An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Street Scene: Early 1960s Grand Avenue West Duluth, Minnesota

Earlier in the week a view down Central Avenue at the intersection of Grand Avenue in West Duluth, Minnesota was featured and today marks a return to the area. This image contains a look down Grand, a major artery in the City. On the left is the Standard Oil Station seen in the earlier image followed by Dave’s Auto parts and Gershgol’s Market.

Share with us what you find of interest in the enlargeable photograph below taken late in 1961 and courtesy of the University of Minnesota.

22 responses to “Street Scene: Early 1960s Grand Avenue West Duluth, Minnesota

  1. Everything is Fords and GM cars, nary a Chrysler, Rambler or VW product in sight
    Of course, I have geezer eyes so thats always a hurdle

    • Obviously taken with a very fast film since the picture quality is grainy and poor. The majority of cars here are ten years or less old. The detail does not allow us to see the massive amounts of rust that came from the salt used on roads in the Duluth winters. This was the time before freeways and people didn’t put as many miles on their cars so many were relagated to the junk yards before their mechanical time due to the doors falling off and being able to see the road go by through the rust holes in the floors. More than one of my high school friends had two by fours holding up the drivers seat! Cars now are built with rust resistant metals, when they use them, that did not even exist fifteen years ago. I say “Thank God they don’t build them like they used to”!

  2. What first caught my eye in this photo was that while we all like the way cars were styled “back in the day”, that how much better today’s cars are than they were.

    I mean, when’s the last time you changed spark plugs?

    • I couldn’t get at the back 3 plugs on my ’09 Impala so I left all 6 original plugs in for 141,000 miles without any noticeable difference in engine performance.

      • These days most manufacturers list 105,000 miles between plug changes. They use 105K because it shows a lower overall operating cost until 100K.

      • Hi Mike, my late parents had a ’05 Chrysler mini van with a 130K and by the looks of the plugs, they appeared never to have been changed. Fact is, they looked severely rusted, and I was afraid to change them. I’ve heard of plugs breaking off in the head. Years ago, it was mostly lead deposits that killed plugs.

  3. Boy is that the truth! I have a nice original 69 Corvette. A couple friends came by, one who retired recently from GM. As they looked at the car my GM engineer friend exclaimed how terrible the body seams and gaps were! And he was right. Today we would never accept the fit and finish that was common on cars back in the 60’s and 70’s. That being said, it is surprising how well the drivetrains held up. You need to ignore oil consumption and a few other endearing characteristics but all in all the mechanics were pretty sound.

  4. The panel truck is a’55 Chevy, farther back, a late 50’s Chevy stake truck, (C-50?) and next to it a late 40’s IH K (or KB5) model.
    When the light turned green, the V8 Chevy got the jump on ol’ slush box Buick,,,until them turbines got a spinnin’, and all the Chevy driver saw, was the Buick’s tail lights,,,

    • That is a 1957 Buick. It had a hydromatic. My 56 Roadmaster was the last year of the Dynaflow thank God! My uncle loved them but mine had to be rebuilt twice in two years.

  5. No doubt automobiles are built much better today. It’s just a crying shame that there are NO talented body designers left to create pure American styles!

    • The government has set strict parameters for car design these days for safety and mileage reasons. The consequence is car design is pretty much restricted in meeting these standards. Blame big government not the auto manufactures for boring, look-alike cars.

  6. On the right side of today’s photo, just a bit beyond and to the left of the Route 23 sign, are two ladies about to cross the street. In the March 12 photo they have gotten safely across and are seen walking by the front of the Standard station where the same three cars are still present, so the two photos were taken just a minute or so apart. I wonder where the photographer was located. Seems to be in two slightly different positions, above the roadway in each case.

  7. We have an 05 Colorado, a relatively rare truck, Standard bed and cab with 5 Speed manual trans, 5 cylinders too. Used the original plugs until about 110K miles. It was throwing a low ideal code. Too me end of plugs life. I changed them and no more code.

  8. That ’56 Chevy making a right turn looks like it is undergoing some mild customizing. What we used to call “nosed” – trim removed from the front of the hood. It looks like the “All New” 4-Door Sports Sedan.

  9. Gershgol’s was sold to Red Owl around 1970. Their main store at 100 W First Street in Duluth had a rooftop parking lot.

    • Thanks for the head’s up on this one, Howard!

      Steve, do you know where this photo was taken? Is that stop light the Grand Avenue / Central Avenue intersection? I know that there was a Bridgeman’s on that side of Grand Avenue just past the Central Ave intersection going west. Being born and raised in Duluth I can’t believe that I can’t pinpoint this location by the buildings, embarrassing. it looks like the Standard station has an angled side to it and Central Avenue comes in at an angle.

      • Oh, good grief, I missed the part about it being that intersection and also I missed the previous post with the view down Central Avenue! Sorry about that! Please feel free to delete that awkward post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *