What Is It

Last week’s photo showed a section of a 1956 Chrysler Windsor. The specific model was Nassau, which was an offshoot of the Windsor. Quite a few readers were not fooled by the 56-year-old ’56.


A few readers guessed other vintage iron from the period: Pontiac Star Chief, Buick Roadmaster and a DeSoto.

Chosen randomly from the correct entries was Gary Engen, of Augusta, who wrote:

“It appears to me that the photo is of a 1956 Chrysler Windsor Nassau, probably a two-door hardtop. They were powered by a 331-cubic-inch Hemi engine. I’ve seen them in two-tones before but not exactly like in the photo. Seems like ones I remember had a chrome strip that separated the two colors along the side, which does not show in the photo. I’ve read that Chrysler is reportedly bringing the Nassau name back replacing the Sebring as a 2012 Chrysler Nassau.”

Engen wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the old Chrysler were:

AUGUSTA: Carolyn Ogles, Richard Simanski and Lowell Fritsche

CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “Noted as some of Virgil Exner’s most popular designs, the mid-’50s Chrysler lineup (Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto and Imperial) are known as the Forward Look models. Chrysler brochures of the era refer to the styling by several monikers, including Power Style, Power Flite and Flight-Sweep in addition to the Forward Look.

“The Chrysler Windsor’s marketing for 1956 referred to it as ‘The Year-Ahead Car’ even though it was positioned at the bottom – uh, I mean “Price Leader” – rung in the Chrysler Lineup. Alongside the more expensive and more luxuriantly equipped New Yorker and Imperial, the Windsor is distinguished by its horizontal 3-slat grille and rectangular turn signal lamps and a slightly different taillight treatment.

“While most every piece of Chrysler advertising of the era touts the new push-button transmission selector to the left of the steering wheel (away from curious children’s hands, as one ad points out), the standard engine choice in the Windsor was a 331 V-8 producing 225 horsepower mated to an automatic transmission with a dash-mounted selector lever to the right of the steering column. At least in the Windsor, one had to cough up a few dollars more for the ‘safety and convenience’ of the push-button transmission selector.

“As a side note, a 1956 DeSoto Adven­turer was the pace car for that year’s Indianapolis 500.

CUMMING, GA.: Chris Rhodes wrote: “The Windsor nameplate was used, on and off, by Chrysler from 1940 through the mid-’60s, and applied to vehicles of differing platforms. For example, the first Windsors featured a flathead inline six-cylinder – and one of the first uses of a clutchless transmission. The Windsors of the 1950s (starting in ’53) offered a V-8 and fully automatic transmissions similar to the offerings from most other manufacturers of the time.

“As with most cars of the era, body styles and trim features changed from year to year, so the ’56 model had a fairly unique look.

“Drivetrain components consisted of Chrysler’s venerable 331-cubic inch V8 and either a two- or three-speed automatic transmission. Though many people consider all cars of this era to have been portly beasts, the Windsor actually tipped the scales at a relatively modest 3,900 pounds …not that heavy considering it was full-size. “

HEPHZIBAH: Ralph Whitton wrote: “This particular vehicle is a 1956 Chrysler Windsor. Standard engine was a 331-cubic-inch or optional 354. Transmissions were either standard shift or the optional Torqueflite push-button automatic. Optional were stainless steel wheel covers.”

KEYSVILLE, GA.: Glenn Widner wrote: “This is a 1956 Chrysler Windsor Newport. You could get a 331 Firepower Hemi V-8 with 250 horsepower and push-button Powerflite transmission. This one has the fender extensions on top of the bumper. I traded a 1956 DeSoto Firedome recently.”

MCBEAN: Robert Lamb

MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski, Jeff Miller and John Hayes


Rack your brain so you can tell us the make and model of this 2012 vehicle (that’s sort of a clue). If you know what it is, call (706) 823-3419 or e-mail

Please tell us your name and telephone number and the city you live in. It helps if you spell your name for us so we can include your response along with everybody else’s.

You have until noon Wednesday to respond. A winner will be chosen randomly. If you win, please let us know when you would like to pick up your prize.

– Glynn Moore,

staff writer



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