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Vintage dealership buildings that are still around


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Studebaker Building
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The Studebaker Building (also known as the USGS Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies) is a historic site in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is located at 600 4th Street South. On July 5, 1985, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1925, the Studebaker Building is historically significant for its association with the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s and the relationship of the automobile industry and suburbanization. The building symbolizes the importance of the Studebaker automobile within that industry in the 1920s, particularly the Peninsular Motor Company of southwest Florida, the fourth largest Studebaker dealer in volume in the country by 1925. When the building opened, the company was the fourth largest Studebaker dealer in the world. The company employed 300 people, with 56 working in St. Petersburg's showroom. However, by 1926 the Peninsular Motor Company went bankrupt as a result of the collapse of the boom, and the Studebaker Building was closed.[2]

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From around 1928-32 this building in Pittsfield MA was McConnel Motors Inc a Dodge Brothers dealership where my panel truck was originally delivered to. To the left would have been the service station that was owned by Walter McConnel also.

 

I've contacted a local historian there in Pittsfield MA who just happened to go to high school with the man that owns the body shop today. 

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Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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Wunnerful - wunnerful !!  Those 60’s Pontiac dealerships have me lusting for those Poncho brutes in and around the building.  Those were the days ...

 

The big outdoor neon dealership signs are tops too.

 

And lastly, those buildings sure looked better as a home to those GM pavement-rippers then they do today.  

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This post and topic just keeps getting better and better! what a way to start the new year off RIGHT! 

If the weather ever gets warmer again and it stays dry, I hope to do a walking tour of NY City ( not all of it (!) but part of it) to view the buildings that were built for automobile use but now are home to other businesses. Most of the buildings I am looking into were built pre WWII. I came up with the idea and mentioned it to Richard Lentinello of Hemmings Classic Car magazine and he was all for it and it is still planned , but it will now occur sometime in the Spring as this past Fall was to wet to make it happen . I will let all know when we see some clearer, warmer weather.

WG

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It's especially interesting to see the "Then" and "Now"

pictures together, to see what has happened to the buildings.

 

Just as we like to see antique cars preserved in their

original design--not updated and modified--it's especially

satisfying when the historical buildings are kept in their

original design.

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Southeast corner of Roanoke Avenue and Middle Road in Riverhead, New York. Now office space, was a foreign car repair shop in the 1980s and, from the markings, a Studebaker facility sometime prior to that.   Perhaps someone else knows the details about the dealership.

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On 1/3/2019 at 12:47 AM, Joe in Canada said:

Seen this building outside of Hershey in 2013 but do not remember where. Was D. K. Wissler company name and a Hudson and Essex dealer as you can read in the pains of glass  I posted this photo in the past.

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This is in Lebanon, Pa., near Hershey.

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Dry Gulch Motors.  A Ford dealership in Estes Park, CO.  The Model A club was there to celebrate the grand opening, which appears to be in the mid-sixties.  I do see a 1965 Ford station wagon in the lot in this file photo.  

 

It was still a Ford dealership in 1970 when I first spotted it.  We just went by it in November, still standing but now an ATV related business.

 

 

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Edited by Uncle_Buck (see edit history)
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Great to see the pics from the era before car dealers need 50 acres to be successful.  There are still some buildings around here that used to be Dealerships. When the weather warms and the Plymouths come out I will try to get some photos It seems that here in Ne.Illinois that the plan is once again to destroy the old and install the new modern buildings instead  of reusing.

Edited by plymouthcranbrook (see edit history)
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The Anderson-Overland Company was built in 1924-25 in Anderson, SC, as an Overland dealership and was later Olds-Cadillac, Buick,

AMC, then Datsun/British-Leyland. Designed by local architects Casey and Fant, in 1981 it became storage for a car repair shop,

and fortunately its original tri-fold showroom  doors survive for the building's future restoration.

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There are mezzanine level offices, with access by a ramp from the showroom, street level to an unfettered upstairs space with

parking for about a dozen cars. Three of us AACA'ers use the building for car storage and light repairs.

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The AACA Library & Research Center's 1955 Chevy Bookmobile shared this upstairs space for many years before its 2011 donation.

Here she is making a Rip Van Winkle-like debut coming down the ramp after years of slumber.

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It's a pretty cool place, and an amazing survivor!

TG    

Edited by TG57Roadmaster (see edit history)
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Leonard Evans Chrysler-Plymouth, Wenatchee WA, since about 1963. I couldn't find an early picture. Outside of the addition of some blue awnings, it looks very much like it did in the 60s and 70s.

 

They dropped Chrysler in the late 70s, became a used car dealership, picked up Hyundai for a while in the 80s or 90s, dropped Hyundai and today are selling used cars again.

 

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The building is still the same blue and white it was decades ago. Those are even the same signs. The one on the left used to have another divider and had "Chrysler" and "Plymouth" where it says cars now.

 

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To this day, I see diecast license frames like this on late model cars. They even use same font as the ones from the 60s, the main difference being that these have painted lettering and the old ones were reflectorized.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, TG57Roadmaster said:

 

The Anderson-Overland Company was built in 1924-25 in Anderson, SC, as an Overland dealership and was later Olds-Cadillac, Buick,

AMC, then Datsun/British-Leyland. Designed by local architects Casey and Fant, in 1981 it became storage for a car repair shop,

and fortunately its original tri-fold showroom  doors survive for the building's future restoration.

There are mezzanine level offices, with access by a ramp from the showroom, street level to an unfettered upstairs space with

parking for about a dozen cars. Three of us AACA'ers use the building for car storage and light repairs.

1680449453_8720081XT.thumb.jpg.77978d4953ee45057f327ad7743d1ad6.jpg

 

 

What a cool place to store cars!   That's amazing.  And I love the '60 Buick and '48 Cadillac -- two beautifully designed cars. (The Pontiac is nice, too.)

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Out for a drive and this place sucked my Lincoln off the road like it was a giant magnet.  No signs of life, but well cared for and looks like it is somebody's play shop.  After a fair amount of searching upon my return home I was pleasantly surprised to find that in its day it was a Lincoln dealership!

 

Credit here for the era photo:

 

https://www.lykensvalley.org/millersburg-witmer-motors-1957/

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by W_Higgins (see edit history)
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Townsend was the closest Pontiac dealer to me when in my high school years (class of ‘67).  Oh how we drooled over those big-inch Poncho’s in that very showroom.

 

Tri-Power, Wide-Track, 8 lug wheels, Catalina 2+2, Bonneville, Grand Prix, GTO.

 

Bring ‘em all back !!

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On 1/1/2019 at 10:28 PM, 1935Packard said:

I was thinking tonight about vintage dealership buildings that still exist, either still being used as car dealerships or preserved but being used for other purposes.

 

The thought was inspired by driving past the Howard Motor Company building, on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California, right on the Rose Bowl Parade route this morning.  The building was built in 1927 as a Buick dealership.  In1938, it became a Packard dealership until the late 50s. In 1996 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  It's now vacant, and lights were on inside letting me see some details inside. Here's an outside shot, with apologies for all the Rose-Bowl-Parade-route trash on the ground: 

 

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And here's a shot of the interior from the front door area:

 

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And a picture up close of the entrance: 

 

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What a freakin' cool piece of history, I would love to go see this. 

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