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Super Rare 1948 Playboy Model A-48 Documentation and Restoration


89tc
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  • 89tc changed the title to Super Rare 1948 Playboy Model A-48 Documentation and Restoration
On 11/14/2020 at 7:28 PM, 89tc said:

Yes, funny, The Hemmings story pretty much put Playboy on the map with car enthusiasts, and brought the car from complete obscurity out to the public eye. 

 

Regarding the history, I'm hoping that this thread will generate some memories from old-timers who will contact me and say that they saw the car in 1956 rolling down some country road in Maryland with three people in it (one of the original selling points of this car is that they said it was a three-seater)... I'm in contact with all the previous known owners too, which is nice...

 

Regarding the doors and trunk lid, I'll talk more about them later in this thread....

Possibly the first time read about the Playboy (and Keller) was in 1974 in the old Car Classics magazine where they had a six-part series labeled "Quarter Century Chronicle", which contained a photo and a paragraph on every new North American car that was made from 1945 to 1970.  Previously, the only time I heard of 'playboy' being associated with a car was the prewar Jordan Playboy.

 

Craig

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On 11/18/2020 at 3:01 PM, rg171352 said:

I'd love to see more of the three gas stations as well.

 

What category in this website would a story about gas stations go? I don't want to get in hot water with the web policeman by putting the story in the wrong sub-forum.

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Funny, that maroon Playboy has alot of differences from mine. I've heard that since they were all "prototypes" then body parts won't fit from one car to another. The Playboy I've listed for sale in the sale sub-forum has a different front end than mine (not counting the GMC Jimmy modification). 

 

 

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9 hours ago, 89tc said:

What category in this website would a story about gas stations go? I don't want to get in hot water with the web policeman by putting the story in the wrong sub-forum.

 

Just put it up in general.  You will be a hero.   Vintage gas stations are more popular on here than Duesenbergs.

 

People get in trouble on this forum when they start musing about how much better their 1920ish whatever would be more fun to drive with a crate engine.

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3 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Just put it up in general.  You will be a hero.   Vintage gas stations are more popular on here than Duesenbergs.

 

People get in trouble on this forum when they start musing about how much better their 1920ish whatever would be more fun to drive with a crate engine.

Ya, I really hate when people chop up a classic car for their own amusement. Those cars are usually found in the junkyard a year later. A few weeks ago I saw someone selling the original engine and interior from their original barn find 1957 Thunderbird so they could put a jeep engine into it. A few years ago someone on this forum was parting out a supercharged Graham Sharknose so he could chop the top, lower it, and put it on a chevy chassis. Poor rare car, I'll bet the car got crushed for junk after the owner was done getting his jollies. 

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Yes, the owner and his workers drove the cars from the factory in Buffalo to prospective dealers around the country in the hopes of gaining financial support, popularity, and buyers. There's a list of all the original cars, their colors, and what state they went to, out on the internet somewhere. That's how I knew mine originally went to Maryland, and the color was a beige/tan (but we'll talk about the color when I get to the body work section of this thread). The factory brochure says it's "the nation's new car sensation".  

WIN_20201125_17_15_16_Pro.jpg

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There was a Playboy in the Saratoga Automobile Museum for a while. The owner of the car is on the AACA Facebook group, I've talked with him briefly about his car in the past. 

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On 11/26/2020 at 8:13 AM, Billy Kingsley said:

There was a Playboy in the Saratoga Automobile Museum for a while. The owner of the car is on the AACA Facebook group, I've talked with him briefly about his car in the past. 

Yes, that car is accounted for in the Playboy records. It would be nice to find all that are unknown and save them from being rodded or rusting to pieces.

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The battery is a 6 volt positive ground lead acid battery. I thought it would be impossible to find the battery in any auto parts store, but I'm a gambling man so I took measurements of the battery shelf in the car and went to the local auto parts store to try my luck. I told the clerk I needed a 6 volt battery and he looked at me like I had three eyes. His manager then came over to have a meeting of the minds and they both disappeared into the shelving racks. Three minutes later they both came down the aisle side by side with big smiles on their faces and an old fashioned-looking battery in their hands. I measured it with my tape measure and sure enough, it was the right battery! They said the chance of them having the right size 6 volt battery in stock was 500 to 1. I was pretty surprised..

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Just a standard 6 volt battery and some youngsters working at the auto supply. I bought two this Summer at the local auto supply and when they wanted to know for what I decided to have some fun and said a 1950 Ford F1 and a Ford 8N. The youngsters had a similar reaction, then an older clerk walked back and brought out one and sent a youngster for the other and them carry them out to my car. Tractor Supply also carry them. Available lots of places just a lot more expensive than they were 10 years ago since they found out they could and they don't make as many.

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Batteries early on were sold in "group" sizes. There weren't that many choices. The small battery you use is common, as it was used in farm tractors for decades.........and the tractors are still in everyday use. That's why they had it in stock.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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There is a totally restored Playboy in Lexington KY. If I remember correctly it’s in a front window of a photography business at 427 S Mill. It may be Lee Thomas Photo. Not positive of name but address should be correct.  My daughter lived across the street when she taught at KY U a few years ago. They had the area open to the public and all kinds of poster size pics of original sales material on the walls. They may be able to sell you copies. 
dave s 

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On 11/18/2020 at 6:38 PM, alsancle said:

yes.  More info on the gas stations please!

 

Here are some better shots of the Hershey car.  I guess the price was a bit lower than what I remembered.

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July 2014 Thumb Drive Dump 2666.jpg

 

The car at Hershey was the only Playboy I ever saw. I remember seeing the car for sale in the Red Field North where our spots are on Tuesday. It appeared to have sold in a matter of a few hours. My son told me it was out in the Green Field on Wednesday Morning, and he came upon it later in the day in the Chocolate field.

 

Great Project, best of luck with it!

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/14/2020 at 8:58 PM, 89tc said:

And now a quick break for something totally unrelated.... A 1948 gas station for sale in a Colorado architectural scrap yard...

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Were there any updates on this building?

 

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