1959 Junction of Nathan and Austin Roads | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1959 Junction of Nathan and Austin Roads

1959 Junction of Nathan and Austin Roads

Shamrock Hotel is the tall building on the left corner. Nice view of a parked Chevrolet.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Thursday, January 1, 1959


Yes, moddsey, a 1958 Chevrolet 4-door hardtop so likely the Bel Air model.  My first car was also a 1958 Chevrolet but the lower trim, bought second hand perhaps third hand.  I didn't know much about cars then, but desperately needed one to delivery Chinese food to save money for university.

The left passenger floor (foot-rest area) has rusted partially through (how was it possible in Saskatchewan where they don't use salt in winter?).  So the mechanics inserted a piece of plywood from underneath.  I never allowed passenger on that seat.  The brakes failed so it hit the car in front on one snowy day.  On another occasion, it failed again and the car coasted to a stop in the middle of a T-intersection fortunately no other cars came along.  A speed above 60 mph the front end would tell me to slow down.  When temperatures were at/below -30F, I had at most four attempts to crank-start the engine or the battery would get too weak after that (winter is the culprit not the car).  When the weather gets that cold, your legs shake until the car's interior warms up.  Driving too early after a cold start could be dangerous because it would lead to a sudden and complete fog-up of the windshield interior cutting off visibility ahead.  Since the four tires have frozen, their flat spots give you a bumpy ride until the rubber has softened.

I sold it cheap when the automatic transmission quit on forward (D) gear.  Other than that, it served me well for 2 years.  A man always remembers his first car a 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne.  

I think the location of the above photo is 190 Nathan Road (corner of Austin Road), Kowloon, Hong Kong

How can i submit a present phjoto of the location on your Website?

I have created a macro Google map already, but how to submit it?

Thanks Winnie and moddsey for your comments.  Given the view of a small part of Shamrock Hotel (still standing today), the camera was aiming north and the street number for this shop is likely 192 according to Geoinfo Map.   Austin Road is not wide, it is rare to see an angle private parking space.  Regards, Peter   

Hi Winnie,

To show how the area looks today, you could embed a Google Streetview, the same way you embedded the map, or you could upload and embed a photo (see https://gwulo.com/node/2076 and https://gwulo.com/node/1929)

To show a location, the map you've added works well. Another way is to make a Place page and link it to the photo. In fact Moddsey has already done that for this photo, see the text above:


You can click on the Place to see a map of its location, and any other photos we have of that location.

Regards, David

Used this photo and signboards to nail down the location. One building south of the Shamrock was another hotel called the Hotel Capitol. Looks like the arrangment for parking spaces at Austin Road did not last long.

1950s Junction of Nathan and Austin Roads
1950s Junction of Nathan and Austin Roads, by Moddsey

Thanks moddsey for the photo showing two electrical shops in the same block on Nathan Road. 

People who lived in pre-war shophouses (1950s) will remember the poles and wires on their roof top.  They called them sky-wires so I think they were used to improve radio reception.  Not long after that, portable radios became popular so this corner store likely had part of its business related to wireless radios as its store name suggests.  There were other similar shops on Nathan Road several blocks north selling radio components/parts.

A friend taught me how to put together a crystal radio.  Imagine the excitement of making a "receiving-sound-machine" which does not need electricity or battery.  It worked at his home in TST.   After getting home, excitement turned to disappointment as it could not find any station.  Since my place faced north, I think the concrete between me and the broadcasting stations in TST and Hong Kong Island could be the factor.  Regards,  Peter