Here’s a chance to look back in time at a 1989 magazine piece highlighting photos of car dealers in San Diego from the 1930s.

Confused? Well, we can’t all be choosy on where we get our time capsules, so follow this.

Back in 1989, Special Interest Autos magazine had a spread with some cool old photos of car lots and dealers, all courtesy of the San Diego Historical Society, many taken by Guy Sensor.

So let’s move forward. Hemmings Motor News, owner of Special Interest Autos, restyled, refocused and rebranded the magazine as Hemmings Classic Car in 2004. It’s website has a “SIA Flashback” section that includes scans of many of the magazine’s stories, including this one.

The San Diego Historical Society has rebranded as the San Diego History Center and you can purchase these photos. There are many other great car-related photos, many of them by Mr. Sensor. He appears to have been hired by several dealers from around 1920-40 to photograph the new cars and other things. His work, and that of others, are part of the center’s collection.

Check out the center’s auto-photo page.

In the Hemmings piece, look for the shots of Pearson Ford, which stood at 12th and Broadway until just a few years ago. The dealership moved in the 60s, but the building, designed by Walter Dorwin Teague, was torn down to make way for a vacant lot.

Most of the other buildings and car lots you see here are gone as well.


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