The Brooklyn Car Dealership Caught In A Time Warp

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:

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Not exactly the prettiest block in New York, there are quite a few car-related businesses in the area…

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So when you pass what looks like a dealership/repair place at Ditmars, you wouldn’t really think to look twice.

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But if you take the time to look…

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…you’ll see that this is not your average car dealership:

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When I first saw it, I felt like I’d walked through some weird Bushwick time warp:

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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:

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A few are in great condition, like this old Checker Marathon (1968-1973):

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Unfortunately, the majority are in much need of some restoration work, like this 1953 Chevy Townsman wagon:

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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.

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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:

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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).

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The most colorful cars are these three:

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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):

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A 1956 Ford Victoria…

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…with a rather worn hood ornament:

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A banana yellow 1951 Chevy…

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…and its green twin:

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Finally, another look at the Pontiac Safari:

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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…

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Huge thanks to Jennifer for the tip!

-SCOUT

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26 comments

  1. The first picture of a single car, appears to be a 1956 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon.

  2. The deep red one and the blue and white one both look like Chevy wagons from 1955-57 era.

  3. “Not exactly the prettiest block in Manhattan”

    Manhattan?

  4. I’ll try to clear this up. Aqua green car-53 Chevy. Yellow-51 or 52 Chevy. Blue Ford is a 53. Pink and white wagon-55 Ford. Black and white wagon is I believe 56 Pontiac.Red and white car- 56 Chevy. Dark green wagon 51 Pontiac. Dark blue wagon appears to be a Checker or foreign not positive. Later model wagon is 70 Buick. There are no Nomads in these pictures.Nomad was a special 2 door wagon but had a different roof line then standard wagons. I definitely haveto check this place out. Great find!

  5. Actually I take it back that 56 is a Nomad! Wow about 20 grand for thst one as it sits

  6. Here are the makes and models of the cars in your pictures:

    5th picture, left to right

    Green: 1951 Chevy
    Yellow: 1951 Chevy
    Blue: 1954 Ford
    Pink: 1956 Ford Victoria
    Blue: 1970 Buick Skylark Sportwagon
    Red: 1973-ish Cadillac Coupe deVille

    7th Picture, left to right

    White: 1956 Pontiac Safari wagon
    Red: 1956 Chevy Nomad wagon
    Blue: 1968-1973 Checker Marathon wagon

    9th Picture,

    Green: 1953 Chevy Townsman wagon

    • dave in milwaukee

      Sam, it looks like you are right on the money for all of the pictured cars, except for the Coupe De Ville. I believe this is either a ’75 or ’76 model. Those were the last two years of those gargantuan battleships before the 1977 “downsizing” of GM’s full-size models. And ’75 and ’76 were also the first two GM model years to feature the new rectangular headlights (the ’74s and prior models all used the old-style round headlights).

  7. Pictures 10 and 11 are of a 1956 Ford, the Ford hood badge and nameplate are missing though…

  8. Kind of reminds me of the old Ghost Parking Lot in Hamden C, alas it is no more.
    http://biffles.blogspot.com/2007/03/rip-ghost-parking-lot.html

  9. Wow, this is pretty stellar. I have so many questions about the old man who rents this space! I wonder what the rent is per month??

  10. As always Scout, you rock! Great find and definitely check out the cannoli’s.

  11. If you ever have the need to identify what hood ornament you are looking at here is a great source: http://justacarguy.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/hood-ornament-identifiaction-guide.html

  12. As someone who’s worked in clearing clutter from the homes of obsessive collectors, I’m fascinated by this car owner’s predilection for station wagons.

    I suppose asking him where he lost his virginity would put the kibosh on any chance of him selling ?

  13. Wow. My husband and I have been visiting various used car lots in Brooklyn the past few months trying to find an honest dealer. Now THESE are used cars! Thanks for a great post.

  14. Are those the old el tracks that went over the Brooklyn Bridge?

  15. Regarding the cars looking sad, this reminded me of Delgadillo’s Snow-Cap Drive-in, an old Route 66 roadside restaurant and attraction that served as inspiration for Pixar’s “Cars”. I visited it on a recent roadtrip (somewhat inspired by yours) and took some photos:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3549767423935

    Other info here:
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/101

  16. Awesome. There are so many little things like this right under our noses!

  17. Someone should contact Jay Leno…this guy will never be able to find a place for all those cars. What a great collection, I wish we new more about the man who owns them, seems like it would be an interesting story.

  18. I cant believe I came across your site, and this wonderful blast from the past. I knew the man who owns these cars. I’ve been behind those gates, moving cars from there to many of his other lots. Great guy, makes me want to give him a call. Thanks for finding these great spots!!!

  19. The only person who made sense here is S.H. the rest are just spewing the same nonsense that most fans spill. You only have to look at Rangers repeated champions of Scotland who fell by the way side. A.cMilan who had to sell their whole team nucleus to avoid financial trouble and you only need to look at liverpool who spent 100 million in one summer and have all both decided that they wasted that money as none of those played are starters.Liverpool have money and have owners that are willing to spend it. What went wrong there?

  20. Corrections to close but no cigar clear up posting.
    The 1956 Chevy is most assuredlly a Nomad model. Check the “s” shaped door post. All Nomad.
    The pink/ white Ford wagon is a 1956 model. Check the oval shaped turn signals. The 55 model turn signals are round. Great find! Too far from California right now though.
    Thanks!

  21. This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.

    ..HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  22. Hi! What’s your Cardsapp brand number?

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