An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

New Car Dealer Postcards from the Alden Jewell Collection

Direct mail from automobile dealers to customers and potential car buyers has been in use for at least the last one-hundred years as a way to entice buyers into the showroom to view the new models or as a reminder to bring their car into the service department for maintenance.

After the introduction of Kodak Kodachrome and other competing brands of this type of film in the late-1930s, and the addition of inexpensive modern post-war color photo printing car dealer’s postcards changed with them. Soon, car sellers, postcards began to use “those nice bright colors” to entice buyers into the showroom.

The lead postcard in today’s feature was sent out in 1957 and ’58 by Ivy Russell Ford located in Houston, Texas along with other recently added postcards from auto historian Alden Jewell’s collection that will brighten up your day.

Share with us what you find of interest in this set of postcards and view earlier features here containing Alden Jewell’s photos and postcards.

  • 1956 – Harbison Oldsmobile, Morrisville, PA.

  • 1957 – Dietz Ford, Chicago, IL.

  • 1959 – Halladay Motors Olds-Cadillac Cheyenne, WY. 

  • 1963 – Richardson-Lovelock Ford, Reno, NV.

14 responses to “New Car Dealer Postcards from the Alden Jewell Collection

  1. In Item 1 of 4 at Harbison Olds, it seems odd to display the 88 (or Super 88) Holiday Coupe without its wheelcover, but if it caught my eye, maybe it’s just that, an attention-getting sales technique. It also fits the style of their showroom, done in a style suggesting Mies van der Rohe, the proponent of “less is more.” Noting the old-style chimney, the showroom may be an extensive remodel job of a much older building.
    Also there’s no Olds 98s visible in the window or out in the lot. I do see an off-white ’53 Chevy Two-Ten, a possible ’51 or ’52 B-body Buick in white over turquoise and maybe a white over dark ’50 Buick behind it.

    In Item 2 of 4 at Dietz Ford, a nice contrasting of ’57 Fairlanes in the window: a Fairlane 500 Sunliner and a Fairlane Town Sedan.

    In Item 3 of 4, Halladay Motors, there appears to be a ’59 Ninety Eight Holiday SportSedan in the window that’s pretty much overwhelmed by the ’59 Eldorado Biarritz in the street…and underwhelmed by what seems to be a Borgward Goliath combi in the street. Ahead of that could be a ’58 or ’59 GMC, a ‘59 Olds 88 convertible and red and white Fiesta wagon (not Super 88s, which have a longer wraparound rear bumper) then possibly a Hillman Minx and an M-B 180 or 190 sedan. This side of the street could be the headlight of a ’56 Buick.

    In Item 4 of 4 a pair of Galaxie 500s on either side of a dark rose T-bird. A ’57 Mercury on the side street

  2. These are great picture. The period architecture of the Halladay Olds Cadillac and Harbison Olds buildings are awesome. Oh, the cars are nice too!

  3. In the picture of the Oldsmobile dealership, the 1956 Olds sitting outside near the used car sign immediately caught my eye. I wonder if that was the last two color combinations after a long hard day in the Production Dept. and someone said, “just go with it”.

  4. I start each & every work day with a trip to Alden’s website. The ads, the postcards, etc. that he finds to post are nothing short of fascinating. Still looking for dealer postcards from here in Omaha that he might post, but alas, none have surfaced. The card above that I always enjoy looking at is Harbison Oldsmobile’s showroom from `56! The showroom itself is a very modern design, even by today’s standards, with floor-to-ceiling glass giving the cars maximum exposure to passing traffic. In the background you can see new, un-serviced `56 models fresh off the transport. Oh, to be a fly in THAT lot!!

  5. Dietz Ford in Chicago was Lee Dietz Ford, located at 2950 W. Lawrence Avenue. That location is now an urban neighborhood garden plot.

  6. The Harbison Oldsmobile dealership building looks suspiciously like Grace Quality Used Cars, with the glass store-front windows, the four columns in front supporting the roof structure, and the brick chimney sticking above the roof. The address is 945 Lincoln Hwy., Morrisville, PA.

  7. The building in the 1959 photo of Halladay Motors Olds-Cadillac in Cheyenne, WY is located at 1608 Maxwell Avenue. Halladay Motors is still in business but at a new location. The building at 1608 Maxwell Ave is now the Halladay Motors Paint & Collision Center. Except for the absence of the Olds and Cadillac marquees on the center brick pylon, the building looks pretty much the same.

  8. In the Halladay Motors post-card, in the small photograph in the upper left corner, parked on the street is a white & light blue two-door 1951 BUICK Special Sedan.

  9. Alden Jewell, again, has made a home-run with sharing a (small) portion of his collection. Thank you, Alden, very much. Best part of my awaking this Saturday morning.

Leave a Reply

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