Friday, December 30, 2011


The Hi-View Restaurant in Villa Park, Illinois. I believe the restaurant has been remodeled a couple of times, but it still has this excellent old school neon slab out front.

Bright and night views provided. See you next year!

Hi-View Restaurant-Villa Park, IL

PS: I just noticed the little coachlight up top!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


130 by William 74
130, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

A ghost sign in downtown Nashville. There are quite a few ghost signs around town-Nashville has a pleasantly small town feel in places. This one caught my eye because it's right next to the Shelby Avenue Bridge, which crosses the Columbia River. It's pretty obvious that it was meant to be seen by travelers on the bridge, and that the wood door was for loading freight onto the second floor.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

Doc Hudson #2 by William 74
Doc Hudson #2, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Hudson's Hornet was a revolutionary design in the early postwar years, featuring a "step down" design wherein the floorpans were dropped, allowing for the lower roof line that was the car's hallmark. It also allowed a lower center of gravity, which proved to be a bonus on the racetrack, and the Fabulous Hudson Hornet became a force to be reckoned with on the stock car circuit.

Unfortunately, this unique feature would also prove to be the car's downfall. When Hudson became part of American Motors Corporation, the step-down design proved to be difficult to update, and by the mid fifties the Hornet was definitely looking a bit old fashioned. After 1955, Hornets would be based on senior Nash models.

This one's about a '52, and features the Twin-H Power dual-carb engine, the one that made the Hornet's name on the tracks.

Doc Hudson

Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa's Village

Santa's Village-Dundee, IL by William 74
Santa's Village-Dundee, IL, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Santa's Village Is a Christmas-themed amusement park in Dundee, Illinois. Opened in 1959, the Dundee location was the third one built (the other two being in California), and was intended to be the hub of a chain of parks. However, no further Villages were built, the other two eventually closed, and the Dundee location became the last of it's kind.

The park featured rides, a petting zoo, access to a water park, and the Polar Dome, an ice skating rink. Popular locally for decades, but declining attendance and other issues caused the park's closure in 2006. It remained so until 2011, when new owners cleaned everything up and reopened some of the attractions.

I shot this in 2010, before the lights and sign were restored to working order.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Leviathan by William 74
Leviathan, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Always a popular draw, steam locomotives are still a rare enough sighting in the United States that they draw a crowd wherever they go. Leviathan is a replica of a Schenectady Locomotive Works engine, built in 1868 for the Central Pacific Railroad. Leviathan was built entirely from scratch by the Kloke Locomotive Works of Elgin, Illinois.

It is a truly beautiful machine. Every detail is absolutely perfect, and the Leviathan is fully functional. It appeared at the Illinois Railway Museum this past summer, and I was fortunate enough to ride behind it for a short trip on the museum's main line. Fun, and possibly a unique experience for me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

SHerwood 2-2296

SHerwood 2-2296 by William 74
SHerwood 2-2296, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

I love finding alphanumeric phone numbers still in situ. They turn up all over the place sometimes-old business cards or matchbooks, old ashtrays, old signs, old boxes and sometimes, old trucks.

Pleasantly, this truck hasn't strayed too far from it's home in Elgin, either.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Motel

Holiday Motel by William 74
Holiday Motel, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Old motels have some of the best vintage neon. This classic, Googie-tastic piece of the glassbender's art is in Wisconsin Dells.

I wish it had been sunnier when I shot this. I'll have to go back in the spring, and maybe see if I can get it at night too.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

National Tea

National Tea by William 74
National Tea, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Cool tile entryway in Rochelle, Illinois. I'm pleased that it's still around-plenty of terrazzo entryways survive, bit tile breaks so easily that they're a bit rarer. Plus, they're usually just a tile pattern, rather than a logo like this one.

I can't remember what's in this storefront now but it's not a National Tea.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Chevy by William 74
Chevy, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

This is my uncle (well, great-uncle) Rodney's '50 Chevrolet. I hadn't seen it in years-he's getting on in years and it's harder for him to drive it these days-but he brought it out on Thanksgiving. I thought it was an excellent TtV subject.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blast Off

Jet and rocket imagery was everywhere in the atomic fifties, and few companies took to it as much as General Motors. For a while their cars had rockets and swept wing jets everywhere, especially at the front. This one's an Oldsmobile Rocket 88. I totally dig the contrails molded into the sheet metal of the hood. You don't see that level of detail anymore.

Oldsmobile Rocket 88 #2

Olds got an extra rocket at the back, too.

Oldsmobile Rocket 88 #3

This sporty number's off a Pontiac

Blast Off! #2

This one's a Buick, I think. It also looks more like a torpedo, but whatever.

The Pointy End

And finally, a tribute to Northrop's flying wings, courtesy of Pontiac.

Blast Off! #3

Friday, December 9, 2011

Jack's Bar-B-Que

Jack's Bar-B-Que by William 74
Jack's Bar-B-Que, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Another Nashville shot. You can see how tightly packed things are along Broadway-I also got a nice shot of the Stage's sign (it's the best shot of it I have, in fact).

This is also as close as I got to getting more than one pig lit up at once-the wing of the middle piggy is still aglow. It's just too busy along Broadway to set up a tripod for night work.

Flyin' Pig

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Trike by William 74
Trike, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I found this at an abandoned farm in Wisconsin. I'd last visited a couple of years ago, and the main barn was in a perilous state. It's since mostly collapsed, but much of the site remains the same.

I don't remember if this old tricycle was there last time.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Studie by William 74
Studie, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I've always had a soft spot for the bullet-nosed Studebaker Champion models. I like their unique styling and underdog status, but I'm pretty sure it's mostly because Fozzie Bear drove one in The Muppet Movie.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Betty Boots

Betty Boots by William 74
Betty Boots, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Huge neon sign for a boot store in downtown Nashville. Lots of detail on this one, it's pretty impressive in person.

I just like it cause it's so intricate. Yeah, that's it. Intricate.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Associated Salvage Company

Associated Salvage Company by William 74
Associated Salvage Company, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Ghost sign on a side street just off of Broadway in Nashville. This building has a nice collection of ghost signage as well-the inside appears to be under renovation. I think it'd make an awesome gallery or studio.