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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Midtown Motors: 1946

Midtown Motors: 1946

June 28, 1946. "Midtown Motors, 950 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco." Back when Ford specialized in making cars. 8x10 inch acetate negative. View full size.

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bldg mixup ????

image of bldg backin the day on van ness seems ok but DDRESS IS NOT 950 VANNESS AVE. at ofarrel st but a bldg further down strret 900 van ness more or less at ellis street. anyone can back me up. bldg at ellis had the 4 columns and each corner lamppost and 2 stories atall and not 4-5 stories as at 950 vn ness, etc etc.

[You are deeply confused. The photo below shows the building across the street from 950 Van Ness. Get some sleep! - Dave]


x2 on the Watermark! Sometimes more interesting than the photos themselves.

RE: Still There?

It's now the Academy of Arts Auto Museum.

Dave, you outdid yourself.

The best watermark ever!

Oh come on!

Am I the only one here who immediately saw the Ford emblem on the hubcaps were not parallel to the floor? How hard would it have been to pop them off and put them on right for the photo?


The caption says Van Ness in S.F. then references KFI which is a radio station in L.A.???

[Auto dealer Earle Anthony owned KFI in Los Angeles, a fact advertised by the KFI sign and giant dummy antennas on the roof of his San Francisco "Palace of Packards" on Van Ness. More reading here and here. Examples of actual oxymorons here. - Dave]

Competition getting sneaky

Why or from where - the CHEVROLET reversed / reflected above the lower strip of ceiling lights?

[Think hard and I bet you can figure it out. - Dave]


In the fully enlarged image you can make out the reflection of a neon CHEVROLET sign that must have been across the street. Also KFI PACKARD vertically. Drip pans under these Fords because there were road tubes for ventilating the engine crankcase and oil would normally accumulate and drip from the tubes.

Ghost marques

Chevrolet above the lights; Packard over the stair.

[Also radio station KFI. - Dave]

Packards are Across the Street

I think I'll go browse there. Wonder if that's now the Tesla dealership.

LATER -- Looking the Packard dealership pictures -- seems that this is the place on streetview where they are selling Jaguars.

Yep, still there

It is now the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum
Here's a link to their web site. Looks like it's worth a visit.

950 Van Ness

Yep. Those are vintage Fords in the window of 950 Van Ness. Funny thing. When I lived in the Bay Area, that place(corner of Van Ness and O'Farrell) was a Mercedes Benz dealership.


Anyone into the PV series that Volvo produced from about 1947 until 1965 can see where they got the basic design.

Car shopping

I notice that all the vehicles on the showroom floor have drip pans under them.

I want to deal on the little coupe in the foreground.

I remember auto showrooms back then had a nice smell to them of new paint, rubber and some secret ingredient.

Still there?

Google street view shows 40s vintage cars in the windows? Not sure they’re Fords, I’m sure someone else here will know! Right across the street from a Tesla dealership.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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