The dappled sunlight on the Morris Minor makes it look battered at first glance.
I’ll take the light-colored 1949-50 Chevy sedan, one of the newest cars in the photo.
I don’t think that’s a Morris Minor, they never had opposite swinging suicide doors, I think its a Renault 4CV.
My parents had one of those Renaults, before they got their first Beetle. The most memorable thing about it was that, taken at the right speed, it would become airborne over a certain set of railroad tracks. Sounds like a fun car.
I stand corrected; should have noticed the center-hinged doors.
OK. I get the ’51 Shoebox Fordor.
Looks like a nice place in the shade.
From the era when GM was number 1 and Chrysler was number 2 of the US Big Three. This parking lot shows it.
I see a Kaiser or Frazer nosed up to that light colored Chevy sedan.
4CV, Frazer and ’46 Skyway Champion are rarities. In the front row, ’47 Pontiac, ’49 Chrysler, ’41 Buick, ’49 Desoto, ’38 Chrysler, ’39 generic Mopar, probably Chrysler.
I know we are supposed to be looking at the cars, but I just love that restaurant; simple and classy at the same time, and no doubt filled with women wearing long skirts, and men with suits and ties.
Nowadays most restaurants are cookie-cutter national chains, and hardly anyone dresses up to eat out.
Ironically, this restaurant was part of a chain, as it was one of nine locations operated as Patricia Murphy’s Candlelight Restaurant. This location on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset, Long Island was a favorite of my parents during the first years of their marriage.
And Patricia Murphy herself has quite a story, apparently:
I’m amazed how bedraggled that Renault looks for a car that could only be four years old at most. Or maybe it’s just the missing hubcap and the play of light and shade from the shadow of the tree. America must have been a hard life for one of these.
Pour little Renault 4. This picture makes it so obvious where the styling cues came from. The car looks dinky here. On the other side of that pond it looked just fine, even stylish, among the cars and motorized contraptions that roamed the Boulevards, Avenues and Rues.
Something tells me that this place would have served up a kick ass meatloaf plate. As to the parking lot, I’d take the Frazer.
Bet the poor driver got the table by the kitchen door, too!
I figure it’s an employee driving in from Queens. Manhasset is very expensive and some of the help would likely come in from the City. Cars get beat up there since many have to park on the street. Had to park on the street myself when I lived in Queens. I know what happens to bumpers with “park by ear.” Had a neighbor who had one of these 4cv’s in the late 50’s. Once, in the days before we had self-service, the gas station attendant mistakenly filled the radiator with gasoline, or at least started to. Very common on these with the radiator cap mounted externally just below the rear window.
Nothing like a parking lot to help date a photo pretty accurately!
At Shorpy we can peek a little farther into the photo if curious: https://www.shorpy.com/node/22640
LOC has another eight same-day photos, though no automobiles: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=candlelight%20manhasset&co=gsc
Restaurant menu only five years later gives a sample of the fare:
As a kid I would occasionally be taken to one of those old-school restaurants where a little glass of tomato juice was a choice for the “first course”. I never understood it, but usually picked it because none of the other stuff sounded good. 🙂
Walk into a parking lot like that in the 60’s and 70’s and everybody and their grandmother had whitewalls.
2 cars in this picture are all I see. Walk into a lot today and the ratio would be lucky to be that high.
I guess everything old is new again!
This place is right out of Mildred Pierce.
I’m a late adopter, I’ll have the meatloaf and the 38 Chrysler please.
I think that I see two Dowdy De Soto’s. In between is the ’39 Chrysler. Patricia Murphy’s was famous for serving popovers in lieu of bread. Hot popovers and butter to melt in them.
The Renault’s wipers were in mid stride when the ignition was shut off in a photograph which displays no other evidence of rain. I suspect it is parked far from the customers’ cars for a reason other than import exclusion. Perhaps it is the car of the manager or cook who showed up to prepare for breakfast at 5:30 AM in the rain, an hour or more before opening and right before the rain stopped and the sun came up. Or perhaps it has been sitting there for days, having broken down on a rainy night while attempting to drive by.
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