[UPDATE] Friday Flashback #234

A Friday Flashback in December showed a very cool magazine ad from 1964: a Pontiac Bonneville parked in the driveway by Chez Pierre (more recently, Tavern on Main).

Mark Mellor — whose dad was a noted illustrator, and whose stepmother Shirley Mellor owned Max’s Art Supplies — said the ad was drawn by Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman, top car artists of the 1960s and ’70s.

Elaine Marino found 2 more examples of their work. These were done using the small shopping center just north of Parker Harding Plaza.

Today’s it’s primarily offices. But back in the days of muscle cars, it was home to thriving shops like Pack Roads, a men’s store.

Of course just like in 2021, people parked wherever they wanted.

BONUS FEATURE: Native Westporter Peter Barlow sent along this wonderful photo he took of Pack Roads from the same time.

(Photo/Peter Barlow)

11 responses to “[UPDATE] Friday Flashback #234

  1. back then station wagons with “genuine fake wood” side panels were the most popular cars in Westport. these pictures bring back memories. thanx

  2. Eileen Lavigne Flug

    Adam, you might enjoy listening to Mo Rocca’s Mobituaries podcast about the death of the station wagon, from about a year ago. Great memories about sitting in the “way back.”

  3. It’s kinda hard to read, but does the Grand Safari wagon say it has a 455 engine under the hood? You won’t miss the train with a station car like that!

    • Yes that is the Pontiac version of the “big block” V8 engine. You could get it on practically any GM car in the day — even smaller cars like Pontiac Firebird. I had one in my ’72 Olds Delta 88 convertible (Mort Saipe’s old car.) Olds called it a “Rocket 455” and the performance sort of resembled a rocket rising slowly off the launch pad and then quickly gaining speed (as it sucked down the fuel.)

  4. The full sized Pontiacs shown by the old Pack Roads store are 1971 models, I believe — the same year and make I drove in Staples Driver’s Ed with Mr. Ljostad. I think we Boomers are better drivers because we learned in behemoths carrying several unnecessary feet of sheet metal, and possessing the cornering characteristics of a barge. Certainly, if you could parallel-park one of those things, you’ve basically passed the test for a CDL. Just two years later, those giant cars were history, thanks to the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973.

    • These ‘tanks’ were still running around through the ’70s into the late “80s.
      There’s a new movement of young car enthusiasts who want these cars. They love the power (V6 or V8) and the simplicity of these vehicles.

  5. Fellow 70’s fans should see the 1970 movie, “Loving” starring George Segal as a philandering commercial artist living in Westport.

    The film shows him at work with a slide projector projecting an image onto a canvas, upon which Segal hand-painted a photo-realistic illustration of the scene. I assume this is how the artwork in the Pontiac ads was done, but not being an illustrator myself, I’m not sure.

    Other Westport fact: Sterling Hayden was also in the film, playing a corporate bigwig Segal hoped to land as a client. While Hayden was in town to shoot the movie, he spent a couple of Friday nights at my dad’s poker game, along with writers Bill Craig, Dick Goldhurst, Jim Hoffman and Bob Travers, and local real estate honchos Marty Greenberg and Norman Bialek.

  6. The Pack Roads buildings still stand today.
    It’s now the home of The House of Clement or Gilles Clement Design. It has a Main St address eventhough the building is set back.The bump out or left shaped structure to the left of the large picture window is gone.

    The ‘land yacht’, ‘barge’, ‘whale’ or ‘gas guzzler’ better known as the station wagon in Peter Barlow’s photo is a Chrysler Town and Country.

    Ah the days of V8 engines, rear wheel drive and stick shift manual transmissions (1985 5 speed manual transmission was born).
    There’s a few of us in the area that were still driving these gas guzzlers into the late ’80s and early ’90s.
    Seriously, the younger generation needs to learn how to drive on car models from the ’70s to ’90s. No fancy power gadgets or back up cameras, just you, the car and the road.
    I miss my father’s ’76 Ford Granada rear wheel drive automatic which he bought gently used in 1980, his ’85 Dodge 5 speed manual and my Ford Escorts ( 91, ’94, ’96) with 5 speed manual transmission.

  7. ABOUT PACK ROADS . . .MIKE HYMAN WAS ORIGINALLY A TENANT OF DR. WILLIAM PHILLIP TEUSCHER AT 148 MAIN STREET
    UNDER THE SECOND FLOOR WHICH WAS ULTIMATELY WAS OCCUPIED BY CHEZ PIERRE. FROM THERE MIKE HYMAN BUILT PACK ROADS. I DON’T REMEMBER EXACTLY BUT BELIEVE IT WAS LATE FIFTIES-EARLY SIXTIES. NOTE: IT MAY HAVE BEEN MIKE HYMAN’S FATHER, NOT MIKE, WHO CREATED PACK ROADS.

Leave a Reply