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See Homepage. This page: Different car parks photographed in the past, both in the UK and in the USA.
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Car Park photographs.

1. Thousands of cars at the Farnborough airshow.

Thanks to David for scanning and emailing the first photo over, taken around 1960 and showing thousands of cars parked up in the public car park area at Farnborough. The variety of cars now called 'classics' visible in this photo is amazing - a quick look and I saw cars including a Hillman Minx, Ford Pop 100Es, pre-war Humber possibly, Riley One-Point-Five, Morris Minor traveller, upright Ford Anglia 10hp, Austin 8 or 10, Austin Cambridge, Mk1 Ford Consuls, VW Beetle 6v, and in the far distance a gathering of single decker coaches.

It was at the 1960 Farnborough show that the RAF demonstrated their quick reaction ability, by scrambling each of their V-bombers (Avro Vulcan, HP Victor and Vickers Valiant) into the air in just 1 minute 47 seconds.
Cars parked in a carpark c1960

2. A day at the races.

Going back further in time now, to a photograph taken from the car park at a horse racing event, I guess in the early 1930s. I've not been able to identify any of the pre-war saloons and tourers in this public car park, but I still like the photo nonetheless!
A public car park at a horse racing event

3. A car park somewhere in the US.

This next photo hails from the other side of the pond, and shows a car park packed-out with US iron of the 1930s & 1940s. In the foreground is what looks like a wooden ticket office, and in the distance, a large building (mall?) of some kind.
An American car park in the 1930s

4. Military parade.

This isn't strictly a car park scene, but as cars are huddled close together and parked, it'll do. Judging by the cars, we're in America somewhere, spectating at what looks like a military parade - perhaps a homecoming parade following WW2. What cars are visible all look to date to the 1930s. The car in the foreground won't be enjoying having several people sat on its roof, although doing more damage I'm sure are the two people relying on the front wing, and bonnet, for support while they strive for a better view of the proceedings. Poor car.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A 1940s parade in the USA

5. Britain - at the seaside?

The following photograph was processed at Horne's Camera Mart, a once-popular camera equipment retailer located on Old Broad Street in London. A scribble on the reverse suggests a date of 1933. The cars all appear to be of that era, with two or three Austin 7s being identifiable closest to the camera. Further up, are examples of Citroen and, with the light-coloured wheels, a Standard Nine. Beyond that the cars are hard to make out. So too are the many motorcycles that are also present, parked away in the distance.
There are few clues as to the location of this shot. To the right are a couple of brightly-coloured sheds, which may be point to them being beach huts at the seaside. The car nearest the camera is registered KJ 8300 (for Kent). The first of the Austin 7s has a registration beginning "MT" (London), while another 7's registration begins with "JJ" (also London).
Line of parked cars in the 1930s

6. Edelweisspitze.

Many small photographs lose a lot of detail when they're blown up. That's not the case here though, the detail is superb. Its clarity enables the writing on the distant sign to be discerned - "Edelweisspitze Parkplatz", confirming the location in the Austrian Alps that hasn't changed a great deal in the intervening 80 or so years. A wide variety of cars, both open and closed types, are in evidence. The car nearest to the photographer has its bonnet raised, perhaps its engine needed help cooling down.
Edelweisspitze in the 1930s

7. Silverstone racing circuit, 1949.

A few years have passed since I picked up a small album of post-war photographs, all motor-related in theme, the first few of which were taken at a post-war Silverstone motor race in Northamptonshire. A pencilled note that accompanies the photograph shown below reads "Silverstone Grand Prix - The crowded car park", and judging by the Grand Prix cars and their numbers that feature in the racing photographs - which I've yet to scan - it would point to 1949 as being the year. The other photos I'll add to the site in due course, but for this page, the following snapshot is relevant. In it is a sea of pre- and post-war British cars, ranging from popular models produced by the likes of Austin and Hillman, to more plush machines represented in the foreground by a Bentley, its distinctive radiator "B" mascot being easy to identify. Alongside the Bentley is an Austin 16. Further away is a coach surrounded by private cars, in this case a Duple-bodied Bedford OB.
That Silverstone circuit is based at a former RAF airfield is evidenced by the curved buildings that can just be made out in the distance, close to the tree line. Just a few years previously they would have housed officers and pilots of the RAF - and hangars would have been dotted around the circuit, leading to the appropriately named "Hangar Straight" where once such a building sat close to the old perimeter track that went on to form part of the circuit.
Interest in motor racing in the early post-war years was great, with flocks of spectators regularly to be seen at races, sprints, trials and hillclimbs, all keen to escape the horrors of their recent memories and the tough times that most people had to deal with during the period of post-war rationing and rebuilding. In a number of cases, enthusiastic chaps can be seen perched on the roof of their car to afford them a better view of the racing, while a gent alongside the Bentley has resorted to standing on a box, or a set of short ladders, to get a better view through his binoculars.
The car-park at Silverstone in 1949
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