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December 20, 2016

Striking Photographs of Lonely Parked Cars and Deserted Streets at Night in New York in the 1970s

Cars were an indispensable aspect of twentieth-century culture, both for their utility and aesthetics. From 1974 to 1976, Langdon Clay photographed the cars he encountered while wandering the streets of New York City and nearby Hoboken, New Jersey at night.

Shot in Kodachrome with a Leica and deftly lit with then new sodium vapor lights, the pictures feature a distinct array of makes and models set against the gritty details of their surrounding urban and architectural environments, and occasionally the ghostly presence of people.

Bar car (anti-apartheid day), Chevrolet Nova, in the Twenties near Avenue of the Americas, 1976.

Hard Rock Caddy, Cadillac near 23rd Street and 8th Avenue, 1975.

White Tower car, Buick LeSabre, Meatpacking District, 1976.

Box car, Gran Torino Sport, in the Twenties or Thirties on the East side, 1975.

A&P car, Buick LeSabre, 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, 1974.

Subway Impala, Chevrolet Impala, 7th Avenue and 29th Street, 1975.

Fountain car, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 1975.

Pat’s Hot and Cold Heroes car, Buick Skylark, Soho, 1976.

Basketball car, Plymouth Duster, 1974.

24 Checker car, Checker Marathon, in the Twenties near 6th Avenue, 1975.

Charlie Robert’s campaign car, Chevrolet Bel Air, Hoboken, NJ, 1976.

Carz-a-Poppin Car, Ford Galaxie 500 (1966), Houston and Broadway, 1976.

Silver Fish, Chevrolet Impala Custom Coupe, in front of Con Edison substation, 1975.

The cover for Langdon Clay’s Cars - New York City, 1974-1976, showing the Marlin Room Car, Cutlass Supreme in front of the Marlin Room and Lounge connected to Clam Broth House, Hoboken, NJ, 1975.

(Photos © Langdon Clay)


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