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Parking Lot Series: Mesmerizing Alternating Diagonal Parking

“Mesmerizing Alternating Diagonal Parking” is certainly a mixed metaphor, but it undeniably describes today’s image of a modern space-saving parking facility. Where it was shot is not known, but it was taken by professional photographer Joe Clark HBSS (Hill Billy Snap Shooter) of Detroit, Michigan, whose specialty, as his slogan spells it out was, “Pictures that tell a story.”

So, if we let Joe Clark’s photo tell us the story, it appears that at least ninety-percent or more of the automobiles in the image were produced by the Ford Motor Company. In a quick perusal of the snapshot below, split into two and enlargeable, only one imported car is visible. And, the “alternating diagonal” layout of the parking lot was set up to save space as apparently the lanes in the facility are one way to leave more room for cars to park and do it in less time.

Based on the story told in this late-1950s image it appears to be a Ford Motor Company facility parking lot, possibly at an assembly plant owned by the automaker.

Tell us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the Clark family and hosted at University of North Texas Libraries Archives.


48 responses to “Parking Lot Series: Mesmerizing Alternating Diagonal Parking

  1. When I lived in Florida, I encountered some parking lots like that, particularly on the barrier islands where maximizing efficient use of space is desirable.

    In the second photo, about a third of the way down the left side is something that looks like possibly a 1941 Ford? I’m probably misidentifying it, but whatever it is, it really stands out.

  2. In the lead photograph, in the upper left corner, is a four-door step-down HUDSON [with split windshield] and in the upper center left of this picture is a two-door 1957 EDSEL hardtop.

  3. About 4 rows over on the left, I spy a rather rare `58 Plymouth ‘Silver Special’ they brought out that spring to boost sales. The side trim was a bit different than regular Savoys. Same row, but on the far right I spot a Canadian `56 Mercury sedan. (I could be here all day spotting cars, but I caught a couple unusual ones..)

  4. I see a several Ford 2-door Ranch Wagons. A ’57 six rows up on the left; a ’59 eight rows up, also on the left. A ’55 or ’56 four rows up near the center.

  5. Imagine if the photo were in color! As it is, it looks like a photo of today’s cars, black, white, silver and charcoal.

    • I see the profile of another Anglia/prefect on the far, far edge of the lot near the top of the first photo. Import count to my eyes are 3 English Fords and one Morgan. I have never seen so many 57-59 Fords and Mercuries in place before. It must in Dearborn.

  6. In the 3rd photograph, top center, is a light colored, two-door, 1958 BUICK Special [might be a Riviera].

    In the same picture [and also in the lead photograph], lower right corner, is a dark two-door 1959 STUDEBAKER Lark Deluxe Station Wagon.

  7. I think I spotted another import, first picture mid left, one car to the left of the Tbird with the black top is a Ford Zephyr Mark I or maybe Zephyr Zodiac.

    • Yes. In the upper lot on the far left under a tree is a Anglia/Prefect and also another on the very back end of the lot next to another sports car which I can not identify. They probably parked their imports far away so noone would see them walking in after parking their foreign rivals!

      That is a total of 5 imports found so far. In the last row of the near lot on the right is a 59 Retractable Ford. In the row behind it is the roof of another import I can’t identify. All kinds of interesting stuff hidden away in this lot!

    • Bob,

      Your absolutely correct. It appears I’ve been hitting the wrong number keys today; above I typed ’55 rather than ’56.


  8. I think there are two imported cars visible.
    Possibly a Vauxhall Victor sedan on the far left front row – upper parking lot – in the enlarged photo #1.
    Possibly a MG TG almost in the center of enlarged photo #2.

    • The car in the center of enlarged photo #2 is a Nash Metropolitan convertible, identifiable by its wrap-around rear window and the two-tone paint scheme angling down across the door.

      • Got to respectfully disagree with that. The shape of top is wrong and it is too low slung. I am going with Morgan. The side window and top is a perfect match.

      • Hi, Robert.

        The Metro’s windshield had cut-off lower corners, with the center of the glass nestled between the raised fender peaks. I don’t see these features, but sometimes my old eyes can’t see to the end of the hood when I’m behind the wheel! Ha! Ha!

  9. I’m a little late to the game today. 3rd photo, top left I see
    a ’54 Buick Special (light colored), a ’56 Pontiac Bonneville
    a ’54 Plymouth Belvedere and a dark colored ’53 Buick
    Super among others. Don’t think anyone has pointed
    them out . Great pictures

  10. A common parking design still today, but the spaces seem to be closer together than today, or is it because cars now are smaller. Must have been lots of door dings come out of that arrangement.

    • My thinking also, quite obvious so many Fords, and Edsel thrown in for good measure. My early college days, Ford plant outside Atlanta, in Fayetville, GA on way to Rt.29 to Auburn, AL. August, 1956 never forget seeing early 57’s parked
      to the side, was startling. Same with GM plant other side of Atlanta, would always drive by to get a sneak peek beginning of production time. Was a thrill for all of us my vintage. Cherished memories.

  11. I spotted a ’57 T-Bird at the far edge of the upper lot, two cars to the right of the left-most tree. I have only found one ’57 Chev, right in the middle of the picture, two cars to the right of the ’58 Impala.

  12. Kind of interesting to me the number of Ford products far out number other makes. Also most are 1955-1959 model year. Very few old model cars. Maybe a Ford plant lot?

  13. Top of the 1st pic at the tree line ins a dark colored ’57 Oldsmobile 2 door, probably an 88.

    Near bottom of the same pic is a black ’58 Ford convertible with interesting side trim.

  14. See more new/late model Mercuries and ’58 Fords than I
    ever remember seeing on the road. If, as suggested, it might
    be a Ford mfg. facility lot, then it looks like lots of employees
    bought ’em new. In my opinion, neither brand was particular-
    good looking that year, must be where all the sales were.

  15. Earlier I called out a ’56 Pontiac. Titled it as a Bonne-
    ville and realize the Bonneville didn’t arrive til ’57
    and then only as a convertible. Guess it would be a
    Star Chief as the top of the line in ’56. Sorry, try to
    avoid things like that.

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