1952 Dodge Wayfarer: Defying The Odds

dodgewayfarer

When you stop and think about how many cars have met their demise at the hands of rust, theft, negligence or accidents, it’s amazing to see vehicles from the ’40s and ’50s still on the road. Heck, I know for a fact both my first and second cars were totaled and met the claws of an automotive shredder within months after I sold them. Heartbreaking! That’s why it’s always exciting to me to see a car like this 1952 Dodge Wayfarer here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $6,900 still purring along. This particular example looks original and does have some rust to contend with, but overall, I’d drive it as-is for as long as I could before dealing with bodywork. The updated wheels and tires completely change the attitude of this vintage coupe, and I hope the next steward keeps its good luck streak going. Do any of you still know the whereabouts of your first car?

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Comments

  1. Ed P

    I am fascinated with the ‘fluid drive’ 3 speed manual tranny. This looks like a good car to restore. But do not expect that flathead 6 to smoke any tires!

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  2. geomechs

    Not very often you find a business coupe of this vintage. Looks like a good project. Good luck to the new owner.

    To answer the question as to the whereabouts of my first car, well, my first car was/is my ’47 Ford pickup. I bought it in May ’67 and I still own it. What I would like to know is what happened to my first NEW car. It was a ’69 Chevelle.

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  3. Dave Wright

    I had a Desoto busisness coupe of about this vintage. The Desoto had a Chrysler size body with a Dodge 6 cylinder engine. Busisness coupes were marketed towards traveling salesmen that only needed one seat and a large trunk for sales men’s samples. They were generally plain inexpensive cars, off course the Chrysler products were bullet proof as well as economical. I am sure there are few survivors. My dad bought a brand new 47 Dodge in Salt Lake City when he and my mom were teaching on the Fort Hall Indian reservation. I asked him why he sold it and he said they wore it out on the rough southern Idaho roads but it lasted twice as long as a comparable Ford or Chevy. Great cars.

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    • Denis

      I also had a Desoto b-coupe…it was kool and my dad had one with a hemi…it would fly back in the day…

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  4. cooper

    heck im selling one of these myself too many projects but great car 51 plymouth 2 door coup stock and running fun car to cruise in but that flat head 6 is well just too slow for my taste.

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  5. SoCal Car Guy

    My first car, a 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon (two doors) and bought new by my parents, is sitting in the back of my garage. I’m hoping to start it’s frame-off resurrection within the next year, maybe less.

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  6. Domitype

    My first car was a 1976 Honda Civic CVCC – it ended up crushed against a tree off a dirt road in Central Oregon. The tree (and all the sharp sheet metal) was about 6 inches behind my head. I shut the engine off, climbed out through the windshield frame and walked to a nearby farm house to call a tow truck. The tow driver said about 15 cars a year went off the road at that curve, but they couldn’t afford to put up a guard rail!
    My insurance company actually paid me more than what I spent for the car, Hondas were so popular during the first Gas Crisis.
    BTW, Honda later admitted that there were some “problems” with early Civic front suspensions that caused many accidents on tight curves. This didn’t trigger a recall.

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  7. Barry T

    My first car was a 1951 Ford something like this one. I bought it in 1963 and it only last 3 months, the reason was that I blew up the engine drag racing one night. So it has gone to the crusher many, many years ago.

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  8. JW

    My first car was a 63 Buick Special my dad bought me when I got my license at 16, he said that’s it now your on your own. I loved that little car, it was the first car I had seen with a v6 engine. I don’t recall what happened to it because you could pick up another car for $200 so easy and I always wanted something different I went through cars quick the first 2 years I had my license, then I got my first musclecar 65 GTO that I learned to appreciate what I had.

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  9. Wayne

    As a matter of fact, I do know where my first car is! It’s right behind my office! It’s a 62 Buick Invicta wagon with factory bucket seats and “consolette”. I bought in 71, the year I graduated from high school. It had a bad tranny but a good used one was located for 75.00 and it’s still in the car. I parked it in 74 in favor of a 66 Caddy convert. Four years ago was my 40th class reunion and thought it would be a kick to drive it to our class picnic. We spent 6 weeks going through everything and it was pure deja vu pulling up to the old high school 40 years later in the same car. I thought to myself “you really can go back in time”!

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    • Jeff Jeff Lavery Staff

      Wayne, great story and nice job having it restored for your reunion!

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  10. Gary

    Hey JW,.. I also had a ’63 Buick Special it was not my first car but my first I bought when I return home from VN in ’70. Mine was a Baby Blue Convertible with a white throw up top and the V6, cost me a $400 bill.
    My first car at 15 1/2 yrs. old and my Father taught me to drive was a ’40 Chevy coupe, had the three on the tree vacuum shift, 6 cyl. I had many first cars all thru high school, (my father owned a public parking facility and would wheel and deal cars) but my best and longest lasting was a ’56 VW bug. I bet I put 100k miles on that car in less than 3 years I drove it.

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    • JW

      Hey Gary must have been a popular color as mine was baby blue but a hardtop. I figure mine met the crusher because I drove the snot out of it doing reverse drops on the local gravel roads.

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  11. Rocco Member

    This gives a new meaning to the term: 3 Window Coupe.

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  12. Wayne

    Thanks Jeff! I still need to do the cosmetics. It still has the 8track tape player I bought with my after school job at Sears. I get a kick out of the kids now when they see it, they have no idea what a “8 track” is!

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  13. Pat

    My first car WAS a Wayfarer! Had it in the mid “60’s. It threw a rod and I had to junk it.

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  14. craig

    First new car, only first car, was a ’66 Satellite that I drag raced, it was a 383 automatic . was supposed to be a Street Hemi until the salesman told my co-signer (Dear old Dad) that a Hemi was a race motor,,,,, settled for the 383 4 BBL. I sold it when I decided I needed a new ’67 Corvette Coupe. This ole Dodge would be awesome just the way it sits but with a mild 440″ ( I LOVE TORQUE) & torque flite . Maybe a little finessing in the interior , but externally leave it alone.

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  15. Brian

    I still have my 1927 Hudson that I bought in 1960 when I was 15. 🙂

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  16. Brian

    This is the car that really brought back the memories. Someone ran into the back and we couldn’t find a trunk any where so….it became a rumble seat coupe. I sold the ’57 Chevy for $125, sigh.

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  17. Ronny

    My first car was a fifty Monarch Convertible. Got it in 1957. Paid $250 for it. Now it would be worth a good $75,000.00. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Had power seats and windows and top of course.

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  18. Ron

    My first car was a 36 Ford 5-window coupe. Traded my non-running Cushman motor scooter for it. I wasn’t old enough to drive yet, so I had to be content with starting it several times a day to listen to the exhaust sounds and watch the smoke from the engine seep into the car through the rusty floorboards. Ahh, what fun that was. Ron…

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    • Ronny

      Sounds like me. I bought my car in June and didn’t get my license til my birthday in August. I would hope in it and start it up…..drive to the end of the driveway…..then back up to the other end. I would also get the radio going. Perfect!!!! Lol

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