'59 Buick at Hojo

The blue of winter chills this snow-stormed parking lot scene of fun-font signage, rocket ship wannabe rides and their tire tracks that make abstract art on the asphalt.

In the middle of it all a grey tweed overcoated gent smartly topped, tied and trousered in basic black over crisp white strikes a cold weather pose with one of Detroit’s most streamlined space age offerings: The all-new Buick for 1959. They have stopped at the Howard Johnson’s. Think yummy deep fried clam strips, 28 flavors of ice cream, everything else a diner ever served and more.

Howard Johnson began selling ice cream in Quincy, Mass. in 1925. To stand out, he painted the roof of his stand orange. By 1954, when he began expanding into the motel business Hojos was the largest restaurant chain in the country and their oh-so familiar orange roofs had become an American roadside icon of the highest order.

Today Howard Johnson’s hotels are thriving but just three restaurants remian serving.

Here’s to 1959 Buicks, Howard Johnson and YOU!

Charles Phoenix
January 12, 2012