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The State-Record Publishing Company Volkswagen Fleet

“The State” newspaper, first printed and founded in 1891 is located in Columbia, South Carolina, the State’s Capitol City, it is owned and operated by the State-Record Publishing Company. In 1945, the Newspaper bought its main competition “The Columbia Record” and merged the two publications. Later in the mid-1950s the Company relocated to this building on George Roberts Boulevard in Columbia, South Carolina, and remained there until moving again in 1988. The symbol in the middle of the Paper’s title is the Palmetto, the State Tree.

A part of raising a company’s profit is reducing costs, and the lead photo and an enlargeable section of it below contain the Publishing Company’s fleet of economy vehicles that include the Volkswagen “Type I” “Beetles” and Volkswagen “Type II” panel trucks both known for their high fuel mileage. The image is not dated, but based on the 1959 Pontiac parked on the far-right of the parking lot it appears the picture is circa-1960.

Tell us what you find of interest in this circa-1960 photograph courtesy of the Richland Library.

20 responses to “The State-Record Publishing Company Volkswagen Fleet

  1. I believe the car to the far right is a ’59 Lincoln — in one of the bespoke parking spaces, so probably an executive. And that would be a ’60 Chevrolet off to the left.

    • David I am certain that’s a Pontiac Catalina or Bonneville on the right. My father had one when I was born & it’s one of my first automotive memories. After that he was a Chevy man almost to the end, when the gas crunch pushed him over to Honda.

      • I stand corrected, and thanks. I was looking at the width of the taillights, which are wider than the Catalina. But I just called up an image of the Bonneville, and they do look like a match.

        Also, in the smaller picture, it isn’t clear that the backup light (is it the backup light?) is mounted in the upper tailfin. The fin looks plain, as with the Lincoln.

  2. The first two cars on the extreme left under the pole sign push the date up to 61 or 62 for me. I can’t make them out but early sixties GM comes to mind.

    The photo is a hint of SC’s future relationship with German car makers as today they assemble BMW ( & others?) in the Palmetto State.

  3. There is a 1960 Chevrolet Biscayne also parked in front of the building. There were three versions of the Biscyane two-door this year: a 2-door Sedan, and a Utility Sedan (no back seat), and a Fleetmaster (one sun visor, no cigarette lighter, and no front seat armrests) .

  4. I don’t know how the volkswagen panel wagons would do today, but the minivans and buses that I see on Mecum auctions are thru the roof. The well-preserved ones and the well- restored ones are going for $50,000 to $80, 000. Incredible!

  5. Shouldn’t those bugs be Beetles, not Beatles?

    (Unless the Type 1 flat-four sound is a song…)

    Thanks to the creator of this site — and to all those whose comments make it so enjoyable.

  6. A parking lot full of “boring.” Interesting that all of the comments involve the other cars around the periphery. And surprising that a company would be daring enough in 1960 to court public disapproval by investing in a fleet of “un-American” vehicles. I wonder if any subscriptions were cancelled over this.
    BTW, not to be too picky, but shouldn’t that be “Beetles?”

  7. Reminds me of the VW ad in the 60s about the little town in Pa. that bought its police force a Bug.
    The local hot-rodders must have been in hysterics.

  8. In the 2nd photograph, when enlarged, in the two large windows just to the left of the front door of the building, is a reflection of the back-end of a 1959 CHEVROLET.

    • That must be on the street in the foreground to the left. I see Bus, Bus, Bug reflections in the window which matches up with the VWS on the lawn with the 59 next. Betweent eh Beetle and the 59 looks like Hillman with the two tone paint.

  9. David, when I saw the first picture I thought this may be where Bob Dylan and Mariah recorded. There is a ’60 Chevy sitting by the building and the Beatles could be as new as ’61 according to the turn signals.

  10. Okay, It’s time for: early (36 H.P.) Beetle Engine Trivia: How many pieces of wood are in a 36 H.P. Volkswagen engine??? Answer: 8. They are included inside each hollow – tubed pushrod, to: Quiet, stabilize , and absorb any major destructive harmonic vibrations, thus, allowing the engine more advantage to be long – lived and a mileage champ!!! 36 to 45 MPG not un-common!!! What Common feature do Some (Deluxe Level) earlier VW Microbusses have — that is like all: Model A Fords? Answer: A fold- open – front windshield.

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