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Town and County Dyno Tested at Walter E. Allen Chrysler-Plymouth

Walter E. Allen’s Chrysler-Plymouth Dealership was located at 13th St and North Harvey Ave in Oklahoma City, OK, and this image is one of a series of photos of the service department we will be sharing with you.

This postcard image courtesy of The Okchomesellers Team shows the Dealership back in its heyday, the building has survived as is visible in this image of it today. It appears that Allen may have had this structure built post-war and it is reported that he operated it between 1946 to ’55 when he retired and moved to Florida. In 1956 it became a Chevrolet agency.

Allen apparently knew that the service department in a car dealership was where the profit was made and outfitted his lavishly and had sections of the floor tiled and a Clayton “Motor-Mirror” chassis dynamometer installed. On the far-right side of the service bay is a sales cabinet with a display of rearview mirrors and clocks that could be fitted to them.

Share with us what you find of interest in this image taken in 1947 courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

18 responses to “Town and County Dyno Tested at Walter E. Allen Chrysler-Plymouth

  1. I think the image is more likely ’47 than the indicated ’37.

    What a great image of post-war certainty. The technician probably returned home from service after working in the car pool / maintenance, wearing a firm look as he scans the just-as-surprised looking test equipment.

    The driver of this beautiful car has the ubiquitous hat on, as designed by Chrysler, and all is right with the world.

  2. Also – is it possible that below the dealer’s name on the wall, that the streamlined billboard indicates the name of the car’s owner as “Bill (Holiday), or maybe the name of the technician?”

  3. The sedan seen behind the Town and Country appears to be a ’41 Royal or Windsor Town Sedan…by ’42 Chrysler had taken the turn signals off the fender top. New for ’41, the wrap over colored plastic paneling is apparent on its dashboard.
    And, of course, the photo was taken in ’47.

  4. Beautiful dealership. Oddly, I do not see wheel chocks, at least not at the right front wheel.
    That setup must have cost some money back then.

  5. It’s interesting to me that the Town & Country has a Texas plate and is being serviced in Oklahoma City. That’s a bit of a drive regardless of where in Texas the owner lived.

  6. Notice the resemblance of the diagnostic machine to a robots face.The results were spat out of the mouth on a piece of paper.
    Pure ’39 Worlds Fair stuff
    The World of Tomorrow

  7. Your commenters all noticed details in the photo that I certainly didn’t catch, such as the Texas license plate (and who would know that except a car nerd??); and provided information I otherwise would never know, such as the educated opinion regarding the model of the sedan behind the awesome convertible woody in front. Thanks for all that!

  8. When is the last time you saw a Town and Country displayed with blackwall tires? It seems like all the “restored” ones have whitewalls even though they were hard to come by in 1947. This car has the “porta-walls” which were common in the day. The owner could obviously have afforded whitewalls — the car was expensive to start with and is loaded, even including a spotlight on the passenger side as well as one on the driver side you would assume.

    • DLYNSKEY, those aren’t really porta-walls…at least not as the ones made of rubber that were common in the ‘50’s and ‘60s, that mounted under the wheel rim… and that fairly well resembled the look of whitewalls (later to include redline and blueline tires of the late ‘60s).

      Those on the Chrysler are white metal affairs that, as seen, extended from the hubcap to an inch or so beyond the wheel rim and include a hole for the air plug. Chrysler offered them from about 1940 until about 1950..and may have called them Beauty Rings.
      Whatever their aspiration, to me they hardly resembled whitewalls…bringing to mind the awkward look of black dress shoes worn with white socks.

  9. I’ve been thinking about this and . . . would a dynamometer have been a reasonable diagnostic tool back then? Was loss of power a quick and easy way to check a motor’s overall condition? Or was this just there to impress the customers?

    • This is a true dynamometer and would be a very effective tool for identifying all sorts of issues under controlled conditions. Need for a tune up, overheating, locating weak cylinders, and fuel delivery problems would be some of the things that could be identified on a dynamometer. Most of todays big truck shops have a chassis dyno used to find a great variety of maladies that are easily identified with a run on the rollers at full load and speeds not possible to perform on a road test.

  10. My vote ; a dwell meter and tachometer , for adjusting the the points in the distributor .another possibility for a paired set of guages might be something to do the ampere output of the generator where the handheld box is a on off for a load added onto the generator . The big case with the teardrop contour being style foo foo
    Now that other box with lots of knobs and meters the right , that looks complicated ! maby something for carb fiddling ;say took a vacumb reading from the tap on the Carter B&B
    I think most of the tuning adjustments on those Chrysler inline 6’s were done by ear and by knowing what little things shook loose or would get fouled up; tighten the carb mounting bolts make sure the choke flap wasn’t stickey, run the idle circuit set screw all the way in then back out turn and 1/2 , then to smooth , loosen the distributer hold down and tweak the timing till is smoothed out , pop the top and clean the points with a dollar bill edge , if fancy could pull the plugs and put them in the blaster and reinstall and change the oil in the air cleaner, oh and don’t forget to hook up the guage thing if the customer is watching !

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