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Carspotters' Challenge #44--Before There Was a Space Needle....

Frank Owen Shaw, a Boeing quality control inspector and talented amatuer photographer, captured this image from the window of his apartment on the northwest corner of First Street North and Republican in Seattle on October 6, 1959. It's one of a series of photos he took from the same window over the next three years, documenting the construction of the campus for the 1962 World's Fair.

The Washington State Pavilion--later the Washington State Coliseum, then the Seattle Center Coliseum, now called the Key Arena, and the former home of the NBA Team Formerly Known as the Sonics--was built in the vacant lot on the far side of the street. To judge from the satellite images at MapQuest, the apartment building where Mr. Shaw lived is still there.

October 6, 1959Since there's no Space Needle yet, let's look at the cars.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Photo obtained at photography blog DorpatSherrardLomont.  You can see all of Mr. Shaw's images in the series by clicking through the link.)


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'54 Olds, '49 - '51 Ford, '57 Chev, early '50's Buicks four door sedan, and hardtop, possibly the first Riviera, '57 Ford station wagon, white four door mid '50's Studebaker.

There's a nice Beetle back there as well.

I see a '50 Ford, an old Olds, (I would guess '55) something from the Studebaker family (it has the same C-pillar as a Lark, )Is that gold sedan a Buick? or something more exotic, like a Packard? I love that '57 Ford Station wagon across the street, and what is behind it? a behemoth from the 40s, but what?
I am also not sure what is in front of the '50 Ford. Is it a Plymouth? Going back to the other side of the street, there's a tri-five Chevy, but is it a 56 or a 57?

I like small houses on large pieces of land.

I could swear that one of those is my grandfather's old Fairlane he drove into Seattle right after moving there from Minnesota to work for Boeing. Tough call, though. Still, I'm going to take this photo out to show it off and maybe confirm it - would be great to see if it really was!

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