Moving The Metal – Part V

  • Mv1
  • A 1956 Ford F-750 “Big Job” hauling 1957 Fords

Many of the cars in today’s photos date from 1957, which was a significant year in many ways. Tail fins were approaching their peak. The new Chrysler torsion bar front suspension was unique in the domestic industry, as Packard returned to conventional coil front and rear leaf springs. Virtually all U.S. built cars had full ball joint front suspension, the last holdout being American Motors. The Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop also made its debut.

  • MV2      Mv3      MV4
  • A 1956 Dodge carrying 1957 Plymouths – A 1955 Studebaker Tractor hauling the company’s 1955 Pickups – A 1956 Dodge tractor hauls 1959 Ramblers

The horsepower race was in full swing. Chevrolet introduced their Rochester mechanical fuel injection unit for the 283 cubic inch small block V-8, the first successful system offered on an American production car. It was billed as the first engine that developed one horsepower per cubic inch, which certainly was the first one in a low-priced car.

American Motors tried a new Bendix electronic fuel injection system on their high performance Rambler Rebel, but it proved to be so troublesome that they were replaced with conventional four barrel carburetors before the cars ever made it to the showrooms. You can see parts I to IV of this series here. Photos courtesy of Dick Copello.

  • MV5
  • Note the unusual driven front axle on the Freightliner tractor

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3 Responses to Moving The Metal – Part V

  1. joe totton says:

    I can’t find anywhere that the 57 chrysler line had gone to unibody. That appears to have happened in 1960. The Freightliner is a unique set up. I found an ad for the 4wd but this one is custom to the max!! The ad was called a “Freightliner Mountaineer”. I didn’t see power steering listed as an option, so it must have required a lot of “armstrong”.

  2. Mike Lawrence says:

    It was Studebaker who never adopted ball joints for their front suspension and steering systems. Their cars had pins and bushings until the end in 1966.

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