Back in the day – part 1

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1956 Chrysler De Soto Firedome Seville

Ah, how I love anything vintage and this display of classic cars has my name written all over it! I was not disappointed with any of them and secretly wished I could have a ride in at least one…or two…or all of them! As a child and young teen I would see some of these still on the road and now to see these restored and preserved is exciting. So, here we go with American Dreams.

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It’s delightful…It’s delovely….It’s De Soto! read the ads for the large sedan with a V-8 engine. And rightfully so as it featured a 12-volt electrical system to run a power radio antenna, power seats, and a Highway Hi-Fi record player (although I’m not sure how you would keep a needle on a record on a bumpy road). Consumers could choose between a 3-speed manual transmission or a push button transmission, the first to be offered in the United States.

 

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This Firedome has undergone extensive restoration.  Painted in factory correct tones of shell pink and irridescent burgundy it also has New Original Stock (NOS) upholstery.

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1954 Packard  Caribbean

Truly a luxury car only 400 Caribbeans were manufactured in 1954.  All came standard with leather upholstery and spare tire carrier on the back. The last true Packard would roll off the assembly line in 1956.

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California Dreamin’

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Chrome and stainless steel trim stretched the entire length of the car. During the mid-1950’s many of the smaller car manufacturers declined under competition with the Big Three – Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.

 

 

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1957 Ford Thunderbird

Although the T-bird was fitted with a V-8 engine Ford promoted it as a personal luxury car rather than a sports car.   Chevrolet had the Corvette and Europe produced countless sports cars, but Ford had the Thunderbird. The large trunk accomodated the spare tire and the tail fins were elongated in the style of the day.

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This T-bird has been restored with all factory-stock materials.

All of these classic automobiles and more are on display at the McNay Art Museum until May 19th.  I’ll be featuring others in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!

 

Antique Pianos

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Keyboard of a square Steinway in the Menger Hotel, San Antonio

My love of pianos and piano music always pulls me to take a second look at any piano, but especially at the antique ones.  I especially love the square pianos, probably from childhood visits with a neighbor, Miss Robbie, of my paternal grandparents who had one in her antique filled living room. These are a few that I’ve encountered recently, enjoy!

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Square piano in the Menger Hotel, San Antonio Texas
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Detail of foot petals, Menger Hotel Steinway
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Square piano of German origin, Guenther House, San Antonio, Texas The detailed carving is exquisite! 
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Square piano in upstairs hallway, Villa Finale, San Antonio, Texas.  My inquiring mind asked how this got upstairs as the stairway was small and winding.  The answer: hoisted up over the second floor porch railing and rolled through the door into the hallway.  If it ever goes out it will have to be via the same method!
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Grand piano in the parlor of the Edward Steves Homestead, San Antonio Texas.  (Note this may not be an original period specific piece, still it is very lovely)