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“Smiling” Lew Abrams Used Cars Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Today’s feature image is an overhead view taken in the early-1950s of “Smiling” Lew Abrams used car lot in the Friendship neighborhood northeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The car dealer apparently handled only post-war-late-model used cars and had an interesting selection of automobiles offered for sale at the time.

The location given by the source is 4712 Baum Boulevard in Friendship. The bottom of the picture containing an accident has been cropped from the view; the bus parked on the far-left-bottom of the scene may have been involved in it.

Share with us what you find of interest in this photograph by Paul Santos courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh Library.

23 responses to ““Smiling” Lew Abrams Used Cars Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

  1. Nice selection of convertibles, including a two Chevolets, one being a 1948, the other a 46-48, a 1946 Ford, a 1949 Ford and the rarest, a 1946 Mercury. (correct my years, if an error)

    • Dave,

      In the 3rd picture there’s a 6th convertible, parked behind the cinder-block office. It’s too difficult for me to identify.


  2. In Photo #1 from the left there’s a ’46-’48 Chrysler, a ’47 or ’48 Buick, probably a Super, a ’49 Buick Super, a ’47 or ’48 Mercury convertible and a ’46 Studebaker Champion.
    Out in the street I think is a ’47 or later Checker model A2 behind a ’51 Chevy Styleline sedan.
    On the right edge of the lot I see a ’49 or ’50 Nash Statesman and closer to the office, a ’47 Chevy Fleetmaster wagon.
    Way in the background on the road could be a postwar Lincoln Zephyr sedan.

  3. Five convertibles on the lot, a Mercury, two Fords and two Chevys. In Pittsburgh it is rarely top down weather. The woody wagon must have been rare even then.

  4. Rarest cars there were the Checker A2 taxi, the postwar Chevy woody and ’49-’50 Oldsmobile station wagons and the pre-war GM B-Body convertible coupe, and the ’46-’48 Mercury convertible. I recall seeing those used car offices built of cement block with brick pillars, tile wall caps and a false front built higher to look for impressive, this one is a great example. The fancy neon sign with curvy flashing arrow and stings of light bulbs over head just make this a prefect image of those simpler days.

  5. Anyone know if that was a creek or river valley or a railroad cut between Lou Abrams lot and the row houses on the other side?

  6. In the lead photograph, in the lot, 2nd row, on the far right is a light colored NASH, either a1948 600 or 1950 Statesman. Parked to the left of this NASH is a dark colored 1946 FORD Super DeLuxe Convertible Club Coupé.

  7. Twins! In the front row under the Smiling Lou Abrams sign are a two-tone ’46 or ’47 Oldsmobile 60 or 70 series club sedan and, next to it on the left, a black ’48 Chevrolet convertible. Two rows back, what looks like the same two cars again!

  8. Edwards Lakes to Sea System was an early bus line that started around 1919. Originally, it ran across northern PA from Williamsport to Cleveland. It expanded into New Jersey and New York. One of the original routes was, most likely, along Route 322 – the “Lakes to Sea” highway. It was later absorbed into Continental Trailways.

  9. The steel mills were roaring and a lot of people making a decent wage. that means sales of more high end models of every brand and more high end used cars

  10. The uncropped version of this photo that I have shows what appears to be a Dodge stake truck overturned in the street, with its load spilled onto the roadway. The wrecker seen in the upper photo is positioned to turn it upright.

  11. Baum Blvd. was one of the auto row s for used and new cars in Pittsburgh at least thru the early 1970,s. Did try
    to buy a new 1956 DeSoto Adventurer at dealer on Baum Blvd but couldn’t get financed!

  12. In the first photo: why does the black convertible between the Studebaker and the Oldsmobile have what looks like a Packard hood ornament?

  13. I can’t identify the light colored car between the Merc convertible and the Chevy convertible in the first row. Is it a Nash? Or a Studebaker?

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