I had a very interesting and informative day on Saturday July
13, 2002. My wife and I drove our 1955 Dodge to Indinana hoping to
find and contact some of the people, places and things that make up the history
of our 48 year old car. Armed only with information I received from the
original "Build Sheet" from Chrysler, and a few names and phone numbers I
received by word of mouth and asking questions around the area where the
original owner lived and worked, we headed out on a beautiful day, with a
tank full of gas,cameras loaded and my list of names and phone
The firsr number I called was Barbara Harrison, who may be the
granddaughter of the original owner, a Mr. Earl Williams or H. E.
Williams. Barbara answered the phone. She was very excited that I had
called and could not believe that I owned her grandfathers old
Dodge. He had owned the Stein and Williams Funeral Home in Auroua In., and
he had always owned Dodges she told me. She also told me she was headed to a
family reunion and that her mother and her brother would be there, and would I
consider bringing the car there, and that it would be a big surprise for
everybody. I jumped at the chance, wrote down the directions, and we were
on our way.
When we arrived we were greeted by her mother Mrs Karstedder
and her brother Steve. They remembered the car and could not believe there
eyes. Barbara and her mom both drove the car at funerals over forty years
ago. We had a very nice visit. They got to sit behind the wheel
again, and they could sill not believe the car existed and looked like it did
when Earl bought it 48 years ago.
I was also informed that Mr Williams was a hard nosed
Democrat, and that my "I LIKE IKE" window sticker would NEVER
have been on that car. So Mr. Williams is probably spinning in his
I got some really great photos for my scrap book. One of
Mrs Karstedder and her son Steve ( who has a beautiful 49 Merc, GRRRRRR
!!!!, with a 55 DeSoto Grill) and Barbara the granddaughter who is 67
years old. Mrs Karstedder is in her 90's.
I got a great photo of Barbara sitting behind the wheel, where
she sat 48 years ago.
I just had to pass this on. I can't believe the luck of
the timing, and how it worked out. My next post should be interesting
Please stay tuned,
Joe and Phyllis Paolucci
1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer ( Photo on back page of 2002
Forward Look Calendar)
I have owned this car since 1976