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Pittsburgh: Central Lincoln Mercury and Midtown Motors Ford

This image, dated 1951 contains a view of Central Lincoln Mercury and Midtown Motors, a Ford dealership, both located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on Grant Street between Sixth Avenue and Tunnel Street. In the right foreground next to Central Lincoln Mercury is a city or commercial parking lot.

The two sales agencies were located only two blocks east of the center of downtown in the “Steel City.” Having a limited footprint, without a sales lot the dealerships apparently shared extra space in the building behind Central Lincoln Mercury.

In the expandable images below are close to ninety vehicles and on the other side of Sixth in the middle of the block is a Ford tractor and trailer delivering new cars. Most of the buildings in this scene no longer exist and the dealerships, Tunnel Street, and the parking garages behind at are now the site of US Steel’s Tower and Steel Plaza.

Tell us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh Library.

21 responses to “Pittsburgh: Central Lincoln Mercury and Midtown Motors Ford

  1. In the lead photograph, 3rd car driving toward the camera, on the outside, is a 1951 STUDEBAKER and also driving toward the camera, 2nd car on the inside is a 1951 or ’52 NASH Rambler station-wagon with a roof rack.

  2. I love that showroom! `40s Art Deco seldom looked so good, with the rounded windows, and decorative ‘tower’ marqee. Oh, to have been a fly on that show floor! I see a beautiful dark-colored `51 Lincoln nearest the camera on the floor. I wonder how long this bldg. lasted before being torn down?

    • Agree!! How wonderful if the photograph were shot facing the front and in color and at night! Beautiful dealership architecture!

  3. I see at least 4 Studebakers, and the little Nash coming toward the bottom of the photograph look like a cartoon….which is one of the reasons I like them so much ! And like Mr. Fox implied, that showroom is so gorgeous !

  4. Love the details in these old photos. Note the “Iron City Beer” ad on the back of one bus. I also like the ladies in the lower right , on the sidewalk apparently waiting for their bus, who are wearing the white gloves so necessary for being “dressed for downtown” a the time.

  5. I’m not familiar with Pittsburgh at that time but I find it most unusual to have one building shared by 2 different separate named factory authorized businesses, even though they’re same manufacturer, different divisions. Strange??? Maybe, the owner(or 2?) must ‘ve been a FOMoCo family friend (or friends)? Beautiful showroom deco architecture , but those deco sign pylons really compete in the center, maybe at the outside edges framing the site
    I think the 3 Oldsmobiles coming at you in the final foto Remarkable!!! They represent pre war the ’41, post war the ’46 and Olds’ first Rocket V8.. the ’49… Ahhh, Progress!!!
    Middle foto … The first Cadillac Overhead Valve V8, the ’49 Series ’62 sedan, the ’51 Darrin Kaiser sedan nose to the ’48 Packard the ’49 Chryslers all over the place, and a ’49 baby Lincoln parked at the bottom corner, moving to your right, by the ’51 Ford , a Step Down Hudson, aand many more!!!

  6. Absolutely love these kind of pictures, too bad they couldn’t be
    done in color. So many orphans in just one picture. See lots of
    Oldsmobiles, Studebakers, Hudson, Packard, DeSoto, Plymouth,
    Mercury. No wonder kids my age had so much fun with cars in
    those days. As a 7-9 year old I was lucky enough to have the
    Chevrolet/Pontiac dealership across from my school. Hung
    out there every day. Remember, among other things, when
    the new ’51 Chevys came in all covered up so no one could
    see them, got to ride along with the employees who had to
    hustle them to the fairgrounds to hide them until the actual
    intro time. Thought I was in car heaven. Ah, sweet memories.
    Do kids still do this today . Many thanks for a great series.

    • I’m sure some kids still do but the Internet has made old school things like dealership unveilings of new models less meaningful or necessary. Back then, the only way many people got to see the latest models was by visiting dealerships or car shows but these days the Internet gives easy 24/7 access to news, videos, pictures, specs, etc. of new cars, test mules, concept cars and everything else automotive.

  7. The ’42 Desoto, Checker Cabs, little Nash Rambler station wagon, ’49-’51 Lincolns, ’49 Cadillac 62, ’51 Kaiser, step-down Hudson brougham and ’48-’49 Packard all stand out. Noteworthy are the high number of independent make cars present, something that would change significantly a decade later.
    The Art Deco/Moderne adjoining showrooms are an architectural delight, what a shame they’ve been lost. The neon signage would be great to see in a color night image. Love the style of those years.

  8. I’ve always considered the 1949-54 Chrysler products to be singularly unattractive, but that coupe (Dodge?) next to the small building near the Lincoln-Mercury building is a stunning exception.
    The bottom of the fourth photo shows a ’49 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe – my first car.
    Has anyone noticed the couple with arms around each other between the two buses by the fence? Nice romantic touch to what looks like a chilly day.
    Great photo choice!

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