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Trunk mounts for early cars

Barney Eaton

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I just returned from Amelia Island Concours and in addition to all the amazing cars, I became interested in all the different trunk mounting arrangements.

Does anyone have or know of books, diagrams or other information on trunk mounts.

Below is a photo of a exterior mount and trunk on a Packard. The only one open for display.


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Guest kaycee

A lot of this will depend on the body style and make of the car, size of the trunk, and whether the car has sidemount or rear mounted spare tire or tires. My old Chiltons accessory manuals list a lot of manufacturers of trunks and trunk mounts and brackets for cars of the 20s and early 30s, some of which the trunks conformed to the shape of the rear of the body and were made to open only from the top or also the front and fitted with luggage, and some more like 'steamer trunks'.

:) kaycee

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kaycee, does the Chiltons show pictures? It it does could I get copies... either emailed or hard copies?

There appears to be two basic types. (1) one piece platform (2) two piece platform that folds. Within these groups, each have various mounting methods that control how they store and deploy.

Here are two examples... a very simple tan two piece, folding one is on a Cadillac

The Green one is a Packard, the Packard units often had their own chrome bumpers that were either attached to the platform or folded seperate from the platform.

I would love good pictures if you have them.



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As I understand, there is even the question of which side should be up. My '32 Buick has stainless protectors on one side as the photo, and a trunk would mount on the top and somehow bolted through the base of the trunk, I believe. I am told that the rack could be reversed and a trunk fitted inside the lip of the rack for better stability. I guess that depends on how fast one might go with the car, and one what roads.

I am interested in others opinions.


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I don't have all my pictures downloaded but there does appear to be several different mounting methods.

One trunk had special/custom chrome anchors that attached the trunk to the trunk platform.

It does appear that on some the pretty part is not where you set the trunk, some have wood, others have chrome, but both are not the side where the trunk sits.

The real problem will be with the mounts, they appear to be different on every car. I don't know if these trunk (accessory) holders were installed by the factory or dealer or both.

On high production cars like Fords, there were probably several companies making the accessory trunk mounts. I also suspect the mount and trunk were purchased seperately

either by the owner or the dealer.

Many of the cars at Amelia Island were custom bodies and that body company may have made custom mounts for a trunk mount that was a catalog item.

I am just looking into this and have lots to learn. I would appreciate any input, especially pictures from catalogs, auto accessory books or new car accessory books.

I will gladly share what I receive with others.

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Guest outlaw car man


I've owned & restored a couple Potter trunks for two 1934 Fords. One was NOS, I still have the mounting instructions. These were made by the Potter Manufacturing Company of Jackson Michigan.

The body of the trunk was molded to fit the rear of the car and bolted to the body. Then you mounted a spare wheel carrier that came up through the trunk. Then you installed a rear bumper extender so the bumper would extend beyond the trunk. Finally you installed a skirt over the extender.

Hudson had a similar operation called a Bellvue truck as I remember. The bumper had special guards too so someone wouldn't back into it.

I restored one for a 1932 Dodge DL6 touring sedan too, pretty basic though.

Just sold a real nice one for a 1934 Buick and will be restoring one for my 1933 90 fairly soon ( I hope)

About all I got-Do have pictures of the Potters Trunk if you wish to email me.

Sandy Jones

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I would have to go digging as I don't see any photos up on my PhotoBucket page. The '29 Buick looks very similar to the Cadillac folding rack posted. The car came with a plain Potter trunk. I really don't know how it is supposed to attach. There appear to be mounting points for what I would presume would be leather straps to hold it down, although Bill McLaughlin had at one point explained to me that it wouldn't have been...if I recall correctly.

There's 31 photos through Bill's 25th Anniversary Buick site - Trunk Rack and Trunks - 29buick's Photos

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  • 10 months later...
Guest Silverghost

Many 1920s and earlier 30s steamer style trunks used Footman's loops and leather belts to fasten the old fashoned luggage style steamer-style trunks to the trunk-racks.

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