The luggage compartment or (in some earlier models) folding seat in the rear of a car; the folding lid of this compartment.
1925 in 2020 (acc) Lexis–Nexis Legal Research State Case Law: NC (Internet) cwNC, We raised the cooter shell or back of the Ford, and it smelled like whiskey had been in there. 1948 Tampa Morning Tribune (FL) 22 Dec 17/1, If it’s a sedan you have to stick it [=a Christmas tree] in the back seat. . . If it’s a coupe, the cooter-shell is liable to fall down and clip off a couple of limbs. 1959 Greenville News (SC) 4 Mar 1/3, Douglas said he saw the “cooter shell” of the car raised about 7 a. m. 1994 Charlotte Observer (NC) 14 May Gaston sec 1/1 (as of 1932), Come October, I was old enough to drive Pop’s Chevy coupe. . . I loaded the “cootershell” with tin tubs at daybreak, went to the field. 2000 DARE File—Internet seGA, You are very Wiregrass if . . you know what part of a car the cooter hull is. 2002 DARE File nFL (as of 1950s), Actually, where I grew up (north Florida in the 1950s), that part of the car was called the cooter shell, at least by some of my relatives. 2003 Ibid cNC, One of the residents in the assisted living site I visit says ‘cooter shell’ was what young folks called the rumble seat; W[hite], F[emale], 80+, grew up in formerly rural small town outside of Charlotte. 2011 Herald–Advocate (Wauchula FL) 1 Sept sec A 3/1, After church services, food was retrieved from buckboards or wagons, and later, from truck beds or the “cooter hulls” of cars.