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What Was The Last Production Car With a Rumble Seat?


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Part trivia question, part just plain question. I was at a show a few years ago and there was a car present that stated it was the last production model with a rumble seat. Checking to see if or how quick someone can provide the correct answer AND if it IS the same as I was told.

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I believe I saw one in a mustang once. I have no idea if it was legit. 
 

In high school we pulled the deck lid off a 79 New Yorker and strapped a couple lawn chairs in the trunk. We only got a few blocks before a nice man with a really “flashy” car suggested we put the thing back to the stock seating arrangement. 

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23 minutes ago, alsancle said:

1957 T-bird.

But that was the Bird's nest option.  I don't think that was offered by Ford was it?  

 

Has anyone ever ridden in one?  Seems like you would get blasted to death.  I know you get a pretty good blasting even up front in a 57 Tbird. 

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Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Triumph, I think, if your counting regular production cars.  Note the second winshield for the dickey, or rumble seat.  I believe this is a Triumph 2000. Postwar, not sure of year but prior to the TR series sportscars.

 

 

 I think they're pretty cool looking cars, BTW.  Funky styling, a bit awkward from some angles, but a really cool look from others and relatively inexpensive.  They come up for sale from time to time, although I haven't seen any really nice ones offered. 

 

 

 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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Yes, that was my intent. As far as the Subaru Brat, I thought that I read the seats were placed in the back to skirt some type of tax on pickup trucks. The seats turned it into a sedan? Still not a rumble seat though.

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For all of you reading this - have you ever had to climb in and out of a rumble seat to ride in one? You have to be fairly limber to do so , long step up to get in even with the step plate on the top of the rear fender. ( yes some more expensive custom cars had a separate door to get in  usually on the right side)

When you ride in one at speed ( 45 mph+) just hope the top is up on the car if it is a conv. coupe and that the rear window is open so you can poke your nose into the drivers compartment to get some air, at that speed the air you want to breath is whipped out of the way in sufficient quantities. Experienced this about 35 years or more ago during a Franklin Club annual meet while riding in the rumble seat of a friends Franklin Olympic conv. coupe as we headed east on Rt,. 20 in NY State at about 55-60 mph.

I will not comment on how nice rumble seats are when one has the opportunity to help a good looking gal in a short skirt climb in and out of a rumble seat , how wonderful it is to help out someone and courteous as well.

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1 hour ago, TAKerry said:

Yes, that was my intent. As far as the Subaru Brat, I thought that I read the seats were placed in the back to skirt some type of tax on pickup trucks. The seats turned it into a sedan? Still not a rumble seat though.

 

Correct. The seats were intended to take the Brat out of the 25% tariff category for small imported pickup trucks and put it in the 2.5% tariff class for cars.

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Walt, highway rumbleseat ride in a friend of our families A roadster is why I have one today! Admittedly I do not recall getting in mine tho, my wife has. 

 

On "regular Prod cars" here is a sticky one, Shay Model A or Duesenberg II.  Don't know which ended prod last though. 🤔😁

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Those Triumph's are quite nice. They do however have a drawback as shared by many pre war and early post war British cars. { and most pre late 1930's cars in general } Coach built bodywork , metal skin panel work over a complex ash body structure. 

A strong factor in why these cars are fairly rare these days. Rebuilding the body is a major undertaking. And as far as I know no  " wood kit " available like for T series MG's and Morgan's. Just expensive, hand labor by a very experienced woodworker.

 

Greg

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11 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Brother had 1949 Triumph Serial #1.  It always impressed me as having been designed by two designers, one for the front half and one for the rear half and they weren't on speaking terms.

The same thing happened with the Triumph Mayflower.  Triumph's managing director, Sir John Black, disliked the Mayflower's front end styling .  Rather than telling the original designer to redo it, he gave the job to another one.  Apparently, neither of the designers liked each other or Sir John!

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22 hours ago, gossp said:

I believe I saw one in a mustang once. I have no idea if it was legit...

 

 

There were aftermarket kits to convert Mustang hardtop and convertible trunks to rumble seats - don't think there were any for fastbacks because of the short deck.  Dunno if there were kits for Mustangs later than first generation.

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19 hours ago, Bruce Winters said:

I had a 1939 Plymouth with a rumble seat. If I am not mistaken Plymouth was the only Mopar with a rumble seat that year, None after that. Other makes - not so sure.

 

19 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

1939 was the last year Ford offered one. Bob 

 

 

Correct.  The rumble seat was standard equipment only on 39 convertibles of both makes and both convertibles were offered only as deluxe models.  A rumble seat was optional on the 39 Plymouth Deluxe Coupe.  The Plymouth convertible had a power-operated top which I think was the first in the industry.

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10 hours ago, Walt G said:

For all of you reading this - have you ever had to climb in and out of a rumble seat to ride in one? You have to be fairly limber to do so , long step up to get in even with the step plate on the top of the rear fender. ( yes some more expensive custom cars had a separate door to get in  usually on the right side)

When you ride in one at speed ( 45 mph+) just hope the top is up on the car if it is a conv. coupe and that the rear window is open so you can poke your nose into the drivers compartment to get some air, at that speed the air you want to breath is whipped out of the way in sufficient quantities. Experienced this about 35 years or more ago during a Franklin Club annual meet while riding in the rumble seat of a friends Franklin Olympic conv. coupe as we headed east on Rt,. 20 in NY State at about 55-60 mph.

I will not comment on how nice rumble seats are when one has the opportunity to help a good looking gal in a short skirt climb in and out of a rumble seat , how wonderful it is to help out someone and courteous as well.

 

 

Model A Ford with rumble seat has step plates on bumper and fender on passenger side - other makes probably are similar.  You not only have to be limber to climb in, you have to do it correctly - left foot on bumper, right foot on fender, left foot in seat, then right foot in.  Reverse the procedure to get out.  If you start with right foot on bumper, left foot will be on fender and right will be hanging in midair with no place to go.

 

I've heard of folks who claim to have conceived in a rumble seat - they must have been contortionists!  😂

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10 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Walt, highway rumbleseat ride in a friend of our families A roadster is why I have one today! Admittedly I do not recall getting in mine tho, my wife has. 

 

On "regular Prod cars" here is a sticky one, Shay Model A or Duesenberg II.  Don't know which ended prod last though. 🤔😁

 

 

Dunno about Duesenberg II.  Shay went bankrupt in 1982.  Camelot took over and produced cars until 1986.  From 1982 to 1993, Speedway Motors sold a kit that was a Shay without power-train.  And there were other low-production factory-built replicars with rumble seats.

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14 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Yep.  Admittedly I am guessing we are talking more or less mainstream production though, but AACA does recognize replicars and recreations if a manufacturer built it not a kit.

 

 

Yeah, I figured the OP meant mainstream production.  But where does one draw the line between that and low-production factory-built?  That's just a rhetorical question, and here's another one.  AACA and most other clubs recognize coach-built cars, where a customer bought a chassis and he/she or a third party built a vehicle around it.  How is that different from someone who bought, say, a Shay kit from Speedway and built their own power-train?

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15 hours ago, CHuDWah said:

 

I've heard of folks who claim to have conceived in a rumble seat - they must have been contortionists!  😂

 

When we were young it was an if there's a will there's a way thing.

My first car was a 53 Studebaker coupe. Permanently installed arm rest in the back seat. (Don't remember her name)

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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I once met an older lady who told me her Son was named Timothy because he was conceived on a hay ride. The farmers among us can explain. I told her he could just as well have been named Alfalfa.  Might make an interesting thread  "What car (cars) did you do the deed in when younger?"

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My 66 Mustang convertible didn't have a very big back seat.

Back when, I didn't much like standard cab pick ups so I drove vans for several years.

I go thru a lot of cars, Not so long ago I was dating an enthusiastic gal that always wanted me to take the long way home when I got something new to me so that she could break it in.

When I bought the right hand drive Bentley she commented that it was like servicing me left handed. She moved out of state to be closer to her kids, Not sure how she got any. She still comes to visit once in awhile.

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4 hours ago, JACK M said:

When we were young it was an if there's a will there's a way thing.

 

 

I remember when I was young - sadly, remember is about all I do now.  😢

 

When I was in high school, Mom had a nice new sedan and Dad had a beat-up old station wagon he drove to work.  They didn't understand why I always wanted to drive the wagon on dates.  Simple...all the seats except the front folded flat and I had a blanket.  😈

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Today where there's a will, there's a lawyer.

 

Didn't have a four seat car until a '67 Camaro and removed it but an XK Jag didn't really have buckets and in third the shifter was out of the way.

A 68-72 A body station wagon had exactly enough room in back for a full sized mattress. Used to pull in backwards at the drive-in movies.

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4 hours ago, JACK M said:

My 66 Mustang convertible didn't have a very big back seat.

 

 

Neither did my 2+2.  Although the back seat did fold down and there was a pass-through so you could stick your feet into the trunk.  🤣

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My uncle gave my young cousin his 69 SS 396 Chevelle, when the boy got old enough to drive. The kid cut out the braces behind the back seat with an air chisel, so he could lay a mattress from the back seat into the trunk. Later in life, the young cousin came down with terminal cancer, and I ended up with the car. When I saw those missing braces, I asked him what happened. He just grinned, and told me that he and his girl friend had needed more room in back. 

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