Letter: New-Car-Smell History

Can a parking garage be historic? ["The House of Brown," Secret History by Jack Neely, June 20, 2013]. How about this? Picture a teen-age gearhead in September of 1948. The new '49 Chevys were about to go on sale. Great excitement, first real redesign since the pre-war models. There was supposed to be a sleek Fleetline fastback. Word on the street was that cars had already been delivered to Knoxville and secretly stashed somewhere, to be taken in a few days to the showrooms for their unveiling. Somehow, my buddies and I learned that the secret location was an upper floor of the Pryor Brown garage, and we managed to slip in there. Sure enough, a whole row of 'em, in all their shiny, new-car-smell glory. Later that year my dad and I went out to Maryville and bought a new black four-door, saving a few bucks as the Maryville dealers would sharpen their pencils in order to snag a few Knoxville buyers. Back in our driveway, we parked beside our neighbor's spanking new '49 Ford. He let me drive it to show off the silkiness of the V-8 against our clunky old Chevy six-banger. Pryor Brown's garage, historic, no doubt about it.

Andrew Crosby

Knoxville