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Fun Friday Forties and Fifties Kodachrome Images

Number eleven in the Fun, Friday Kodachrome Image series, starts out with the lead photo showing a flashy two-tone blue Buick convertible in a parade at Mercedes, Texas. Nancy Archer, the “Cover Girl” for a Livestock Show is waving to the crowd.

For the other four images (below) we will just list a few details about each one and as is normal practice with this series, and ask our readers to tell us the exact year, make and model of all of these cars. You can look back on all the earlier parts of this series here. The photos are via Americar.


  •          A ferry on the Green River in Kentucky with a Ford and an Oldsmobile ready to cross the river.

1958 Dodge

  •                             A Dodge two-door hardtop, note the Chrysler signage in the background. 


  •                   Shawneetown, Illinois is looking a bit down-at-the-heals in this circa 1950 image.

1957 Oldsmobile

  •   An Oldsmobile two-door hardtop in San Francisco during the late-1950s, note the view of Alcatraz.

24 responses to “Fun Friday Forties and Fifties Kodachrome Images

  1. The top photo is a 57 Buick Century Convertible. The next photo on the paddle wheel ferry is a 55 Ford Fairlane Sedan, and a 52 Oldsmobile 88 2 door sedan. In the boat launching ramp photo is a 58 Dodge and a 56 Chevrolet in the background. The last photo shows a 57 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday 2 door hardtop. The photo taken in Shaweetown, IL shows a 48 Buick sedanet, probably a Super. The other vehicles I will leave to someone else. I love the architecture of the buildings in this photo.

  2. Mr. Ricewasser, the Buick is a 58 instead of a 57 I believe. Like you, I cannot guess the other two “oldies” accurately.

  3. I LOVE these Kodachrome photos. I really love seeing how real people really used those cars. What I appreciate is just how devoid of accessories those cars are. You seldom see a car at a show without ALL the accessories that were available for that model. It’s amazing how you never saw a Chevrolet tissue dispenser during the 50’s and 60’s, but you never see one without a dispenser now. The dealers could not give those away during the time, but the flea markets must have been busy.

  4. I want to be the guy in the cowboy hat hauling the cover girl around! Incidently, the door fitment looks perfect and the colors are well chosen by somebody.

  5. The 1958 Dodge Coronet launching a boat is doing so in one of the marina areas of Detroit, south of East Jefferson Avenue. Note the Michigan plates. The “dealer” sign is actually the huge neon billboard used for many years on top of the Chrysler assembly plant on Jefferson, originally indicated “Fluid Drive” before the introduction of the Hemi V-*.

    • Great series of photos!
      Of course, let’s not overlook the Nassau Blue ’56 Chevy that is also at the boat launch.

  6. I agree with the above. I had no clue on the oldest pair in the Illinois photo. In 1960, I bought a ’58 Special 2-door hardtop in two-tone green. It was identical bodywise to the Century shown, except for the tiniest bit less chrome. Those rear bumpers were something!

  7. Re the 1958 Buick, I can never understand how GM had run out of styling ideas with the over chromed disasterous 1958 models and come up the next year with pure genius styling. Perhaps they may have had help from Pininfarina.

  8. It is probably a too complicated subject to go into here but I often wonder how much effect the styling had on Buick’s sales for 1958. After a roller coaster ride of demand through the earlier part of the 1950s, peaking at over 700,000 in 1955, Buick only sold 240,000 cars in 1958 and did not get back over 300,000 until the early 60s, helped no doubt by the introduction of the Special. I think what may have had a greater effect was the downturn in the economy which affected all makes.

    • I believe if I recall correctly, the ’58s from GM were on a new frame with Chevrolet leading the way. The problem is, for 1957, Chrysler Corp. blew everyone away with their styling and GM was caught with restyles that looked dowdy in comparison. The ’58s were an attempt to put quick lipstick on the pig until they could get the ’59s out there. (I believe Buick called it “delta styling” in ’59.) At any rate, it meant the new setup on the ’58s only lasted one year.

      • 1958 was a one year only for Chevrolet and Pontiac (A-body) while Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac (B and C-body vehicles) were a refresh of the 1957 models. It wasn’t until 1959 that all GM cars (from the basic Chevrolet to the most expensive Cadillac) used the same body….

  9. Not sure the kind of boat the ’58 Dodge is pulling, but the boat has a Johnson Sea-Horse motor on it. And there’s not much water , looking at the pier. I see Fischer’s Cafe in the Shawneetown pic, used to be the “City National Bank”, with what looks like the alarm box still on the front and a glass globe fuel pump, way on the right. The ’57 Olds is my favorite, the ’58 at the top, not so much.

    • Per the google map, the bank building is the only one of the three still ‘standing’. The town – this being “Old Shawneetown” was rebuilt further inland following a nasty flood in 1937. Pre-FEMA and NFIP, the townfolks just hitched up their leggings and moseyed elsewhere..

      • The bank building that is still standing is actually much older than the one pictured here. The one that housed the Cafe was torn down a number of years ago. The older one, built between 1839-1841, operated as a bank until 1942.

        There’s a funny little anecdote that goes around down in this part of the country … it is said that when the founders of Chicago offered their first bond issue to the Bank of Illinois in Shawneetown, the bank’s officials declined, stating that “no city so far from a navigable river could ever survive.”


  10. OK, what is the movie that’s playing at the theater in the first picture? The posters are blurry, but are clear enough for a film-buff to recognize.

  11. The last photo of the Olds was taken in the Presidio near the top entrance from Pacific Heights. Golden Gate Bridge is located to the left.

  12. One of the best posts in this series. Keep them coming. I had a 57 Super 88 four door in my high school days in the early 70 and my Dad had a Sea Horse on his fishing boat.

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