Street Scenes Part V: Midwesterners Liked Their Broughams

N. Henderson Street, Galesburg IL, 2/21/86

(first posted 5/2/2012)    Here we go again, to Illinois in the mid-1980s (For those of you just joining us, previous Street Scenes posts can be found here: Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV). While Japanese and European autos were making substantial inroads on the West coast since the late Sixties, here in the heartland, folks still were partial to the Big Three’s wares. Sure, folks were buying imports here – my parents drove Volvos almost exclusively through the Eighties – but big, comfy American iron was still plenty popular. Is that an X-Body Omega Brougham on the left? I think it is.

West First Street, Dixon IL, 1/29/86

One problem though. Thanks to our bipolar climate, copious amounts of salt is dumped everywhere between late November and early March. As you can see in this photo, the lower valance and rear quarter panels on the Chrysler have disappeared, and the Monaco Brougham is already far along in returning to the elements, despite being less than ten years old. The owner might only have a couple more years to enjoy his canopy vinyl roof, wire wheel covers and velour interior before the floorpan totally dissolves.

238 North 5th Street, Quincy IL, 3/12/86

As I said, imports were not totally absent, just fewer in number compared to California. That Maxima looks awfully practical next to the giant basket-handle T-Bird and tiny Chevette and Omni/Horizon.

I will leave those of you with Brougham overload with this simple, no-nonsense K Car and Illinois-ubiquitous Old Style sign. That’s all for now!

East Illinois Street, New Berlin IL, 4/1/86