This view dates from 1951, probably from about the middle of that year to judge by the summery attire of some of the pedestrians crossing the street. Viewing the nearest car on the left, a Ford Prefect, the 1939 to 1948 version going by the earlier front wing design with the headlamps mounted on top. Beyond that and parked on the corner is a Standard Vanguard Phase I, registered ZF 2383, dating it to early 1950. It looks to be painted in a dark metallic colour of which there was a limited choice, usually a silver grey, dark green and dark red/purple. Standard and Triumph offered these colours but they were more usually associated with coach-built luxury marques. This Vanguard would have been assembled in Dublin by McEntaggart Bros. Ltd., the assemblers and distributors for Standard, Triumph and Packard at this time.
In front of the Standard is a Ford V8 Super Deluxe. My magnifying glass is not powerful enough to view the number plate, but the narrow chrome strip running along the rear wing would suggest that this is a late model of about 1946/8 era. These Fords were the best selling large American car in Ireland, mainly due to Ford’s competitive pricing, with many in service as ministerial transport, and for military and policing use too. In second and third ownership they were popular as taxis and hackney cars. In front of the Ford is a Morris Minor MM partly hidden by a tall clerical gentleman wearing a hat. Beyond that is another Vanguard, this time possibly a 1948/9 model as the rear wheel arches are without spats. These Standards had a reputation for being well-built, tough and reliable and were much sought after in the Britain of the early Fifties where the waiting lists for new cars could be as long as three years. Consequently, Irish dealers exported many of these and other post-war British cars back there until the Irish government imposed measures to curb this trade.
Moving beyond that second Vanguard is a selection of small 8 and 10 hp Fords, the model with the exposed spare wheel being a Ford 8 Model 7Y of the 1937/9 period. Passing in traffic is possibly a Humber Hawk or Snipe of the late Forties and it may have a GB touring plaque.
Closest to the camera on the right can be seen the upper portion of a Ford Anglia of the post 1939 era. Outside Cash’s store is a Hillman Minx Mk.IV of about 1949/51. Moving away from the viewer is a Morris 10 of the 1947/8 era, going by the grille design, the last of the pre-war styling before the new MO type Oxford model. Behind that is an Opel Olympia with its distinctive way the bodywork forms a funnel behind the headlamp. Opels were locally assembled by O’Shea’s in Cork, so the presence of this late Thirties to late Forties model is unsurprising. Behind the Opel are three more Ford Prefects and a Fordson E83W half-ton van of the same era.
The lack of road markings on Cork’s main street seems surprising but it may have been recently retarred. The surface is very uniform with no sign of patched areas after pothole repairs or pipe laying. Perhaps road lining was applied soon after this picture was taken. Bord Failte/Irish Tourist Board photo.
By COLM O’NEILL
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