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Weird bumper add ons


bob duffer
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Probably a period accessory. Apparently people back then were deathly afraid of running into cattle on the road and needed to protect their grilles. Here are such guards on a similar car:

 

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And another setup on a later car:

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They're horrid but at least they drilled holes in the bumper to install them so there's no easy way to get rid of them. Like herpes.

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My grandparents bought a new Oldsmobile 98 sedan in 1948 and these were on the car along with a ton of other stuff. At that time period right after WWII trying to buy a new car was difficult as everyone wanted one because they wore out the car they owned pre WWII and trying to get back to producing cars by car companies was slow. Dealers would bolt on all the extra accessories and you paid for them if you wanted a new car , if not you did not buy the car as someone else would. My father remembers seeing the new Oldsmobile being bought by his parents and that was the attitude of the dealer ( Mac Markowitz in Hempstead, NY) take it or leave it.

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The bumper wing guards on the 53 above were factory accessories from Ford and could be bought with or without the curved portion on the outside. When you add the Coronado Rear Deck, the skirts, the outside visor, and the door mirrors, there is not much left to add. A spotlight here or there would add even more bling...

 

Frank

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The Bumper Over-riders or Guards were common in places like New York City where many would park "By Ear",

and it was common in my grandparents' Brooklyn neighborhood to see someone choose a space too small for their car, but use their car to push other cars a bit backward or forward to enlarge "their" space.

They were Also used on taxicabs,

These bigger guards did provide an additional level of protection for the bodywork!

 

Same for bumper tips!

 

Marty

Edited by Marty Roth
typo (see edit history)
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Similarly, I recall these as an urban thing. Like Marty said, city people often parked by feel. Bumpers before the Federal era were generally pretty puny and cars in cities would take a beating. Bumper guards were still a common accessory as late as the early seventies. They started to disappear after the Federal 5MPH bumpers came out, since they were no longer needed by then.

 

Speaking of the postwar dealers loading up cars with accessories, my father told me that when he got out of the army, he bought a new 1946 DeSoto. He had to pay $300.00 under the table to the dealer and take it with every accessory that the dealer could pack it with. The car had a normal Chrysler issue hot water heater and also a Southwind gasoline fired heater. That's right. Two heaters! My father said that the gasoline heater was too scary for him and that he never used it. To show you how things were then, he drove the DeSoto for a year and a half and sold it for more than he paid for it.

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Two heaters in one car weren't totally unusual - G.M. would install two heaters, on cars. My 1940 Buick Roadmaster conv sedan has two - one on the inside of the firewall in front of the front seat passenger and one under the front seat as well, VERY efficient , to the point of being a sauna. Suprised the heat didn't melt the plastic knobs on the dashboard.

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2 hours ago, Walt G said:

Two heaters in one car weren't totally unusual - G.M. would install two heaters, on cars. My 1940 Buick Roadmaster conv sedan has two - one on the inside of the firewall in front of the front seat passenger and one under the front seat as well, VERY efficient , to the point of being a sauna. Suprised the heat didn't melt the plastic knobs on the dashboard.

As Walt noted, it wasn’t all that unusual, although for the delivered location in Asheville, NC to the Biltmore, I shouldn’t be really surprised. 
 

our yellow 1941 Cadillac convertible has a firewall-mounted heater/defogger, and also has a pair of heaters mounted under the left and right sides of the front seat. At the moment I don’t recall if they served both front and rear, but that would have been a good idea.

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My chubby Uncle Eddie who they used to call Mr. 5X5 (5' tall and 5' wide). Could bounce up and down on a pair of bumpers hooked together and get them apart. Quite a job sometimes.

 

If you didn't know Eddie or someone like him you needed those guards.

 

 

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