General Motors offered
factory-installed air conditioning systems in its Cadillac, Buick,
and Oldsmobile automobiles beginning in 1953. These units
were designed by Frigidaire and were a conventional refrigeration
system adapted to automobiles. The compressor, condenser,
and receiver-dryer were located in the engine compartment while
the evaporator-blower unit was located in the forward trunk area;
the air conditioning controls were located at the instrument
panel. Cold air was delivered through outlets in the rear
package shelf or through ducts/outlets in the roof headliner.
Harrison developed an entirely front-mounted air conditioning unit which was first installed in 1954 Pontiacs. Oldsmobile and Chevrolet followed in 1955, Buick in 1956, but Cadillac retained the trunk units through 1956.
Automobile air conditioning in the 1950's was a wonderful luxury. The Frigidaire system in this 1955 Coupe de Ville still operates as new!