Don’t know the location, and it looks to have been colorized, but it’s a nice shot, especially as there’s what looks like to be a little Fiat Topolino just behind the car carrier in the next lane.
Nice shot; I wonder if anyone can tell where it was taken — obviously a place where front license plates were used, which rules out my native PA.
Someone already has a new ’55 Ford convertible!
Isn’t that a ‘55 Chevy rear end visible above the roof of the Ford?
The diner is called Park College Diner … could this be Parkville, Missouri?
My first thought when I saw the red car in front of the Topolino was, “Oh. A customized car.” The DeSoto grille was such a common modification that it’s kind of strange to see it on a DeSoto.
A google search shows that a College Park Diner used to stand at 8205 Baltimore Ave (US Rt1) in College Park MD. The building was due for demolition but was moved to preserve it. A McDonald’s sits on the site now. The picture sure does look like the Rt 1 that I remember.
Oh this diner is Park College Diner. Not College Park Diner. As Gilds Radner would say “Never mind”.
No, you got it right! Park College Diner, 8205 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD. https://patch.com/maryland/collegepark/park-college-diner-1940s
Close to Paul’s home turf I bet. Thanks for the correction.
Seems correct. The Park College Diner was a popular spot on Rt. 1 in College Park, MD. And, the license plates shown feature a white background with dark letters, which were issued by Maryland between March 1955 and March 1956.
When my older brother was little, he was always reading a book in the car (not a car nut like us), so when he started driving, he had little sense of where things were located. He would usually start to turn the wrong way at the mouth of our cul de sac until corrected by a passenger. Once, he was driving alone (in a ’56 Olds) to a swim meet off Rt 1 south of the Capital Beltway in Alexandria, a place he’d been before and not far from our house, but showed up an hour late. He’d missed the exit and driven a third of the Beltway to Rt 1 in College Park, Maryland. I can’t remember how he finally realized he was in the wrong state.
One of my mother’s friends was so uptight about driving in unfamiliar parts of the DC area, that when she missed the Beltway exit she wanted, she drove the 64 mile circuit to get back to it.
That’s better than my grandfather, who had lived in DC long before there was a Beltway. I was with him once when missed his exit, braked to a stop in the slow lane, then slowly pulled over and started backing up along the shoulder in his /6 Dart Swinger.
The car carrier is coming from GM-land:
Further back, on top, is the front of a ’55 Olds.
And a 1955 Ford station wagon next to the Chevy. So this photo must be well past the introduction date of the ’55 Buicks – probably mid 1955..
That was THEN, and this is the NOW? You’d never know it. The little street sign on the corner by the ’55 Ford convertible must say “Navahoe St.”
I’m pretty sure this IS Washington Avenue, US Rt 1, in College Park, MD, facing north.
As pointed out in a comment above, the license plates are 95% certain to be Maryland plates, as they had 2 letters, a small square hyphen, 2 numbers, another hyphen, and another 2 numbers. I don’t know of any other state using this system back then, and in a quick internet search I wasn’t able to find any other state with a similar number set. [Maryland trucks had the reverse, the 2 letters were at the right side.]
As I mentioned in another CC comment elsewhere, back in 1971 I used to work in the ESSO station visible in the distance, and I ate more than a few times in the Diner. I’m pretty sure there was a Buick dealership in Hyattsville, MD, a few miles further south, so that would suggest a destination for the new car carrier.
My mum was a photographer and I can assure you that those orange colored cars and objects in the picture are deceiving you. Nothing is in orange. Indeed orange is a chemical iodide reaction from old photo paper, A sort of bleaching. As you can see, the orange is within a certain stripe and nearly all objects within this stripe are affected.
I don’t know the real color. But photographers, conservators and other professionals in this field have special tables to look this up. As I remember orange is blue or grey, Dark red is another thing- Afaik it is black.
Yes, this seems correct, as the orange appears only in a horizontal stripe and in blotches, such as on the ’55 Ford’s convertible top. The original photo was taken in black and white.
Ad from the student newspaper, a few years earlier (saving a quarter then = saving a few dollars today):
This would appear to be the Sinclair station just down the street:
The “NO….” on the sign just north of Diner and then Sinclair could be NORMAN Auto glass (same side of the street):
One more business, just to our left of the Coca-Cola sign:
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.