Updated with car models and years, thanks to diligent Scouting NY readers! Let me know if I got any wrong!
The other day, I was walking under the old abandoned subway tracks on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn:
Not exactly the prettiest block in New York, there are quite a few car-related businesses in the area…
So when you pass what looks like a dealership/repair place at Ditmars, you wouldn’t really think to look twice.
But if you take the time to look…
…you’ll see that this is not your average car dealership:
When I first saw it, I felt like I’d walked through some weird Bushwick time warp:
About a dozen classic cars in varying condition are parked at the Myrtle entrance as if they might be sold tomorrow – note the great triangle flags hanging from the ceiling:
A few are in great condition, like this old Checker Marathon (1968-1973):
Unfortunately, the majority are in much need of some restoration work, like this 1953 Chevy Townsman wagon:
Also, a lot of them look sad. I don’t know how this is possible – maybe because of the distinctive headlight design? Either way, this is screaming for a children’s book about the little run down dealership with cars waiting to be restored like the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. Below, a 1956 Chevy Nomad.
This tip actually came from reader Jennifer B, who wrote “I was driving to get the best cannoli in Brooklyn (Circo’s, Knickerbocker Ave) and came across this old abandoned used car lot…It looked like a slice of Cuba…” The email was titled “Surreal location for you,” and there’s really no better adjective to describe stumbling across this, on Myrtle Ave of all places. Below, a 1956 Pontiac Safari wagon:
The property is for sale, and I gave a call to find out more. The owner said the person who rents the space is simply an old man who loves his cars (which are not for sale).
The most colorful cars are these three:
I know this is a Ford, due to my extensive car knowledge (and the fact that I spotted a Ford emblem on the hood, prob. 1954):
A 1956 Ford Victoria…
…with a rather worn hood ornament:
A banana yellow 1951 Chevy…
…and its green twin:
Finally, another look at the Pontiac Safari:
This really is a wonderful little place out of time, and finding it in gritty Bushwick makes it all the more magical. As I said, the property is for sale, so if you want to take a visit to the automotive past, time is ticking…
Huge thanks to Jennifer for the tip!