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Rocket Headquarters: 1954

Rocket Headquarters: 1954

The Rucker Oldsmobile used car lot in Columbus, Georgia, presents this shiny Ford Crestline convertible (low miles, California car) for your consideration, if a Rucker Rocket is not your thing. 4x5 inch acetate negative from the Shorpy News Photo Archive. View full size.


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The slowest car on the lot

Is easily the 1948 Chrysler with its Fluid Drive on the far right. Even the 1946-'47 Packard between the 1952 and '54 Oldses with its straight stickshift could give it a good run for the money. This was the time when millions of postwar cars with their 1930s drivetrains still shared the road with the new factory hot rods coming out of Detroit every year since 1949.

The Cool '50s

That A/C unit hanging out of the window of the office building was a rare sight in the '50s. Must have been one of the advertising gimmicks to get people in the door “come to the Rocket Headquarters where you can stay cool while we sell you a used clunker with the miles rolled back and the bondo covering the rust”!

[The early 1950s are when air-conditioner sales took off in this country; well over a million window units were sold in 1954. - Dave]


Trim, not a boat. I like it.
True story, maybe 1972, I'm twenty or so. I stop at a used car lot, there's a Camaro looks interesting. I go in the office, gab with the sales guy. finally I say can I give it a test drive, he says, "I'll tell ya, Gary, we don't like to let 'em off the lot."

Rustin Oldsmobiles

Rucker Oldsmobile later changed its name to Rustin Oldsmobile, which a lot of people found quite humorous. I went to summer camp for several years with the owner's son, whose nickname was Rusty.

I'll bet it's red

But no matter. I'd be smiling, too.

The Old '54

I have always liked the design of the 1954 Ford. My grandparents, dad, and his three brothers were living in Columbus in 1954. My grandfather would have been driving a black 1950 Ford in '54 and my grandmother had a "battleship" gray 1951 Plymouth. I have seen pictures of both cars. They moved to Augusta in the summer of 1956.

Thank you for posting this photo from 1954. I plan to tell my dad to look at it. He would have been only 7 years old in '54, but may remember the Rucker Used Car lot. Ironically, Rucker was the first name of one of his best friends growing up. However, that person lived in Augusta, not Columbus.


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