CASPER, Wyo. – Relics from automotive’s early days are being unearthed as crews strip decades of additions and construction away from an old car dealership and furniture store.
Now known as “The Nolan,” the spot was originally home to Nolan Chevrolet starting around 1924.
It remained a Chevy dealership and maintenance garage until 1970, when it was purchased by Plains Furniture and a few years later given a dramatic remodel. That remodel enshrined whatever wasn’t cleared from the dealership when the business left.
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That and subsequent remodels have mostly been stripped away, but even after decades as a furniture store, some remnants of its dealership days remained within the walls and new ceilings.
One of the most curious is what appears to be a display dating back to the 1940s meant to demonstrate car radios. The “DeLuxe” brand was commonly used by GM for its Chevrolet line on higher end models and fancy add-ons. It was common for local dealerships to sell and install aftermarket equipment such as radios for a tidy profit.
A cramped loft space in the center of the building was used for parts storage for many years. Crews have found beer cans and cigarette packs among the parts during demolition, suggesting employees may have had a safe place away from pesky managers to unwind.
Ghost signs have appeared as well. A Packard sign appeared on a formally outside wall on the building’s south side, suggesting a Packard affiliation on the spot before Nolan Chevrolet opened.
Billing and order forms, advertising flats and sample seat covers have also appeared.
The building at South David is currently being redeveloped by FLAG Development, LLC, which intends to build up-market townhouses, business spaces and an open courtyard while keeping as much of the old buildings as possible.