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Downtown Motors Pittsburgh – Dollar for Dollar You Can’t Beat a Pontiac

Downtown Motors, was a large Pontiac dealership located at 2001-2005 West Liberty Avenue in Brookline, a neighborhood on the south side of the City of Pittsburgh. Today’s photo shows the used car lot on the north side of the facility in the 1950s.”Brookline,” a local history book contains an image showing Downtown Motors new car showroom and most of the rest of the building. It is reported in the publication that the building was torn down in the early-2000s to make room for the expansion of another new car dealership which research shows is Rohrich Toyota.

The lead image and the larger expandable photo below taken in the early-to-mid-1950s gives a good view of the of the used car lot, and the bottom photo shows a detail shot of the used car sales office and a couple of clunkers on the far-right.

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

14 responses to “Downtown Motors Pittsburgh – Dollar for Dollar You Can’t Beat a Pontiac

  1. I love period images of car dealership showrooms! This Pontiac dealer’s 40’s art deco building is a great example of a bygone era. I can’t date the photo, as there appears to be too much reflection & glare on the windows to see the showroom cars, but I figure it may be around 1951-52. I see the reflection of what might be a `52 model parked at the curb.

    • Upon closer inspection, that’s a late 40’s (48?) Chevy Sedan Delivery, even more rare. Perhaps the dealers old delivery vehicle?

  2. I too love these old dealership photos. Next to the ’50 Studebaker is a
    ’50 Chevy DeLuxe sedan, then the Buick. Next up is a ’51 Plymouth,
    a ’48 Pontiac Torpedo 2-dr. and a sharp ’50 Pontiac 4-dr. Don’t
    think the ’51 Pontiac is a reflection from the curb, believe it is inside
    the showroom. The way the right front wheel is cut off by the window
    base makes me come to this conclusion. Could be wrong.

    • Jim, I cold be wrong. too… but I think it’s a reflection… the dealership would not have a “flat” in the showroom, particularly the leading front passenger tire of the feature ’51 Pontiac car( ’52 had a faux air intake, center upper grille bar). The other distortion is probably the crown of the road, the trolley tracks. How about the highly optioned Pontiac sedan- even the illuminated chief on the hood ornament…Think of it on a show field today all it would need would be the factory windshield visor w/ the dash mounted optical viewer, beautiful. The Chevy sedan delivery…today it would be-on that same show field it would be fitted out like a suburban florist’s delivery… whitewalls, a sophisticated whimsey/cute name and lettering like “Mums & More for Milady” in the panel, I can just see it, now. The crowd would just love them! The ’41 Chevy ‘clunker” some one would today would pay dearly for those bumper wing tips. to add to their ’41 Chevy baby torpedo sedan restoration project.Today all it takes is money, lots.

  3. The street has double Electric Streetcar tracks , overhead 600 Volt D.C. Trolley wires, 600 Volt D.C. “4/0 Buss Cables —over the sidewalk(s) , brick pavement near the tracks, and blacktop near the sidewalks . Note the : “Quonset Hut – Looking Bldg. , – with canvas tarp on roof, – used for Car Lot activity. I also saw the grille of the ’37 Ford, – plus: I saw the “Sealed Beam Conversion” Headlamp Bezels with built-in “running lamps” ’37’s were either : 60 HP or 85 H.P . V-8’s. These cars had cable-operated Mechanical Brakes: ( Difficult to maintain — in snow/salt territories!) If it was a Business Coupe, then : it might have been sold for: Stock Car Racing ! ’37 &’38 Biz. Coupes were the lightest of all 30’s V-8 Fords and regular Winners at the Races! Edwin W.

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