Friday, May 31, 2013

Hotpoint Appliances

Hotpoint Appliances by William 74
Hotpoint Appliances, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Once again, it pays to wander around back alleys. This vintage Hotpoint Appliances neon sign (with a bonus hanger for a hardware store) was spotted in an alley in the tiny town of Polo, Illinois. I've visited this town a couple of times, yet this is the first time I've seen this hidden gem. I don't believe this was a hanging sign, but was a wall hanger from the beginning. I also don't know if this is anywhere near the original location of Port's Hardware, or if such a business even existed in Polo. It certainly isn't there now.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shootin' The Bull

Shootin' The Bull by William 74
Shootin' The Bull, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Well known Bull Durham tobacco ghost sign in Des Moines, Iowa. I don't know what this building used to be back in the day, but it's down by the Mississippi, so I imagine it was a warehouse of some sort at one time. Still faded, and repainted at least once, but still hanging in there.

Title sound familiar? I recycled it.

Monday, May 27, 2013


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

Didn't we do this last week? Anyway, here's another beautiful chopped custom, this one a '49 or so Mercury Eight. The first postwar Mercs to both have all-new styling as well as being significantly different from current Fords, the '49 Eight was immediately popular with the custom car crowd, both for it's style and it's V-8 engines. Some of the most famous customs were Mercury Eights, including Sam Barris' original '49, as well as the legendary car of Bob Hirohata. The Eight just looked good however you reworked it, from mild to wild.

This one features a lot of the classic touches-a chopped top, a new grille and bumpers, flipper hubcaps, rounded hood corners, and the removal of the original badges and logos. I also love the color-it's very subtle, like a lot of the earliest customs were, and is suitably elegant.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


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

A vintage Moose Lodge, with an equally vintage neon hanger. It's well faded but the glass is still nice and bright.

This building had a nice Vitrolite front too-I'm thought I'd shot it but I guess not.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


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

As you longtime readers (all three of you) can tell, I like old stuff. Vintage signs, classic cars, old buildings, long gone restaurants, you get the drift. This includes old books. I found these vintage Hardy Boys books at a used bookstore near here, and since most shops don't especially like it when you take pictures in them, I had to sort of sneak off a few shots with my phone and futz with them later.

Anyway, I have always liked vintage book covers, with their strong graphics and charmingly lo-fi artwork. My favorite Hardy Boys books when I was a kid were the hardcover reprints, with the original artwork.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


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

Chopped, channeled, nosed, decked, Bellflowers, two tone, chrome, teef.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Walnut Hill Liquors

Walnut Hill Liquors by William 74
Walnut Hill Liquors, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Spotted this gem in Freeport, Illinois, as I was traveling along the Grant on my way to Iowa. Well seasoned, but a nice example of fifties/sixties neon goodness. Plus the glass still seems to be in good nick-I should go back that way and see if they still light it up!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


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

...and a Ford Mainline. That Willys is a classic old school gasser style hot rod, too. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen an actual stock Willys. They're all hot rods!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Elizabeth Banking Center

Elizabeth Banking Center by William 74
Elizabeth Banking Center, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Elizabeth, Illinois is a small town located in Jo Daviess County, amongst the area's rolling hills and valleys. Despite it's small population (less than 1000 at the last count), Elizabeth's downtown features plenty of shops and businesses, and includes this excellent neon sign at the bank.

Monday, May 6, 2013


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

Formed in 1949, Abarth is best known for it's hot Fiat 500-based racing cars. However, the company also ran a racing team featuring Porsche, Ferrari, and Simca automobiles along with their own products. Aside from racing cars the company also produced performance exhausts for a number of manufacturers, and eventually grew to dominate the Italian tuning parts market.

Abarth was sold to Fiat in 1971, and became the racing department for the company. Many cars built by Fiat's different brands, such as Lancia and Autobianchi, were co-branded as Abarths, and the company also built and ran Fiat's rally team.

Gradually, the Abarth name devolved to a sporty trim level on Fiats, and was all but forgotten until recently. Fiat has since relaunched the name, most notably with the hot Fiat 500 Abarth, of which this is one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Aurora Station

Aurora Station by William 74
Aurora Station, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

After sustaining damage during a recent thunderstorm, the city of Aurora, Illinois is finally demolishing the former Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy train station. Unused and effectively abandoned since the 80's, the building was in terrible condition-note the holes in the wood roof. It was only a matter of time.