Riverdale’s longtime car dealership

The area of the intersection of Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike and  Newark-Pompton Turnpike has hosted a variety of businesses since the 18th Century.  We don’t know about all of them, but here’s the story of a car dealership.

In the 1930s, this building housed Guy Cook Motors, which sold Hudson motor cars.

Hudson Motor Cars (1930s)
Hudson Motor Cars (1930s)
Hudson Motor Cars (1930s)
Hudson Motor Cars (1930s)


The company, founded in 1909, was named for Joseph L. Hudson, a Detroit department store entrepreneur and founder of Hudson’s Department Store. The company’s goal was to produce an motor car which would sell for less than $1,000 (roughly $25,000 today).  It was a successful venture that lasted decades, and spawned dealerships all over — including Riverdale.

By the mid-1950s, Hudson was acquired by Nash-Kelvinator, which manufactured Nash and Rambler automobiles, and re-branded as American Motors.  Their Hudson Ramblers continued to sell well.  At some point, likely in the late 1950s or early 1960s, Guy Cook Motors, too, was re-branded as Riverdale Rambler. (This is a terrific photo, taken from the same angle as the 1930s photo.)

Riverdale Rambler
Riverdale Rambler, early 1960s
1965 Ad for Riverdale Rambler, 1965
1965 Ad for Riverdale Rambler








The Rambler American continued to sell well as an affordable ‘compact’ auto.  Wikipedia notes that “The compact Rambler American was most often the lowest priced car built in the U.S. It was popular for its economy in ownership, as was proven by numerous Mobilgas Economy Run championships. After an optional second-generation AMC V8 engine was added in 1966, it also became known as a powerful compact performance model…”

By the early 1970s, the building had been converted into a general-purpose auto-parts store called Auto Trade Town.

The lot at 72 Hamburg Turnpike, today, is home to a strip mall.

72 Hamburg Tpk, Riverdale NJ
The view today at 72 Hamburg Turnpike, Riverdale NJ