Nov 28 2018

Exclusive: The 1954 Opening of Henry Austin Clark, Jr.‘s “Carnival of Cars” in Times Square

On July 15, 1954, Henry Austin Clark, Jr. and investor Robert W. Dowling opened the "Carnival of Cars" museum in the basement of the Astor Theater in Times Square. The grand media opening event with early television celebrities was captured by Bob Grier.

These photos and the 1954 Business Week article are courtesy of Walter McCarthy, a friend of Henry Austin Clark. Jr.


Howard Kroplick

Business Week, July 24, 1954

Vanderbilt Cup Race driver Joe Tracy attended the grand opening.

The 1910 White Opera Coupe was owned by Robert S. Grier, who photographed many of the images from the below "Press Review".

Press Review, July 15, 1954

Henry Austin Clark, Jr. (left), early television star Dagmar and Robert W. Dowling.

Robert W. Dowling was a real estate investor, Broadway and film producer and city planner. Dowling College in Suffolk County was named for him after he provided a $3 million endowment.

Your Show of Shows star Imogene Coca and Henry Austin Clark, Jr.

Robert Dowling (center)

Henry Austin Clark, Jr. (right)

Dagmar and comedian Morey Amsterdam.

Henry Austin Clark, Jr. (second from right)

Morey Amsterdam is ready to leave!

The Carnival of Cars museum was not a success and closed in 1955.


Nov 29 2018 Brian D McCarthy 1:36 PM

Great images. I’m guessing the museum didn’t attract enough visitors afterwards. You’d think the museum would be a relaxing visit for the hectic city life.

Dec 02 2018 Steve L 9:45 AM

remember when Caddy bumpers were called “Dagmars”. pretty obvious here LOL

Dec 11 2018 Tom 6:37 PM

Yes Steve, especially 1953, 54 and 55 Caddy’s!!

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