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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

Posted May 13, 2015 9:30 AM by dstrohl

Used to be - back in the days when distinctive vehicles could be had for cheap or free - if you wanted to really attract the eye of passersby to your place of business, you slathered some house paint on some old car, stuck it up on a pole, and became an instant local landmark. But those landmarks are slowly disappearing and it seems we may in our lifetimes see the end of the car-on-a-stick phenomenon.

While discussing the 1955 Cadillac Coupe de Ville that a couple of enterprising restorers had removed from a Texas rooftop last week, it seemed plenty of us knew of a car or truck hoisted up on high decades ago and used as a sign for a local business - sometimes for dining establishments, but more often for junkyards, car repair shops, and other auto-related companies.

Where have all the pole-cars gone?

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#1

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 9:46 AM

I think that we will see a return to pole mounted cars soon as there were a total of 4.988 million Chevy Cavaliers sold in the USA.

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#2
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 9:53 AM

Hyuk-yuk-yuk-yuk!

Maybe poke the pole lengthwise through the Cavalier (hot dog on a stick fashion) and slowly rotate it over a giant make-believe fire. Not sure of the advertising message that might send.

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#3
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 10:27 AM

You mean rotate it over a Ford Pinto, that way you don't have to make-believe.

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#5
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 2:36 PM

Yeah... that's A Better Idea!

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#4

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 11:38 AM

They found Mr. Fuchs dead in this one:

See the movie "Used Cars"

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#6

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 3:25 PM

LOL...

I saw a nice flat red one on the side of the road for sale yesterday for $575.00...

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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 3:39 PM

That is a very large June bug!

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#7

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 3:37 PM

There used to be a lot of pole mounted cars at the drive-in theaters

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#9

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/13/2015 4:18 PM

Being a long time resident of Barrington New Hampshire, I really enjoyed the reference and photos of Fred Knight's Crossly tow truck. This, along with Calef's Country Store (just around the corner) have been long recognised landmarks in the town.

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#10
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 1:02 AM

Small world. My sister used to live on Chesley Drive in Barrington.

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#11

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 4:15 AM

We don't have cars on poles over here but we do sometimes have other things.

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#12
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 7:20 AM

On the last picture, is that handicap parking?

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#13
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 7:53 AM

I think they are.

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#14

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 10:02 AM

We used to have everyone beat over here in Chicagoland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spindle_(sculpture)

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#16
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 12:31 PM

Nice to see the Bug is top dog here. ;-)

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#22
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

08/07/2015 1:36 PM

(Sorry for the late reply)

While the Spindle was in place, rookie cops in Berwyn(1) would typically get a call from Dispatch to check on an 'eight car pile up near the corner of Ceremac and Harlem.' (shrug) Hey, every place has got to 'break in'/'pick on' the new guys somehow, it's an American tradition.

Notes:

  1. Yes, the same Berwyn that has the annual Mushroom Festival, the same Berwyn that gets 'picked on' by Svengoolie(2).
  2. If you don't know Svengoolie, horror host and winner of several Emmys and three Rondos(3), look him up on Wikipedia.
  3. Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, named after 'The monster without makeup' himself. Look him up too if you don't know him.
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#15

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 12:26 PM

This one has been on a chimney in Amsterdam NY for years

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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 12:32 PM

Because they are still waiting for the drawbridge to close.

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#18

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 2:57 PM

It's closed now, but for years there was a BBQ place north of Atlanta that used this as an eye-catcher:

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#20
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Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 11:17 PM

Caught more than eyes, I see.

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#19

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/14/2015 3:22 PM

If you drop the front end of the drive shaft on an old car at a rail road crossing, it can become a pole mounted old car.

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#21

Re: Are the Days of Pole-Mounted Old Cars Numbered?

05/15/2015 11:31 PM

Say no more!!

Credit to Ken Maynard

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