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Picturing the Past 127: Dixie Motors

Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011, at 2:24 PM

Dixie Motors, when it was Shelbyville's Studebaker dealer at the intersection of Madison and North Main Streets in the early-to-mid 1950s. (Photo submitted)
Generations of Bedford Countians -- probably anyone over 30 -- remembers this building at the intersection of Madison and North Main streets.

We posted a photo of this building, when it was a service station operated by the Cartwright family, a while back. A reader brought by this photo today, showing the building during its years as Dixie Motors, Shelbyville's Studebaker dealer.

I remember pulling under the awning in front center and riding out a severe hailstorm in the late 1970s. The gas pumps were long gone by that time, during which it was a Firestone service center.

This building was torn down in, I think, the late 1990s for the chain drug store there today.

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

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

This had to be one of the South's better looking Dealerships along the post-war " North-South Fast Route".....I barely remember this business but am pretty sure it should be dated late '40's to early '50's....Did Mr. David Enochs own this as I am sure he owned the one across N. Main St....It's sure interesting how businesses used to change locations so much...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 6:01 PM

David Enochs was the owner of Dixie Motors. The picture is likely of the 1947-1949 era based on the two Studebakers in the photo. I believe it was in 1950 that Studebaker put the "airplane nose style" on the market. The Starlight coupe had windows all around the back, and it was a common joke that you couldn't tell if one was coming or going.

-- Posted by JRL on Fri, Aug 19, 2011, at 12:54 AM

In the '47-'49 period of time my movements were limited to walking, and I basically walked no farther West than the Madison Street School. If you had asked me if Dixie Motors was ever at this location I would have denied it to the bitter end because it was not in my memory. Dixie Service Station was the first business I remember here, and I always associate it with the Cartwrights.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Aug 19, 2011, at 6:51 AM

The lengthy Studebaker story is truly interesting...I had a friend with a '50 Champion which had a V8 with overdrive and performed comparable to my '50 Ford but was of higher quality in my opinion...I always heard their weird designs and teaming with Packard led to their downfall...A FL snowbird friend of mine from Indiana who worked for them told me they were literally robbed blind by their employees...My Dad had a color poster in the 1950's with the names of around 450 US auto manufacturers and now we know that only Ford has truly survived...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Fri, Aug 19, 2011, at 10:51 AM

The Shelbyville Police Department had Studebakers for patrol chase cars sometime in the mid 50s. It seems to me that it could have been as late as 1958 or as early as 1955. They were kind of a peach color and those cars would fly. By then they had left the traditional bullet shape that we all remember and looked more like what would come to be known as the Lark.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Aug 19, 2011, at 3:16 PM

They had a red light on the top and that earned them several nicknames........

-- Posted by Black Swan on Sat, Aug 20, 2011, at 12:32 PM

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