AlanM

Does Anyone Know The History Of This Place?

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In 1962, a Navy (and old car) friend and I, while on leave from the Navy, took a drive in eastern Pennsylvania looking for old cars.  We thought we hit the Mother Lode when we came upon this place that is in the attached pictures.  We wandered around the place and eventually talked to a gentleman who let us in to look around.  It was a great day for us, but we were in no position to do anything other than look and dream of the day when we would be able to pursue the hobby.  If you look closely at the picture with the No Trespassing Sign, you will see the junk yard dog keeping a watchful eye on us.  I do not remember where we were but it seems like Pottstown comes to mind.  Does anyone know where this place was and the history both before and after the early 1960s?

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Hello, Alan.

 

Thank you for bringing this great memory and photos up.  This collection of Fords was located in Stowe, PA on the left side of Business Rt. 422 East.  A bordering borough of Pottstown, PA.  Cannot for the life of me recall the name of the gent who owned them however recall going past many times.  If my memory serves me correctly they were there until the mid-60's then either sold off the inventory of parts and running cars with many going to the crusher.

 

I also recall that he made good money serving the movie industry by leasing or renting vehicles to producers either for static backdrops or the cars that ran for action scenes.

 

The current site has been developed with the addition of various commercial enterprises.  Pottstown by the way was for all intents the original site of what we now know as the Hershey Fall Meet.  With the AACA being founded in 1936 in Philadelphia within Fairmount Park by Frank Abramson (1st AACA President) and Ted Fiala the meet was moved to the Hill School property.  Around 1953 the meet was moved to Hershey, PA. 

 

I welcome correction to my comments by those in the know.  Possibly someone from the Pottstown Region of the AACA could chime in.

 

Regards,

 

Peter J.

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Pete's information is mostly complete except the founding year was 1935 not 36 and the first meets that pre dated Hershey were held in Devon, Pa at the site of the Horse show which might still be held. If anybody has access to the Library there was a 50th anniversary edition of "Antique Automobile" from 1985 with a gold cover. In that edition is a centerfold with a panoramic picture and a story of this dealer. There should be other stories in there about the early days of AACA.

    I have always heard about this yard from the older guys in years past in my area and have always wished I could have seen it in its glory. I heard all the cars were sold, mostly to other dealers and collectors. The late Craig Yeanish of Valley Auto Parts in Slatington, Pa got about half of them

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what a difference 50 plus years can make. Most if not all those treasure troves have disappeared. What a shame that many went to the crusher. The clock turns back for nobody!  Wayne

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Th old guy must have had an affinity for Model A's! You'll never see anything like that again! I'll bet you could buy some of those cars for less than $100!

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1 hour ago, Bill Harmatuk said:

What really caught my eye is... Every car is painted black or some dark color very close to black.

 

Bill H

Could it be because that was the color bought by the Amish & Mennonite people in the area?

 

Howard Dennis

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Amish don't drive cars at all but it always was a conservative area so probably some merit to what you say. Lots of Mennonite sects that would have preferred inconspicuous cars.

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Did not know that but made the comment based on seeing large quantity of black cars & buggy's parked in front of church's & houses when visiting the area years ago.

 

Howard Dennis

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In the mid 60s Lady Bird had the " Make America Beautiful" campaign. She wanted most places like this removed or blocked from sight, along with sign and billboard restrictions.

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Dave Mellor - great find to uncover the photo on page 40 of the AACA Golden Jubilee issue. the caption says, "They're all gone now"/

 

To clarify Pete's comment on the early meets/outings, from the first outing in 1938 until 1943 there was only one event each year. Starting in 1944 there were often two, Spring and Fall. The Devon meets became the official Fall Meet until moving to Hershey in 1954. The Hill School meet Pete refers to was the June 1952 Spring Meet organized by the newly formed Pottstown Region. Unfortunately, the  AACA 75 book does not cover any of these early meets.

 

I attended the 1947 Devon meet and the Hill School meet as a young  passenger in a Packard twin six, The Pottstown meet was very special since I believe it was the fist time Model A Fords were on the show field. 

Edited by A. Ballard 35R
Cleare wording. (see edit history)

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Looks to be a 32 Ford in the center of the last photo. One guy told me he used to buy a car every month, about $300 for sedans,$350 for coupes. He would take them down south and make $100 profit on each car.

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10 hours ago, Dave Mellor NJ said:

If you have that copy I'd love to see the centerfold. Can you post it?

 

PM sent.

Picture in Golden Jubilee issue not as great as the ones in the first post on this thread.

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Some time around 1960 I went with Dad and Uncle to look at a Model A Sedan in the Reading, PA area. It was a running and drivable car but the interior was ratty so Dad decided that he would pass. The asking price was $75. Most any Model A could be found for just a couple hundred $ well into the early 1970's. We paid $500 for a Roadster, $100 for an AA truck and then really blew the budget by spending $1100 on a solid '31 Victoria. So yea, most of those cars pictured were $100 cars in 1962. Back then it wasn't a question of how much they cost but where to store them. Even as late as 1987 we sold a '41 Packard Clipper in excellent mechanical and so-so cosmetics for $700. We had paid $20 for it several years before. In the family we still have a '40 Packard 120 Coupe that we bought at an antique car auction in 1970 for $200. Wish we'd bought more and held on to some we sold.

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