Montea wrote :
I have never seen one of these before but then again im not that old
Yeah you must be a youngin'!
Nearly all the garages back in the 50's - 70's had these. Only a few had twin posts or 4 post units back then. Being under one was a little unnerving at first, but like anything else you get use to it, which is good and bad.
These lifts and pits are nearly a thing of the past. Some places still build and use pits (our Wal Mart shop has one, as well as my neighbor's home garage). All lifts have some detrimental feature, nothing is perfect.