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Don’s Body Shop – Dale’s Alignment Service Brookings, South Dakota

Don’s Body Shop and Dale’s Alignment Service were located on Highway 77 South in Brookings, South Dakota, when this set of images was taken in 1958. Apparently, Don and Dale were either friends or business associates and teamed up and combined their businesses in one building.

Research has revealed the businesses later separated and moved, and Dale’s Alignment Service is still in operation at 1070 Main Ave South, and Don’s Body shop was located at West 2nd St South in Brookings.

Please share with us what you find of interest courtesy of the Digital Library of South Dakota.

17 responses to “Don’s Body Shop – Dale’s Alignment Service Brookings, South Dakota

    • Good eye AML – as usual – as only the Commodore had that low chrome side trim present on it and very few at that. I have no idea why I’ll have to ask a Hudson expert about it if I ever get the opportunity, but it became a standard feature on all the ’50 and ’51 Commodore and Super Six models. And yes a ‘Club Coupe’ is the factory name for the two door model.

  1. The 3rd & 4th pictures [2nd & 3rd photographs] appear to have been taken within moments, both four-door 1955 BUICK Super Sedan & 1955 DeSOTO Fireflite Sportsman are in the same positions.

  2. Dale was Dale LeRoy McCord (7/21/1918 – 12/05/2003). After serving in WW2 and Korea, he worked for Frie Motor Company until 1956, when he started the alignment shop. He retired in 1975 and then drove school buses until 1986.

    In the first expandable picture, the man standing under the hood is Don Kruse, the founder of Don’s Body Shop. His son Dennis took it over and closed it down two years ago when none of his sons were interested in continuing the business. Don passed away in August 1974.

  3. Love that Hudson in the lead photo. Nice to see one up close. But what year and model is it? My educated guess is that it is a 1948-’49 two door Hudson Commodore. Perhaps someone knows better perhaps not.

    • The Hudsons were unibodys with a very unique ‘step down’ feature, rendering the center of gravity on the low side. That characteristic combined with the twin carburaters (51?) made them very competitive on the AAA racing circuit in the 50s. Think Marshall Teague. Story goes he showed up at Hudson executive offices one day unannounced and asked to see the president. Eventually he got his audience and convinced the executives to give him one car and he would make history with it. The rest of the story is in the record books. The Fabulous Hudson Hornet legend lives on.

      • The 48 Hudson was very low, but when compared to other 1948 cars. Do a Google on a 48 Ford, Mercury, Dodge, Chevrolet, etc. and you’ll see how low they were by comparison. By 1957 (the newest car in this series) the Ford had “caught down” to the Hudson.

        • The Hornets were in fact physically lower by 2 plus inches than other cars from the 50s, according to Wiki. (Didn’t check the 53 Starliner.) As you point out, by the late 50s the other makes came around. Which brings us to an irony of major proportions: the 55 Hudson had caught up to the 52 Nash by that measurement.

  4. In the Lead Photo, ’53 Buick Super Riviera, perhaps a ’48 or ’49 Hudson Club Coupe, a ’52 or ’53 Nash Statesman sedan and a ’57 Ford Custom or Custom 300 Fordor Sedan

    In Item 1 of 3 appears to be a ’53 Ford Customline. That might be ’55 Studebaker in the back on the left, but that’s just a guess.

    In Item 2 of 3 looks to be a ’55 De Soto Fireflite, possibly a Sportsman hardtop….and maybe the front bumper of a ’55 Buick on the right edge

    Item 3 of 3 settles that…a ’55 De Soto and a 4-porthole ’55 Buick Century Sedan on a B-body. The C-body Super (also 4 portholes) had a secondary crease beneath the window sill and a slightly raised hood and trunk area.

    • Pat,

      The rear bumper on the NASH in the lead picture looks like it comes from an Ambassador. On top of the bumper are narrow chrome extensions at the corners.

      AML

      • The “narrow chrome extensions” on the rear bumper of the Nash are actually accessory guards that are the same on both Ambassador & Statesman. We can tell that it is not a Custom trim level because of the lack of a continental spare and the hub caps vs wheel covers but whether it is an Ambassador or Statesman can’t be determined from the photo because the front fender length or fender nameplate are not visible. The tail pipe though does look suspiciously large which could make it an Ambassador with the 252.6 OHV Six rather than the Statesman 184 flathead.

    • Not a ’55 Studebaker in the background with the 53 Ford. No “visor” on the headlight bezel, and you would see a lot more of the huge diecast chrome grille if it were a ’55 Stude.

  5. Thank you Steve K. .
    Your addition about the lives of these men makes these pictures complete.
    I always wonder about the folks in the pictures and what may have happened to them.
    Kudos for that.

  6. Seems unusual there is no ad for the brand of equipment the alignment shop is using. Normally they wiil have the Bear or other manufacturer’s advertising outside and inside. The rack the 55 Buick is on appears to be a frame straightening machine. My experience has been most of the vintage frontend shops with older employees do a better job than the new modern ones. Experience counts!!

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