You’re looking for a classic model? I suggest you look no further than the…
1951 Petoskey Indian
A little backstory on this unit. After the war, Petoskey Motors resumed production for a civilian market. Things seemed to be going well until some labor disputes got out of hand in 1948. The feuds between the unions escalated into a full blown mob war with most of Petoskeys factories right in the crossfire. Most of their production capacity was destroyed by firebombing and the company appeared ruined by the end of the 1940s. Their only hope lied in the new sedan they were designing, a general purpose vehicle that would be a suitable successor to the Model B.
When the Indian made its official debut in 1950, consumers were impressed. The Indian proved to be a versatile platform and a two door sport variant was also released. Only two engines were used with the Indian, the first was the base model 261 cubic inch inline six, updated from the first generation engine. The other was a surplus 360 cubic inch V8 used in the trucks Petoskey built for military service. When the second world war ended, Petoskey was prepared to discontinue all military production. However, when it turned out that the Soviet Union was settling in the territories they took from the Nazis, it was clear they were going nowhere and the hostilities of the Cold War began. Fearing the threat of war with the Soviet Union (And a bit unnerved as several Petoskey military trucks were sold to Ivan during the war) Gordon Petoskey decided military production would continue albeit on a reduced scale. The 360 gave good service during the war and proved a simple fit for the new car. Most buyers preferred the larger V8 despite the fact that it remained unchanged from when it was designed ten years prior. One popular selling point was that many buyers were veterans from the war and often had first hand experience with the engine so most could easily work on them. A special performance version was released for a high performance model and a Police Special.
This particular unit came equipped with the 360. More Indians were in fact built with the larger V8 over the Inline six which it was originally designed for. After the Korean war when it appeared that a full scale war with the Soviet Union seemed less likely, Petoskey began to shut down production of military assets, this included the 360. 1955 was the last model year for an Indian to come equipped with the V8, though the Police Special was available with the engine for the 1956 model year. All subsequent models used the 261 until the Indian ceased production in 1958.
One rather obvious detail about the Indian was the lack of flashy chrome trim or other decorations common with cars from the 1950s. This was due to the financial hardships of Petoskey Motors when they entered the 1950s. By the mid-50s things had improved, however the simplicity gave the Indian a character that attracted buyers, so the car did not receive any facelift. The Indian was not only a family car, but also an early muscle car. The low price and versatile nature of the car proved popular among fleets. The Indian Police Special used a more powerful version of the 360 to give it an edge when in pursuit. In the early years the Indian was also popular as a taxi until the Tredegar Falchion hit the market in 1954.
The Indian was more than just a versatile automobile, it was the car that saved Petoskey Motors from ruin. To this day the car remains an example of what to aspire to when designing a new Petoskey. Something to haul the family around, something with a little power for those seeking excitement. (The hot rodding craze started after the war) Or something for your fleet.
Yours for only $11300 (without markup)
Fun fact: Many women who worked in Petoskey factories during the war were offered their jobs back after the factories were rebuilt at the start of the 1950s. Petoskey was also a sponsor of the AAGPBL throughout its span and the Indian was advertised during games in its last few years.