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Deal and Davie Oldsmobile – Cadillac – GMC Susanville, California

Today we return to Deal and Davie Oldsmobile-Cadillac-GMC located at at 1107 Main St. in Susanville, CA, with another set of images taken in 1952. Recently we shared photos of a 1952 Cadillac Coupe in the dealership’s showroom and parts department. The series of three buildings visible in these photos have survived. We will return at a later date with pre-war images of another Deal and Davie facility.

Please share with us what you find of interest in these photos courtesy of the UC Davis Library.

24 responses to “Deal and Davie Oldsmobile – Cadillac – GMC Susanville, California

  1. Last Picture, left to right, two GMC pickups, 1948-1953, 1948 Chevrolet, 1948-1950 Ford F-1 pickup. 1948-1953 Chevy pickup behind the Ford. Back by the building in a 1948-1951 Dodge with the hood off, by the size of the tires it is bigger than half ton, maybe a one ton or even a Job-Rated, looks like a big motor sticking up. Can’t see the tow truck.

    • Joann, thanks for identifying that Chevy as a ’48, I had overlooked the prominent center divider when I called it a ’47. Thanks for your correction! And the details on the large Dodge truck.

    • Correction on the Dodge truck, the hood is not off, it is there but the light colored paint is missing from parts of the hood.

  2. Nice images! I spot a fairly new `51 Olds 98 coupe in the first image I’d love to own. I see by `52 it was still popular for car dealers to be paired up with their own gas station. Nice way for the place to supplement it’s bottom line! The gas station is nearly identical to one in Georgia that survived. A guy bought the place, and made it his personal home!!! Not huge by any means, but if remodeled right, a tidy, cozy little place for one!!
    (Yes, he filled in the garage doors with a stationary wall with windows. )

  3. In the Lead Photo a ’51 Olds Super 88 Sedan on the left, a ’51 Olds 98 Holiday Coupe and a ’51 Super 88 2-door Sedan on the right.

    In D and D1 Item 1 of 4, a GMC New Design 5-window pickup in the window. By the station a ’41 Chevy Special Deluxe 5-passenger Coupe…in the stalls a pair of Olds, perhaps a ’50 76 and a ’51 88 on the right
    Off to the right a collection of GMC New Design pickups, both 3 and 5-window, a ’51 Olds 88 or Super 88 2-door sedan in grey and a ’49 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special (only rocker panel chrome trim and “Cadillac” script high on the fender ahead of the door vs a Series 61 and 62 and single bar grille vs a ’48 model).

    In D and D5 Item 2 0f 4, could be a ’41 Chevy and a ’42, ’46 or ’47 Hudson non-Commodore.

    In D and D 3 Item 3 of 4 a ’36 Ford Tudor and maybe a ’46-’48 Olds Series 60 or 70.

    In D and D 4 Item 4 of 4 two ’47 or ’48 GMC (vs ’49 and later with just horizontal bars for the grille) with a ’50 or ’51 Olds and a large Dodge truck behind them, a ’47 Chevy Fleetline Aero Sedan (with the ’49 Sixty Special behind it) and a ’48-’50 Ford Bonus Built F-Series pickup

    • In Item 3 of 4 the Olds sedan behind the gas station has a chrome plated stone shield on the rear fender, not black rubber, marking it as a ’48. I think that 4-door body was only available in the 70 Series.

    • Joel, thanks for that correction! And as you say, the fastback 4-door sedan body was available only in the 70 Series. That’s surprising that the Olds still had rubber stone shields across the board in ’47…even on the Custom Cruiser 98. The Pontiac also got chrome (technically, polished stainless steel) in ’48 on the DeLuxe Torpedo and Streamliner while the Senior Buicks had chrome in ’46, though oddly, the Cadillac didn’t get chrome till ’47.

  4. In the third photo on the right is a ’46-47 Hudson Super Six sedan. Not sure what the car next to it is but it might be a ’42 or possibly post war Chevrolet.

  5. Picture number one, 1952 GMC deluxe 5 window cab pickup in the show room. Looks like a 1941 Chevrolet between the buildings. To the right is the vehicles for sale with several GMC pickups, the one on the left appears to be older, 1945-1946ish. I’ll take that one as I like that year style. Picture number two, inside the repair garage are two Sun tune up machines. Think the one on the left is for setting up the points in the distributor. Nice chain falls.

    • Hi Joann, I see I’m going to have to get going a bit earlier. In the 2nd pic, across the street, is a small cattle box on barrels, possibly awaiting a new truck chassis. I think the Dodge “Schlitz” truck could be a ’53, 1 ton( or 1.5 ton) with that grill. ’54 had a 1 piece windshield. I’d have to think the striped wrecker would be a GMC as well.

      • Hi Howard, Good catch, I saw that body there but missed the barrels under it. I would also guess the tow truck is a GMC at a GMC dealership. Now about that Dodge, I believe 1948-1951 the top bar on the grille is shorter and runs between the headlights and on 1952-1953 the top bar on the grille is longer and extends out underneath the headlights. Stay Healthy.

  6. First photo, looks like the body shop section of the dealer . 51 Super 88 getting rear end collision repair. I like how the Dealership is shown selling gas too. Whatever it took to keep the business going.

  7. In D and D1 Item 1 of 4, it seems the rods supporting the metal awning over the showroom windows are no longer trusted …they appear to have built some supplementary posts and crossbeams of lumber.

  8. Boy, the inside of that garage is a real mess, and that Hudson sure is filthy. Would hate to have gone to work there every day knowing that I could spend the next 20 years amid all that crud. Today’s shops, especially in dealerships, are certainly cleaner, but the mechanics may have been better diagnosticians back then. Today’s liability insurance companies may also require cleaner and tidier workspaces.

    • But the body shop is the opposite – much cleaner than today’s body shops which are filled with bondo dust in every nook and cranny. The quarter panel on the Olds on the right is about to be finished with a coat of lead which will creat very little dust when filed and sanded.

  9. A lot of shops will still keep their old Sun machines around even though a lot of them are now obsolete.Must have sentimental value.Do they still use ocsiloscopes in repair shops?Haven’t seen one in years.I think Vat 40s are still in use,though.

  10. The owner of the ’51 Holiday Coupe lucked out in getting those beautiful U.S. Royal wide whitewalls. They were hard to come by during the Korean War years ’50-’53. My dad ordered a new ’51 “98” Holiday Sedan in June and it arrived late July of ’51 with blackwalls, the only tires available at the time of production. A few years later the car got whitewalls which greatly improved the appearance.

  11. In the photo of the gas station…anyone know what the “Rocketone” sign on refers to?
    I’d guess a Shell ad slogan if the rime, but it could be batteries or whatever.
    And since the firm is a Oldsmobile dealer, it might have something to do with Old’s long running ” Rocket” theme.

    Anyone know for certain?

  12. The first picture reminds me of my 1951 88-A. A ’51 model only built for a short time then discontinued. It was an exact copy of the 1949 1950 olds 88 but with all 1951 mechanical items. My restored 88-A 2 door turned heads wherever I went but even knowledgeable Oldsmobile guys swore it was a 1950 Olds 88.

    • I’m guessing Olds had some trouble getting the new-bodied Super 88s ready for sale at the beginning of the 1951 model year so started off with the carryover 88-A. I’m also guessing that many buyers of the 88-A were upset when their brand new cars were instantly depreciated by the subsequent arrival of the Super 88s.

      • Some have speculated that Oldsmobile was using up leftover ’49 and ’50 body parts. I think your guess is more likely.

  13. Looks like a “one stop shop” operation, quite common back then.
    In my community there was a Buick dealer that also sold and serviced Frigidaire appliances. Attached was a machine shop that manufactured their patented vegetable topper s. Wait…I am not done yet! Next door was their Esso gas station and next to that was a genuine Sterling diner that they brought in in 1939.

  14. According to google maps street view 2007 this was a Buick, Pontiac, GMC and Toyota dealer with a Goodyear store next door. Street view 2018…nothing. All empty. Looks like Main St. Susanville never recovered from the 2008-2009 recession.
    And now comes a global pandemic. What will Main Street, Susanville look like in two years?

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