1951 Chrysler Saratoga
From 1939 to 1960, with a few interruptions, Chrysler used the Saratoga nameplate as first the most expensive, full-sized eight-cylinder model, then as the least expensive eight-cylinder, and finally somewhere in between. The 1951 Chrysler Saratoga was positioned at the bottom of the company’s eight-cylinder cars, but was also made available with the famous HemiV8 engine.
In 1951, Chrysler introduced the Hemi to replace the basic straight-eight that had been in place as far back as 1930. The Hemi was not meant to be a racing engine, but soon enough its high-performance capabilities were realized and cars like the 1951 Chrysler Saratoga were being used in road races and drag races and eventually on the stock car circuit.
The 1951 Chrysler Saratoga was a part of the second incarnation of the nameplate and included several different body styles, including a four-door sedan, a two-door club coupe, a wagon, a sedan for eight passengers, and even a limousine. There was no convertible option for this model year. By 1951, the Saratoga models had decreased in size overall, with a shorter wheelbase. They also included innovative options like the Hydraguide power steering and Fluid Torque Drive, a torque converter.
The most collectible of the 1951 Chrysler Saratoga models is definitely the two-door club coupe. This is the model that could be had with the Hemi and was also the lightest of them all. The coupe was sporty and powerful, and although many considered the styling to be a let-down, was a fun car to drive. Today, the 1951 Saratoga may not be the most desirable piece in any classic car collection, but the club coupe being the first year to include the Hemi is an important model and one that many collectors enjoy. Just two years later, in 1953, the Saratoga nameplate was out for the time being, replaced by the New Yorker.