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Parking Lot Series: Shea Stadium Facility Filled to Capacity During Strike

Today we return to the New York City Flushing section of the Borough of Queens for a view of the Shea Stadium parking lot while filed to capacity with 1960s to ’70s cars. Recent coverage here included an image of the Van Wyck Expressway taken on the morning of November 30, 1972, after the Long Island Railroad was shut down due to a strike the previous evening. Today’s lead photo contains some of the many cars parked in the forty-five acre Shea Stadium lot on the very same day.

Shea Stadium which opened in 1964 is an interesting story in itself and was the home of the New York Mets baseball and the New York Jets football teams. After its modern replacement, City Field opened in 2008 it was demolished the following year. In addition to the expandable sectional views of the lead image (below), a 1964 video about the construction and the opening of the Ball Park is included.

Share with us what you find of interest in the photograph courtesy of the Queens Library.


18 responses to “Parking Lot Series: Shea Stadium Facility Filled to Capacity During Strike

  1. In Item 1 of 2, 1st row, 3rd car from the right appears to be a Simca 1000. In the 2nd row, 4th from the left a Volvo P122

    In Item 2 of 2, 1st row 3rd from right a ’64 Grand Prix and in the 8th row, 5th from the right a Checker Marathon beside a ’62 Mercury.

    My family spent about 10 days in NYC in July of ’64, visiting both the World’s Fair and Shea Stadium. Both were fun, but hardly a rival to exploring Manhattan…including riding the Staten Island Ferry as the Queen Elizabeth sailed past barely 500 feet away.

  2. What jumped out at me was the dearth of muscle/pony cars. I see one first generation Firebird on the far left, first row in the last picture. A 70 or 71 Mustang in the second picture, about ten rows back, second from left. And, finally, a 68 or so GTO, same picture, about eight rows back, one and a half cars to the right of the pole in the front middle. That’s all I saw out of what must be more than a 1,000 cars (?). Maybe missed one or two, because some of the cars are too small for me to identify. Still, not a high performance or sporty crowd for sure.

  3. Cars from the 70s have no magic. I suppose a few decades ago people felt the same way about 30s-40s cars .

  4. More Volkswagens than “muscle cars”. That was the reality. I think the whole “muscle car” thing was/is mostly fueled by magazine hype, both in the past and today. If I may editorialize, it hasn’t been good for the old car hobby.

    • Yes, there were more VWs than Boss Mustangs, Road Runners or COPO Camaros in “real life”.
      But in the ’30s there were more Chevys, Fords and Plymouths than Duesenbergs, Cords, or Bugattis…

      I don’t understand your comment that the rare high performance machines have been bad for the hobby.

      Without the enthusiasm they generate with a new generation (or two) of owners, the old car hobby would not be what it is today.
      Instead, it would be a small group of accentrics who rebuilt old Ford’s and a few brass-era cars. On YouTube there is an episode of an old Donna Reed show where her doctor husband restore a 1920 car (then only about as old as a ’77 Firebird today) and everyone thinks he’s crazy.

      Take a look at an early Hemmings, with its “Ford” and “Non Ford” listings and say the hobby was better off then…

  5. Nice to see a Checker which apparently is in private use (I see no taxicab-signs)… Though outdated by then, its design had yet another decade to go… Due to the higher roofline, it literally stands out above the others… 🙂

  6. 1st ,pic, 2nd row on right, a Toyota Corona, 6th row on left, is a Volvo 144, farther right, an older Toyota Corona, 8th row on the right, an Austin America, next pic, next to the Checker and Valiant, an Opel Kadette, possibly a wagon, and another older Toyota Corona.

  7. The muscle car era ended in 1970 when the last high performance cars were built, with a few exceptions, in 1971. Thanks to government regulations, horsepower dropped by 30% as low compression and other features took the P out of performance. My 2014 Honda V6 coupe is faster than many of that era Corvettes.

  8. Must be my ocd, but what I see first is the crappy parking job by the Buick in the 4th row, behind the vw and the Torino in the first row next to the simca.

  9. Loved the video. Saw the Mets once at the Polo Grounds in either 1962 or 1963. Worked ten minutes from Shea for the next ten years. Ther were aa lot of “bugs” on the Long Island highways in those days, surprised there are not more in the parking lot photo.

  10. Maybe three pick up trucks and as many SUVs in the whole lot. How did motorists navigate without a commanding perch six feet off the ground? It’s amazing we survived that design era at all.

    Thanx David. One of my favorite parking lots in a while.

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