Dodge finally broke from its Special and Special DeLuxe names in 1949, introducing its first post-war design. The new mid-range model, named the Meadowbrook and only offered as a sedan, was lower and wider than the previous model, with flow-through fenders. Like the entire Dodge lineup this year, it was powered by a 103-hp, 230-cid flathead six-cylinder engine with a three speed manual or Gyro-Matic fluid-drive, semi-automatic transmission.
For 1950 the Meadowbrook 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.
For 1953, the entry-level Wayfarer was discontinued and the Meadowbrook line was divided into a base Special line with no trim, even around the windows, and a very basic interior. The Meadowbrook’s body was redesigned, with a more blocky, solid shape and a curved windshield. The rear fenders were now part of the body shell and a chrome strip ran along the side, curving over the rear wheel.
The 1953 Meadowbrook line now encompassed five models: the Special two- and four-door sedan, a fancier two- and four-door sedan, and a two-door station wagon. All Meadowbrooks carried the same six-cylinder engine. In 1954, the Meadowbrook range was simplified, with a Club Coupe and a four-door sedan being the only options. Both cars were priced right around $2,000. The standard six-cylinder motor was tweaked to produce 110 hp, while a Hemi V-8 motor that produced 150 hp and displaced 241 ci was now optional.
Dodge Meadowbrooks from this period are fairly rare, mostly because they were 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 make them better for 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.