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New and Used Fords and Auto Parts Deep in the Heart of Texas

Today’s post-World War II automobile and truck photographs start out at the Swearingen-Armstrong Ford Car and Truck Agency located in Austin, Texas at 202 West 1st Street. The lead image and an expandable version of it below show used 1946 to ’48 Ford cars, and a Mercury convertible displayed under a canopy off to the side of the main sales and service building.

At the time there was a very strong demand for both new and used cars and trucks to replace the worn out and used up pre-war vehicles that had survived the War years. It was also a good time to be in the new cars sales business if a dealership was able to get a large enough supply of automobiles to meet the market’s need.

The photograph below dated 1951 gives a view of a facelift given to the building’s facade and signage done in the late-1940s or early-1950s. The image shoes a glimpse of three new Ford cars in the showroom and a line-up of heavy duty trucks in front of it. On the far-left is a 1951 model coming out of the service department and to its left what appears to be a new Ford pickup truck.

And finally below is a view of the Cross-Allen Company auto parts supply building dated February 14, 1946. The facility was also in the City of Austin at 209 to 211 East 5th street according to the City’s Historic Landmark Commission.

The parts business was purchased by John D. Grubbs and his wife Elsie B. Grupps in 1937, and they owned it up through the fifties when the pair also purchased and operated a Texaco filling station in 1951 and Conoco station later in 1963.

The photograph shows a variety of pre-war cars out front, the oldest being either a 1928 to ’29 Model “A” Ford convertible coupe that is next to a 1929 or ’30 Chevrolet coupe on the far-left next to an Airflow.

Tell us what you find of interest in these images taken by photographer Neil Douglass that are courtesy of The Portal to Texas History.


16 responses to “New and Used Fords and Auto Parts Deep in the Heart of Texas

  1. It looks like the Model A owner preferred the lower profile wheels and tires used on later Fords. He kept the stock Model A wheel and tire for his spare.

    Cars came a long way in short time during this period. There is quite a difference between an early and mid 30’s car..

    • 2nd foto…Might be entrance to the service facility, and the front of customer’s new Ford after it’s 1st oil change.

  2. In the nit-pick dept. , it’s “Swearingen” not “Swearington”. Looks like someone is getting 4 new ’51 Ford F6 (?) dump trucks. ( one on the far end could be a F5)

  3. The model A is a business coupe; does not convert. Note the full doors. It can’t be a sport coupe that lost its landau irons as it is a trunk model (note handle)and the sport coupe came with a rumble seat. The tail light looks like body mounted , so I suggest it is a 1928. The spare wheel is 19″ from a 1930-1931 Ford. Great car, however.

    • Sure looks like a sport coupe to me. They had full door frames and a folding top I believe. Yes, the landaus are missing but everything else suggests sport coupe.

  4. Top photo left to right, ’46 Ford coupe, ’47 Ford 3 passenger coupe, ’46 Mercury convertible, ’47 Ford coupe, ’46 convertible and 46 Fordor sedan, I think!

    Second photo, a row of good looking 1951-53 Ford dual wheel trucks, F-3 or bigger?

  5. I don’t know about Texas but when I moved to North Dakota / Minnesota from New Jersey in the 1970s I was surprised to see plates on the cars on used car lots. Turned out that the cars were issued the plates and not the owners. Unless the new buyer changed the plates the old plates stayed with the car.

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