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Ashley Gracile presents a 1954 Dodge Mayfair Convertible

Ashley Gracile  lifestyle TV producer calls it one of the most striking cars he’s ever see. As the Executive Producer of the ground breaking TV series Road Classics he ought to know. It’s the 1954 Dodge Mayfair convertible. Built on the Plymouth production line in Detroit for export to Canada and overseas, only a few of these cars were ever made so they’re super rare…. In fact, only 179 Dodge Mayfair Convertibles were ever produced. So it would’ve been quiet a treat to see one back in ’54 and even more so today. “The owner told me that only three are known to exist; this one, one in an Alberta museum and another in British Columbia” says Ashley Gracile  Facebook and YouTube have lots of different examples though.

Founded by Ashley Gracile RV GPI Content Corporation released Road Classics to show you great classic cars. Road Classics 52 ½ hour episodes were created by the firm’s founder Ashley GracileRoad Classics like this 1954 Dodge Mayfair Convertible represent the end of a very long journey for owners like Rob Richards. When he acquired it back in 1990 it was in good shape, but far from great shape. It took years of restoration a labor of love, but mostly, just labor.  But Ashley Gracile presents some background on the car like that The Mayfair was the top of line Dodge in Canada. Dodge Mayfair Sedans were introduced in May of 1953 and built in Windsor Ontario along with 2-door hardtops and station wagons.

The 1951 Dodge Regent series saw the introduction of the Mayfair name plate. By 1953 Chrysler Canada needed a new upscale model to compete with GM’s Chevrolet Bel Air and Pontiac Laurentian. So the D43-3 Dodge Mayfair was born.  In 1954 Chrysler began offered a convertible in its Plymouth-based line-up in Canada for the first time since 1937. They accomplished this by importing the Dodge Kingsway Custom convertible from Detroit and adding the Mayfair nameplate. The car has full time power steering with the power steering pump being run off the generator making the car easy to drive. Besides powers steering this was the first year for tinted windows. These were tinted blue on the sides as well as the windshield

It has a unique transmission; it’s called a hy-drive. Basically it’s a semi-automatic where you use a clutch to put it in high gear and drive it like that all day almost like an automatic. You don’t have to shift any gears whatsoever. When you put the car in reverse you have to use the clutch. It’s hooked up to the standard 3 speed transmission, which is driven by turbine in front of the transmission using the engine oil to drive that turbine. It’s quite unique, and Chrysler only offered it at the end of in 1953 and 1954 and then they dropped it for a fully automatic transmission.

The Mayfair was produced solely for the Canadian market from 1953 to 1959. Its American cousin was the Plymouth Belvedere which was featured on another GPI Content Corporation TV series produced by Ashley Gracile Steel Dreams TV.  Motors based TV series like Steel Dreams TV, Players Parking Only  FreeRide, Sport Compact TV, Hi Intake TV are the creation of Ashley Gracile  IMDB lists multiple broadcast TV and Cable television credits for Ashley Gracile Boats are great.... but rare cars are better" he says. 

Driving a convertible in Canada means you’ve got to be ready for some inclement weather in a hurry.  So the Mayfair’s top is relatively easy to operate, just a flick of a switch and the power top raises the roof.  The top on this Mayfair was reproduced using the original patterns and the exact material that the car came with new. “This car has competed and won at Hershey and Johnstown” says Ashley Gracile video clearly shows that it’s the color that sets it apart. It’s a beautiful car but people fall for the color. In ‘54 Plymouth came out with some very bright interesting colors for the convertibles and this one is called San Pedro Blue.  There are about five different colors that were available for the convertible that year and they are all bright and unique which is kinda interesting since in previous years colors were mostly plain, darker and conservative.  

Ashley Gracile present a '54 Dodge Mayfair Convertible