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Vintage Auto Racks

August 2, 2012

In the interest of mixing it up a bit around here, let’s go back some 35-45 years to the era of open auto racks. Yes, there was a time when you could actually see the vehicles that were loaded on an auto rack. Contemporary auto racks are so well sealed that you can’t even tell if they’re loaded or empty. Of course, I understand why. One luxury SUV today can cost more than an entire carload of 18 Ford Pintos in 1975!

First up is a view of new Plymouths passing through St. Louis in 1966. I don’t have any clue what model of Plymouth is shown. Maybe a reader can let us know in comments.

New Plymouth autos on railcars in St Louis in 1966

Speaking of carloads of Pintos. Note the side shields, an early protection measure for new auto shipments, on the auto racks on each end of  TTX 904697, shown at Detroit in October of 1975.

Ford Pintos in-transit on railcars in Detroit in 1976

Last, is there any guy in the 1970’s that didn’t want a Trans Am? Well, besides me. I was happy in my Mustang. Here’s a carload of new Camaros and Firebirds, the poor man’s TransAm, passing through Detroit in October of 1976. Again, this open rack has side-shield equipped racks on each end, suggesting that completely open racks were being phased out by the 1975-1976.

I don’t guess that any of the vehicles in these 3 images are still on the road. Then again, the N&W is long gone. Heck, even Plymouth is gone. Well, at least Detroit and St. Louis are still with us…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jimmy Barlow permalink
    August 13, 2012 7:23 am

    Robert said: “I don’t have any clue what model of Plymouth is shown. Maybe a reader can let us know in comments.”

    Can’t speak authoritatively, Robert, but it sure resembles the ’66 Fury in this and other online photos:

    There’s another on ebay (till Aug 22) you can make all your own for a measly $17K.

    What’s interesting about your photo is how dirty all the windshilds are, and note that all wipers were on at time of loading.

    • Jimmy Barlow permalink
      August 13, 2012 7:26 am

      Oops, did I forget the link? Lemme try again:

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