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Five Fun Saturday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

Number twenty-three in the Fun, Friday Kodachrome Image series is a day late due to our coverage of the UK Concours of Elegance yesterday. We start out with the lead photo of a woman with her Buick convertible in front of a small shopping center surrounded by palm trees. 

As is normal practice with this series, we ask our readers to tell us the year, make and model of all of these cars along with anything thing else of interest in a photo. You can look back on all the earlier parts of this series here. The photos are via Americar.

1953 Chevrolet

  • This 1950s scene shows a Chevrolet ambulance passing by South’s Shell Service during a parade. 

1950s Oldsmobiles

  • Your father and grandfather’s Oldsmobiles?

1953 Chevrolet 1958 Studebaker

  • Way back in time when kids used to play outdoors is a scene with four sedans.

1955 Chevrolet Surburban

  • Tell us more about this mid-1950s Suburban with mismatched fender skirts and full wheel covers.

31 responses to “Five Fun Saturday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

  1. The lady has a 1950 Buick Super convertible with the ‘Dynaslush’ automatic tranny.
    Second year for the ventiports. Roadmaster had 4, all others had 3.
    Also see a trio of Chevys and a Plymouth

  2. Whew, David, has us worried for a minute. Pretty sure top pic is Florida. Maybe a Packard next to the Buick. What’s interesting, is the car was just as much a centerpiece as mom. I had an “Aunt Ida” that looked just like that. Note spiffy gas door guard, where the gas pump handle would rest.
    It’s amazing how ambulances have changed from mere transportation to the hospital, to rolling hospital’s themselves now. Hope they weren’t picking up an injured bike rider (bikes behind them) Before paramedics, the police in the 60’s in Milwaukee, used Chevy Suburbans , and were still strictly transport. Medical personnel would show up in a separate fire dept. van, if at all.
    The Oldsmobiles I’ve seen somewhere before. Maybe here way back? Clearly, Dad’s 4 door, and up and coming successful son with his new convertible ( sorry ladies, back then, not many women bought cars like that)( maybe in California)
    The children playing innocently, blissfully unaware they are standing next to last car of a magnificent car company. The ’58 Packardbaker was a sad end to a great car. Again, can’t read the plate, but up north, for sure. (crumbling sidewalks) Looks like a pretty new Falcon behind the ’53 Chevy, 1960, maybe?
    And lastly, the ’57 Suburban. Wow, this looks a lot like my dad in the late ’50’s and that very well could be me in the front window (although, my dad didn’t have Suburban’s until the ’60’s) I can hear mom in the front seat saying, ” C’mon Joe, we’re waiting”. IDK, about the skirts. It seems I’ve seen aftermarket skirts that attached like that before. The fact they match the trucks paint, says either they were a dealer item, or added after a repaint. Either way, he sure was proud . Again, thanks for the memories.

  3. The image of “Your father and grandfather’s Oldsmobiles?” has some strange alterations. The image looks to have an HDR (High Dynamic Range) effect applied. Also, the house on the left has some strange cloning alteration to the foilage above the roof and alteration to the roof.

    • It’s probably due to it having had a logo on it and someone used the Fill tool on photoshop to remove it. The vertical lines on the side of the car are probably the computer figuring out how to replicate the space and using part of the image with a door jamb as it’s source.

    • “Not your grandfather’s Oldsmobile” campaign by GM just served to remind car buyers of the connection. Now Buick is trying the same angle.

  4. Looking at the third photo of the Oldsmobiles, the one on the left appears to be a ’51, give or take a year, and the one on the right looks like a ’55. Ignoring that the ’51 is a two door and the ’55 is a sedan, the older one just has a “lower and wider” look to it, and the chubby ’55 with the high belt line looks awfully dowdy in comparison.

  5. My first quick view of the 50 Buick was that it was a custom job. The hardtop parked next to led to that deception. I see it now! The Suburban also has chrome bumper guards. It looks like a hood ornament on the side of the skirt. Perhaps he’s bucking to be the next do dad king. Also what Howard A said. I too was missing this series.

  6. Great, yet again.

    My thoughts:

    1) Doesn’t Miss Buick look smart in her “Lana Turner” look-a-like outfit with that smart suit, sun glasses and those Spectator pumps.?

    2) I’m guessing the car behind the Buick is a Chevrolet or Pontiac, judging by the size and general shape.

    3) In picture #2, I sure like the 52 Ford Customline Tudor.

    4) In picture #3, I don’t know the years of the Oldsmobiles, but I’m amazed by how much better the condition is of the black one (1950) compared to the blue one (1956)

    5) In picture #4 I’d guess it’s a less well-to-do neighborhood. Consider the condition of the 53 Chevrolet, and the dented door on the 56 Buick and the tired looking 58 Packard. I’d say the picture dates to the early 60’s, as there’s a 60 or 61 Falcon hiding behind the bushes. And, the landscaping leaves a lot to be desired.

    6) In pic 5, where did he get those fender shields? A high-school body shop entry would get an “F” for that fit.

    And, as always, a great big “Thank You”! I really look forward to Fridays.

  7. Oldsmobiles fancy and plain. The one piece curved windshield on the sharp Holiday hardtop in the foreground mark it as a 1950 88. The basic four door hardtop behind it is also an 88. The dog dish ‘caps indicate that it’s definitely not a Super 88. These small hubcaps are very hard to find today, as many of them got swapped out early on for full wheel covers or the highly desirable (at the time) Olds spinners. BTW, it’s a 1954 model.

    The group of sedans in the fourth photo comprise an impromptu study of the styling evolution of the decade. The ’53 Chevy illustrates the conservative approach of the early Fifties while the ’56 Buick Special parked across the street is a good example of the beginning of the adventurous and more highly decorated look of mid-decade.

    Lastly, the ’58 Packard shows the excess and ostentation that dominated the last few years of the decade. While it is far from the most outrageous example of this school of design, it still provides a dramatic contrast to the relatively clean and uncluttered new look of the circa 1960 Falcon parked further back.

    • If you’d like to see one of the most outrageous examples of late 50’s design you could have stayed in the Packard showroom and looked at a 58 Packard Hawk.

  8. Nice 50 Buick with 49 green Dodge, 50 /51 Chevy background.
    ’53 Chevrolet ambulance
    1950 Olds 88 and 1954 Olds 88 (my first car was a ’49 Olds automatic big flat head six
    58 Packard (Studebaker).53 Chevy, ’56 Buick across the road and a 1960 or 61 Ford Falcon and
    a 1956/57 Chevrolet Suburban. Great memories

  9. This is not my era of expertise. But the Suburban is a bit odd. I do think it is a ’57. Both Chevrolet trucks and GMC had smooth hoods in ’55 and ’56. They had a tendency to rattle because of the large nearly flat area. In ’57 they had two narrow ridges running front to back to reduce the rattle, which only slightly helped. ’58 and ’59 had a much more extreme offset in the hood shape which helped more. ’58 and ’59 also had the “four headlamp” system (two each side), ’55/6/7 all had the “two headlamp system (one each side) like this one has. I can see what looks like the narrow ridge of ’57 only on the hood. So I think it is a ’57.
    That fender skirt does look terrible. The contours don’t match the body very well either. Maybe it was from some other year/model car? The oversize chrome trim on the skirt looks like a hood ornament to me.
    Anything else I know anything about has been covered by someone else already.
    Thank you David G and all!

    • Hi Wayne, I know, by today’s standards, the skirts do a little out of place, but we have to remember, this was the late ’50’s, and skirts, ANY kind of skirts, were the thing to have, and he did his thing. I think the Suburban looks neat.
      Even though, others have said something about what the cars are, this feature, I hope, is about the memories one might have with these cars, (or a car similar). C’mon, you have to have a story. Everybody here has a story. I, for one, would love to hear it.

  10. Looking at the 4 door Oldsmobile in the background, it’s not hard to see where the Rootes Group got the styling for the 1957 Humber Super Snipe and Hawk.

  11. The Suburban’s skirts are decorated with hood or fender emblems. Those hubcaps are super custom,
    they are ’56 Buick with Chevy tri-bar spinners. These spinners were sold in dealers showrooms. Every dealer
    had a display case of dress up items. I recall these spinners, under dash chrome Kleenex holders, spotlights,
    outside rear view mirrors displayed.

  12. Boy, I just keep getting here too late. Howard always steals my thunder! 🙂

    In the first photo, I go along pretty much with the crowd on that — except for the possibility the green car back there could be a ’49 Chrysler Windsor.

    In the second photo, don’t forget your Shellubrication. There is a chance, as well, the Ford might be a ’54. The battered ’56 Buick is a Special, but obviously not very special. What can you say about the Packardbaker? Ugh!

    The fender skirts are nothiing much special. I (and maybe Howard) can recall the teardrop fender skirts that not only covered the wheel well but went on back in decreasing size to the back bumper. They helped mask the Port-A-Walls, though…..

  13. WOW !!! Howards right…Where to start… lead photo’s right down the road…. couldn’t believe it !!! the photo was taken west side of Gulf Blvd right in front of the Tides Hotel Beach and Bath Club (replaced by Condos about 10/15 years ago), Redington Beach Pinellas County Florida (St Pete/’Clearwater) My wedding reception was held there abt 10 years later, 1963. This was the place where the foto of Marilyn Monroe and new husband Joe Dimaggio. lounging in the cabana on their honeymoon was taken…. another irony wife’s father had a Buick Super convertible same year only light blue… the 2 Chevys behind are a Styline Deluxe sedan nearest and a Fleetline Deluxe sedan beyond … across the street, a 49/50 ford following another 49/50 Chevy Styline Deluxe (very, w/ sunvisor) club coupe, following a 49 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan ,across and beyond maybe same year Plymouth Suburban ahead of them all out of the foto a slylish expensive boutique Ermee Cruiser where many ladies including my wife bought stylish resort wear.
    The Olds foto … facing is a 1950 Super 88 Holiday hardtop coupe The sedan is a 54 Super 88 sedan …. during these years (50s) Olds had 3 lines, the 98, Super 88, and Deluxe 88
    The Packabaker absolutely shocked everyone when it debued…. Packard owners were horrified… it wasn’t that Studabakers were considered bad cars at the time but they were definetly not in a Packards league… the patently scrambled design that resulted shocked/appalled everyone… Brooks Stevens arrived too late for Packard.
    Loved the mud flaps on the Suburban!!!
    In fact… love the whole feature, looking forward to tomorrow!!! !

  14. Oh Gene… the full wheel covers on the “54 Olds were optional and most of the cars were sold so however the “dog dishes” were standard on all Olds except the Fiesta convertible and the Deluxe had a simple 88 outside the rear panel trim rather than the circle Super badge inside same.

  15. The Suburban Carryall in the bottom photo appears to be a ’57 – the only year of the “Tri-Five” bow-ties to have that center “mouth” opening in the grille.

    It is an interesting piece…. painted bumpers and grille (upscale models had chrome grille & bumpers), but what look like chromed bumper-guards, WWW tires ( not usually found on trucks in that era), and those fender skirts…

    Looks like Daddio was trying to slick-up his family hauler…

    Although there were plenty of ’55-’57 “Task Force” pick-ups still on the road when I was a kid, I cannot recall seeing a Panel Truck, let alone a Suburban Carryall…

  16. The badge on the fender of the 57 Suburban is for the right fender. The left side badge would have the red part of the badge to the front.

  17. The fender skirt looks like it was not clipped behind the front of the panel before locking it in place. If you look the gap is wider at the bottom than at the top so if you clipped it in properly the 2 panels would match fairly well. My dad had a ’57 Holden (Australian arm of GMH) fitted with “Nasco” genuine accessories and we had the same problem after jacking it up, removing the skirt to change a flat tyre. Congratulations again on compiling yet another lovely compilation of memorable photos.

  18. In picture #4, in the upper left corner is a red “STOP” sign with a white border. When I got my license ib NJ in ’55, they were still yellow field with black border. Anyone know if the color change was at the option of the State or was it mandated by the Feds, and when did the color change take place?

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