Our 22nd Year

BATTLE OF DECADES at 2016 Auto Show

Dates: 1/28/16 – 1/31/16

ST.LOUIS —If cars from bygone years competed for sale popularity in today’s world, what would be the result? That’s the question asked by the HCCM at the 2016 St. Louis Auto Show as thousands of visitors saw the club’s special exhibit called BATTLE OF THE DECADES:  THE TWENTIES VERSUS THE FIFTIES.

Cars from the 1920s set a “roaring” new pace for motoring.  But how did that compare to the advances and challenges of the 1950s?    

THAT was the question! A car may seem great when it is introduced, but time will tell how TRULY great it was. Then compare that to cars made 30 years later, and the REAL winners will surface.

The exhibit included diverse makes and models drawn from the two decades. There has never been an exhibit of this sort at the Auto Show, so this marks a first in show history, too.


 1958 Metropolitan Hardtop             Owned by Ron Nelson

Price when New:  $1,527                  Weight:  1,850 pounds          Wheelbase:  85 inches

This car sold new at Edward Mutto Auto Sales in Belleville, Illinois, and was built at Austin Motor Works (Great Britain) for American Motors.  The vehicle has been used just over 40,000 miles and delivers 33 1/2 mpg.  Many collectors consider this the first of the sub-compacts made after World War Two.


1923 Model T Ford Depot Hack      Owned by Ron & Dian Korb           Price: $360

Engine:  4 cylinder, 177 cubic inches, 20 hp           Transmission:  planetary, 2 forward

Weight:  About 1,400 pounds                                  Wheelbase:  100 inches

1923 was the largest production year for the Ford Model T with 2,011,125 made (including all models).  Depot Hacks were used to carry good, passengers, or luggage to and from railroad depots and other locations.  In some respects, it was the predecessor to what later was called the “station wagon.”


1950 Buick Sedan                  Courtesy of Joseph Yochim    Price when New:  around  $2,000

Wheelbase:  121.5 in.         Weight:  3,700 lbs.       Engine:  straight 8; 248cu.in.; 124hp  

Buick was one of the original brands in the General Motors line-up and offered models called Special, Super, and Roadmaster.  In 1950, old straight 8-cylinder engines were dropping in popularity in favor of V-8s.  However, the old “eights” offered smoothness, quiet operation, and plenty of power going up long hills.  The car you see here is mainly original in condition.


1955 Packard Patrician        Owned by John & Mary Porbeck

Engine: 352 cubic inch V-8, 260 hp             Wheelbase:  127 inches

Weight:  over 4,275 pounds              Price New: $ 4,040

Dick Teague updated the Packard design and sales rose as a result.  The Detroit-based company’s history stretched back to 1899.  It was considered the “premier” luxury car maker in much of the world.  The 1955 models used the innovative Torsion-Level Suspension that is a marvel of ride and handling, even today.  In 1955 Packard ranked 14th among American auto makers.


1928 Buick Master Six Sedan          Owned by Richard Rottnek

Price when New:  $1,625      Engine: 274 cu. in.; 77 hp     Wheelbase:  120 inches

The interior of this car is unrestored original.  Buick built its reputation for reliability on cars such as these.  Some were good for family use with plenty of room.  Others were sporty.   All performed well and earned praise for General Motors.  The two-millioneth Buick left the factory in the 1928 model run.


1926 Franklin Series 11A Sedan      Owned by Charles Gallagher          Price New: $2,790 Wheelbase:  119 inches  Engine:  199 cu. in. Six, 32 hp       Weight:  3,175 lbs.

Franklin produced cars from 1902 to 1934.  All engines were air cooled.  This Franklin’s frame is all wood.  The body is aluminum which made the car lighter than competitors.  Franklin cars were considered high in quality.


1926 Model T Ford “Tudor”           Owned by Lou & Jackie Allen

Price when Introduced:  $580          Wheelbase: 100 inches

Engine: 4 cylinder L-head, 176 cu. in.; 20 hp         Weight:1,972 pounds

Not many models of American-made cars could boast that more than 16 million were made, and Ford was first in the world to break that level of production.  The Model T Ford practically put Americans on wheels.


1957 Volkswagen Standard Microbus, Type 2      Courtesy of Kent & Bill Zschoche

Price New:  $2,165    Engine:  69 cubic inch (1192 cc) four, 36 hp, air-cooled

Factories in Wolfsburg (1950-1956) and Hanover (1956-1967), Germany, plus Brazil

Top speed is 58 mph.  This VW is authentically restored and preserved with 43,000 miles.   The model was the forerunner of the modern passenger van.  VWs were popular in Germany and made notable headway into the American market in the 1950s and 1960s.


The following are pictures from our 2016 Event (Photos courtesy of Dr. Gerald Perschbacher, all rights reserved.)