My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ABC Wednesday: O is for Oldsmobile (and Other Old cars!)

Just a block or two from the house we're currently renting is an old service station that is now (or was?) a pinstriping shop. I've never seen any signs of life there, but apparently they collect(ed) old cars to practice on. That's my theory, anyway, since every jalopy parked around the place (and there are many, from the early 1900s to the 1970s) have newer pinstriping on them, no matter their overall condition. As soon as I spied this place on our first walk around the neighborhood with the dogs, before even moving in, I knew it offered an abundance of great photo ops. I couldn't wait till ABC Wednesday got around to V (for vintage), so O for Old it is... and it just happens that the first car you see out in front of the shop is a mid-1950's Oldsmobile "Olds 88"...

Circa 1953 Olds 88 and a 1962 Cadillac DeVille.
Here is a restored 1953 Olds 88 for comparison

Oldsmobile's ringed globe logo (to stress its "universal appeal") 
above the grille

trunk hatch

Considered the fastest car on the market in its day,
1950s Olds 88s had a look suggesting jet propulsion - 
right down to their rocket taillights.

Cadillac's famous fins from the 1950s and '60s.
This 1962 DeVille was manufactured the same year I was, 
but I'd like to think I've aged a bit more gracefully! ;-)
(Click here to see a restored model)

Getting even more old school, a 1941 Pontiac Streamliner, 
which had an MSRP of $984 that year.
I've always called this style, with its "torpedo body," a gangster car!

Pontiac stopped manufacturing cars for the general population
from 1943-1945, when it produced WWII armaments instead.

The Pontiac's grille
I was re-reading Stephen King's "Christine" at the time I took these,
and was glad I wasn't staring down a 1958 Plymouth Fury! LOL!

Closeup of the hood's Chief Pontiac (aka Indian Head) logo, 
which was discontinued in 1957.

This jalopy was so deteriorated that identification was impossible. 
But these wood spoke wheels are classic old school. 

Speaking of old school, check out the gas pump on the right.
Notice it could only tally a fuel purchase in "cents per gallon!"

Happy motoring! ;-)

Take a spin on over to...

for more original interpretations of O!


  1. What goes around comes around don't you think? Vintage is certainly fahionable right now - if only we knew now just think how many vintage items we could have kept.

    thanks so much
    Denise ABC Team

  2. Oldies, but goodies! Gotta love it, Laloofah. Wonderful post of your finds! My first jalopy when I was a kid was an old '46 DeSoto, so some of these bring back the memories of rescuing parts from the junkyard.

  3. a veritable ORGY of old cars! outstanding.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. Love the streamline Pontiac! The old cars have so much character!

  5. Love anything old, especial cars! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. Fun post, Laurie! I would have definitely taken pictures of them all, too. Love the fins. They just don't make them like that anymore!

  7. What a find on your own doorstep. Love those close up views. I now know a whole lot more about old cars, what gems
    Joy - ABC Team

  8. What's pinstriping? I has visions of cars in smart suits!
    Jane x

  9. Cool old cars; they had some fun styles. It'll be fun to watch them as they "do them up" and see what they look like after.

  10. Great photos. My first car was a 56 Chevy. Very old compared to all the other kids at school but it always started! Great O. Blessings, Debbie

  11. The usual awesome and Outrageous post. I loved your O's. And I agree with you about the gangster car. It couldn't be anything else except an Outlaw's vehicle.

  12. Denise ~ I remember my horror at seeing a metal dollhouse for sale in an antique store several years ago that was identical to the new one I'd had as a child! So yeah, what goes around comes around and I probably should have hung onto that dollhouse (I did hang onto my Matchbox cars, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs), but you can't drag everything through life hoping it will be a hot item on Antiques Road Show someday, I guess! :-)

    raf ~ Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! That's fun that you drove a classic vintage car when you were a kid! I looked up photos to see what a '46 DeSoto looked like - what a cool looking car!

    Roger ~ O my, "Orgy" hadn't Occurred to me! :-)

    Jeannette ~ The Pontiac was my favorite too! Seems a shame it's just sitting there in Wyoming's weather, deteriorating more each day. There are a lot of people in this town who restore old cars as a hobby - wish one of them would rescue it. I agree that those old cars have a lot of character!

    Chubskulit ~ There were some treasures among the heaps of unidentifiable metal for sure!

    Stephani ~ You're welcome, thanks for returning the favor!

  13. Molly ~ Thanks, Molly! It was fun - a little eerie, but fun - to poke around all those old cars in that mysteriously abandoned-seeming place. They have an ancient-looking bank vault there too, and goodness knows what sorts of stuff might be inside the garage building! You'd have fun there. A friend of mine in the AF collected old Cadillacs and restored them - he'd usually have one or two going at a time and he drove one that he'd finished. I loved to go cruising in it with him, and it was especially fun to go to the Sonic Drive-In - felt like I should have been wearing a poodle skirt and listening to "Blueberry Hill" on the radio! I asked him once why it was just '50s and '60's Cadillacs with him, and he said it was all about those fins! :-)

    Joy ~ I learned a lot in putting this post together, too! My husband, a motor head from his youth, even discovered a car he hadn't known about before as I was looking things up online. It was fun, and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the visit!

    Jane ~ LOL - some of their gangster drivers might have worn such suits back in the day, but the cars have been getting dressed up in this.

    Rose ~ I wish that's what was happening there, but the entire place seems to be abandoned! It's only a block over so I walk and bike past there a lot, and there has never been any sign of life. There's a newer looking sign on the door that says, "Joe's Pinstriping" (or whatever, can't remember the exact name) and a light is always on over the door, but the place is clearly mothballed. We just discovered yesterday that some long-time friends of ours live just around the corner and have for years, so I'll have to ask them if they know anything about the place!

    BW often delivers parts to a few guys on his route that restore old cars as a hobby, and he always enjoys watching those cars transform over the months or years until one day they're in the annual Rod Race vintage car show, all shiny and beautiful again.

    Deborah Kay ~ You can't get any more classic than a '56 Chevy! I think it's really fun that you (and raf) drove classic old cars when you were kids! I'll bet your friends enjoyed riding with you!

    Ellie C ~ Thanks, and kudos to you for coming up with "Outlaw" for the gangster car! You're always so good at that! :-)

  14. These "classic" cars are always so interesting to see. Full of more character and style than today's models (in my opinion). We used to have a '36 Pontiac street rod. It was fun to drive around town! Great shots for O-day.

  15. AHA!! I call those "go faster" strips!
    Jane x

  16. Lisa ~ I think so too. But you never know, maybe 60 - 80 years from now, today's models will be getting the same reaction from people that these cars are getting from us now! Your '36 Pontiac street rod sounds awesome! I think I've seen one in our local classic auto shows. Another fun "gangster" car! :-)

    Jane ~ Well yeah, if you want to go all technical jargon on me! ;-)

  17. They just don't make tailights like they used to ;-).

  18. Spud ~ Nope, not at all! (Nor grills nor fenders nor cool hood ornaments. Except for Jaguar. :-)

    Speaking of which, there is a car in town - a black Ford Five Hundred just like our former car Fiona (who gets a mention in the post after this one) - whose owner put a Mercedes Benz hood ornament on it! LOL!


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