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Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

Picturing the Past 115: Dodge Rebellion '67

Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at 8:05 AM

Russell Dodge's showroom in late 1966 as the new 1967 models were being introduced. (T-G file photo)
Dodge was "on the attack on dull driving" in fall 1966, according to a Times-Gazette ad from the time, and here's proof.

Welcome to the Russell Dodge showroom in late September 1966 (negative envelope says Sept. 27), just before debut day of the new 1967 models. They were offering refreshments as the new models were introduced on Thursday, Sept. 29, 1966.

Russell Dodge was on Madison Street just to the east of the railroad tracks where East Lane Street used to run, in the building between today's Clanton Paving Co. and Madison Street Motors. The building, which has housed businesses ranging from car stereo dealers to a tattoo parlor during the past few years, is now the home of a used car lot.

The dealership opened in 1965, I think, and closed in the late 1970s. Owner Haywood Russell just retired from First Community Bank within the past few weeks.

It wasn't so long ago that new model years were introduced with much fanfare, including cars covered with tarps before the big day as car nuts excitedly awaited the new models. That's back when cars' appearances actually changed each year.

From left in Russell's showroom area are a new Coronet (wish more of it was visible); a Polara, complete with a then-coveted vinyl top (I remember a time when I thought a car without a vinyl top was plain-looking. Today, I can't imagine wanting a vinyl top...); and a new Dart.

My dad was sort of a Mopar man in those days and I spent a lot of time in this showroom as a young boy in the 1960s and early 1970s. The Dodges I remember most are the Challengers in bright green, orange and other wild colors.

Does anyone recognize the man in the background? Seems like I remember him, but I just can't recall his name.

I'm glad we have today's tech-laden vehicles, and I definitely wouldn't want one of these cars as a daily driver now. But as a collector car on weekends? Definitely -- especially the Coronet or Dart, if they had muscle car power. Wish I could see the engine badges on their sides.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

Showing comments in chronological order
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The man in the picture appears to me to be Charlie Russell (Haywood's Father). Some of the best times of my young life were when a group of friends of the Russells gathered at his farm in Pleasant Grove during the winter time for Rook, Ham and Biscuits, and cold Coca-Colas straight from a 6oz. bottle.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 7:59 AM

Your memory brought my own of families gathering for card games and we kids would play marbles.

Boy, I can remember some sore fingers. Basically mine was a thumb, but we had some pinch shooters as well. Never got a good handle on that style.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 8:28 AM

Steve your memory also brought one back for me about how I used to store my marbles in a Prince Albert tobacco can that I carried around in my bib overall pocket. Likewise, I never was known for my marble shooting prowess.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 9:10 AM

Sounds like you were ready to play at any time. Bet you shot better than you say.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 9:26 AM

It looks like Mr. Charlie Russell. He always wore that type of hat.

-- Posted by cordell on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 1:08 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.