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History Mystery key holder

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tom Portokalis, Nov 25, 2022.

  1. Tom Portokalis
    Joined: Jun 29, 2022
    Posts: 7

    Tom Portokalis

    Hoping anyone in the Colorado area can help with any information on a dealership named Daves-McBee Pontiac Co. that operated in Cortez, Colorado. This key holder was found in the bottom of the drivers door after removing the door trim of a 1951 Mercury.

    The Merc was last registered in 1960 so I'm guessing this dealer operated during the 1950's.

    I've searched everywhere including old Colorado newspaper archives but no luck. Any info would be appreciated.

    Regards, Tom

    Attached Files:

    Budget36 and David Gersic like this.
  2. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 708

    from Detroit

    Did you try calling the number? :D:p
    Tom Portokalis, NoelC, SS327 and 2 others like this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 52,357


    no idea, but it's been a long time since I saw one of those "record and detach" things!

  4. Dustin 257
    Joined: Aug 20, 2021
    Posts: 160

    Dustin 257
    from Dallas

    Boring day at the fire house today, so what the hell. Two hours of googling and all I could find was Kenyon motor building. Built in 1920 to house his motor company that sold Pontiac. 100 east Main Street. Building still their. Long shot but maybe. (Reallll long shot) Sounded like The building sold cars for a long time in different names. Cortez motors and Bozeman motors used it also.

    page 37 top paragraph
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022

  5. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,993


    Cool. There appear to be only about 8500 people living in Cortez, so someone should rememebr. Newspaper, nursing home?

    Try the Montezuma Heritage Museum : 35 S Chestnut St, Cortez, CO 81321

    Or the Montezuma County Historical Society
    17602 Road JCortezCO81321

    Keep us posted
  6. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,546


    With a 3 digit phone number, its got to be way older than the 50's. In the mid 50's I lived in a town of less than 500 and we had 4 digit phone numbers.
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  7. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 1,108

    Bob Lowry

    Excerpt from above....

  8. Dustin 257
    Joined: Aug 20, 2021
    Posts: 160

    Dustin 257
    from Dallas

    This pic is from the Springfield green county. I think x-cpe is on to something, about the 3 digit phone.

    and a fun fact, Colorado got its first area code 303 in 1947.

  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,838


    Being more than a bit of a history buff this has become really interesting. I've been through Cortez in both directions coming from and going to Central Texas over the years but don't remember the building, I just remember that Cortez is a pretty nifty little town down in that corner of the state.
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  10. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719


    Well, that dates it to between 1930 and 1950 at least; 5 digit phones mandated in 1950 and that logo was first used in 1930.

    What's it made from? Looks like a rubberized plastic of some description.
    Tom Portokalis and Tow Truck Tom like this.

  11. They were usually made of leather, as this one appears to be. The decoration around the edges looks like it was embossed, and sometimes the dealer info was as well. I had a similar one that came with a '64 Plymouth that I bought about thirty years ago. More modern versions could have been made of vinyl or "pleather".
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022 at 12:17 AM
  12. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,414

    dan c

    i remember the "mini license plate" issued by the VFW that served the same purpose. finder drops the keys in a mailbox and the post office returns them to you.
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  13. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,960


    I have a few tucked away somewhere, we’d come across them in wrecking yards.
    dan c likes this.
  14. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,546


    I wonder if GM might have historical records of old dealerships. Or maybe check with the national Pontiac club or registry.
  15. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,229

    stuart in mn

    There are lists of dealers at the Ultimate GTO website and the Wallace Racing website. Unfortunately they aren't comprehensive and I wasn't able to find anything about Daves-McBee.

    Depended on where you lived. My parent's number was 24J up until we got dial phones in about 1964.
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  16. 28rpu
    Joined: Mar 6, 2001
    Posts: 349


    PXL_20221126_184904552.MP.jpg PXL_20221126_184928642.MP.jpg
    302GMC, dan c, X-cpe and 4 others like this.
  17. Tom Portokalis
    Joined: Jun 29, 2022
    Posts: 7

    Tom Portokalis

    It's plastic (which makes me think it's definitely 1950's) but it's gone very hard from age. The keys have no wear on them all.
    PhilA likes this.
  18. Tom Portokalis
    Joined: Jun 29, 2022
    Posts: 7

    Tom Portokalis

    It's definitely plastic (vinyl?) but gone very hard with age.
  19. Tom Portokalis
    Joined: Jun 29, 2022
    Posts: 7

    Tom Portokalis

    Hey thanks for the tip! I might try a Pontiac club.
  20. Tom Portokalis
    Joined: Jun 29, 2022
    Posts: 7

    Tom Portokalis

    Great find thank you! May have operated here as I'm guessing only one Pontiac dealer in Cortez due to the small population at the time. The keys on the pouch look like they've never been used. I am puzzled how it ended up in the bottom of the Merc's door.
  21. Tom Portokalis
    Joined: Jun 29, 2022
    Posts: 7

    Tom Portokalis

    Thanks for the info. Never knew what that ring was! Too corroded to read.
  22. Tom Portokalis
    Joined: Jun 29, 2022
    Posts: 7

    Tom Portokalis

    Thanks for the info! Just contacted them and will let you know what they find.
    SS327 likes this.
  23. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 1,486


    Being that it does not say Okland also on it I’d have to guess around 33 or 34.
  24. 26Troadster
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 720


    i'm no help, but it is cool to see one of the old leather key holders like that. i haven't seen any in years.
  25. foolthrottle
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,311


  26. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,778


    Back in the day many businesses bought ads in the local HS yearbooks, or at least they did in for my HS. The local car dealers usually had a photo ad with a cheerleader or other class member by a new car in front of the dealership. Might check and see if the local library or HS has old yearbooks. Never know what you might find.
  27. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,910

    from Berry, AL

    If your car was ever sold on a used car lot, it’s possible a salesman or customer laid the keys up on the rolled down window and they fell in. I’ve seen salesman have the keys to two or three cars the customer might be looking at and leave them laying somewhere.

    Or it could have been kids. Little Johnny gets the keys to Dad’s new car, and goes and climbs into Dad’s old car. They won’t fit anything, he gets cocky, decides he’ll stick them wherever they will fit, in this case, down the window crack. Nobody sees him do it, he’s not old enough to tell you in complete sentences what he did, and nobody knows what happened to the new car keys.
  28. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,916


    Did the keys fit your Merc?
    Also in one of the previous posts, it states when three and four and five digit phone numbers appeared, maybe that doesn’t mean that when four digit numbers appeared, three digit numbers disappeared! So it may be possible to have the three digit numbers up into the fifties? Maybe?

  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 52,357


    The key blank looks like the one used by FoMoCo in 1949-51

    The only old phone book I have is from 1938, Tucson, there are 2, 3, and 4 digit numbers, and some of the 4 digits have a letter suffix.
  30. The round metal tag on your key ring is not there to provide a means of returning lost keys to their owner. The number stamped on the tag is the key code number that a locksmith would use to cut a new matching key. The tip-off is the instruction to "RECORD & DETACH" the tag from the key ring for security reasons.

    There is a NOS lock cylinder and keys currently listed on Ebay that shows this tag still attached to the key ring.

    Also the Hurd Corporation supplied Ford and other auto makers with keys and locksets up into the 1960s. They also made some dandy looking fishing rods with built-in casting reels known as Casters and SuperCasters.


    Here's a link to a site with some info on vintage auto locks designed by Hurd and other manufacturers. There's even a bit of technical information about removing and servicing some of these older lock designs.

    Have you tried to fit these keys into the locks on your Mercury? The previous owner may have just put these keys in the old Pontiac key case as spares for safe keeping. Maybe he traded in a Pontiac when he bought the Mercury and had kept the old key fob. But how they got inside the door of your car, I have no idea.

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