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1955 Thunderbird

Five Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

Number fifteen in the Fun, Friday Kodachrome Image series starts out with a 1956 Ford Thunderbird in the lead photo. The two-seater is parked on a county road in the fall of 1961 in Connecticut. It appears to be wearing an odd shade of green for an early T-Bird indicating a repaint. What can the experts tell us about this car?

For the other four images, we will list a few details about each one. As is normal practice with this series, we 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.

1957 DeSoto

  •         A colorful image was taken in the borough of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey in the late fifties.

Monarch Sedan and a Thunderbird

  •  This Texaco filling station contains two Ford products, one of which may be a bit of a chore to identify.

1955 Chevrolet two door

  •                 A Chevrolet two door sedan out on a canoeing adventure on a foggy spring or fall day.

San Francisco  Street scene 1955

  •             Here we are at Pine (one way) and an unknown thoroughfare in San Francisco during 1955.

34 responses to “Five Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

  1. The Ford product in the Texaco filling station photo is a 1960 Monarch CustomLiner or CrestLiner, 4 doors. Can’t read well the script on the quarter panel.

  2. Dave Phillipo is correct in identifying the 1960 Mercury Monarch Richelieu at the Texaco station. It’s almost possible to make out the Richelieu script on the rear fender. Almost.

    The 1955 Chevrolet one-fifty two door sedan (with canoe) offered no frills mid fifties transportation and presents such a contrast to the rear 3/4 view of the Richelieu.

    • James has been nipping off the bottle. It’s actually a “Two-Ten” model of a Chevrolet for 1955. The “One-Fifty” version was completely devoid of all trim, except for the script and emblems.

  3. I like how the colors of the Pontiac and the Chrysler match in the first photo. Is that because of the type of film used, or did the two companies get it that close? The Hudson seems to be more sea worthy than the rest (yes, I’m sure it has to be out farther because of the draft of the boat). Speaking of colors, the Thunderbird in the second photo is a very nice color that’s another one I’m not familiar with. Good to see a picture of a tri-five Chevy that hasn’t been hot-rodded. Another Mercury in the last photo, following a Buick, there’s a Cadillac fin peeking out on the right in front of a convertible-another Cadillac? That view down the hills says ‘better have good brakes and a good clutch or you’ll be sorry.”

  4. The last photo, I think, is the corner of Pine St and Powell St in San Francisco, judging from the cable car tracks on the street. That is the only spot where the route crosses Pine. “Dick’s Liquors” is now E&E Fine Foods and Liquors.

  5. David, the T-bird looks to be a 1956 from the sun visors and windwings. I’ve sure never seen that color though, unless it’s the lighting. Thunderbird Green was more of a yellowish green and much lighter

  6. The ’60 Mercury in the second photo brought back some memories. My Dad bought a ’60 Merc Parklane ForDor Hardtop new, I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen (I was 11 years old at the time). ’60 Merc’s are extremely rare, I’ve never seen another like the one my Dad had.

  7. More nice photos, David! The second photo shows a ’54 Pointiac Star Chief at left and ’57 DeSoto alongside. At the rear would be a ’53 Hudson Wasp, a ’51’ or ’52 Dodge and a ’52 or ’53 Olds at right.

    In the photo with the Monarch is a ’61 or ’62 TBird, while the “hill” photo shows a ’51 Buick and ’49 or ’50 Mercury. Thanks again for the photos!

  8. The boat launch is pure retro Jersey suburbia. Few people in the housing development saw a need to own a pick-up truck as a 2nd vehicle back then. They were for roofers and cowboys. Better to take the ‘ol Hornet in crankshaft deep to christen the family yacht.

    How times have changed.

  9. Looking at the wheel covers,I believe the t-bird in the 3rd picture is a ’63.
    Also, pic 4, Is the ’55 not a”210″ ? My Dad had a “150” & it had no trim on the rear quarters.

    Thanks, Keep these coming!

    • You’re correct. The Chevy is a Two-Ten not a One-Fifty. That was a dumb mistake on my part as my father bought a new ’55 two tone Two-Ten in late ’55. After a farmer’s pick-up truck slightly modified the left rear fender a Bel Air trim piece was added below and at the rear of the horizontal spear so the light green of the roof could be continued on the rear deck and upper rear fenders.

      Although the two-ten above looks plain the One-Fity not only didn’t have rear quarter side trim, but was also devoid of the stainless trim around the windshield and rear window and the bright metal at the beltline.

      Though the Chevy Two-Ten above looks like basic transportation, the actual Big Three basic transport machines, Chevy One-Fifty, Ford Mainline and Plymouth Plaza were all produced without bright trim around the windshield and rear window (just black rubber moulding) and no bright (chrome/stainless) side trim .

      • The Thunderbird in the first picture on Friday is a 1955, not a 1956, The 56 lost the bumper bullets and was just plane all the way accross. Also the two cars at the gas pump are a Thunderbird, and a Mercuty Monarch, Canadiam Mercury

  10. The Hudson launching the boat is a 1953, probably a Hornet. Can’t quite make out the fender flash on the right front fender. That it’s a ’53 is evident by the absence of the verticle grille bars found on 51 and 52 Hudsonls

    • I checked one of my books, Alex, and still believe it is a Wasp. A triangle was more prominent on the Hornet, as were the parking lights. All were great cars, as I owned four in the ’50s.

  11. The picture with the Mercury and the Thunderbird raised the question does it belong to the “pump jockey” filling the Mercury, the station manager, or a customer? I remember lots of kids working in filling stations to support their cars.

  12. That indeed is a 1956 T-Bird. Vent wings and nose emblem are the tip off. When Ford installed those wind wings and the cowl vents the interior got a lot more comfortable! Possibly it sports a set of Kelsey-Hayes Wire Wheels. As for the color assuming that what we see is the actual color, it looks more like a 1957 T-Bird color offered by Ford. Berkshire Green to be exact. Was this a very late production Bird and the owner had some “pull” with Ford? Maybe it was a custom color. The car was six years old when this photo was taken. Who knows?

  13. Hi everyone, all the cars at the launch ramp probably had to get as wet as the Hudson due to the shape of the ramp, but the Hudson was a lower slung car so….I love how dad had to stand in the water to get the boat off, move and park the car, keep it from drifting into that other boat , get mom in. What a relaxing weekend for him. Hope the beer was cold.

  14. Still scratching my head on the 61 Thunderbird’s color. Can’t be the film because the red on the gas pump is pretty clear. Custom paint? I know that you could special order Thunderbirds with Lincoln or Mercury colors. Looks like a reddish brown metallic, Mahogany maybe?

  15. Little late to the game, looks like everything is covered. The boat launch is my favorite. Pretty big vessel for the Hudson, ( parents friend had a boat like that, was hard to launch because it was so heavy), and the boat headed out, the guy is messing with the motor, so common during that time. In the bottom pic, the Buick and the Merc are clearly running the red light. Maybe they didn’t want to stop and start on the hill.

  16. A couple of thoughts:

    1) The Thunderbird at the gas station is a 1963. Check out the wheel covers. As to the color, there was Ford color in 1963 called “Chestnut”. My father was a Ford dealer and we had a Fairlane 500 2-door hardtop as a demo in “Chestnut”. I don’t know if that color was available on Thunderbird, but it looks awfully close.

    2) If the Chrysler convertible in the SF photo is an Imperial, it would be a 1951. There was no Imperial convertible in 1952.

      • Stone the Crows
        Way late in the game- just discovered the site…The SF photo… It’s a ’51 Chrysler New Yorker… reverse lites not integrated as in ’52… Imperial cv (rarer- only ’51) had a different rear badge, bumper and tail lamps. Buick is a ’52 Special Deluxe w/ optional overiders on the front bumper wings, one piece windsheid w/ round corners. Think it’s a ’52 Chevy, cant tell if there are hatches on the crossbar however it has the optional outside protectors on the front bumper and followed by a ’50 Mercury. The Cadillac in front of the Chrysler could be a series 62 sedan ’50- ’53 if you could distinguish the fin and /or trunk…
        Great fun… The boat launch photo… I think its a Hornet or Commodore as well, the hood is longer than a Wasp, the Dodge is a ’51-2 Wayfarer 2door sedan, the Pontiac is a ’54 Starchief Custom Catalina and the DeSoto is a ’57 Fireflyte and to the far right …is it ’53 Olds Holiday ?

  17. Just saw the post due to work load lately. Ugh. The T Bird could very well have custom paint with darker green “fogging” around the headlights. very popular in the early ’60s when the pic was taken.

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