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New Venue Called D & W Underground Will Showcase Restored Automotive History

ABILENE, TX – We are excited to reveal a new rental venue opening in Abilene, Texas. This venue is called D & W Underground, which has a rich automotive history that dates to the early 1900s. Today, a local businessman who is also an automotive enthusiast owns the venue. He wanted to remain anonymous in this article.

The new owner of D & W Underground believes that car enthusiasts and the community will be amazed to learn about the automotive history of the new venue, which came into existence over one hundred years ago when S.B. Shelton owned the building in 1919. Initially, an apartment complex, that fell victim to a horrible ablaze. This was due to incorrectly installed gas pipes. At that time, they were still in the initial stages of their development.

S.B. Shelton bought the debris at South and Elm 1201. Buick later approached him with the intent to construct a showroom. The new building started reconstructing in 1927 and did not finish until the next year or so. Unfortunately, the Buick showroom succumbed to the Great Depression in 1930, significantly reducing vehicle demand.

The redacted explained, “Former Abilene mayor, Jesse Franklin Winters purchased the building after retiring from his famous baseball career. He transformed the Buick showroom into the D & W Tire Company. His name may sound familiar because Winters Freeway is named after him.”

“The new owner removed six arches and made a drive-thru gas station in the corner of the building from 1931 to 1951,” the redacted added. The building’s name has changed a few times over the decades. It has been called D & W Tire Company, D & W Appliances, D & W Furniture, and later Thomas Everett’s Furniture.

However, the redacted restored the original floors and ceiling decor after purchase. Thus, maintaining the original integrity of the structure. He ensured that the building was not modernized too much.

“I restored the Coca-Cola sign on the building corner from the 1940s,” he said proudly. Other neon-restored signs and decorations are part of Abilene’s history. The light bulb melts glass signs to welcome visitors entering D & W Underground. The signs belong to different decades of the 1920s to 1940s, such as West Texas Utilities and Ice Light and Power.

The redacted is a vast car lover! One day he was driving around Abilene. It was the start of COVID, and everything seemed so dull. He saw a “for sale” sign on the building and went to inspect it, and when he saw the new floors, he identified the building as a Buick dealership and immediately identified the building’s potential with its history and ceilings. “The previous owner already fixed the roof after a severe hailstorm in 2016,” the redacted clarified.


One of the first things he did was remove the holes and the drop ceiling. The unnamed owner also hired a painter who continuously worked for seven months to restore the art deco paintings of approximately 13,000 lineal feet. He also discovered period-appropriate ceiling fans and restored the original castings.

The color scheme of white, green, and peach complement the bar. The yellows pick up the hue and bring cohesion to the rose gold wallpaper. “The 1920s color scheme blends perfectly,” the redacted commented.

D & W Underground owner has an amazing automotive collection that we had the honor of seeing in person and it is in a class of its own. He started collecting signs three decades ago. He was always a fan of signs. The redacted aim of setting up a place where everyone can admire them with the same zeal.

The Coca-Cola sign on the building had 590 bulbs. It took seven months to restore it because it was fourteen feet tall and 24 feet wide,” said the unnamed owner. The Coca-Cola sign is incredibly special to D & W Underground and the city of Abilene, Texas. It holds the same regard as the Pegasus sign to Dallas. It is t

ruly captivating when it is lit, especially at night.

Redacted believes the D & W Underground location chose him rather than the other way around. The restoration allowed him to build a unique vision that could not have been possible if the location had already been repaired. The repair and networking allowed him to learn new thi

ngs about the building. In short, it was an informative period for him.

The spark for collecting automotive signs came from his grandmother, who owned Motor and Motels on Route 66. The highway welcomed traffic from different states, such as California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The redacted enjoyed the lit signs during the summers as a kid. He aims to convey the same feeling with D & W Underground by setting up more restored neon signs.

The second inspiration for D & W Underground is Ray Hall. In the 1940’s he developed a passion for fixing signs and even chased hail storms throughout West Texas. He eventually started his own business called Neon By Ray in Abilene, Texas. Sadly, he passed away due to pancreatic cancer. Yet, Ray and his stories will live on at D & W Underground.

Even though D & W Underground will not feature the cars highlighted in this article, the signs perfectly complement the automotive theme of the venue. “I think the car pictures, signs and motorcycles will create the ambiance together,” said the anonymous owner.

The unnamed owner’s passion for race cars and motorcycles has allowed him to travel all over the world, especially Europe and South Africa. He is a dedicated admirer of the scenery and the locals. He will welcome friends and acquaintances from the places he visited at D & W Underground’s opening.

D & W Underground will exhibit West Texas Utility signs from 1903 to the 1920s. The collection also includes signs dated back to the 1940s.

Of course, the Buick dealership sign that started it all is also part of the viewership. There are many other dealerships and brands, such as Mercury and Ford. The entire sign collection will commemorate automotive history and unite people who have similar interests. The venue owner will also establish a separate section that showcases gas pumps and car signs from the 1960s.

D & W Underground is an amazing new rental venue that will open in the Spring of 2023 in Abilene. The venue can accommodate any type of event. The automotive history, neon lights and decor creates an atmosphere that no other local venue can offer. If you are looking for a unique venue to host your upcoming event, this will be the perfect place for you.

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