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Bill Cotter

Pan American Highway Gardens

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That would be a minature car track, with rides and children riding.

I may be waiding neck high into newly laid tarmac: but those photos do seam to prove a Avis presence along the fair's Pan American highway in '65.

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I see, I was thinking more of a teen thing, not a tiny thing for tots. That’s probably why I never saw it; also, it was most likely a short-term event, within the big short-term event.

Outside of the Official Guide, I have never come across anything in print. Nor was it ever mentioned in the Calendar of Events at the Fair.

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A guy is selling a go-kart on eBay that he says was at the NYWF, and it has a '65 Plymouth body with an Avis sign on it.

He says it was a joint World's Fair venture between Avis and Chrysler.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130128122155

4252_12.JPG

4fd5_12.JPG

[many more pics on the eBay page]

............

My guess is, this just might be one of the cars from the 1965 Pan American Highway go-kart track.

For comparison, some of the best of my 1965 photos (not very close up , I'm afraid) The bodies do look like a similar style, don't they?

Avis65-1.jpg

Avis65-2.jpg

Avis65-3.jpg

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I sent the current owner of the go-kart (who is offering it on eBay) a link to this PTU topic (telling him that there are some vintage pictures), explained what Avis did in 1965 at the Pan-American Highway Gardens location, and invited him to join us here on PTU.... got this response last night:

RANDY; THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INFORMATION. I ALWAYS KNEW IT WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL, JUST COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING CONCRETE. I WILL DO AS YOU SUGGESTED AND POST WHATEVER I FIND OUT. MY HAT'S OFF TO YOU MY FRIEND!

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What I'd like to know is how one finds a car wax to make an automobile finish shine like that.

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Looks to me like it's been painted over- possibly several times- and those outer coats are peeling off. In some places it's revealing the original gold paint job underneath. It needs a good restoration job- possibly stripping ALL paint off and re-doing it (if it's indeed a 1965 factory color, it should be readily available. ) Of course I wouldn't want to lose those original Avis decals.

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I just scanned this October '65 slide showing Medo Photo and Kodak. It's a bit blurry picture, but on the left there is a sign that says Pan American Highway Ride.

That sign wouldn't have been there in 1964, since the Pan American Highway was just an exhibit and not a ride until 1965. I had never noticed this sign before.

65-10-25-08_Medo_Photo_and_Kodak.jpg

I searched and found this sign in some other 1965 photos. Apparently the sign rotated, and it had the Avis logo on the other side.

65-06-09-03_View_from_BLC.jpg

65-10-09-31_view_from_Better_Living_Center.jpg

65-09-26-14_Kodak_Pavilion.jpg

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October 1965: from the size of the crowd and the condition of the cars, this must have been "Demolition Derby Day", with no-holds-barred racing. <!-- s:D --><!-- s:D -->

65-10-30-22_Pan_American_Highway_Gardens.jpg

65-10-30-22a_Pan_American_Highway_Gardens.jpg

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You've done it again, Randy! Great stuff. Thanks.

That is a huge crowd. Must be close to the last weekend of the fair.

The condition of the go-kart bodies is hillarious!

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Here's the very next slide in the sequence. The sheer number of people leaning over the fence looking at the 'Demolition Derby' is unbelievable. Maybe the drivers were celebrity child TV stars or something.

65-10-30-23_Pepsi-Cola_Pavilion.jpg

65-10-30-23a_Pepsi-Cola_Pavilion.jpg

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Just curious, are there any clues about what's happening on the readerboard of the GF Arch (left-hand side of the first photo)?

Good idea, and indeed the message board is full of something, but it's too distant to read.

Looks like they were running the Kool-Aid advertisement on their picture tryptich.

65-10-30-22b_Pan_American_Highway_Gardens.jpg

I still have about ten more slides in this set to scan, so maybe some clue will still turn up about the large crowd.

I know it was West Point Day- there are many cadets in the pictures and there is one picture showing a large banner that says 'Welcome West Point - Beat Notre Dame!'. I kid you not,- in case anybody wants to see it. But I don't think that would explain the exceptionally big crowds around the Avis Pan Am track and the Pepsi/Kodak area. Say, that should help pinpoint the week, wouldn't it- as it would likely be the week prior to a Saturday football game- in case anybody wants to look up the date of the 1965 Army-Notre Dame game.

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Good idea, and indeed the message board is full of something, but it's too distant to read.

Looks like they were running the Kool-Aid advertisement on their picture tryptich.

....Say, that should help pinpoint the week, wouldn't it- as it would likely be the week prior to a Saturday football game- in case anybody wants to look up the date of the 1965 Army-Notre Dame game.

Oh well, thanks for trying on the GF Arch readerboard!

BTW - I found a game program for the 1965 Army-Notre Dame football game for sale on e-bay, and the date was listed as Oct. 9, 1965...

I wonder if the large crowd is merely because it's the next-to-last weekend of the Fair - and not necessarily related to the carnage taking place on the track?

Best Regards,

Kevin

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Another Oct 65 set by the same photographer- possibly the same trip to the Fair- has a General Foods arch that reads October 9th.

So it's quite possible- maybe even probable- that all these slides are from October 9th, and the 'beat Notre Dame' banner was put up on the day of the game, which also happened to be West Point day at the World's Fair.

I presume October 9th was a Saturday, and of course the weekends in that last month produced big crowds.

The previous set with the Oct 9th arch, was also the one showing all the cars backed up on the GCP.

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