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Vintage Things That Have Disappeared In Your Lifetime?

USED CAR LOTS. Growing up and into my early adult years, there were independent used car dealers almost everywhere. I lived in Cleveland, Ohio back in the day (forties through eighties) and used cars were available everywhere. Good and newer cars were generally in the front rows, and clunkers, rust buckets, and fixer-uppers were in the back. Something for everyone. Now, it's almost impossible to find any independents. Carvana with their fancy elevators and some other national chains like Edmunds and new car dealerships are the mainstays of where to purchase a used car. I liked the independents because they were easy to haggle with on price.

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COVID and the shortage of used cars did in a lot of the independents. We leased out an old gas station to three generations for 40 years and they had to call it quits. There is a window tinting place in there now.

My mother's basement
I recall a poster circa 1970 featuring a photo of a then-prominent political figure wearing a cheesy grin with a caption reading “Would You Buy a Used Car from this Man?”

It was time when used cars were suspect almost by default. And the people in the used car business? Well, let’s just say you’d rather your sister wasn’t dating one.

But then, cars were much less expensive then, even in adjusted dollars.
I passed a Pontiac Solstice yesterday and it got me to thinking about the car companies or divisions that had disappeared in my lifetime. This is just U.S. companies and only the ones I recognize — there were quite a few startups that died quickly.

American Motors (1954–1987)
Avanti Motor Co. (1963–2007)
Checker Motors Corporation (1922–1982)
DeLorean Motor Company (1975–1982
DeSoto (1928–1961)
Diamond T (1905–1967)
Eagle (1988–1998)
Edsel (1958–1960)
Excalibur (1965–1997)
Fiberfab (1964–1983)
Geo (1989–1997)
Imperial (1955–1975, 1981–1983)
International Harvester (1907–1980)
King Midget (1947–1970)
Mercury (1939–2011)
Merkur (1985–1989)
Oldsmobile (1897–2004)
Pontiac (1926–2010)
Rambler (1958–1969)
REO Motor Car Company (1905–1975)
Saturn (1991–2010)
Studebaker (1902–1963)
Stutz (1968–1987)
Willys (1916–1918, 1930–1942, 1953–1963)
Plymouth automobiles (they used to make trucks also)

Wow — I just plain missed that one. Thanks.

Plymouth (1928–2001)

And I used to own one many years ago (me on the left). A ‘41 sedan delivery that I co-owned with my brother. One of 3,235 built. We got it drivable, but let it go after several years. It was fully restored by someone and last seen advertising a tattoo shop.



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I found one in a bone yard (junk yard to some) and scavenged the horn and seats out of it and installed them into a 53 Plymouth Cranbrook so I could have "bucket seats". This was 1963 or 1964, I'm not sure, but bucket seats were just coming into fashion. I even put seat belts in, because I was so safety conscious. The Cranbrook had a flathead six cylinder motor, very little torque and even less power. It was a tank of a car and not as cool as the cars some of my other buddies drove. It was a four door, and none of my friends would ride in it.

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