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New Model Year Showrooms


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To those who complain, how many of you and your wives dress up in a suit, tie, hat, dress and gloves to go to the A&P? I'm in my mid 60s and go out in public, on a regular basis, in jeans, T shirts and even, God forbid, flip flops in the summer. My feet do not, nor have they ever, smelled. I have this thing, at home, called a shower. I'll admit that showing plumbers cleavage, a giant gut lopping over your belt and showing under the hem of your shirt and women that look like 350 pounds of chewed bubblegum, stuffed into Spandex and a halter top are a bit hard to accept.

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To those who complain, how many of you and your wives dress up in a suit, tie, hat, dress and gloves to go to the A&P? I'm in my mid 60s and go out in public, on a regular basis, in jeans, T shirts and even, God forbid, flip flops in the summer. My feet do not, nor have they ever, smelled. I have this thing, at home, called a shower. I'll admit that showing plumbers cleavage, a giant gut lopping over your belt and showing under the hem of your shirt and women that look like 350 pounds of chewed bubblegum, stuffed into Spandex and a halter top are a bit hard to accept.

No, but I do leave in dress casual for diners and suit and tie for more formal settings. I don't own a pair of flip-flops and haven't for 40 years. I wear "shoes" and socks always. Women going to the A&P would at least dress for public and not at home casual. You see people today in all sorts of dress (as you pointed out with women looking like caterpillars in spandex). Here in the South women did dress up to get on a public bus to go downtown for a day of shopping and eating at the store's cafeterias or tea rooms - including gloves. I know my own mother didn't feel dressed for public unless she had at least two essentials... high heel shoes and earrings even into the 1970s when she was in her 60s. The rest went with it automatically. And for those trying to do the math... I am 55 years old and mother had me when she was 40 years old so I have memories of the late 50s onward.

Edited by X-Frame (see edit history)
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I can remember about late September or October each year my brother and I would go down to the SP freight depot and watch them unload the new cars from the boxcars on the trains. They usually had 5 cars per boxcar and it was quite an operation to get them out. For some reason the '55 Buicks standout in my memory to this day.As mentioned earlier the windows on the dealerships were papered over or soaped up to keep prying eyes out. There would be search lights reaching into the night sky and announcements on the radio as to which dealer was doing their unveiling that particular week amongst all the "hoopla". Us two boys always had the first look though at train depot depot.

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I can remember about late September or October each year my brother and I would go down to the SP freight depot and watch them unload the new cars from the boxcars on the trains. They usually had 5 cars per boxcar and it was quite an operation to get them out.

I could never figure out how in the world they got automobiles in and out of box cars without scratching and banging the hell out of them?

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In the late 60's and early 70's my Father and I would make the rounds to look at the new cars. I would load up on all the literature and study it later at home.

I think he did it more for my sake since all those cars then were "New junk" to him.

I know my own mother didn't feel dressed for public unless she had at least two essentials... high heel shoes and earrings even into the 1970s when she was in her 60s. The rest went with it automatically. And for those trying to do the math... I am 55 years old and mother had me when she was 40 years old so I have memories of the late 50s onward.

We are getting off course here, but I have to add to it.

I'll be 51 this year. My parents were 42 back in 1961 when I came along.

I remember the white gloves, men wearing hats. In school they wouldn't allow us kids to have their shirts un-tucked. Etc.

My Father in his later years used to lament how people were dressing to go to church in sweat pants etc. He couldn't fathom it in his head why anyone would want to be seen in public like that.

(I am reminded of a Seinfeld episode were Jerry tells George that wearing sweatpants in public tells the world you have just given up.")

My parents by no means had any money when young and dating, but when you see pictures from the late 30's and early 40's they are dressed to the nines to go "Downtown".

Somehow they managed it.

My Mother even while in her 90's, homebound and later in a nursing home would get up every morning and dress nicely, and do her hair and make up.

Wasn't just something to do to pass the time, but she always said "Not only does it make me feel good about myself, you never know if someone will come to the door."

Another thing that struck me while looking at these old photos posted in this thread, is how thin everyone is compared to today.

Edited by Sweepspear (see edit history)
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Har Har. You'd last 5 minutes in Hawaii. Too many jokes about Alabama, so I'll refrain from any comments about genealogy or total tooth count:D

There are plenty of regional and international jokes. We all have to laugh at ourselves but not step over the boundaries of insensitivity and lack of respect for varied individuals no matter who they are.

That said, Hawaii would be one of the exceptions if not for one reason… culture. The "zori" which is a Japanese type flip-flop has been used for centuries (but with socks). I am sure there are many Japanese influences in Hawaii.

The cheap rubber flip-flop we often seen worn by redneck trailer trash… oops…slipped out (and not implying anything), is just a form of laziness. They were supposed to be worn in the shower or sometimes on the beach but definitely not in mixed company or everyday use. Like Dale and Jim, I was brought up with manners. I can show you pictures of me at the city park with my parents in the early 1960s wearing a white shirt and tie! Mother was dressed to the nines. People were more disciplined then and when disciplining children became an issue, so started the downfall of respect for others and the loss of the word civil in civilization. I still open doors for women and older people. I hold up elevators so people can get on. I walk on the street side of the sidewalk so women walk away from cars (goes back to when exhaust pipes were routed out the sides). I say Thank You and Please and I don't cuss (there are words in the English language to use beside filth). And I am not a religious person… just the way I was brought up.

OK… on the Interstate if the sign says 55-mph that is what I do. I have never been in an accident and I have not received a ticket in over 30-years and that was the one and only speeding ticket I ever had. I stay a car length back for every 10 miles per hour (hard to do when people keep cutting in). I use turn signals. I give the right of way to people going straight through an intersection. My front bumper is directly over the white line at a stop and not beyond and I do obey yield and stop signs... and so on. In other words I obey the rules of the road as I was taught some 38 years ago… unlike those who just do their own thing and cause accidents. Again, all ties in to respect not only for yourself but for others.

Edited by X-Frame (see edit history)
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Another thing that struck me while looking at these old photos posted in this thread, is how thin everyone is compared to today.

Of course...back then, there were not many fast food restaurants. Regular restaurants served normal portions (which are ''kids'' menus today), and things mostly were made fresh there in the restaurant. A lot of moms did not work outside the home..their job was running the house, and putting a good meal on the table. My memories as a kid do not include having to go to some activity (sports or otherwise) every day or night...there is too much 'rushing' around these days, and with both parents working (at least before the economy tanked), there isn't the time to make a good meal..."Oh, we'll just grab something at McDonald's" Yuck!

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Also remember when auto shows were something to look forward to? The Motoramas and others? They had beauty contests, bands playing, entertainment on stage, food, the works! I have some more but here is one picture to give an idea of the crowds that come to see cars being paraded on stage. This is from 1952. And one of some 1946 Fords being loaded up for transport.

Eric

post-68778-143138839162_thumb.jpg

post-68778-143138839167_thumb.jpg

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Of course...back then, there were not many fast food restaurants. Regular restaurants served normal portions (which are ''kids'' menus today), and things mostly were made fresh there in the restaurant. A lot of moms did not work outside the home..their job was running the house, and putting a good meal on the table. My memories as a kid do not include having to go to some activity (sports or otherwise) every day or night...there is too much 'rushing' around these days, and with both parents working (at least before the economy tanked), there isn't the time to make a good meal..."Oh, we'll just grab something at McDonald's" Yuck!

What baffles me is that the past couple of generations are technology bound. Technology is supposed to make your life easier and get things done quicker. If that is the case why then is everyone running around with no time to do anything? You should be able to get up in time to sit down at home for a real breakfast, read the newspaper or watch the news, get dressed, and drive to work without acting like a maniac on the run!

Blame parents who do not teach children healthy habits since they don't practice them. It is all about Bigger is Better including fast food. Boils down to us being the most overweight country in the world.

Edited by X-Frame (see edit history)
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Someone posted on another thread some unpublished Life magazine photos of 1949 Fords being shipped under cover for a photo shoot. It shows the measures once people went to for hiding new car introductions. The 1949 Ford was radical for its day.

I did an article about a 1956 Eldorado photo shoot on my blog. Here is one of the pictures from it. That guy unloading the car must have been fearless to unload the car this way. It's only a brand new $6600 (in 56 dollars) Cadillac :eek:

Scan0170_5.jpg

See the rest of the pictures and story here,

1956 Eldorado Biarritz Survivor Roster: Eldorado Body # 1

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What a bi polar thread this has turned into. New cars and flip flops. It's funny how some people will categorize others, based solely upon their dress. Wear flip flops in public (as I, sometimes, do) and you're trailer trash. I do live in a trailer when we go on vacation, but the rest of the time I live in a house with indoor plumbing and everything. I also treat others as I would like to be treated. I don't cheat on my wife or my taxes. I vote. I am a combat veteran. I, also, have not had a ticket in years, even though I ride an absurdly large and loud motorcycle. I am, what you would call, "religious", though I have another term for my beliefs. All of this makes me, IMHO, a pretty regular guy. The big problem, I guess, is my choice of footwear. Damn me to Hell!!!! I'd hate to think of what the, occasional, tank top makes me.

BTW, Show me kid at the park. in the 60s, in a white shirt and tie and I'll show you a kid watching the other kids have fun while he sits on Mommy's lap, holding her skein of yarn

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I have heard about, but never saw the soaped or papered over windows from new model year introductions since they stopped that before I was born. So when did this generally stop?

I can see it being a big deal with the introduction of the 1957 Ford or 1959 Cadillac for example. But would they have done the same for 1956 Fords and Cadillacs? Seems like that would have been kind of a disappointment to have all this hype and then show cars that were not much different from 1955.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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I have heard about, but never saw the soaped or papered over windows from new model year introductions since they stopped that before I was born. So when did this generally stop?

I still remember it in the late 1960s but not much afterwards. Cars were still held until October in the 1970s but it seems like when Ford brought out the LTD things changed. Something in the back of my mind says it was the first model that used the same body virtually unchanged for about 10-years rather than the 3-year cycle of years before.

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I likewise remember the practice of soaped over or papered over windows until the late-1960's.

A local acquaintance, who happens to be the Oldsmobile Club's chief judge, has shared that he saw the unveiling of the first 1950 Buicks at Tacoma's beautiful Mueller-Harkins dealership. The showroom boasts two turntables behind the rounded showroom windows, and he was a young boy standing outside with his father when the papers were torn from the showroom windows. He recalls that the event was highly dramatic and memorable -- as were the cars themselves. Here are some 1950 models in that same showroom at Christmas-time:

rsz_mueller-harkinsa54766-1_original.jpg

Although somewhat off-topic, here is the original architectural model for this remarkable streamline modern dealership structure. Both the model and the building itself still exist, but the building is a candidate for demolition to make way for condominium construction. I dream of being able to purchase and save the building, restoring it to its late-1940's glory.

mh1.jpg

Edited by Centurion (see edit history)
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The showroom boasts two turntables behind the rounded showroom windows, and he was a young boy standing outside with his father when the papers were torn from the showroom windows.

Although somewhat off-topic, here is the original architectural model for this remarkable streamline modern dealership structure. Both the model and the building itself still exist, but the building is a candidate for demolition to make way for condominium construction. I dream of being able to purchase and save the building, restoring it to its late-1940's glory.

Off topic... naw...;)

One of the dealerships I worked at here in Richmond was a Chrysler dealer that had a round showroom with turntable. Those turntable floors are a thing of the past but did make a dramatic showing. Neon signs are also history around here and outlawed as being "distracting". That dealership was torn down to make way for a parking lot.

I wish you could save the building. Do you have an Old and Historic department within the city for building preservation? Or Historical groups? These modernistic building (especially those with deco influences) are almost all gone. Currently there is a school being rebuilt and they tore down several buildings already including pods of completely round buildings where classrooms were. A design you will never see being built again.

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What a bi polar thread this has turned into. New cars and flip flops. It's funny how some people will categorize others, based solely upon their dress. Wear flip flops in public (as I, sometimes, do) and you're trailer trash.

I also occasionally wear flip flops but don’t wear a hat sideways so I’m hoping society accepts me, though I did attend Hershey this year with my shop slippers on. Seems I got wrapped up in getting the 55 ready to drive to the show.

An acquaintance from Scotland sent me these photos from 1964. One appears to be a auto show and another of a small dealer with some very desirable used cars.

post-30758-143138839762_thumb.jpg

post-30758-143138839765_thumb.jpg

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I have heard about, but never saw the soaped or papered over windows from new model year introductions since they stopped that before I was born. So when did this generally stop?

I can see it being a big deal with the introduction of the 1957 Ford or 1959 Cadillac for example. But would they have done the same for 1956 Fords and Cadillacs? Seems like that would have been kind of a disappointment to have all this hype and then show cars that were not much different from 1955.

__________________________________________________________________

In the L.A. area in the 50's & 60's the method of cover-up was three fold. Dealers would paper up windows and paint the paper with new car slogans. Some would paint the glass with new car slogans and water base paint-water soluble, which could be washed off. Some dealers had figured out the best looking-cheaper in the long run method which I saw in long established Cadillac and Oldsmobile dealers. That method was to run full draw curtains the entire glass span of the showroom. After the induction the curtains would be drawn back out of the way.

D.

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Even though I was also close to the rail yards, ours was mainly coal and not sure where they unloaded the cars? I do remember though seeing new car carriers with cars covered with tarps and such to hide them. (Think carriers are also a thing of the past). I did find one storage yard for Cadillac to get my early peeks. Then went to Rich's Chicken, got my 2-piece wing box box and threw a coin in the jukebox and back on my bike I went. The last time for that I remember was 1969.

___________________________________________________________________

My latest car , (and all my cars) came from the factory by rail to a distribution center loaded on a car carrier transport truck (open type) to the dealer, well almost all- with my VW's there was a ship in-between all that. My new car had plastic applied to the paint for protection and plastic coverings on the seats and floor, we watched the driver unload the car. We drove the car home that way to do the prep work ourselves ( no buffing machines please and thank you ) I love doing a car this way and it gives me a thrill.

By the way this all happened last Friday and the car now has about 150 miles:)

D.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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__________________________________________________________________

In the L.A. area in the 50's & 60's the method of cover-up was three fold. Dealers would paper up windows and paint the paper with new car slogans. Some would paint the glass with new car slogans and water base paint-water soluble, which could be washed off. Some dealers had figured out the best looking-cheaper in the long run method which I saw in long established Cadillac and Oldsmobile dealers. That method was to run full draw curtains the entire glass span of the showroom. After the induction the curtains would be drawn back out of the way.

D.

The suspense build up also gave salesmen an opportunity to invite their customers to a private showing, usually 24 hours before the official unavailing. Of course today one would be hard pressed to find the same sales staff in a dealership next week much less next year.

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I likewise remember the practice of soaped over or papered over windows until the late-1960's.

A local acquaintance, who happens to be the Oldsmobile Club's chief judge, has shared that he saw the unveiling of the first 1950 Buicks at Tacoma's beautiful Mueller-Harkins dealership. The showroom boasts two turntables behind the rounded showroom windows, and he was a young boy standing outside with his father when the papers were torn from the showroom windows. He recalls that the event was highly dramatic and memorable -- as were the cars themselves. Here are some 1950 models in that same showroom at Christmas-time:

rsz_mueller-harkinsa54766-1_original.jpg

Although somewhat off-topic, here is the original architectural model for this remarkable streamline modern dealership structure. Both the model and the building itself still exist, but the building is a candidate for demolition to make way for condominium construction. I dream of being able to purchase and save the building, restoring it to its late-1940's glory.

mh1.jpg

___________________________________________________________________

Not off topic at all!!! A beautiful building, maybe you can get your historical society to have a look. Takes me back, Christmas time 1949 with new 1950 Buick's in the showroom. Great art deco building..... THANKS FOR POSTING!

Don

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Although somewhat off-topic, here is the original architectural model for this remarkable streamline modern dealership structure. Both the model and the building itself still exist, but the building is a candidate for demolition to make way for condominium construction. I dream of being able to purchase and save the building, restoring it to its late-1940's glory.

There is probably no one on the planet that is a bigger lover of Art Deco buildings than myself and I hate to see any of them destroyed. On the other hand, the problem facing any owner of such a building is returning it to being productive. The cost of bringing many old buildings up to code is absolutely prohibitive and often too costly to amortize out over many years. Then there is the issue of what usage? The current nature of consumer traffic and parking often limit the anticipation of return on investment.

As beautiful as that car dealership building may have been in its day, there is no way it would again work as a car dealership because the manufacturers demand a high traffic, high visibility location on some darn freeway. Classic car dealer, maybe but could they afford the rent? Parceling out space to a number of tenants would ruin the overall look of such a building. All sad, but all true.

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I still remember it in the late 1960s but not much afterwards. Cars were still held until October in the 1970s but it seems like when Ford brought out the LTD things changed. Something in the back of my mind says it was the first model that used the same body virtually unchanged for about 10-years rather than the 3-year cycle of years before.

I don't think the LTD was any different than any other car of the 1970s. The 1970 Camaro body lasted 11 years, and the 1967 AMC Ambassador body lasted 11 years too. Many other newly introduced car bodies had similarly long lives (1967 Dart, 1971 Satellite sedan, 1968 Nova, etc.).

What changed was a widening awareness that the cars that didn't change materially year-to-year also didn't change qualitatively in an age of declining quality. Those that did change rarely improved in quality, and (especially in the 1970s) usually suffered badly from unnecessary change. In other words when you're not building a new kid of car every year you learn how to build the one you are building better. Volkswagen made a major virtue of not changing for change's sake. Other cars duplicated this tack to a lesser extent (not wanting to be selling a dated design like VW was in the 1970s), notably Japanese, German, and Swedish cars.

Meanwhile in the 1970s those cars that did change every year seemed to get incrementally worse with each change. I can't remember a single American car of 1974/1975/1976 that was held in as high esteem as the same/equivalent models of 1967/1968/1969. And before the ever-popular "Blame It On The Government" bandwagon gets drug back out of the barn bear in mind that this phenomena is in stark contrast to the German and Japanese cars of those 2 periods. You'd be VERY hard pressed to find a Mercedes/BMW/Toyota/Datsun/etc. buyer of 1977 to opine that the same car made in 1967 was better. The person who bought a Plymouth in 1977 would almost certainly NOT be in the same category.

Once it became near gospel that next year's car would not be as good as last year's car, celebrating the new cars' arrival took on a very different subtext.

The dealers of the 1970s were not unaware of this. They often sold imports (or captive imports) right along with the American cars that were suffering so. Once it became obvious that people weren't buying the "Next year's car is better!" vibe any more, playing games with big revelations of the new year's models became counter-productive at best.

I know after my father's experience with a 1976 Dodge Aspen and the 1977 Buick Estate Wagon that replaced it, I lost all interest in model year changes. So did he. I don't think either one of us has bought a car in it's first year of production since, not even when we both bought Priuses.

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I don't think the LTD was any different than any other car of the 1970s.

Once it became near gospel that next year's car would not be as good as last year's car, celebrating the new cars' arrival took on a very different subtext.

Dave. On the LTD subject I think X frame was talking about LTD's of 1965.

On the other subject your absolutely correct, once we found out that next years cars were going to have less compression, ugly safety bumpers, , less performance options, engine size reductions and the big killer in 1975 catalytic converters, many car enthusiasts went out and bought the last years model.

D.

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On the other subject your absolutely correct, once we found out that next years cars were going to have less compression, ugly safety bumpers, , less performance options, engine size reductions and the big killer in 1975 catalytic converters, many car enthusiasts went out and bought the last years model.

D.

..........and I wonder who's ideas they were?:eek::eek::eek:

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The biggest thrill was 1st glimpse of a big style change. I remember an early sunny morning in Sept. 1955. A carrier full of pink, tourquoise, yellow 56 Lincolns appeared "lost" on Main St. Fitchburg. WOW! what are those? I thought.

Another thing I miss. Today's colors are bland earth tones. The colors of the 1950s-early 1960s were bright and cheerful. One of my favorites is what some call "Iris". Think the 1956 Lincoln called their version Amethyst?

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....once we found out that next years cars were going to have less compression, ugly safety bumpers, , less performance options, engine size reductions and the big killer in 1975 catalytic converters, many car enthusiasts went out and bought the last years model.

D.

The catalytic converters of 1975 were (IMHO) actually a major improvement over the typical 1974 emissions package. Performance and mileage improved that year for the first time in at least 5 years for most cars, because other emissions equipment could be scaled back while the converter took up the slack. They necessitated the use of unleaded gas for the first time, but that was an important improvement all on it's own anyway.

But all of that was beside the point anyway.

Mostly though it wasn't the performance or safety equipment that turned people off. It was the severe decline in quality. A 1976 Dodge Dart* did not compare in any way to a 1967 Dodge Dart in assembly quality or longevity, even though they were basically the same car. The average motorist (as opposed to us cognoscenti) didn't give a rat's patoot that his station wagon was a second or two slower in the quarter mile than last year, or couldn't slalom as well with the added weight of this year's new 5 mph bumpers. However when he started to spend WAY more time and money with Mr. Goodwrench than he used to....

..., well by then it was GAME OVER.:(

=====================

*I had a good friend in college whose (brand new) 4 door 1975 Dart had paint runs on both interior panels covering the inside B-pillar that were so big (4-5" at least) they had a dozen or so air bubbles in them. I'd like to see the AACA judging point deduction for a car missing those runs! ;)

Edited by Dave@Moon
forgot one asterisk (see edit history)
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