Ed Shank, with the help of his dad, saved his grandfather's all-original 1946 Dodge Town Sedan 47 years ago. Despite its looks, it's a rare model, with all four doors opening in the conventional direction; Dodge's regular 4-doors were built with rear 'suicide' doors.
Another lucky purchase was this NOS steering wheel, which replaced the original wheel that had been scarred up by a steering knob and was showing the effects of time. Check out the finger notches in the top inner edge of the wheel. Those are factory turn signals mounted to the steering column.
The glove box door is fitted with another reminder that this car is equipped with Dodge's Fluid Drive transmission, a combination 3-speed standard transmission with a fluid coupling that allows the driver to stop at a traffic light using the brake pedal and then drive away without using the clutch pedal.
Shank admits the 230 cubic inch, 102 horsepower flathead 6-cylinder engine isn't going to set any speed records. But it required nothing more than rings and bearings when he rebuilt it not long after acquiring the car as his daily driver back in the mid 1960s.
Rectangular gauges read out the engine temp, oilpressure, electrical charging and fuel quantity. That thing below the gauges is the starter button, a feature that is now coming back in vogue among modern automakers.
Only the Dodge version of the D24 body was outfitted with the center-hinged hood; the Chrysler and DeSoto models had one-piece hoods. Shank said children often note that his car looks like a bird in flight when the hood is open.
Dodge, Chrysler and DeSoto all shared the same basic body shell from 1946-'48, with the different makes having their own fender and grille designs. Shank's Dodge was repainted in 1981 and the now-defunct Jackson Brothers Body Shop, using the period-correct black lacquer.