The 1946 Dodge line featured numerous improvements over prewar cars; the big news, though, was the new “All Fluid Drive,” essentially the addition of a torque converter to the manual transmission (selling the five millionth Dodge was also big news, as was sales of 156,000 units and a 7.4% market share in the United States). The base model was, oddly, the Deluxe; the only other model was the Custom. Both were equipped with a straight-six flat-head engine. The Deluxe sold for $1,229-$1,339 while the Custom went from $1,384 to $1,743. The Deluxe was available as a two or four door six-passenger sedan, or a two door, three passenger coupe; the Custom was available as a six-passenger, four-door sedan, twin sedan, or two-door club coupe, or as a five-passenger, two-door convertible, or as a seven-passenger, four-door sedan (the most expensive model). Weights ranged from 3,146 pounds to 3,461 pounds, except the seven-passenger sedan at a whopping 3,757 pounds. All were officially classified as Series D-24.
The Custom was similar in appearance, but included more comfortable front seat cushions, electric wipers, chrome around the outside windows, and more upscale trim. Both lines were assembled in Detroit and California.
The car itself was 204 ½ inches long, on a 119.5 inch wheelbase (quite an overhang); the height was about 68 inches, the width 76 inches. Tires were six inch by 16 inches, inflated to 28 pounds.
Inside, plastic was used for door knobs and controls on the instrument panel. Rotary door latches allowed for closing doors lightly; spring tension kept the doors closed.
The optional turn signals were put in their current position to the left of the steering column. Other options included a clock, radio, heater, and backup lights.
Pistons were a lightweight aluminum alloy with a special plating for protection against scuffing and scoring. Four piston rings were used; the upper two were plated. Special alloy valve seat inserts and a new rolled finish of valve stems increased valve life.
For more information, see our postwar-Chrysler Corp. vehicle section or our 1949 Dodge section!
See the 1949 Dodge page
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