replacements.
Re the transmission. All Chryslers that year came with the same transmision, semi automatic M6. With choice of Fluid Drive or Fluid Torque Drive (torque converter). Your car had Fluid Drive you can tell by the gearshift quadrant. It would say Fluid Torque Drive if it had that option.
Chrysler had a lot of options that year such as, hemi head V8, 4 speed trans with Fluid Drive or torque converter, first car to offer power steering, power brakes, Oriflow tubular shocks, the best on the market, first car since the 1939 Packard to offer air conditioning, tinted glass, padded dash. No other car on the road that year offered all these things. No Cadillac, Lincoln, Rolls Royce or Mercedes could compare. Of course a few years later every car had them but in 1952, only Chrysler.
Generally speaking parts are not hard to get, most are available from NAPA. By that I mean brake shoes, fan belts, spark plugs, etc. Body parts, chrome, upholstery are another matter. They are not well served by aftermarket suppliers like the Chev and muscle cars. On the other hand there are specialists like Andy Bernbaum, Roberts Motor parts and Vintage Power Wagons (engine parts) that have a lot of parts.
If you have any restoration questions we will try to help. If you are thinking about an engine swap you might look at the HAMB message board, they are the hot rod experts. Your car could go either way, restoration or resto rod with original appearance and modern drive train.