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Old 01-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
BigNick1959
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Default SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I took these pictures of Skip's Fiesta back in 1979 or '80. I was taking photography classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and they were part of an assigment. I came across these forgotten B&W negatives and a couple color slides and thought I'd post them to jog the memories of some of the "Vintage" Chicago members on the board.

I myself was to young at the time to remember much of Skip's, but my brother (11 years my senior) assured me years ago that in the '60's it was THEE place on the Northwest side of Chicago. A steady flow of Rods, Customs, Bikes, Muscle Cars and full on race cars was normal fair on weekends and impromptu drag races were not uncommon. I was born to late I guess. When I got to photograph it, there wasen't much left, definitely no souvenirs to be had, although I would have liked to have scored the neon! I believe not to long after I shot these it was bulldozed to the ground and the lot sat empty for a time. Today on the corners of 1st and North avenues, on the very spot where once upon a time teenaged girls giggled, first generation greases talked about cars,bikes and chicks,and on the very place that some of Chicago's fastest street cars rumbled, now sits a McDonalds complete with play land!....YIPPEE! PROGRESS!

If anyone has any more pictures or stories about Skip's please feel free to post them.



















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Old 01-19-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

nice shots!
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Looks like a sad end to a cool place. Can just imagine it filled up on a Saturday night.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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I head it was a jumpin' place back in the day!
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Skips was near the end when I moved to Chicago in 1970 but I did get to see some cool stuff there. The warehouse style building on the east side of Skips was a Polk Brothers furniture store. It was the overflow lot when Skip's got full. I saw an Anglia gasser taken off the trailer in that parking lot. It made 2 passes down North Ave towards Harlem Ave. I couldn't believe my eyes. There were a boatload of very fast cool cars that cruised skips until the police started cracking down. Took less than a year for the cool cars to stop coming in.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

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Originally Posted by hrm2k View Post
Skips was near the end when I moved to Chicago in 1970 but I did get to see some cool stuff there. The warehouse style building on the east side of Skips was a Polk Brothers furniture store. It was the overflow lot when Skip's got full. I saw an Anglia gasser taken off the trailer in that parking lot. It made 2 passes down North Ave towards Harlem Ave. I couldn't believe my eyes. There were a boatload of very fast cool cars that cruised skips until the police started cracking down. Took less than a year for the cool cars to stop coming in.
My brother told me he watched a blowen gasser and a dragster run each other on North Ave. that would have been about 1966/67. there wasent much around there back then but Kiddie Land, which is now also gone!
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Nice photos....I know these have to be rare shots. A while back on God knows what website/forum someone was asking for photos of this place. All they could come up with was a small grainy shot. Thank you VERY much for posting.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Sad
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

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Nice photos....I know these have to be rare shots. A while back on God knows what website/forum someone was asking for photos of this place. All they could come up with was a small grainy shot. Thank you VERY much for posting.

Thanks! I'd love to see some photos of Skip's in it's hayday! Someone on here has to have at least one!
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

very, very cool....and sad
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Born in Elmhurst, raised in Itasca....
As a kid I rode with the older kids and used to set on the roof of their car watching the shenanigans go on...
Fond memories, fer sure!
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Cool photos thanks for sharing. Im sure some more shots of it in its prime will turn up
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Love the pics, thanks for sharing. A sad end indeed.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I went to the first skips reunion / swapmeet and someone was selling the bricks from skips as it had just been knocked down. they had white and green paint on them.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick1959 View Post
Today on the corners of 1st and North avenues, on the very spot where once upon a time teenaged girls giggled, first generation greases talked about cars,bikes and chicks,and on the very place that some of Chicago's fastest street cars rumbled, now sits a McDonalds complete with play land!....
Those are sad words, brother. A piece of our culture and history gone forever.

Thanks for sharing the pics.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Great pics !!
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I worked at a Skip's Fiesta in Urbana,Illinois in 1962 it was my first job,I worked the fountain and car hopped sometimes, pay was 63 cents an hour back then my '53 Ford cost $25 and gas was about 25 cents a gallon.The car hop gals wore short hula skirts in the summer,I quit and moved down the road to Marty K's drive inn for 75 cents an hour.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

THANKS! Cool thread. Sad pix.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Never been east of the Miss. but I remember model car kits that had showed on the cover the car (in the kit) with Skips in the background.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:23 PM   #20
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heard lots of stories about skips from my dad when him and his buddies use to go there with their cars in the mid to late 60's. awsome photos!!!!
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:41 PM   #21
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Awesome
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:51 AM   #22
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Went there a lot, it was great. We still got Dukes drive in at least.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:38 PM   #23
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick1959 View Post
I took these pictures of Skip's Fiesta back in 1979 or '80. I was taking photography classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and they were part of an assigment. I came across these forgotten B&W negatives and a couple color slides and thought I'd post them to jog the memories of some of the "Vintage" Chicago members on the board.

I myself was to young at the time to remember much of Skip's, but my brother (11 years my senior) assured me years ago that in the '60's it was THEE place on the Northwest side of Chicago. A steady flow of Rods, Customs, Bikes, Muscle Cars and full on race cars was normal fair on weekends and impromptu drag races were not uncommon. I was born to late I guess. When I got to photograph it, there wasen't much left, definitely no souvenirs to be had, although I would have liked to have scored the neon! I believe not to long after I shot these it was bulldozed to the ground and the lot sat empty for a time. Today on the corners of 1st and North avenues, on the very spot where once upon a time teenaged girls giggled, first generation greases talked about cars,bikes and chicks,and on the very place that some of Chicago's fastest street cars rumbled, now sits a McDonalds complete with play land!....YIPPEE! PROGRESS!

If anyone has any more pictures or stories about Skip's please feel free to post them.
Great shots, thx for posting them!
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #24
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

As soon as I saw this post, I remembered reading about Skip's in one of my magazines a long time ago. So, today when I got home from work, I started digging through my collection and I managed to find the article. Originally it was in a Hot Rod magazine, and from what I can gather from re-reading the article, it was the July '81 issue. I can't verify this, as most of my old Hot Rod's went away a long time ago.

The magazine I found this article in is a Hot Rod Magazine Custom Cars annual. I bought every one of these I could find back when they were published and I've managed to hang on to them all this time. This issue was printed back in 1982. Man, that was 30 years ago!

Anyway, it has a write up about the return of the cruise night at old burger joints in Southern California, and a small part printed about Skip's. According to this article, it was demolished about a year before this was published, so I'm guessing that was sometime in 1981.

It really is sad that more of these places haven't been saved. But that's progress, I guess.

The opening of this article has a great couple of paragraphs that pretty much sum it up for me, and anybody else who appreciates old drive-in restaurants and the dying great American past time of cruising..........

"Last year near Chicago, the bulldozers rolled over a major piece of American cruising history called Skip's Fiesta. There were no protest marches, no parades to mark the passing of the crumbling institution in Proviso Township, which was long the nucleus of Chi-town street machining.

After all, the shapely car hops and the cruisers and the cops from five Illinois police departments had all disappeared a full decade earlier, leaving behind only one odd-shaped building, a bunch of broken glass, and billions of memories. The drive-in's legend will probably stand out forever in Chicagoans' memories, but that dilapidated little building just couldn't stand up to the bulldozer, a fate it shares with hundreds of other neon-lit hangouts of the Fifties and Sixties." E
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:52 AM   #25
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Thanks for the post OG lil E, that paragraph pretty much lays it down for me to. I do remember ,and think I still have that magazine, it came out after I had shot my pictures for school.

At the time I was working in a gas station on Harlem ave. with a guy named Eddie "GO-GO" Gogolewski who had a real nice 56 Chevy. Anyway we were going to shoot some pictures of his car in front of Skip's but the bulldozer beat us to it!. I wish now I would have gotten off my ass and did that photo shoot! I guess time and bulldozers wait for no man!!!
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:11 PM   #26
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Great memories of Skips for me. We used to cruise between Skips and Bon Bons (later named Be Be's) on Harlem Ave in the late 60's. We'd drive back and forth almost every night in my 66 Fairlane GT convertible or a buddies car. We'd try to pick up girls walking down Harlem Ave (usually with no luck) Sometimes after Skips, we'd go around the corner to some batting cages and try to hit baseballs on the roof of the Polk Bros. warehouse

Skips Fiesta burger was a multi layer burger that I'm pretty sure was later copied by McDonalds.

Those were great days... except that most of us eventually got drafted and sent to VN...

Thanks for the pictures!
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:34 PM   #27
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Looks like a kind spot in it's day. Sad to see these emporiums of burgers and fries lay in a state of ruin like this. ~sololobo~
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:00 PM   #28
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I made a few pass' thru Skips in this back in the day.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:06 PM   #29
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

It is now the Menard's.

That 71 Merc' Marquis is cool, I had one in 84 that had the 429 4V with the skirts. Brown with power everything. 2.6 to the gallon but gas was 90 cents. You can't find living room furniture comparable to the interior as comfy as that old car had.

Would rust if it drizzled though.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:01 AM   #30
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It is now the Menard's.

That 71 Merc' Marquis is cool, I had one in 84 that had the 429 4V with the skirts. Brown with power everything. 2.6 to the gallon but gas was 90 cents. You can't find living room furniture comparable to the interior as comfy as that old car had.

Would rust if it drizzled though.

Menards is were Kiddie Land and the go kart track used to be. They put that Menards up in like 6 weeks!
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:21 AM   #31
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

It's really sad that, that part of Americana has all but disappeared from society and from the landscape.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:17 AM   #32
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I just missed it by a few years! but as a kid I remember there was a ballerina like what would be in a little girls music box in front of the place! All I remember was that the lot was packed! I had a teacher in H.S. that told about driving his buddys tri power G.T.O. down North ave, and learning about how fast it was in a hurry!
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:14 PM   #33
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Menards is were Kiddie Land and the go kart track used to be. They put that Menards up in like 6 weeks!
Your thinking of Costco. Menards is (was) the building that was built to replace Polk Brothers after it burnt to the ground. You can see tho old Polk brothers in the pics.
Skips was gone before my time, but i grew up hearing my dads stories of hanging out there. One time the whole crew he was hanging with got locked up by the county shariffs for street racing. The cops came and blocked the streets with busses and impounded every car in sight. It was a big mess, as lots of cars were getting all fucked up by the wrecker drivers. He didnt get arrested cause he didnt have his drivers license, but had to walk all the way home to Cicero.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:05 PM   #34
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I ventured to skips from Addison a few times during the summer of 1966.
your brothers description is just how i remember it... saw dragsters on trailers in the front parking lot next door at Polk Bros. also remember seeing a street driven altered there. and the blocking off of north ave. to stage drag races (east) toward Thatcher ave.
great memories
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:23 PM   #35
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I still can't believe there are so few pics!
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #36
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I asked my Dad if he remembered Skip's (he's 75 now):

Are you kidding?
Any car junkie went to Skips, a lot of cruisers that were there to show off their girlfriends and cars though mostly cars
Even took your mother there a couple of times with my first Corvette
They had the cutest carhops with short skirts when at the time ankle length was norm
You never knew what you might see, rail jobs, radical customs, motorcycles, sports cars, some cars came in on trailers
There was a lot of cash betting going on
If I remember correctly, it was an unincorporated stretch of North Ave between Oak Park and the suburb to the west, whose name escapes me, the reason that the cops stayed away
It was finally incorporated into one of the 'burbs and the local cops moved in, and if any money was seen, you were immediately escorted off the property
They didn't even like you to get out of your car to go to the john
The years that Skips was active, there never was any kind of accident, car and bike people watched out for one another, those were the good old days
Too much fun to be allowed!!!
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #37
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I still can't believe that no one has any pic's of it during its hayday!!! Anybody know when it first opened???

Everyone went there, but no one seems to know anything about it!!!!!!! other then it was the place to meet!
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:36 PM   #38
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Made many runs out of SKIPS most in a corvette * The fastest was my 1957 corvette with a 409/409/4/speed in it [ and yes with alot of work and IGGYS building headers for it ] it fit*
If I remember heading east out of SKIPS the 3rd street light was a 1/4 [ if wrong someone help me pit]
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:41 PM   #39
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Made many runs out of SKIPS all in corvettes * The fastest was a 1957 corvette with a 409/409/4 speed in it* [ it did fit and with the help of iggys making the headers ]
If I remember heading out of skips east the 3 rd street light was a 1/4 mile * [ if wrong someone help out]

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Old 01-26-2012, 08:00 PM   #40
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Opps! Already posted.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:49 AM   #41
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I have Skip's original (porcelain covered metal) menu in my Restuarant on display. I get more comment about this Sighn than anything else. It was one of 2 Sighns on either side of Skip's building. Skip's daughter has one and I have the other. I'll post a pict of it tommorrow.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:37 AM   #42
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Thanks so much for posting these! Photos of Skip's on the net are pretty well nonexistent. I grew up in the Glenview/Northbrook area and never got to see the place, although I'd heard a lot about it. I do remember one good story related to it: In the mid-to-late '70s WLS radio had a contest called "Win Your Fantasy". Simple premise - you write the station telling them your fantasy and the winner gets $30,000.00 to make the fantasy come true. Catch was you had to listen to them read your fantasy on the air, then call in within an hour to qualify for the grand prize. The one fantasy I remember being read: "Help me bring back my version of American Graffiti - I'd like to win $30,000.00 to reopen Skip's Fiesta Drive-In."

The eventual winner was a woman who wanted to take her family to visit long-lost relatives in Poland.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:09 AM   #43
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

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Skips was near the end when I moved to Chicago in 1970 but I did get to see some cool stuff there. The warehouse style building on the east side of Skips was a Polk Brothers furniture store. It was the overflow lot when Skip's got full. I saw an Anglia gasser taken off the trailer in that parking lot. It made 2 passes down North Ave towards Harlem Ave. I couldn't believe my eyes. There were a boatload of very fast cool cars that cruised skips until the police started cracking down. Took less than a year for the cool cars to stop coming in.
That Polk Bros burned to ground in '88. You could see the smoke for miles. A careless salesman threw a cigarette on the floor and up she went. Kiddieland accross the street is also gone now.... Sad
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #44
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Any heyday pics?
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #45
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Any heyday pics?
I second that motion
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #46
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Those were the days. Never went to that one, but hung out in a lot of similar ones in the late 50's and early 60's.
Never will be anything that cool again!
Thanks for sharing!
Cheers..............
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #47
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I was there every Friday and Saturday night. Did a lot of street Racing around there. The dragster and Anglia stories are true. Saw them too among many other Hot cars.
It was a great place to meet chicks and set up races. One of my friends actually married one of the car hops. COOL DAYS INDEED. Wish we could go back.
There was oine night I missed and the cops and sheriff's raided Polk Bros because we always parked in there to watch the races on North ave. It was like a swat effort cops blocked off the main intersections and busted around 30-40 guys and towed their cars away. It made all the papers.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:43 AM   #48
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I just moved to Chicago and that's pretty sad.... Awesome shots though. Any more? Love the stories. What were some of the original clubs back then? and are any around anymore? Any Oldtimers?
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:54 PM   #49
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Danís 5-Window was running a Caddy with 4 Stromberg 97ís and a B&M Hydro
I was running a 327 with a Duntov 30/30, Fuelie Heads, duel quads and a Muncie 4 speed
I wish I had some pictures of Skips, but we werenít in the digital age and not many of us were interested in cameras - had we only known!!
But let me see if I can describe the atmosphere on one of those Saturday nights when it seemed like the whole city was at Skips. The traffic entering Skipís was backed up onto North Avenue, cars moved side by side in a counterclockwise direction, letting the camís idle set the pace stopping only for the waitresses roller skating by with their window trayís full of hamburgers or pop. Like many busy nights there wasnít any stalls to pull into but in the early days we could continue around in a circle until we found a place to park (we always backed our Hot Rods in). Eventually they laid down concrete parking barriers to keep us from circling so we had to exit on the first go around. You had to turn right leaving Skips because at this point North Avenue was three lanes one way going East separated by a median strip with three lanes going West. With hundreds of people in Polk Brothers parking lot, Danny took the outside lane and I moved to the middle lane. On the third beep we jumped on it - I grabbed second, slammed third and then ---- the lights went on!! Yep, one of the States finest had us in his cross hairs! I donít remember the line of B/S we threw at him, but I do remember the list of twenty tickets he was going to write us - ďIFĒ he caught us out again that night!! We garaged them for the evening and decided to spend a week or so on the South side of Chicago!!
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:23 PM   #50
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Awesom pictures and great stories to hear form the senior guys. born in 86' i thrive off hearing about the good ol days.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:43 PM   #51
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

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I second that motion
Here's a pic I found in a old Car Craft. I sure do miss this place. We were always there until it closed.

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Old 05-18-2012, 07:47 PM   #52
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I was in the class of 63 in Lake Park High School, between Itasca and Roselle, and after went into the service. We used to drive in to Skips to see the show, in the early 60's, what was happening, cars, girls, racing, everything. thanks for the pictures. my younger sister and i are watching American Grafitti now and i told her there was a place like that while i was growing up- Skips, and also was near KiddieLand. i looked on google and found this blog. Well, its progress, history, too bad, but great to remember tonight. thanks for the pics and for everyones comments- wonderful! hooray!
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:22 AM   #53
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Very cool pics...thanks for posting!
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:09 AM   #54
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

In the Picture Colt 340 posted
I know the guy with the 58 Ford.
He still has it.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:45 AM   #55
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

Cool! Do you have photos? Does it still have that nosebleed stance?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:45 PM   #56
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VERY ODD....when I was a kid....my Dad took me to Skips circa 1980...it was closed, and looked EXACTLY like the pics you took.

We must have visited at almost same day!!!

I was thinking about this the other day and remembering that day. We walked around, went inside and it still had the hamburger makers, deep fryers, sinks and fixtures. Cant believe nobody took all that stuff. Wonder where the neons went.

I do remember as a kid, going to Polk Brothers, or to Thatcher to go to grandmas' house and passing the closed Skip's hundreds of times, and every time...my Dad told us all the stories, so the images you present here were embedded in our psyche for the last 30 years or so.

I did a search for pictures and voila...not only do you have pics, but the pics that were burned in my memory...very cool indeed.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:49 PM   #57
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I remember Polk Brothers used the awnings for customer parking. They remind me of the awning at Dodger Stadium...same era...
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:51 PM   #58
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So post it already!!!!
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:55 PM   #59
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As soon as I saw this post, I remembered reading about Skip's in one of my magazines a long time ago. So, today when I got home from work, I started digging through my collection and I managed to find the article. Originally it was in a Hot Rod magazine, and from what I can gather from re-reading the article, it was the July '81 issue. I can't verify this, as most of my old Hot Rod's went away a long time ago.

The magazine I found this article in is a Hot Rod Magazine Custom Cars annual. I bought every one of these I could find back when they were published and I've managed to hang on to them all this time. This issue was printed back in 1982. Man, that was 30 years ago!

Anyway, it has a write up about the return of the cruise night at old burger joints in Southern California, and a small part printed about Skip's. According to this article, it was demolished about a year before this was published, so I'm guessing that was sometime in 1981.

It really is sad that more of these places haven't been saved. But that's progress, I guess.

The opening of this article has a great couple of paragraphs that pretty much sum it up for me, and anybody else who appreciates old drive-in restaurants and the dying great American past time of cruising..........

"Last year near Chicago, the bulldozers rolled over a major piece of American cruising history called Skip's Fiesta. There were no protest marches, no parades to mark the passing of the crumbling institution in Proviso Township, which was long the nucleus of Chi-town street machining.

After all, the shapely car hops and the cruisers and the cops from five Illinois police departments had all disappeared a full decade earlier, leaving behind only one odd-shaped building, a bunch of broken glass, and billions of memories. The drive-in's legend will probably stand out forever in Chicagoans' memories, but that dilapidated little building just couldn't stand up to the bulldozer, a fate it shares with hundreds of other neon-lit hangouts of the Fifties and Sixties." E
Based on this photo...the neon went down with the building!! Terrible Shame!! I lived in Northlake as a kid 1970-1986....remember this all.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:05 PM   #60
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If anyone wants to see a glimmer of what Skips was like, check out Strat's on North Ave ( a few miles west of the old Skips), just West of IL-83. On most any friday night from May-October til 2am...it's packed with Teens eating burgers, sitting outside on or around their classics or their chopped up modded hot rods. While they don't close down North Ave....they do peel out and drag race 1/4 mile to Villa Ave. Cops love catching them!!
I pulled in with my 2000 Porsche Boxster and got made fun of!!!! I'm sure Skips was a lot like this.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #61
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How times have changed.... No way that a/c unit would last the night these days!

(An Itasca kid, born in Elmhurst)
(I remember going to Skip's with some older guys and setting on the roof of their car... Watching...and soaking it all in...)
Jeff



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Old 01-22-2013, 09:24 PM   #62
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The Rosemont Holiday Inn had a bar called At The Hop back in the '80s. They had a 35 mm slide projector showing slides of old scenes around the Chicago area continuously. One of those slides was a great shot of Skip's in its prime. I wish I knew who had those slides. We would go to Skip's in either my 383 Roadrunner or my buddy's 440 GTX to look at the cars and pick up girls. Climbing up on the roof of Polk Bros. was the best seat in the house for the races. We saw a rail blast down North Avenue one night then loaded back on the trailer and gone before the cops came. Unreal fun!
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:40 PM   #63
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Went to Proviso East and spent allot of time at Skip's in the later 60's. You'd drive through the lot, and nod to someone parked that you wanted to race. Out of Skip's it was a right turn only, 3 lanes wide, 1st light was about a 1/4 mile away. Many hot rods, muscle cars from all over the area would drive in to show their rides. Great place, you'll never find one like this again.
If Skip's was to busy, you always went to the parking lot behind Polk Brothers for more activity.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:56 PM   #64
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Default Re: SKIP'S Drive In...Chicago Hot Rod Hangout Remembered* Pics*

I missed out by a few years! I lived close by! I remember they had a lifesize dancing balarina like the one in a jewelry box out near North Ave!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:26 PM   #65
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the guys growing up now, will never get to experience this. if you were into cars it was the place to hang.
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