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Picturing the Past 134: Burger Chef in '69

Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at 4:29 PM

Shelbyville's Burger Chef in 1969. (T-G file photo)
Here's a classic shot of Shelbyville's Burger Chef from the summer of 1969. I can just smell the burgers and the fish sandwich advertised on the sign, and even the inviting smell of the interior as those of us who experienced Burger Chef in the 1960s and 1970s remember.

Go here for a larger view.

And check out those cars. Look at the crowd gathered just to the right of the front door and you'll see what appear to a new or nearly-new Camaro, Road Runner and Mustang Mach I parked side-by-side. Recognize anyone in the picture? At least two classic '65 or '66 Mustangs were there, and you've got to wonder if any of the cars in the furthest-back row had high-performance engines.

And for those who don't remember the nearby intersection before Collroedo Boulevard was built, look at those houses. Seems like I'm remembering that the houses directly across from Lane Parkway's end were torn down for a small shopping center that only lasted a few years before Colloredo was built.

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

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Thanks David for the picture. That is just the way I remember it.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 6:13 PM

Your pic brings back a lot of memories David. Love the cars! I tried to remember the make/model of the autos pictured and I came up with the following.

Back row from left: 66 Buick Skylark. 68 Ford Fairlane GT 500. 69 GTO? 68 Challenger R/T? 66 Chevy Caprice.

Next Row facing forward: 68 Camaro 67 Road Runner. 69 Mustang Mach I. 65 Ford P/U. 65 Buick Skylark.

Next Row facing rearward: 69 Buick Wildcat. 69 Pontiac Lemans. 66 Mustang Coupe.

Last Row: 65 Mustang Coupe. 66 Plymouth Valiant 49 Chevy Coupe. 65 Ford Fairlane 500. Headed up the hill towards Willowmount Cemetary is a 59 Ford, very similar to the one driven by Robert Mitchum in "Thunder Road"

I'm probably not correct on all of these but I think I'm kind of close!

Burger Chef was a favorite hangout for many young people. Obviously before the age of cell phones, the Chef was a central information center and gathering place for nearly every teenager in Bedford County.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 8:55 PM

Two notes on the cars: That's an old Mercedes, probably a 1950s or very early 1960s model, in the foreground and a '56 Chevy 210 going up the hill.

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 9:51 PM

I remember going to Burger King with my mother when I was 10 Years old in 1974. They had put in a veggie bar so that when you ordered your hamburger you could fix it the way you wanted it. My hamburger was always cheese, extra onions and ketchup. I remember thatplace like it was yesterday. But I do not remember the houses for some reason across the street where Collaredo Blvd. is now. Thank you for this picture, I was hoping this would be one in Picturing the Past.

-- Posted by AmericanWoman on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 10:04 PM

That isn't a '66 Valiant. Looks like a '64...

-- Posted by espoontoon on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 7:07 AM

The small house on the Northside of Union Street was torn down and Thomas Cartwright build a small brick office building,where he had an office, and a barber shop, which was occupied by Mr. John Pope. When Colloredo Blvd. came it took his office and the barber shop and he built a new brick office building, located at 716-722 Union Street, where he had his office, Mr. Pope had his barber shop, Home Beneficial Insurance,which was headed up by Mr. H.V. Griffin, had a office and a computer paper supply business run by Garland Haskins,Jr. was, also, located in the building.

-- Posted by walrite on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 10:41 AM

I remember it well. I graduated High School from Central in 1969.

-- Posted by bodyshop on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 11:59 AM

I may be wrong,but I think the old black and white car going around the curve to Dover St was owned by the County Bus Garage as it was parked there all the time after hours.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 6:40 PM

Oh by the way.Thanks for reminding me how old I am David.I almost had a tear come to my eye when I saw this picture.I remembered all my friends who hung out there who have since left us.How young and innocent (snicker) we were then,and how old and mature we are now.I wish I could go back in time to ride around the old Chef,throw everyone a peace sign and say hey lets go burn one.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 6:52 PM

Wish I had a dollar for every time I drove around that building.

-- Posted by MyMrMarty on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:31 PM

Hey I think that is Rita's Mustang parked rear end facing.I think she had one before the Trans Am.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 10:40 AM

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