June 3, 2023


Born to perform

The Powell Sport Wagon — Petersen Automotive Museum

2 min read


Seen in retrospect, the Powell also mirrored a one of a kind point of view on post-war automotive design. Designed involving the retreating shadow of World War II and the dawn of the American publish-war economy, the pickup represented a mix of pre- and article-war financial realities. In the means of its development, the house-grown car or truck, designed out of existing components, spoke to an era of wartime rationing and supplies shortages, in which things like metals used in automobile design were being scarce and citizens were compelled to craft their individual items in area of individuals they would routinely come across on retail outlet cabinets.

In its style and design, and the incredibly actuality that their organization had endeavored to market a new auto to the community, on the other hand, the Powell brothers’ company mirrored the optimistic attitude of the burgeoning mid-century American overall economy. Although Europe would carry on to truly feel the economic devastation of World War II lengthy just after its conclusion, by the mid-1950s when the Powell Activity Wagon was released, the American financial state would encounter a period of fast development, in which the Gross Countrywide Solution (GNP) would expand to practically 250% its pre-war sizing. A concurrent, and insatiable, consumer need for new motor vehicles would drive the creation of new, enjoyable vehicles like the Chevrolet Corvette, which was, incidentally, featured on the incredibly include of the February 1956 issue of Motor Development in which Woron would chronicle his sights of the humble Activity Wagon.

With these two perspectives as context, Channing and Hayward Powell set out to produce a distinctive and, as Woron would describe, fairly mythical motor vehicle that would offer for underneath the “magical a person-grand figure.” Regrettably for the company, like most producers who sought to make these a auto from scratch, “costs mounted upward like a mushroom pushing its way thru the cracking earth.” While the Powell brothers projected in Motor Trend that greater creation numbers would decreased the price of their Wagon, at a price of a mere $95 around their focus on, the Powell Sport Wagon was pretty a noble endeavor.

By Kristin Feay

Photography by Bob D’Olivo and Walt Woron


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