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1955 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Five Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

Number twenty-two in the Fun, Friday Kodachrome Image series starts out with the lead photo of a couple with a yellow and white Cadillac coupe. The setting appears to be out west judging by the mountains seen in the background. As is normal practice with this series, we ask our readers to tell us the 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 Ford Ranchero

  •        Here we have a gentleman dressed in western wear and cowboy boots with his Ranchero.

Omaha, NE street scene filled with in 1962 1950s and 1960s cars

  • This street scene is labeled that it was taken in Omaha, NE in 1962. We see an import not normally seen in the midwest, and Barkalow’s Smoke Shop with Art Deco styling.

1958 Ford Fairlane in California

  •                 This Ford sedan from California has a picturesque scene with rolling hills behind it.  

suburban neighborhood street scene filled with 1950s cars

  •            This suburban neighborhood street scene is filled with an interesting mix of cars to identify.

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

  1. Not visible in the picture, but the Cadillac fuel filler is under the left tail light. A slick piece of engineering. Push the reflector and viola, it double hinges up. Not positive, but I think a 55 model 62. The Omaha street scene; I wonder what caught the eye of the kids in the back of the station wagon?

        • Perhaps the Cadillac is a 1955 with 1956 quarter panel features. The front seat back trim is 1955 as are the hubcaps (and grille/bumper as previously noted). And, unless it is a distorted photograph, the quarter panel area between the wheel opening and door is distinctly out of shape: rear end collision perhaps?
          Cadillac introduced the fuel filler/tail light in 1948.

          • The rear lower edge of the door should be a radius not a 90 degree edge and there should be a rocker panel molding that flows into the molding on the skirt. That area ,especially the rear tire looks like a bad digital retouch. The question or mystery is why it was done ! Fun trying to solve it though. Most of these Kodachromes look like the colors have been enhanced digitally, maybe more saturated. They make beautiful and interesting photos though.

        • You know, when I first read your post, I thought, “hmmm, can that be?” But after Looking at the respective ’55 and ’56 Cadillac brochures, you may have something. I agree the rear quarter panels appear identical to the 56’s. And, although the front grill is more similar to the ’56’s, it certainly doesn’t match around the parking lights area. Perhaps a mid-year change? Interesting, indeed.

          • Perhaps another indication that it has a ’55 front end grafted on to the ’56 cabin is the missing chrome strip on the passenger door just below the window to match the piece at the rear quarter window. In fact, with the white colored top, the white paint would have continued between that tiny chrome strip and the 1/4 and RH door glass right up to the front window. Maybe this car was wrecked and had a hafast repair done??

    • Do we espy a DeSoto or Plymouth Biz coupe in the upper right behind said Cadillac? And in the upper left, perhaps a DeSoto Suburban or Chrysler Traveler? The semi/tractor possibly a Mack. There’s my three-cents worth . . .

      • I think the coupe is a Plymouth… if it’s a De Soto, it’s a ’40.

        The big sedan behind the tractor is either a De Soto Suburban or a Chrysler Traveller, 46-48, and I think the tractor is a 1940’s White or Super-White.

        Those look like “Tourist Cottages” behind the service station…

    • Without any question, this first photo is of a 1955 Cadillac, model 6237 (Known as the Coupe de Ville)…the Sedan de Ville did not emerge until 1956 (along with the “El Dorado Coupe, known as the “Seville”). The main difference between the 1955 and the 1956 models are (from this aspect of the photo): (1) 1956 front grilles were “tight” (i.e., 1/2″ between horizontal blade, and 1-1/4″ between vertical) ; whilst 1955’s were “loose” (roughly doubly those dimensions); (2) the 1956 ONLY used the so-called “egyptian” look on the surround of the headlights (Black and chrome alternating horizontal stripes around the surrounding chrome of the headlights; 1955 headlight surrounds had no such treatment); and (3) the treatment around the front quarter panel: the 1956 bumper has no such superior corner strip: the front quarters were lowered; and the bumper rises were raised.

    • Given the position of the parking meter in picture 3, I’d say the Ford is in the right spot and the ’59 Chevy wagon is at fault. Probably not even a metered spot, considering how close it is to the corner. Driver probably making a quick stop, left kids in the car.

  2. Last picture:
    1955 Dodge four-door sedan and 1953-54 Chevrolet Handyman Stationwagon 150 Series
    On the opposite side of the street a 1951 Ford Custom Deluxe Tudor Sedan (70B) and on the driveway a 1949-52 Chevrolet Fleetline Coupe
    Regarding the import in the third photo:I think it’s a British Ford Consul of the second generation, made from 1956 onwards right up to 1962 when the picture was taken.

  3. The contrast in both style and color between the Caddie and the old MoPaRs in the first photo is quite dramatic and serves to illustrate the appeal to the car buying public that these cars had. Also of note is the DeSoto in the background which appears to be one of the long wheelbase Suburbans. Is the rather rough looking tractor in the same photo a White WC?

    The import in the third photo looks like a Simca Aronde, rare in the U.S. then and even more so today. When was the last time you saw one?

    The green ’58 Ford sporting the blackwalls is a Fairlane model, less often seen than the higher trimmed Fairlane 500.

    • Hi Gene, I thought you’d comment on the White. It looks like the trucker doin’ pretty good. That truck may not be that old (when picture was taken) and trucks didn’t have the “glitz” they have today. They made that into the mid-’50’s ( 54?) It’s clearly out west, and looks like the hood sides have been removed ( I think I see a radiator hose) which was the standard practice (IH R-190’s too) to help cooling.

  4. Great set of photos! In Photo #3, there’s a green ’57 Plymouth Plaza 2-door, a brown & white ’59 Chevy Parkwood (I think) wagon AND a white Simca Aronde. Photo #4 is a ’58 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan.

    • The car behind the ’57 Ranchero appears to be a 1959 Mercury. Whether it’s a station wagon — all of which were four-door “hardtop designs” — or a regular four-door hardtop, it’s hard to tell.

  5. Wow, this feature is gaining steam. I see I’m going to have to get up a lot earlier for this crowd. Like Gene says, the White truck behind the beautiful Caddy is a post-war W series. I’m trying to see what that is behind the truck. Looks like a mangled motorcycle.
    I’d expect the “cowboy” to have bull horns on the front of his new ’57 Ranchero ( being a ranchero himself, I’m sure)
    The Omaha scene was pretty much taken apart on a Hemmings carspot, and a frequent commenter from Omaha, filled us in on the details (which escape me right now) but we were wondering what the kids in the ’59 Chevy wagon were looking at, and the ’57 Plymouth looks pretty dull for only being a few years old. Funny, the only difference between the 2 and 4 door, was the crack for the rear door.
    And I’m sorry, I liked the ’58 Ford. However, these cars looked like this once, usually, and they are clearly taking a ride in their new Ford. Looks like a late ’50’s California plate.
    The last pic, could be anywhere, but looks to be in a northern climate, with crumbling sidewalks and patched potholes in the street. That Dodge has a neat paint job, and the Chevy and Dodge look pretty new.
    Thanks again for the great feature.

    • We had a ’58 Custom 300 Ford in the mid 60s. The 58 was made to look like the new T-Bird which came out that year. That was one of the cars Mom learned to drive in. In 1964 my Dad bought a new Ford E-100 Falcon passenger van to use in his electrical business and bought the ’58 around the same time. The E-100 was in the shop all the time and had to have the generator replaced three times. This soured Dad on Ford so the ’58 was traded for a ’64 Dodge 880. The van was also eventually traded after my Dad’s electrrical business failed and he took a job at the local Becton-Dickinson plant. He traded the van for a ’69 Dodge A-100 Sportsman. Mom learned to drive both cars and she finally got her license when she was 34 years old.

    • The side walks aren’t that bad. I’ve seen lots worse here in upstate NY. The street looks suspiciously like a utility repair, such as a water or gas service to the house across the road.

  6. The Cadillac may be a 1955 model, but the right rear looks like a 1956 fender. The spear trim on the fender is not a ’55 feature, and the vertical chrome trim behind the door is too wide for 1955.

  7. I am hooked on this weekly feature, it is really wonderful. I bet that smoke shop did a great business, every town had one, and not just for cigarettes or “see – gars”, people used to smoke pipes too. They went in for the pre packaged stuff or if it was a higher end shop you bought it out of small barrels and had “your” blend. I used to be a regular pipe smoker but gave it up after getting married and don’t miss the constant search for matches to relight it.

  8. The Cadillac looks like a 55 with a poorly grafted rear quarter from a 56. It’s 55 all the way through the door, including the hubcaps, but the 56 belt trim, side spear, louvres, and bumper are 56. That bulge at the rocker gives the normally straight body line an uncomfortable bulge, as if it was welded right over a damaged quarter!

    • John, my dad had a ’55 Buick Super 2dr HT that was hit hard in the drivers rear quarter. The fix was exactly what you describe here. They called it “double-panelling.” The shop that did it did such a good job that you had to look really hard to see where some seams and edges seemed just a tidge thicker. Really, if no one told you about it, it was un-noticeable.

    • You’re right on it being a ’55 with ’56 rear panels and trim. But I wonder about that bulge, the photo is blurry there, and tire is obviously (and badly) drawn on the print. Maybe the negative was damaged and a photo developer attempted a poor touch up. Or the opposite, the car was slightly damaged, and the moment captured was important enough to have it touched up.

  9. Wow, some of you seem to really know your Cadillacs! Maybe it was a two-wrecks put-together?
    For what it is worth (and I am not an expert by any standard), the last photo. I believe the Chevrolet fast-back in the driveway is a ’49. Those tail-lights were used for two years, ’49 and ’50 (’51 and ’52 had slightly larger tail-lights with heavier chrome trim mounted farther to the outside on the rear fender). 1949 generally had a “T” shaped trunk handle whereas the ’50 trunk handle was basically straight across. Of course, the car could have been in a minor collision and the trunk lid changed.
    The station wagon in the same photo could be identified as to ’53 or ’54 by the tail-lights also. But I am not certain I can recall the difference from that angle, so I won’t stick my neck out on that one.

    You people are GOOD! Thank you to all from me.

  10. I sure wish I could walk around that Johnny Cash machine. That is quite a bulge in that lower rocker. Its gotta be a 55 and a half! Still cool. Thanks for all the sharp eyes.

  11. My take on the first photo was of a ’56 Cadillac, but I bow to the experts on that one. The second photo is a ’57 Ranchero, the third a ’59 Chevrolet wagon in front of a ’54 Ford Mainline, across the street a ’57 Plymouth, and a ’53 Chevy two-tone at the light. A Simca was my guess on the “furriner.” Next up was a ’58 Ford.

    In the next photo, I gave the Dodge either ’55 or ’56, behind a ’54 Chevrolet wagon with a ’51 Ford and ’49 or ’50 Chevy fastback in the driveway.

  12. P.S. In the first photo, I believe that’s a Chevrolet next to the building. Hudson had a regular pickup bed like a Ranchero later one. Chevies had a pullout “bed” like that one.

  13. Top pic, fast forward 1 year from this picture, the wife is pregnant, and the Caddy has a 4 Sale sign on it, with an old 4 door Dodge wagon in it’s place. 🙂

  14. Again, I do so enjoy Kodachrome Fridays.

    My two cents:

    1) I agree the car behind the Ranchero is a 57 Mercury
    2) As to the street scene, it’s pretty likely the Chevrolet wagon doesn’t have a 3rd seat, judging by the way the children are seated. And, I agree. Just what are the children looking at?
    3) In the street scene, my guess the Plymouth is already starting to rust, at the rocker panels. Not a surprise for those cars.

  15. Regarding the Cadillac in question year of manufacture, my Dad bought a front-end-wrecked 1958 Dodge Coronet sedan (black and white, matching interior) and simply replaced the front clip with that of a 1959 Dodge Coronet. Only the keen eyes of the likes of this group would notice! Good work here, kids.

  16. Re. the Omaha picture, the street sign identifies Dodge Street, a major east-west corridor still today. Notice even then four lanes of traffic in one direction. You could take it all the way west to Fr. Flannigan’s Boys Town, once out in the country, and now surrounded by expensive suburbs.

  17. The Caddie in #1 might be parked in front of one of those “motor courts” that were fixtures along The Mother Road, Rte66. The Omaha import is for sure a Simca Aronde. I bought a new one in 1960, and it was hands-down the worst dog of a car that I ever owned.

  18. The 1951 Black Ford FORDOR across the street, in the last picture — IS like ours, including the Ford Black ! MAYBE YOU might like Two door styling, but I do NOT! I don’t care if my car does not have “higher antique value”, because it has two more doors!!! I don’t own it because of what’s “COOL”, “HOT”, “RAD”, “BAD”, “SICK” , etc., (pick one!) When someone rides in the back seat, I NEVER hear complaints about bending like a JACK-KNIFE BLADE to get in or out of it! This car runs SO silently, at idle, that I have to glance at gauges, to be sure that the motor hasn’t stalled!!! We joke that it could be rented for “7th Class Funerals”. We are its 2nd owner, 37,000 miles. Many Years after 1951, we met the Mechanic who did its “GET READY” quite by chance, at a restaurant breakfast!

  19. Gosh a s usual, I’m late to the party… Not much to add
    John, Sep 4, Bob, Sep 4… you’re right, it’s definitely a “Cobbled Caddy”…the rear quarter is badly joined- double paneled badly done… both’55 and ’56 had a straight rocker panel front to rear wheel openings and it’s a Series 62 Coupe not a DeVille . Note also the ’56 rear quarter bumper/panel treatment, rear window belt molding trim, tail lamp/fin/top line trim as well as other differences previous viewers have noted. I think its been lowered as well- a real “project car”. The Mopars in the background are a postwar DeSoto Suburban ( I wish I had one-long wheelbase, the interior , vinyl/leather trimmed out in varnished wood with stainless strips in the cargo area as well as the bright chrome and wood roof rack, what a classy country club car for a large well off family, seating for nine or any lesser number) and to the right a ’41 Plymouth Business/utility coupe (the bottom of the line).
    Alan, Sep 5th… You’re right… can’t be an Edsel wagon ’cause it’s a hardtop, but it’s not a ’59 Mercury either ’cause that year the inset painted panel started in the front door… a real mystery…you got me.
    Wayne , Sep 4…. it’s a ’50 Chevy Fleetline standard transmission… if it was a Powerglide it would’ve had that name noted atop the horizontal trim trunk handle
    Howard A, Sep 4… the street scene Omaha has been pretty well done , but one thing struck me- between the ’59 Chevy wagon and the ’54 Chevy 2 door; could that be a black ’56 Imperial Southampton 4 door hardtop through the wagon window- is that an “IMP…”?
    Really love the Feature and all the participators comments… great fun, memories,mind searching and stimulating!!!

  20. Regarding the Cadillac, it is more than just the sheet metal. In the picture, everything there is razor sharp except the immediate area around the right rear tire and quarter panel.

    This picture has great depth of field and everything in it is sharp focus except that the tire tread has disappeared altogether and in the retouching, it spilled over into the white wall and the straight lines on the bottom of the panel have just vanished. It may have been done years ago or much more recent, our digital era for example.

    I wonder why, though. What would have been there to require touching up the picture?

  21. Very stylish young couple next to the “mystery” Cadillac in the first photograph. Her dress is superbly tailored and made of quality material, and he is wearing a Lacoste shirt, probably made in France, years before they became popular here. No watch visible, but he may be left-handed and wearing it on his right wrist. His slacks , belt, and shoes also display understated elegance. This is fact may be a French couple touring in a rental Cadillac, which might explain the speculative repairs.

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