The car dealers of 1950’s Buffalo

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

We’re going back 63 years here, but these photos show that on many levels, life was simpler not all that long ago.

Two generations ago, you could walk to the car dealership in your neighborhood to purchase your next ride. If you wanted to haggle over the 9 or 10 cars they had, you went in and talked with the guy whose name is on the sign. The buildings are just regular city buildings, many of which still stand today, and you’d never guess were once car dealerships.

It’s just so much different than what we think of in 2013.

Although most of these photos are likely from the mid ’40s or earlier, each of these photos was taken from a collection of ads dated 1950.

The best thing about every single one of these places? None of them are HUUUUGE.

DiBello1950

DiBello Pontiac 1275 Main Street. Its facade is bricked over, but it’s still standing.

DonAllen1950

Don Allen Chevy, 2585 Main at Fillmore. Now the site of an Eckerd. I mean Rite Aid.

Gillen1950

Gillen Pontiac, the only dealer shown outside of the city, at 3445 Delaware Avenue in Tonawanda. Until recently the home of Premier Liquor, it’s now Len-Co Lumber.

LBSmith1950

LB Smith Ford, 1212 Abbott Rd at City Line. Recently abandoned after years as a Ford dealership, the buildings still stand next to LB Smith Plaza, home of Hens & Kelly.

Maxson1950

Maxson Cadillac-Pontiac, 2421 Main St at Jewett. Built as a Pierce-Arrow dealership, Caddys were sold here for about 65 years. Has been a bank for the last decade.

Rooney1950

Rooney Nash, 2705 Bailey St. Neither the car make nor the building have made it. This was where the gas station near the police station is.

TaggartSchutz1950

Taggart Schutz Pontiac 1294 Seneca St. building is boarded up and painted white, but still stands.

TaylorOBrien1950

Taylor-O’Brien Ford, 2837 Bailey Ave, Buffalo. Building still stands with large cement awning next to the 33

AAA1950

Not a car dealer, but interesting old car photos, and AAA– which still does all these things (except the crisp white jumpsuit wearing.)

This page originally appeared at TrendingBuffalo.com

 

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.