I’m a real sucker for old car pictures. And nothing captures the feel of old cars more than the places they were sold new.
When you look back at old car dealership photos, you’re not just looking at a few cars parked around a building. You’re looking at someone’s hopes and dreams. You’re looking at history before it happened. Someone may have saved their whole life to purchase the thing you’re looking at there. Maybe it ended up driving them to their wedding. Maybe someone eventually died in that car.
If you look at a group of pictures like those below, you have to wonder if any of these cars even exist anymore. Did you own one? Did your parents? Has it been completely recycled into something else by now? Is it rotting in a field somewhere? Or maybe it’s that trophy winner you saw at the car show last year.
There are lots of old pictures on the Internet, but I’m here to tell you, unless you’ve been rummaging through my junk room, you’ve never seen these before. This group of pictures was taken by Chevrolet district managers, mostly in the 1960s, and stored at the Omaha Zone Office until it closed in 1986. I still have lots of these original old photos in my collection, and I thought I’d share them with anyone that’s interested.
These dealerships were all right around Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota. There are a few of the ornate structures that most people think of–the cool brick, glass enclosed, art-deco corner buildings. But in the rural Midwest in the early 1960s, Chevrolets could be sold out of a gas station or under a grain silo. Some of what make these interesting is the contrast in facilities and approaches dealers took to move the merchandise.
Some of these dealers are still in business today, albeit in more modern digs. Many of them are long gone. But all of them paint a picture of what it was like to see your new car 45-years ago.
If the picture was labeled with any clues on the dealership name or whereabouts, I was sure to include that information in the caption. If you know anything about these places, feel free to share your stories in the comments section below the slideshow.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. If you’re into old cars, or just history in general, I think there is quite a bit here to study and think about.
CLICK ON THE SLIDESHOW BELOW TO SEE EXCLUSIVE EXAMINER PHOTOS OF CHEVROLET DEALERSHIPS FROM THE EARLY 1960s.
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