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Holiday Inn: 1960

Holiday Inn: 1960

Columbus, Georgia, circa 1960. "Holiday Inn." In the Garden Spot of the South. 4x5 inch acetate negative from the Shorpy News Photo Archive. View full size.


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Galaxie State

The license plate on the Ford Galaxie was issued by Illinois in 1959. The white lettering on a brown background was chosen to honor Quincy College in Quincy, Illinois. Starting in 1955, the colors on Illinois license plates honored colleges across the state most years until 1964. The chart below shows this information.

In 1962 the colors were specifically chosen for their visibility, but police officers complained they were too hard to read. The 1963 colors were chosen to honor the 125th anniversary of John Deere. The 1965 colors of green on white were used to honor Illinois Secretary of State Charles Carpentier who died in office on April 3, 1964.

Left out

Left out of the car identifications by GCR below is the 1951 Ford on the far right with just enough visible of the front door to tell that it is a first year example of Ford's brand new Victoria hardtop coupe.

Safe bets

Back when I used to travel a bit, I always hit the McDonald's and Holiday Inn because they were consistently safe if not outstanding.

No chains in the South then

When I was a kid living in Georgia in the '50s the only chain restaurant we ever saw was Howard Johnson's. There were no McDonald's or KFC or anything. And worse, there was not a pizza place anywhere. Stuckey's was a tourist trap, so we didn't even think about it as a chain. But, like Jim Page, the clams at Howard Johnson's were a real treat. We'd stop at the HoJo in Folkston, Ga., on the way to Daytona each year and I filled up on those clams because I knew it would be another year before I ate them again.

3170 Victory Drive

This was the Holiday Inn on Victory Drive, which is the main thoroughfare between Fort Benning and Columbus. This ceased to be a Holiday Inn, I think back in the 1980's and has been several low-budget motels since.

Victory Drive, unfortunately, has an infamous reputation of vice and violence that goes back decades.

On the road way back when

In the '50s and '60s, we had a Florida beach house and another house in various places on the Gulf from East Texas to Mississippi, so my mom and dad drove us back and forth all the time.

We always stayed in Holiday Inns (I remember the 25-cent bed vibrators) and always ate at Howard Johnsons (I loved the fried clams and peppermint ice cream). We would also stop at Stuckeys, and I'd get one of those praline logs that were so sweet they'd lock your jaw.

Oddly enough, I can't remember us ever stopping at a McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. We'd have lunch in larger restaurants; my favorites were the big buffet places like Morrison's.

But those were the days of cruising for hours in some big Detroit car, searching for new AM radio stations as we'd get out of range, and being bored out of my mind.


Anyone Know the State's License plate on that '59 GalaxIE?

And yes, your moderator was correct, it is a Ford Galaxie NOT a Galaxy. As a former member of the Ford & Mercury Restorers Club I have been correcting folks for years.

Now, as to that license plate; Since Columbus sits on the Al.-Ga. state line, I at first thought that it was one of Alabama's "Heart of Dixie" tags. The colors were right but the number sequence seems all wrong. "Heart of Dixie" was located at the top of both the '59 & '60 tags. The colors are reversed to be a Georgia plate from those years.

Anyone able to blow it up bettern' me and discern the plate's identity?

There was (is?) a Ford Galaxy mini-van made by Ford Europe. Wikipedia has the dope on it.

That Nash- - - -

- - - only a Mother could love.

American Icon

My dad absolutely loved Holiday Inns. They were all over the country, mostly out of big cities and right off the major highways. All the rooms were identical so it didn't matter where they put you because you could drive right to your doorway. They always had a pool, sometimes heated(!) and they always had a nice restaurant, most times the nicest restaurant in their town or area serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The interior room and bathroom were the same in all these motels. They even had an outdoor kennel for dogs. I remember my dad said at this time each motel was owned and operated by the same people. My little sister and I would wheedle a quarter so we could get the "magic fingers" massage. As much as we liked Holiday Inn, we really appreciated Howard Johnson's assortment of ice cream, too.

Nice Nash

From the left there is a 1955 Ford convertible, the roofline of a 1959 Ford convertible, a 1957 Olds or Buick hardtop, a 1956 or 57 Nash Ambassador, another 1959 Ford Galaxy convertible. Through the glass, or possibly reflecting on the glass, you can see a 1958 Chevy, a 1957 Chevrolet and a 1955 Chevy.

[That "roofline of a 1959 Ford convertible" is really a 1959 Mercury; the "1957 Olds or Buick hardtop" is the 1958 Chevrolet reflected in the window; your Ford "Galaxy" is actually a Galaxie. - Dave]

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