An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Used Car Sales Lots – Have We Got A Deal For You

Today’s feature contains press advertising photos for the Greenville Reflector newspaper of new and used car dealerships taken in Greenville, NC. The City is located in the Eastern part of the state fairly close to the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean coast.

The lead photo taken in late 1957 or in ’58 from the Jenkins new car dealership building across the street shows the Jenkins Motor Company used car lot.

An enlargeable view of the Tidewater Motors used car sales lot below, is dated by the source to the fall of 1955. This sales operation apparently was also a part of a Ford dealership as a new 1956 Ford sedan is visible in the front row. Note the accessories added to the late model Ford four-door sedan parked on the left. Both sales operations were located in Greenville.

Share with us what you find of interest in the photos courtesy of the East Carolina University Collections.

16 responses to “Used Car Sales Lots – Have We Got A Deal For You

  1. In the lead photo I see a likely ’49 Studebaker Champion along the back fence, seen to the right of a ’57 Ford F-100. Of interest in the lot, a ’53 Plymouth sedan next to a ’52 Olds if I’m detecting a single “tooth” in the grille, otherwise it’s a ’51. In the street, appears to be a ’52 Buick Special Riviera.

    In Photo 2 of 2, the dark sedan in the distance on the far left resembles a ’53 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe sedan…except for the extreme wraparound bumper. That has me baffled.

    Up front from the right there’s a ’54 Mercury Monterey HT, a ’53 Olds 88 sedan, a ’53 Ford Fordor, a ’53 Pontiac Catalina, a ’56 Ford Customline Tudor, a ’56 F-100 and a ’55 Pontiac Chieftain, apparently a 2-dr sedan with its taller roof vs a hardtop.
    In the street the Ford is a ’52 Customline Fordor with a very embellished hood emblem and a two-tone job similar to that offered on a Meteor.

  2. In the lead photograph, parked on the street, is a two-tone 1952 BUICK Super Riviera, which besides missing its hub-caps has a front tire in trouble.

      • Jenkins probably wasn’t delighted to take in a 7-8 year old Studebaker in trade since its retail value was only $170 by the NADA Used Car Guide for February 1957. But, they could advertise it as a price special, only $5 down, $5 a week like so many did then with back lot cars.

          • $1,500 is about what a current new car dealer would price the back lot cars he keeps to use as a price come on. One difference from back then, orphan makes such as Studebaker lost their resale value very quickly, were relegated to the back lot of Big Three dealers virtually the second time they were traded in. Or shunted off to the used car auctions for small independent used car dealers to handle.

  3. I enjoy pictures of vintage car lots the most. The 1st pic, people were sure in a rush to unload their 55’s and 56’s for that new ’58 Ford, like on the billboard. Which is odd, I think it’s a different Ford dealer. I think the 58 with it’s quad headlights really signified a truly modern car. The trucks are new 58’s, and many times, new trucks were stored at the used car lot, the bigger ones, cab and frame only, are probably F500’s, destined for a stake bed or box. That’s how they came from the factory, and the customer decided what to put on it. The 2 tone F100 Styleside pickups, I believe may have been a special fancy model with that paint scheme. A ’57 pickup, with it’s outdated single headlights, sits off to the side. 2 leftover 57 Fords, probably couldn’t give them away. And the lowly Studebaker trade-in way in the back. That’s what I’d come home with.
    Bottom pic, I’ll take the Mercury.

    • The billboard is for the John Flanagan Buggy Company, which was started by the eponymous Mr. Flanagan in 1866 and moved to Greenville in 1868. His son Edward took it over in 1902, and in 1914 it became a Ford, Buick, and Oakland dealership. The franchise was sold in ’58 and their building at Fourth and Cotanche was razed in 1966-67.

    • I noticed that, too. My father bought two of the cars of my childhood — a ’63 Impala wagon and a ’69 Buick Sportwagon — from someone who traded in his car every two years. Perhaps it’s an indication that cars didn’t last as long back then. If you put 40,000 miles on it in two years, it was reaching the point where things could start to go wrong.

  4. That 1955 Ford Town Sedan 2 door on the front line is identical to my first high school car purchased used 1960 for $600.00. I always loved Chevys but they were always more popular and priced a couple hundred dollars more model for model.

  5. The top photo’s ’58 Ford billboard shows a new jet airliner (I can’t tell from the photo whether it’s a Boeing 707 or Douglas DC-8) , which weren’t in service yet, the height of modernity.

    The new Ford pickups look just like my first Tonka toys…circa 1960 (when they were still heavy steel with rubber tires).

  6. And that big neon Ford sign right in our face in pic one…that would have such a good home at my house ! That 56 Ford wagon on the right is a two door I believe, so I would be all messed up trying to choose whether to take it, the 57 two door “post” car or perhaps the hardtop GM coupe behind the MOPAR sedan home. Great photo !

  7. That ’54 Mercury on the far right in the third picture is soo nice! It just jumps out at you compared with all the other used cars on the lot. I could be wrong, but judging by its top I think it is one of those fairly rare Sun Valley models which makes it even more desirable looking. Probably not still around today though, as they turned out to be none too popular with the public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *