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Parking Lot Series: Famous-Barr Store Clayton, Missouri

Updated: The lead circa-1950 image today contains the parking lot and vehicles at the Famous-Barr department store located at 7425 Forsyth Boulevard in Clayton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The white building at the top-middle of the photo is the Garden Center, and to the far-right of it is a service station. The Clayton Famous-Barr store and parking lot have survived. In addition readers can learn the history and view photos of the three St. Louis area stores.

Share with us what you find of interest in a pair of enlarged sections of the parking lot photograph below courtesy of author Joe Sonderman.

Update: We want to wish all of our friends and readers here in the US and around the world a very happy Thanksgiving Holiday. The Old Motor is going to take the weekend off and will return again on Monday morning with a new post.

In the meantime, there are over 4,500 articles, which contain more than 17,000 photographs. You can look at only what you would like to by clicking on the drop-down categories box.

35 responses to “Parking Lot Series: Famous-Barr Store Clayton, Missouri

  1. David,

    Wishing you and all your followers a wonderful Thanksgiving !!

    Great picture !!

    In the lead photograph, on the far right, are two four-door 1949 BUICK Super cars.


    • Need to make a correction. Just re-read the above comment and the two ’49 BUICK Super cars are on the far LEFT, not right.

      Also in the lead picture, 2nd row of cars from the left, 10th car back, is a light, four-door 1950 BUICK Special, but just might be a Super.

        • Benjamin,

          It’s my understanding that the Special & Super models in 1949 had three portholes on each side; it was the Roadmaster that had four portholes on each side.


          • My grandfather’s 50 Buick Special bought in late 49 had NO portholes. I don’t believe they
            were added to specials until 51. The super’s had 3 portholes and the Roadmaster 4.

          • I P .D.I’d (Pre delivery inspection ) many Buick’s in my time,and here’s how it is ,only the special had 3 ports ,the Super and Roadmaster had 4. And later Buick brought out the Century and it had 4 ports

          • Thank you for that clarification….. I would have liked to see a picture of the front of the cars, because the 1950 Buick year models had that beautiful one year only massive grill. I would love to own one, preference would be a wagon though.

  2. In the lead picture, in the back of the parking lot, left of center, are two post-WW2 BUICK convertibles, both with their tops down.

    • I have looked a few different times and I see one white convertible but not two. The a two tone car 5 cars down the same aisle that I think you speak of I don’t believe that it’s a Buick; no round tail lights on Buick’s in those years. If that’s 2nd car you are referring to I don’t believe it’s a convertible. although the detail of that photo doesn’t lend itself for me to be conclusive.

      • Chris,

        Sorry that I didn’t explain their locations better. Starting with the white BUICK convertible, look at the row of cars to the right, 5th car back [just beyond a dark 1947+ STUDEBAKER] is a dark BUICK convertible [one can see the front fender flowing through the door with single strip of chrome].


  3. First picture: Nice selection on power mowers in the front line behind the garden center in the background. The next row appears to be rotary push mowers.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. This is a great photo!

    I have notice quite a few late ’40’s Buick sedanets. The first picture far left next to the light post toward the top of photo there is a late ’49 or ’50 light colored Buick 4 door, a ’49 or ’50 black Pontiac 2 door sedan and then a late 40’s silver colored Cadillac 4 door sedan.

    By the looks of the cars and the lack snow or water on the ground this a photo likely from the fall of 1949.

  5. The “only ones” include, the people standing next to a ’48-’50 Packard, a Willys station wagon ( with a/c on,,back window open) and a Chevy convertible.

  6. 11/22: Missed yesterday’s post, but I know you guys nailed all the interesting cars parked in the photos. Here’s wishing you all a very safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! Hope you are all with family and good friends. 60 degrees here in Omaha today; unusual for us, but cold & snow coming by the weekend, so you’re not alone LOL. Will watch for the Kodakrome specials on Friday. God Bless one and all–

    Will Fox
    Omaha, NE.

  7. In the lead photograph, in the 4th row from the left, 7th car back, is a dark four-door 1948 PACKARD with a visor.

    Also in the same picture in the 6th row from the left, 4th car back, is a light 1949 or ’50 KAISER with a visor.

  8. The third group of cars…as seen in the close-up in the bottom photo…there are two two-tome fastback sedans in t he same color scheme (gold & maroon?). I don’t know much about American cars of that era, but I think they’re GM products.

    Just past them is a solitary Studebaker sedan parked next to a lamp post.

  9. Is it me? Or my computer? Am I crazy? Or is there something strange in the lead image?
    The dark (black?) sedan with the split rear window at the near end of the middle row? The smaller (probably pre war) sedan next to a larger (probably post war?) white coupe? On my screen, in the first image, there is clearly a “wheel” in the trunk lid. In the third image, a somewhat closer up and slightly cropped version of the first image. In this version, the car’s trunk lid is intact, no wheel. Also, the right rear fender is there, which also happens to be missing in the first image.
    I would imagine that this is some sort of weird imaging glitch. Since much of my working career was in cutting edge technologies, video and imaging, among other related fields (electro-magnetic field effect phenomenon), I am fascinated by such things.
    And besides. I would like to know I am not merely crazy. As most of my best friends know, I am only a whisker’s width away from being certifiable anyway.

    And thank you again David G! Another wonderful addition to the popular “Parking Lot” series. As usual, many interesting cars mixed in around this one. I would just like to know how that wheel and tire is there in one, but not the other. And where did the fender go?

    • Wayne,

      Good eye !! In the lead picture it looks like a “circle” is superimposed slightly off center around the rear license plate.

      By the way, this vehicle looks like it could be a 1936 CHRYSLER Airflow.


    • If you compare the area to the right of the car in the two pictures it appears that the first picture was Photoshopped to remove the grease/oil stains on the ground. Careless work resulted in part of the right rear fender being smudged out, too. The circular item is not centered on the trunk so is not a spare wheel. It seems to be some kind of computer-superimposed artifact, maybe a uniquely shaped cursor or place marker that remained on screen when the image was saved.

    • Sorry to have caused the confusion, yes it is a copyright © mark which I used to put on all off Joe’s photos. I never used this photo and removed the credits to the photo the other day before posting it.

  10. The righthand view in the row facing the sidewalk by the utility pole are a couple unusual cars, down from the pole a ’49-’50 Chrysler-DeSoto-Dodge long wheelbase eight passenger sedan and a coupe cars us a ’46-’48 Buick Estate Wagon. Otherwise, a number of Buicks and Chryslers as well as medium-priced makes and convertibles with the tops down stand out.

  11. What is interesting to me is how ‘new’ all of the cars are.
    Think that If this is1950-1 ( and the age of the newest car seem s to confirm that) then think how many cars you currently see in a modern parking lot are circa 2000. I would say easily 10% including my 1997 F150! . So where are all the 30, 31, 32, 33 ‘S .? I think the oldest identified so far is 1936.
    Was it the effect of WWII? ( cars scrapped and 5 year of people with well paying jobs and money to spend? )
    Was it the improved reliability of the new vehicles?
    Was it the advent of the automatic transmission?

    • Everything was just getting better after all those years of no new cars and a smattering of pre-war designs after the war. Engineers had their sights on non-war related energies where they could use a lot of newly discovered was to manufacture. Chevy got new bodies in 1949, bigger engine, better brakes and suspension and 1950 saw more luxurious interior appointments. Ford went with the somewhat iconic 49 body style, coil spring independent front suspension, etc. I think all those changes made sense to the American public trying to forget the war and all it meant.

  12. Fifth row far right is the best car of the bunch. A light colored 1950 Oldsmobile 88 coupe. The first year for the all new OHV Olds Rocket 88 V/8 engine.

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