View Full Version : Car Aficionados: Mid 20th Century Convertible Coupe Needed

08-02-2015, 02:55 AM
So I have a guy in 1948 and I want him to take a ride in a convertible coupe, the smaller the better. Price not a factor, though I wouldn't mind it being domestic (but also not required). I'm currently working with the idea of a custom desoto, but it's big! US cars were large at that time.

Can anyone think of a smaller alternative? (I'd also like bucket seats as opposed to a bench, but that's not dire.)


Maze Runner
08-02-2015, 03:05 AM

T Robinson
08-02-2015, 03:15 AM
No Corvettes in 1948

Maze Runner
08-02-2015, 03:20 AM
No Corvettes in 1948

oh, haha. I just google 1948 corvette and got hits but didn't bother to open the links. sorry OP.

T Robinson
08-02-2015, 03:57 AM
I think Studebaker was as small as they came back then, but not certain if they had a convertible.

08-02-2015, 04:30 AM
And it has the added benefit of being called a Studebaker! Hilarity in and of itself. Thanks, TR, I'll look into it.

T Robinson
08-02-2015, 04:45 AM
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCIQFjAAahUKEwifhJrjlYnHAhWBVh4KHeBwAYQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hemmings.com%2Fclassifieds%2F cars-for-sale%2Fstudebaker%2Fchampion&ei=A2i9Vd_2OoGteeDhhaAI&usg=AFQjCNHLaIkaW9x-6jxN5A4redxQBrPWCg&sig2=aARe57xmxoOJUaUvSvlKbA&bvm=bv.99261572,d.dmo

(https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCIQFjAAahUKEwifhJrjlYnHAhWBVh4KHeBwAYQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hemmings.com%2Fclassifieds%2F cars-for-sale%2Fstudebaker%2Fchampion&ei=A2i9Vd_2OoGteeDhhaAI&usg=AFQjCNHLaIkaW9x-6jxN5A4redxQBrPWCg&sig2=aARe57xmxoOJUaUvSvlKbA&bvm=bv.99261572,d.dmo)

08-02-2015, 05:23 AM
I think I have a winner: 1948 Studebaker Champion Convertible (http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/studebaker/champion/1747908.html)! Not buckets, but it checks every other box on my list. Thanks TR!

T Robinson
08-02-2015, 08:03 AM
You're welcome. It is pretty isn't it? I don't know when bucket seats originated.

08-02-2015, 07:35 PM
Coupe or Convertible? My understanding, backed up by a couple of quick online dictionary searches, is that "coupe" refers to a fixed top two door automobile.

A coupé (US coupe) (from the French (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_language) past participle coupé, of the infinitive couper, to cut) is a closed two-door car body style (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_classification) with a permanently attached fixed roof,[1] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup%C3%A9#cite_note-1) that is shorter than a sedan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_%28automobile%29) or saloon (British and Irish English) of the same model,[2] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup%C3%A9#cite_note-2) and it often has seating for two persons or with a tight-spaced rear seat.[3] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup%C3%A9#cite_note-3) The precise definition of the term varies between manufacturers and over time.[4] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup%C3%A9#cite_note-Adolphus-4) The term was first applied to 19th-century carriages, where the rear-facing seats ha

08-02-2015, 08:17 PM
I think I have a winner: 1948 Studebaker Champion Convertible (http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/studebaker/champion/1747908.html)! Not buckets, but it checks every other box on my list. Thanks TR!
its not exactly small, thats a 5000 pound car. studebker did have another model available in that time frame thats smaller and more sporty.


ETA granted, thats a picture of a '53. I couldnt find a picture of a car in that kind of shape from an earlier model year

08-03-2015, 03:07 AM
Thanks for the link Boppa, but are there no convertible sedans? Wisegeek (http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-difference-between-a-coupe-and-a-sedan.htm)actually says the difference between a coupe and a sedan is the interior volume. But, you're correct, i was using the term in the vernacular, signifying two doors and small, versus sedan, four doors and larger.

Pony: I don't actually need tiny, just a smaller than average interior space. My MC is larger than average, and needs another thing to bemoan. :)

ETA: Although now I'm questioning my description. My MC describes the car as a convertible coupe. Wikipedia states (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convertible): "The majority of convertible cars are two door models, with very few four-door models." That suggests convertible sedans did exist. Obviously I would describe it as a "convertible coupe" because I did, and my MC is no more car-savvy than me. But I think it should lean more toward being correct...Any thoughts?

08-03-2015, 06:11 AM
The majority of US cars at the time were large, small convertibles were nearly always imported and most often British. Ford, Mercury, Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and many others made convertibles, but again, all were larger. The MG TC, maybe the Austin Atlantic, or possibly a Riley Roadster might make good choices. Depending on your story, you could pop him in a war surplus Jeep if you need it to be American. :)


08-03-2015, 06:15 AM
The majority of US cars at the time were large, small convertibles were nearly always imported and most often British.

Jeff beat me to the punch. Sports cars in American really came about as a result of GIs bringing back the MGs and such after WWII. In other words, just about the time your story is set.

08-03-2015, 06:21 AM
If you need a cramped interior, the MGTC might just be your best bet. My Dad had a '53 MGTD and it was a tight fit even though he was only 5'8". They started making the TCs again after the war in 1945.


08-03-2015, 06:59 AM
In the late 1940s, Aston Martin had a really sharp looking convertible that could work. And I'll second (third) the MG.

I think the Porsche 356 was available then as well...would have been brand spanking new, and I think it came as a convertible.

08-03-2015, 10:34 PM
If your tale takes place in 1948 in the US, there were a number of domestic convertibles offered, but none were really small: Ford, Mercury, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge . . . It could have also been a domestic vehicle produced in a model year prior to 1948.


If it has to be a smaller car, you may have to consider an import--but do your research to make sure it was really available in the States at the time.

For example . . . It took Porsche almost two years (1948-49) to build 50 cars (original 356 models) and all were sold in Europe. It wasn't until the early '50s that a few 356 (pre-A) showed up in the States.