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Montgomery Wards! ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by old wood 51, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. My first car, the '53 Ford in my avatar, had a rebuilt flathead V-8 from Sears already in it when I purchased it in 1966 for $35. That was $35 for the complete running car ! And that included the '54 DeSoto grille, '56 Olds tailight lenses, '56 Ford wheelcovers, de-chromed hood and decklid.
    Deuces likes this.
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,101


    I love Cragar GTs, and for a few years hoarded every one I could find. They were not a Sears-only thing, there are actual Cragar ads in the magazines circa 1964 selling the things. Came in a smooth-spoke or a lipped-spoke style. They were a precursor to the SS by a couple years.

    And yes, I too grew up in Sears and Jacque Penney heavy-duty jeans.
    Deuces likes this.
  3. gts340
    Joined: Aug 26, 2007
    Posts: 33


    This is a great thread. I don't remember the speed parts in the catalogs, maybe I'm too young. One of my Christmas memories is spending a month going through the toys in the Sears catalog and making out my list. I can remember all the goofy muscle/banana seat bikes they sold (MW too). I do remember the MW in Crystal Lake, IL having a servie center as my mom would take our car there ( a Pacer Wagon) since the AMC dealer went belly up. I remember the wheels they sold and up to that point they still had some speedstuff. I think I bought tune-up parts for my first car there (70 Dart Swinger).
    As for the Cragar GT's, my buddy just sold a set this past summer. I wish I had bought them. Same guy has a set of really wide JC Penny tires that I'd like to have also.
    Deuces likes this.
  4. gts340
    Joined: Aug 26, 2007
    Posts: 33


    Oh yeh, I wore all the cheap department store pants as well. The K-Mart brands were the worst. Don't forget the polyester t-shirts that were sold alongside. Talk about schaffing! Anyone remember Union Hall?
    Deuces likes this.
  5. 265glide
    Joined: Jan 21, 2007
    Posts: 108


    Memory lane!
    I'm still running a Monkey Wards rebuilt clutch in my 55 more door.Still connects well enough to chirp the first 3 gears w/the 265".
    Deuces likes this.
  6. 4ever18
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 480


    E6BAF574-D1B7-4392-A842-9FC5379B4188.jpeg 9528A32C-7273-4C1E-824F-E7B897533A33.jpeg

    This is the Rogers Remanufactured Engines tag, located on the front of the 59AB flathead, in my “garage find” ‘33 3 window. I was told that the engine was purchased through the local Ford dealer (Asheville, NC) area.
  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,736

    jimmy six

    I worked at the Sears Auto Center in Inglewood Ca. from 62 to 65. Our rebuilt engines were metallic dark blue with an off red valve cover if an overhead. All flatheads of any kind were the blue. There was a even a cutaway engine in the salesroom. Engine shop was always busy just like the brakes, alignment, tires, batteries, etc. we had a great trim shop too for convertible tops. Saturday’s for tires were the worst and probably why I have a bad back today. All hand mechanical machines and bubble balencers.
    bchctybob, 5window, jnaki and 4 others like this.
  8. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 536

    from Mo.

    I remember buying chrome reverse wheels at Monkey Wards for $10 apiece on sale. BUT... I was only making 85 cents an hour.
    Deuces, stillrunners and Chicster like this.
  9. mohr hp
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 333

    mohr hp
    from Georgia

    Thanks, Curly, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!
    loudbang, Deuces and 1CoolRide like this.
  10. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,683

    Atwater Mike

    Corduroy pants...Navy were O.K., but the sintered gray were the worst. Some sintered brown, also.
    These were the prescribed pants for St. Clare's school, just horrible for a kid addicted to HRM, R&C, and Car Craft...Thank the Creator for the Little Pages!
    Reminds me, the nun teacher rapped my knuckles with the thin steel side of a 12" wood ruler when she spotted the R&C page featuring a nice '34 with a big flathead!
    Thanks again to the Creator, I was outa there in '55, Whew!
    NEVER wore cords again... Hello, Levi's!

    My 'new' '53 Vicky I bought in '73 had a Sears rebuild in it, very gutsy...3 speed stick, no O.D. Drove it 'over the hill' 30 miles and back every day, for my 'new' job at San Jose BMW.
    Flathead finally passed, cracked block. (BIG crack) Friend Ron Dunn at Vintage Ford had a '51 EAB that was a fresh removal, sold it to me for $100.
    Engine had a Sears tag on it...I was battin' a thousand. Good mill.
  11. In 1964, I was a high school sophomore—-had a “cherry” 40 Ford convertible. Got it painted,put on a new convertible top from j.c. Whitney and finished up my cool Ford with a set of whitewall recap tires from Monkey Wards for $60 for 4 tires,mounted, and balanced with a road hazard guarantee. Montgomery Wards was a cool store back in the 60’s—-their main competition was Sears. 1BCA1C9F-E20D-47B1-A26C-0E8C908911FC.jpeg
    Deuces and kidcampbell71 like this.
  12. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,895

    from Napa

    Sears, Monkey Wards etc. didn't really "make" a lot of the stuff they sold, just sponsored and sold them, usually with their name attached. Growing up in the Southern Tier of NY farm country, you always got handed the big Sears catalog, usually with the Christmas Catalog, to pick out your Christmas present, which was delivered to the small local Post Office. My gramma's kitchen sink/cabinet was one of those sheet metal deals from Sears, she had an old Sears round-top fridge that she had bought used in '47, and since gramps owned an International Harvester dealership, she had two huge 6ft IH chest deep freezers that easily made bowling balls out of turkeys. My first lathe was a 12x36 Craftsman (made by Atlas as we know), but I picked up a sweet 9x24 "Montgomery Wards", so figured probably an Atlas- but it was very tight and accurate, good ways instead of the flat Atlas type, just a real nice lathe. Did a little investigating and found that Logan supplied them to MW with their name on them- in fact the owners' grandson (Scott Logan IIRC) has all the records, and with a serial number emailed to him, he was able to tell me the hardware store in SoCal where it was first sold in 1951. I also have a sweet "JC Higgins" .22LR that had been my uncles' when he was a teen, 17 shot tube mag with a scope and a tack driver. "Western Field" 12 ga. pump? That's an old Mossberg 500, 6 shot, adjustable choke and an excellent behind the door comforter
  13. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,890

    from Nicasio Ca

    Great thread, great times.
  14. 1CoolRide
    Joined: Aug 12, 2018
    Posts: 10


    The first set of slicks we bought were from JC Penny. Proudly said JC Penny right on the side wall! They hooked well and lasted a whole season without any issues!

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    bchctybob and Deuces like this.
  15. rotten ron
    Joined: Aug 11, 2018
    Posts: 4,415

    rotten ron

    1965 sears installed a air conditioner on my new Valiant 91 dollars out the door.
    Deuces likes this.
  16. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,604

    Rusty O'Toole

    I've got a Montgomery Ward 5 speed bicycle and they never even sold stuff in Canada. How it got here I'll never know.
    Deuces likes this.
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,813


    The longest dead thread on here brought to life after 14 years.
    I grew up going to Money Wards and sears and my first "grown up" suit came from Monkey Wards when I needed a suit for a prom as a high school sophomore.
    I bought the cutting torch that I still have and use from them in Texas in 1975 or 76 and still have the one setting welder that I used to tack things together an carry up the street to my friend to have him weld up.
    One of my early memory of Wards was riding up there with my grandfather in his 48 1 ton dualie flatbed to have six new tires put on it.
    On my 15th birthday my mom and stepfather took me to the Sears in Bremerton Wa and bought me a sporterized 303 British Enfield that I still have. It was customized a bit with a cut down stock, 7 inches off the end of the barrel and new sights.
    I can remember when I was young that down in the area of Klickitat county wa above Lyle on the way to Glenwood a lot of the people had 55 gallon barrels for mail boxes and my grandparents said that was because they ordered so much stuff from Sears or wards and had it mailed to them .
    5window, ffr1222k, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  18. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,683

    Atwater Mike

    Leslie Silva rode a J.C. Whitney balloon tire bike in 7th grade...(we all had hopped-up balloon tires, 26".)
    Mine was a Monkey Ward Hawthorne, chosen for its nice shaped frame.
    Once I bent the forks out, chopped the seat post tube way down, and added the 'medium' risers, ol' Leslie's J.C. Higgens looked tall and short! It was, in truth, ugly.
    I took his girlfriend...
    Deuces likes this.
  19. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,428

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    My older brother bought a 2 stroke Wards motorcycle and didn't like messing with the mixed gas. Traded it in for a 4 stroke, also from Wards. My 1st welder was a Wards 110 volt stick welder. Worked pretty good with small rod. As late as the early 80's I bought a pair of re-capped tires at Wards for my work car, a '76 El Camino.

    Deuces likes this.
  20. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 6,175

    A Boner

    Anyone have some old Riverside tires?
    Deuces and rudestude like this.
  21. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,122

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    Another Lazarus thread! When I was a kid in the '60s, and the Sears and the Wards catalogs would show up, I would lay on the living room floor paging through them memorizing all of the different engine sizes and horsepowers from the rebuilt engine listings. I'd also be drooling over the speed equipment. I remember the chrome steel slot wheels were the very cheapest of anything shiny so I figured that's what I was going to put on my car when I got old enough to get one.
  22. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,122

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    1959 wards catalog

    Attached Files:

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  23. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,122

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    16208798230865249434048327252030.jpg 1959
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  24. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,122

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

  25. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,122

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    1959 speed parts at wards 16208800478639086069756496397178.jpg
  26. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 869

    from boron,ca

    great thread!! my sister worked at the mw in norwalk calif. way back when. i got my first tool set and box with her discount back around '65. still have them. no china crap back then.
    loudbang, Deuces and 4ever18 like this.
  27. I loved going to the Wards store! It was an old brick building, hardwood floors that squeaked at every step. Sporting goods and automotive were in the basement and I remember standing at the head of the stairs and surveying all the treasures as I descended. The coolest thing, though was (as typical of a lot of stores at the time) they had a central cashier on the top floor, and at each sales station they had vacuum a tube that shot a little capsule with a hand written sales receipt and your money up to the cashier, and a few moments later you got your change and a receipt stamped "paid in full" back, via the tube. Absolutely magical!
    HATED their pants, though!!
  28. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,739


    A Boner: these are 6.40”x 15” Wards Riverside tires : 0EE227B8-F2B9-4C19-9733-1809612BA592.jpeg
    A Boner, loudbang and Deuces like this.
  29. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,994

    from Michigan

    MW sent me a credit card app to fill out.. I never had credit before.. so, I filled it out and got my first credit card... I went Wards on the corner of Michigan Ave and Schaefer in Dearborn and bought a 25 gallon compressor.. I paid it off in 4 months... After that, I was getting credit card apps from everyone... Visa and master card... That's how I established credit.... Thank you Wards!!!!!.... :)
    And now like Sears, they're all gone...:(:mad::(
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,102



    In almost every neighborhood, there were the standard catchall stores, JC Penney, Sears, and Montgomery Ward. Everything from household goods to school clothes sold big time to the masses. It was the one stop shopping, that included getting tires, and accessories as well as auto repair. The buildings were usually centrally located in most communities and accessible to all. If one drove from the Western end of Long Beach to the other Eastern end, several shopping centers or parking lot centers had one or the other as a center piece.

    They were popular because of what they offered for the everyday shopping and to make it a one stop shop, auto repair/tire sales/installation. They were good places to work as they were always busy and plentiful. For the small tuning, oil change and minor auto repair, these places were plentiful and work was done quickly.

    Convenience was the key, which led to waiting for the auto repair, why not go inside to shop for something. The scenario was set and it was the thing that made those stores popular. Brand names had been re-labeled with the store brands and they were just the same as the big brands. Marketing tactics that still happen today. the big store brands were now getting their time in the shopping sprees of plenty of families.

    At Sears, a Kenmore sewing machine was a re-labeled Singer. The same for TVs. An RCA TV was re-labeled as a Kenmore TV with the same guarantees and warranties. (It was the same for automobile factories… factory brands looked similar with similar frames and running gear + body panels, yet the dealerships told all of us they were completely different.)


    All of these stores had a following and kept them in the top tier of sales and profits. It was mass produced products for the masses. In the auto parts, there were similar accessories and parts available for all makes. Even custom accessories like Pep Boys sold, as well as mail order catalogs from each of the big name stores.

    It was just convenience for most families. Shopping for anything is pretty much the same thing. For most of us, we still used the local small speed shops and repair shops versus the convenient at the time… a “big box” store with their services. So, we all were involved at one time or one product or another. But, for our teenage hot rod group, we usually kept the small tuning shops, alignment shops and parts stores busy. Who didn’t wear those cool well built Penney’s high neck T-Shirts as a daily wear item?

    For us, that Northeast Long Beach street, Cherry Avenue, near Lakewood and Paramount city borders, had enough small shops that did marvelous hot rod modifications and had plenty of wares that we could add to our teenage cars. But, those big stores did plenty of business for the daily shopper and their cars. YRMV...

    41 GMC K-18 likes this.

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