marcapra

Are all early Mopars like that? '31 DeSoto

Recommended Posts

I tried to get in a '31 Desoto 4 door sedan today and the owner warned me that it's hard to get in.  I thought it would be all right so I tried, but realized it was just too small to get in.  I think most people who weigh more than about 160 lbs would have a hard time getting in.  Did new cars in those days have different bolt holes where you could put the front seat back so larger people could fit?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 5' 17" and 300 lbs and fit fine in my 30 Plymouth 4 door sedan, granted you have to know how to get in. I put the right leg in to the gas pedal, sit down on the seat, and pull the left leg in. Had a road ragier once that quickly changed his mind once I got out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, marcapra said:

I tried to get in a '31 Desoto 4 door sedan today and the owner warned me that it's hard to get in.  I thought it would be all right so I tried, but realized it was just too small to get in.  I think most people who weigh more than about 160 lbs would have a hard time getting in.  Did new cars in those days have different bolt holes where you could put the front seat back so larger people could fit?

Marc....I am not aware of any extra mounting holes in the floors of the 1931s. I have seen a few with the knob in the center of the lower seat frame that attaches to a slider for more leg room. I believe it was an option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John,  I'm attending the National DeSoto convention right now in San Diego.  Maybe you remember when I hosted the 3rd National DeSoto Convention in Carlsbad, CA in 1988.  We invited the WPC club, so maybe you there.  This convention is going great and the car show is tomorrow with about 40 DeSotos showing.  I've seen a 1929 business coupe all the way up to some 59 DeSotos.  I can see that the '29 DeSoto business coupe looks easier to get in than the 31 four door sedan.  It has a wider door and a few inches more leg room.  The Hudson/Nash/Terraplane club is also have their convention this weekend in Rancho Bernardo.  Does anyone know when Chrysler started making front seats adjustable? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1930 Dodge DC8 has an adjustable front seat. There is a wing knob in the center and just below the front of the seat and turning it will move the seat forward or back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They claim that people were smaller years ago than they are today and I'm sure that there were exceptions. If you've ever tried ti get into a Model A roadster pickup, you'd swear that it was true. I do think that many cars were designed for smaller builds at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's true. Just take a look at the shoe sizes in cement, from the 30's & 40's, in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want a car with some room find out how big the President of the company was when it was built. I am not kidding. K T Keller was head of Chrysler from the mid 30s to the early 50s. All cars made on his watch had room enough for a 6 foot plus, 300 pounder. Because he weighed 300 pounds and insisted on testing all his cars before he approved them for production.

 

Another candidate would be Nash. For the same period of time mid 30s to early 50s Nash was run by George Mason, another hearty eater.

 

Henry Ford was about 5 foot 8 and 135 pounds. If you are much bigger than he was an early Ford may not be for you.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 28 Chrysler said:

My 1928 Chrysler has an adjustable lower seat cushion and steering column that can be raised or lowered.

 

Really? You must have the fancy model. My '28 series 62 has no such luxury feature...:(

 

There is definitely a technique to entering the driver seat. Even the rear seat is a challenge for the average human of today. The space through the back door, between the back of the front seat and the c pillar is about 20". Some of the brides really squeeze them selves in...:)

59a3542f42fa2_JimPark3.JPG.6e2dfa835fb1df8abd0469b72ee08ef8.JPG

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As stated above there is a certain way to get in. I'm 6'1" @165 and I can get in and out of my '29 roadster ok if I do it the right way. I can get pretty comfortable once I'm in the seat too. But it will take a little trial and error or you need to watch someone else do it. Also on a side note, a lot of early cars only had an exterior door lock on the passenger side. You opened the door from the sidewalk got in and slid across the seat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, maok said:

 

Really? You must have the fancy model. My '28 series 62 has no such luxury feature...:(

 

There is definitely a technique to entering the driver seat. Even the rear seat is a challenge for the average human of today. The space through the back door, between the back of the front seat and the c pillar is about 20". Some of the brides really squeeze them selves in...:)

59a3542f42fa2_JimPark3.JPG.6e2dfa835fb1df8abd0469b72ee08ef8.JPG

 

My 1928 Model 62 touring car was made in the first hour of the first day., it was most likely one of the cars that did the new car shows

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still a problem today for some buyers of new cars. My 25 yr old son was 6'4" and about 200 lbs when he went looking for an economy car in fall of 2008. All the standard economy products from Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Chevy, Ford, Nissan, etc were impossible, his bent knees interfered with steering wheel. Finally he tried out a Mazda3 Sport, with the standard adjustable steering wheel and decent seat range. He could fit in it fine using steering wheel adjustment to clear knees, and car turned out to be a very good car as well. I'm surprised current manufacturers don't design all models for at least a 6'4" people. After all it only requires a couple of more inches on seat track .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I got lucky with my 1931 DB coupes. There is all kinds of leg and head room and no adjustable seat in either one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, keiser31 said:

I guess I got lucky with my 1931 DB coupes. There is all kinds of leg and head room and no adjustable seat in either one.

That must be the year K T Keller took over lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Gunsmoke said:

Still a problem today for some buyers of new cars. ..............I'm surprised current manufacturers don't design all models for at least a 6'4" people. After all it only requires a couple of more inches on seat track .

 

We had the same problem a couple of years ago while looking for a small car. The Suzuki Swift sport seat was too narrow. The Yaris hurt my back. The Honda Jazz (Vitz elsewhere) is a very good car; they make a gt song and dance about the back seat room and the ways it can be configured to put a washing machine in there. But with the front seats right back we could not straighten our legs, which would make for uncomfortable trips. We plumped for a VW Cross Polo. There is enough front seat room but less back seat room. For two, it is fine (and very economical). The Dodge 8 radiator just fits in the boot. I am 193 cm (about 6'3" in old money) and 82 kg (c. 180 lb?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

29 Chrysler Series 65 is considerably more narrow than a Ford Model A. To fit the seat springs from a 29 Model A, I had to take out 4" in the middle of the seat base. I think the G70/72/75 etc had adjustable front seats while the smaller ones like a series 65 did not. The first small to ha adjustable seat base was possible the Series 70?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are 2 photos of my Model 62 that was made in June of 1927.  The first photo shows part of the track, (4 bolts )  2nd photo shows a heavy knob that lifts a clog that fits into adjustment notches. Another Model 62 touring car I have seen had an interior door open car door handle for the seat adjuster. 

001.JPG

002.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 2017-08-27 at 3:19 PM, Rusty_OToole said:

f you want a car with some room find out how big the President of the company was when it was built. I am not kidding. K T Keller was head of Chrysler from the mid 30s to the early 50s. All cars made on his watch had room enough for a 6 foot plus, 300 pounder. Because he weighed 300 pounds and insisted on testing all his cars before he approved them for production.

 

 

KT Keller was not a tall man, but he did have some girth.   He firmly believed that every farmer hauled produce to the market in the trunks of their cars and every man wore a big hat while driving.

 

Whenever an interior was ready on a mockup for production, apparently he would come in with two milk cans and his large hat to check on the luggage and driver capacity.    First, the two milk cans would go into the trunk and he would attempt to close the lid.  If the lid closed, good. If not, the car's tail end would have to be redesigned to fit the cans.   (The 1939 Dodge brochure actually has a photo of Dodge sedan trunk loaded up with vegetables and some other farm produce, ready to take to the market.)

 

Then he would put on his hat, get in the car, sit in the driver's seat and bounce around.  If his hat hit the roof, the roof had to be raised.   So, the Chrysler products of the 1940's and early 1950's had nice large trunks and headroom galore.  Since he was not tall, a tall person would find the headroom great, as well as the distance to the steering wheel, but the legroom, not so much.    Drove a1949 DeSoto in my 20's and had lots of headroom and belly room (was 40 lbs lighter back than I am now).  I'm 6'2" with long legs and the leg room was not as great as I thought it would be.   Or as comfortable.

 

Back in those skinnier days drove a friend's new Toyota Celica with four on the floor.   Tight fit, but was doing well until I downshifted from 3rd to 2nd, and found my thigh wedged between the steering wheel and the shifter.   Took a little more care when driving it after that.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how tall K T Keller was, but I have owned and driven Chryslers that were built on his watch. I am 6'3" 300 pounds and I can easily drive a 51 Chrysler wearing galoshes and a fedora . No English sports car, or Ford built while Henry was alive, can make that statement.

 

In my younger days I drove VW beetles, the old air cooled kind. I had plenty of room although the width was no more than adequate. I could not squeeze into friends japanese cars. That is why I stuck with VWs although they were obsolete in every way except, they had enough room for me.

 

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now