Dodge finally broke from its Special and Special DeLuxe names in 1949, introducing its first post-war design. The entry-level model was the Wayfarer, which was lower and wider that the previous model. The car was apowered by a 103-hp, 230-cid flathead six-cylinder engine that was paired with either a three speed manual or a Gyro-Matic fluid-drive, semi-automatic transmission.
The Wayfarer was offered as either a two-door business coupe, a two-door sedan, or a roadster—the least expensive full-size American droptop available at the time, priced at $1,700. For 1950 the Dodge Wayfarer, along with the rest of the marque’s models, gained a bolder, completely new grille. The 1951 and 1952 models saw very little change due to the company focusing resources on Korean War work, though the grille was lowered and simplified slightly, and some trim changed. Most notably, the convertible Wayfarer was removed from the catalog for the 1952 model year, leaving the Coronet as the only convertible Dodge. The 1952 model year also marked the last year for the Wayfarer.
Dodge Wayfarers are quite rare today, mostly because they were ultra-affordable and basic transportation when new and were put to steady work from the outset. The remaining models, if found in good condition, are actually quite charismatic in the context of today’s roads, though their low power ratings and lack of comfort features make them better suited to occasional use around town than for long-distance trots. Parts availability and trim sourcing can be a problem, so be aware of this prior to any purchase of cars with needs.