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Sid Luckman's Chrysler-Plymouth Dealership in Chicago, IL

Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 247

Today’s lead image contains a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership photographed in the early 1950s operated by Sid Luckman, a well-known sports figure at the time. Share with us what you find of interest here.

As is the usual practice in this series, we ask our readers to tell us the year, make, and model of all of these vehicles along with anything else of interest in the photos. You can look back on all the earlier parts of this series here. The photos are via This Was Americar.

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  • These vehicles are definitely “Not” their “Father’s Oldsmobiles.”

Buick Wildcat concept car

  •  One of the popular concept cars on the national show circuit in the 1950s. 

1959 Chevrolet

  • Photo without caption.

54 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 247

    • I hadn’t noticed that. It’s a fine looking car. Looks like there was a Nash Dealership right next to the larger Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. Strange how Chrysler would pair it most expensive brand with that of its lowest. A big contrast from GM’s strategy which encouraged buyers to move up in the price range, or that of Ford’s pairing of Lincoln with Mercury, but I guess it worked out alright for them sales wise.

      • Plymouth was also sold in Dodge and DeSoto dealers for more exposure. It wasn’t until DeSoto’s demise, that Plymouth would get it’s own dealers.

      • I believe it had to do with volume. Chrysler’s lack of it would have made it hard for many dealers to exist as a standalone. Pairing with Plymouth ensured there would be little consideration by customers of saving a few bucks on a bottom line Chrysler by buying a Plymouth instead. Against a Dodge the difference might not have seemed as clear cut. That’s my guess at least.

      • As of the late 50s there were three Plymouth dealers within a three block radius in West Allis, Wisconsin. Hub Chrysler-Plymouth on 60th and National, Burbach Desoto-Plymouth on 62nd and National and Doering Dodge-Plymouth on 63rd and Greenfield. The Plymouth competition must have been cut-throat.

      • Plymouth was paired with Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler franchises from the beginning to give each a low-priced car to compete with Ford and Chevrolet and others. WPC was building his version of the Sloan brand ladder, understood that no dealer in solely mid-priced cars was likely to have enough business to succeed. Plymouth would help dealers build volume and a loyal customer base. Moving the customer up to more expensive makes as his financial status improved was a tried-and-true method then.

      • Interesting observation. The photo though looks like it was taken around ’51 or ’52. So I think it more likely that it is a Chrysler product car, not sure what make however.

    • A friend did an image search on the Oldsmobile photo.
      It’s from LIFE magazine, the cars all have CA plates and they were affiliated with the NHRA.

  1. I do recall when new cars got too big for old garages. Even our 48 Chevy had a front fender scrape from great grandads model T garage.

  2. The row of proud Olds 88 owners is interesting. at least one of each year represented up to `57 (Except no `54s)! It seems they formed some sort of driving/racing club. The show car on the turn table is GM’s `55 Buick Wildcat II. The image of Sid Lukman’s Chrysler-Plymouth dealership appears to have been taken in 1953, based on the Chrysler seen facing the street on the show floor. Lots of late-model trade-ins out front!

  3. While the 1st pic inspired the “Rice-a-Roni” theme, Sid Luckman Motors was in Chicago on Ogden Ave. The “Blatz” beer sign on the trolley was the giveaway. I wonder if he sold Nash too, or a separate dealer. 2nd pic, is an Oldsmobile club called “Alpha Brothers”. Not much else is found. Can’t find much on the concept car either. One thing for sure, there were a lot of concept cars in the 50’s. I’d say a Buick something? And last I find humorous. This scene played out all across America. Cars by the late 50’s had grown considerable, and the garages were still built for Model A’s. My neighbor as a kid, had a 1960 Olds, 4 door, and the back quarter stuck out of the garage.

    • Howard, can you explain the “Rice-a-Roni” reference? Remember, it’s the “San Francisco treat!” I don’t see the connection to Chicago.

    • Howard. You have me puzzled. Help me out, please. You say …”Sid Luckman Motors was in Chicago on Ogden Ave. The “Blatz” beer sign on the trolley was the giveaway.” How does the Blatz sign lead to the conclusion the dealer was on Ogden in Chicago? Tell me what I’m missing here.

    • Not just an ordinary quarterback, but a Hall of Fame quarterback who, during his 12 seasons with the Bears led them to four NFL championships.

    • Sheesh, tough crowd. Before I looked up where Sid Luckman was,( never heard of him) trolley cars always remind me of the Rice-a-Roni commercial, and Blatz was pretty much a midwest regional beer. I didn’t think a San Francisco trolley would have a Blatz beer sign.

      • How about an orange Milwaukee (I’m from Milwaukee and I ought to know, it’s Blatz, Blatz, Blatz beer, where ever you go, smoother refreshing less filling it’s clear, Blatz is Milwaukee’s finest beer. I would sing it were it not for the technical issues.) streetcar with a Blatz sign?

        • Yeah, as soon as I saw the orange and cream streetcar I thought of Milwaukee but ours didn’t have the horizontal cream bar across the front, and a Bear quarterback wouldn’t try selling cars in Milwaukee. Blatz did ship nationally, not a huge national presence like Miller, Schlitz and Pabst had though.

    • I was wondering about the venue. How were you able to positively identify the photo as being from the Powerama?

  4. In the Lead Photo possibly the newest models I see are grey ’50 Plymouth (3rd from right) a ’50-’52 Dodge in black (opposite the streetcar) a black ’50 Pontiac Chieftain down front, a ’50 Ford peeking in from the left and a ’50, ‘51 or ‘52 Nash Rambler…variously Airflyte, Custom, Suburban or Greenbrier wagon, way at the left side

    In Item 1 of 3, in the lineup of Olds, a customized (nosed) and amply awarded ’49 or ’50 likely 88, in maroon, a white ’57 Holiday Sedan (4-dr HT), a ’51 or ’52 2-door sedan in pale blue, a white and turquoise ’56, a flat navy blue ’50, a white ’49 or ’50, the latter two both nosed. The last one at the top is a ’57.

    Item 2 of 3 is I believe a 1955 Buick Wildcat III…pretty car!

    In Item 3 of 3, a ’59 Chevy Impala with the longitudinal chrome going up the trunk lid.

    • Lee, thanks. The bumper-surrounded wide-mouth grille and the broad top of the rear fender capped with a thick oval chrome bezel pretty much said “’57 Olds” to me.

  5. What a great shot of that Oldsmobile car club. Getting all those cars near perfectly aligned on that uneven sloping ground must have taken a whole lot of patience. I wonder if they all took their shoes off before climbing up on their cars and then put them on for the photo? Nary a plate visible to indicate the location but I’ve gotta think it was California.

  6. The Buick Wildcat III was a great looking car.
    Funny that the Oldsmobile guys were so proud of their cars but still climbed on them with shoes on — and lots of argyle socks.

  7. The ’59 Chevy in the last photo challenged the little ‘ol garage — a fin too far! You can still see free-standing garages like this one ‘extended’ on the back to accommodate the longer, lower, wider cars of the 50s and 60s.

  8. In the 4th picture [3rd expandable photograph] has a 1959 CHEVROLET with a 1962 license plate. Being either the year 1962 or ’63, the ’59 CHEVROLET was so passé by then.

  9. Jack Shea is correct. Only a few manufacturers offer a few vibrant colors these days.
    Most are a somber black or dark gray. Maybe it reflects our lack of optimism that existed back when.
    I like those cheerful, colorful cars and always have.

    • Agree with Art and Jack. Just go for a walk anywhere and stop where there is a traffic light. When it changes to red and a large set of vehicles come to a stop, notice the paint colors. Nearly nine times out of ten, it will run collectively white, white, silver, black, granite gray, white, pewter, black, white, white, white, black, gray, etc., etc., with hardly any variation. Not much chrome either. This seems to be the pattern country wide. Very, very boring. Sometimes in the mix there is a bright colored Mustang, Camaro, or Challenger. Each of these have a terrific looking selection of blue metallics in various shades from lighter to darker as well as some good looking red solids and metallics. Unfortunately this is the exception rather than the rule.

  10. Second photo…all of those Oldsmobiles in a row. Can anyone tell me what the last car in the row is? If I were to guess I’d have to say maybd a ’57 Pontiac?

  11. That long ’59 Chevy reminded me of a few years later when my small garage in an older part of Denver had , as did a number of others in that neighborhood, a hood high two foot forward extension so newer cars would fit.

  12. I’d hazard a guess that the Chrysler – Plymouth dealership building in the lead picture was at one time a trolley barn that had been recycled.

  13. Our local Mopar dealer was Howard Chrysler, DeSoto, Plymouth
    for many years until DeSoto was dropped.
    Dodge cars & trucks were sold at another agency.
    In our area Chrysler and Plymouth were always paired.

  14. These rich hippies in knew had a 54 Cad limo that stuck at least a foot out of their garage.When they drove around town you could see the back end of the car was stained by the differences in weathering on the paint job.Every once in a while one of them would rouse themselves up and throw a tarp and some weights on it.

  15. I did a search for the address of Sid Luckman Motors, which turned out to be 3651 W. Ogden Ave., Chicago, Illinois. Today, that neighborhood looks like a war zone, with empty lots (one I suspect was where the Sid Luckman Motors building on ce stood) and the remaining buildings covered in graffiti.

  16. I still have a Model A garage with the 1950s extension on the back. I keep the Allante in there with room to spare.

  17. That ’59 Chevy with the 1962 New York plate sticking out of a garage may be located near Ithaca, NY – I think the -TP plates were issued in Tompkins county.

  18. The streetcar in the first image is a Chicago Surface Lines 1721-1785 series car, built in the railroad’s shops in 1923. These were the first Chicago cars designed to haul unpowered trailers on busy routes, but by the time of this picture were relegated to lesser routes. Chicago had the largest fleet of new PCC cars in North America (683, Pittsburgh was a close second with 666) but the system was so vast older cars were used almost up to the end in the mid 50’s.

    I wonder if the gentleman in the white jacket and blue hat just to the right of the streetcar is a Pullman porter om his way to work?

  19. Trolley 1721 is a 1923 CSL construction for Chicago Railways. Brill and Cummings also made the same style, but theirs were numbered in the 3000s by Chicago Surface Lines, and as far as I’m aware CTA kept the same numbering when they took over in 1947.

  20. And the white strip, commented on, was to advise patrons to board at the front as it is only “One Man” car

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