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In 1956, my dad went with my grandpa to pick up a new 1956 Special from a local Buick dealership.  That summer, grandpa & grandma and 6 kids (my dad being the youngest) went on a road trip from Lansing, Michigan to Yellowstone.  US 16 originally connected Detroit with Yellowstone, including a ferry link across Lake Michigan.  Much of the road from Muskegon to Detroit was known as Grand River Avenue.  In Muskegon, the Milwaukee Clipper would take you across the lake and US 16 would continue to take you all the way to Yellowstone, and that is exactly what they did.  Route 16 across Michigan was originally an old Indian trail and was decommissioned in the early 1960s.  Today, only a short piece of US 16 still exists between Rapid City, SD and Yellowstone.

 

I told you that story to tell you this one:

 

Dad recently picked up a 'Buick Magazine' dated November, 1955.  Flipping through the pages, he noticed this awesome shot of a Buick dealership at night.  Looking closer, he even found some clues as to where this dealership is!  Note the US 16 and Oakfield signs in the detail of the image.  Dad did a Google search for "Grand River & Oakfield" and found it to be in the Detroit area.  Going to Street View, he found that the building still stands!  The big windows are covered or removed, but there are still some architectural clues visible that say this is indeed the same building.

 

I'm curious if anyone here can provide more details about the history of this dealership...

 

Sorry, Mr. Earl.  I just realized I was going to title this thread 'Show Us Your Backstory... US 16'  ;)

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Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

It also appears the street light that holds the route 16 sign has not been replaced.     

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It also appears the street light that holds the route 16 sign has not been replaced.     

 

I wondered about that, but it looks like the street lights have been moved.  Note that in the vintage photo, the light is behind the fire plug.  In the Google Streetview images, the concrete behind the hydrant is obviously newer than the rest, and the lamp is on the other side.

 

I did a little more digging and found this thread that has a little more info on the dealership, including this image:

 

137288.jpg

 

Of course, once I had the name, I found that this same image was included in the January 2011 Bugle.

 

I also found this image here (there's some good bits in the comments on that page), where the dealership appears to be Bob Armstrong Buick:

grandriverDetroit1965_1000.jpg

 

What I glean from this photo is that the current light poles seem to carry some of the same style & feel as the originals, but the ones that stand today are not simply relocated, they have been replaced.

 

Also note that the vertical sign over the front door has been replaced with one that has the modern block letters & tri-shield.

 

Even though I have 2 names to attach to this dealership, these images are about all I've come up with so far.

Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)

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With my father's dealers ship each model year we took rolls of brown paper, and covered the showroom windows.  Then on announcement day we removed such, the front glass wrap around wall was huge, so folks at night could WINDOW SHOP.  Floor to ceiling glass panels.

 

Often I went with dad on the GM&O train to Chicago to pick up a new model year car, and that was at night so we could sneak it in our garage at home until announcement day.  OH, DIM WERE THE GOOD OLE DAYS.

 

Folks LOVED announcement day, dealers were not allowed to sell or show a car until that date. I recall the first FITTY FO we picked up, it was a Roadmaster 4 door, with built in roof small windshield sun visor/over hang.  I never like that treatment, to me it was a bug, and wind catcher, I wanted better air flow, I was 17 at the time, but into cars heavy. 

 

Dale in Indy

Edited by smithbrother (see edit history)

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 Very neat story. The other curious thing is that my wife's maiden name is Haney, don't think that there is any relation though, but its' certainly an interesting coincidence.

 Keith

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Very neat story. The other curious thing is that my wife's maiden name is Haney, don't think that there is any relation though, but its' certainly an interesting coincidence.

 Keith

We knew a Haney family in Charlotte, MI, too, but I didn't suspect any relation (but can't rule it out, I suppose)...

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