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San Antonio Images: McCombs Ford – City Police Servi-Cycle

Hemhill McCombs Ford, located at 1025 San Pedro Avenue in San Antonio, Texas, is the subject of today’s feature image. The photo taken in February of 1965 contains a number of Ford’s popular new Mustang model parked on the lawn in front of the dealership showroom. This new model was rushed into production early in 1964 due to it being chosen as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 held that year. The early models are referred to a 1964 1/2 models, and the 1965’s with a few new changes were introduced in September of 1964.

A San Antonio Parking Police officer below in 1939 riding a 1930s Harley-Davidson Servi-Cycle is marking a tire on a late-1930s General Motors coupe with chalk. The officers next round of this area will be at the end of the parking time allowed in this location, if the car is still there, it will get a parking ticket at that time.

Share with us what you find of interest in these photographs courtesy of the University of Texas at San Antonio.

32 responses to “San Antonio Images: McCombs Ford – City Police Servi-Cycle

  1. My friend and I hitch hiked from San Luis Obispo to LA to attend an auction. This was in the early 1960’s and we were in collage at the time. There was a three-wheeled Harley like that one at the auction. We turned the gas off so it would not run hoping to get a good price and drive it home. Along came someone who new Harleys and turned the gas on and started it. We hitch hiked home.

  2. There were SO many great cars available in 1965 that it would be hard to choose just one, but it’s easy to understand why so many people bought Mustangs. I own four ’65 model cars, including a family heirloom Mustang, and it just got everything right. I wish mine were a fastback, but we can’t have everything.

    It’s funny that there appears to be an earlier model Falcon in the showroom; I wonder if this dealership highlighted a used car inside.

    • And the Australia plate is odd. From 1924-37, they used six digit plates (all numbers) with a dash in the middle, and they were “skinny plates” that were just big enough for the embossed numbers. From 1937-1951, it was two letters, a dash, and three numbers, and more the size of the plate on the car. None of them were decorated (with what appears to be a kangaroo), and all the ones I’ve seen were marked NSW (for New South Wales), not Australia/Sydney. It’s definitely 1937 or later based on the shape of the plate, but the markings are unusual.

      • I think it’s a souvenir plate, as all plates are state based, not the city or Australia. I have never seen anything like this on an Aussie car in Australia. (I am an Australian living in Sydney).

  3. Do the door gaps look large on the mustang ‘s? Beautiful cars, looks like mostly base models. Some have the 260 v8 badge.

    • Looks like someone touched up the photo for some strange reason. The door gaps were generous on the ‘stangs but those don’t look right.

  4. A police Sergeant chalking tires?

    I remember those Harley Tricycles. Way back, the cops had those in Chicago. Very common and not for meter maids.

    • I commented earlier in another of Davids postings and queried whether anyone recalled seeing these very Harley models… no one responded. At that time I recalled the last time I saw one in use: it was in the late ’60s and used at an automobile dealership that sold highend cars and the daeler used it as a service… a driver took the serviced vehicle back to its owner’s residence, towing the motor cycle, detached it at the residence and drove the cycle back to the dealership.

    • Likely this is a staged photo – perhaps for the local newspaper – and the entire setup of cop on a trike, photographer with camera and tripod plus someone directing traffic around is what has drawn the attention of the person in the rumble seat going by. The opportunity of getting your picture in the paper is not going to be wasted on an ordinary patrolman.

  5. The Servi-Car or Model G was modified with left-hand drive (right hand shift, left hand throttle) for parking police. The originals were all right-hand drive, and the first departments to adopt them rode two-up with a driver and a chalker. I know of some 1935 models with left-hand drive, so the option appeared early in the vehicle’s life.

  6. The last meter maid trikes I can recall seeing were by the city of Orlando till about the late eighties and the girls didn’t sport spiffy uniforms just civvies.
    After that they used Cushman 4 wheelers with roofs.

  7. The Union 76 Service station I worked for in 1950 had a Harley service cycle, we used it to pick up and return vehicles that had serviced. It had a hitch set up with a clamp to attach to the Bumper of a car or pickup. Kind of fun to ride but did not handle well at all. Cornering could be come a problem.

    • NYPD had some of these as did the SFPD at least into the early nineties then went to the dreaded Cushmans.
      Babe Zanca Garage in Mission St in SF had a Servi-car with the tow hook into the mid eighties.

  8. Notice the distance between the doors and bodies on the Mustangs. …pretty big. Assembly quality is a concern. I must say I’ve never been a Mustang lover.

  9. Interesting comment on Mustang panel gaps. I remember going with my Dad to see the newly unveiled Mustang at our local dealership. Being a foreign car family, we weren’t all that impressed but I completely remember being astounded at how large the panel gaps were. Later, I married an young lady (still my wife) who had a 1966 Mustang with the base six cylinder and three speed. It was actually a darn good car. When we moved to San Francisco the clutch couldn’t take the hills and the engine started to give out.

  10. First of all thanks for the Old Motor weekly. I look forward to receiving it and the history of all the cars. My question is of all the 64 and 65 Mustangs I see none with driver side door mirrors but if you look to the far left the Mustang appears to have a drivers side door mirror? Were the Mustangs shipped to the dealer that way and the dealers installed them at the dealership? Thanks in advance for someone answering my question!

  11. Coupe being marked is assuredly a 37 Pontiac. On google images see the tail lights. The Oldsmobile had just one on the trunk lid license plate holder, The sedan in front of it is a 36 Chrysler Airstream

  12. WE HAD A CIGAR STORE ON A MAIN STREET IN OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA AND THE CITY POLICE USE TO FREQUENT THE STORE AND KEEP THEIR RAIN GEAR IN THE STORE. THEY WOULD LEAVE THEIR CHALK MARKING STICK ON THE COUNTER AND WHEN NOT WATCHING MY UNCLE USED TO PUT SCOTCH TAPE OVER THE END AND THEREFORE NOT ALLOWING THE OFFICER TO MARK THE TIRES FOR AWHILE UNTILL HE NOTICED THE TRICK. GREAT FUN WAS HAD BY THE STAFF. THANKS FOR THE GREAT PHOTOS EVERY WEEK-LOOK FOREARD TO THEM EVERY SATURDAY

  13. Would suggest Richard is correct, a souvenir number plate from Australia, not bad though!

    If it is a 1965 Falcon in the showroom, the Australian Falcon had already been going 5 years then and only ceased production in October 2016 making it the second longest running Ford Production car ever , only second to the F Series Truck, some 56 years, Mustang has been going 54 years to date, 3rd long production

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