Atlee s car on a pole has come down, but possibly not for long. Regarded as a nonconforming sign under Hanover County zoning laws and considered a landmark byAug 3, 2010 1 of 1View Source
Atlee's car on a pole has come down, but possibly not for long.
Regarded as a nonconforming sign under Hanover County zoning laws and considered a landmark by those who appreciate its 50-year stand on U.S. 301, the Crosley wagon was removed from its perch yesterday.
A work crew used a crane and steel beams to support the car while it was cut from the pole, said Lea Dunham, publisher of an online vintage auto magazine called Still Runnin'. The Crosley, with no engine or drive train, was lowered onto a trailer and will stay at the business while it is refurbished, Dunham said.
Originally, the car was put up to mark the site of Gordon Lawhorn's auto-salvage business with a red and blue color scheme. Now rusted and yellow, it advertises International Auto Recycling.
Atlee Auto Service, which is moving to the International Auto site, can apply to amend its proffers and return the car to an elevated status, said Supervisor Charles D. McGhee of the Henry District.
"The car has to come down so they can get their business open," McGhee said.
McGhee said there is support on the board "to get them to where they need to be."
Richard Hollins, one of the owners of Atlee Auto Service, said he hopes to have the Crosley refurbished and returned this fall after getting county approval through amended proffers.
The cost has not been determined.
"We got to get some approved engineered plans for resetting it," he said. "Depending on the cost, I may have to do some type of fundraiser to get some funds to reattach it.
"A lot of people really want to see the car stay there at that location." He hopes that some of them will donate work or money to help it happen.
At the Hanover Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday, Dunham called the car "one of our great American roadside oddities."
She said she had collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition supporting the Crosley and had received e-mails of concern from around country. "The Crosley Club is out of their mind that you might take it down. . . .
"The community and myself would like to thank you for allowing the little Crosley to stay. It is a piece of history we all treasure more than you were aware."
Crosleys were subcompact cars manufactured in Indiana from 1939 to 1952. The car on the pole in Hanover is thought to be from 1948 to 1951.
It conceivably could stay on the same pole, cut down to meet the county's 16-foot height limit.
At least three people think the Crosley on the pole was their car.
John Ostergren of Hanover County said his mother owned a blue 1952 Crosley station wagon when she was a news reporter in the county.
"We regularly bought parts for the Crosley from Lawhorn and, when the Crosley had serious engine problems, she sold the car to Lawhorn. My mother always said that the car on the pole was her old wagon, and my sister believes that it is Mother's old car.
"However, I was a teenager at the time and have different recollections on whose car is really on the pole. I regularly was at Lawhorn's to get parts and believe that the car on the pole was a red wagon that we had scavenged parts from and not the blue one that my mother had owned. I would like to find out if it was originally red or blue."
Irving "Butch" Miller, who lives now in The Villages, Fla., said he had a blue 1948 Crosley when he lived in Chamberlayne Farms in the mid-1950s.
"My grandfather in Annapolis, Maryland, gave me that Crosley. It had a big problem with the transmission. After three or four months, I sold it to Lawhorn for parts. I knew it was my car."
Rosie Berry, who grew up in eastern Henrico County and moved back to retire, said her father owned a light-yellow Crosley that she thinks is the car on the pole.
"Every time I went by it, I would tell my kids that was my car," she said.
Contact Katherine Calos at (804) 649-6433 or kcalos@....
Posted by Aiden on Aug. 3, 2010 - 8:37 a.m.
There should have been a photo with this story. If it is "one of our great American roadside oddities" then evidence of this rodaside attraction would have been nice. There is a car on a pole at Belt Blvd and Midlothian. I would like to see what makes this different. Roadside oddities are fun. I took my son to the Cadillac Ranch just outside of Amarillo Texas. An eccentric artist buried 8 caddies nose first into the ground. The cadillacs are buried in the middle of the plains and barren land makes them pop out of the horizon. They stick out at an angle and you can spray paint them with various colors.
Anyway, I would like to see if this is a true oddity.