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Five Fun Friday Fifties Kodachrome Images

Number twenty-four in the Fun Friday Kodachrome Image series starts out with the lead photo of a colorful pair of Schaefer Beer delivery trucks. The beverage Distributor appears to be from the Borough of Little Silver, NJ, in Monmouth County? The Company certainly did not scrimp and went for the big ticket chrome appearance package for the trucks. Note the different mirror arms on each side of the trucks

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.

1954 Ford Convertible

  • A two-tone blue and white 1950s Ford convertible with white seats. Can you tell us more about the continental kit – is it an imitation add on?

1954 Chrysler

  • The grandparents with six grandchildren and a big Chrysler sedan.

1955 Buick 1950 Chevrolet Suburban

  • A Buick hardtop and a heavy-duty Suburban at Niagara Cave in Harmony, Minnesota. Check out the geeky tourist hats on the crew to the right.

1955 Nash

  • Hit men or real estate developers with a two-tone bathtub Nash?

38 responses to “Five Fun Friday Fifties Kodachrome Images

  1. The external “spare” on the Ford was, in fact, purely decorative. Ford called them Coronado Kits. A source on the Early Ford V-8 Club site lists a couple of Ford part numbers.

    • In the mid 50’s GMC used both Chevrolet and Pontiac petrol 6’s and V8’s. Never heard of the two cycle diesels used being offered.

      • I’ll take polite exception to that.

        The Detroit Diesel V series family of engines were installed in many trucks over decades. From 4V53 to 12V71(Buzzin Dozen) and 8V92. All are two stroke.

        What could you pull with a 12V71 in a Kenworth or a Brockway? Go to youtube and put in 12v71 and either Brockway or Kenworth.

        How about the Oshosh M911 HET (Heavy Equipment Transporter) powered by the 8V92TA with 450hp. “Vehicles demonstrated poor durability with loads in excess of 60 t during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm”.

  2. Lead picture… two very proud brand new Schaeffer Chevys (or GMCs) w/ chrome bumpers and look at the over riders very common on all vehicles in metropolitan areas Passenger cars as well front and rear.
    ‘ 53 golden anniversary Ford Sunliner w/ fake ‘Hollywood bustle” same car different color, trim paced Indianapolis 500 that year… white rear quarter panel was the young mans “custom” after thouht… not standard… black Calif plates
    ’54 Chrysler N ew Yorker Deluxe …237 hemi HP ….in addtiion to lots of Chrome the senior Chrysler lead w/ lotsa brite gold accents, model names. badges Imperial had become a separate marque.
    ’56 Buick Super Riviera htp… also this vintage Suburban was the inspiration for Chevys unsuccessful venture into retro styling w/ its’ HRH and I forget the name sporty Pick up
    ’53 Nash Ambassador styled by Pinin Farina… a car that was HUGE inside… 6 adult passengers w/ room to spare and Lebron could be one of them… also I think the Bathtub label applied to the previous Nashes which were equally innovative
    Love the feature don’t ever give it up!!!

  3. Ambassador also has Ventishades… very popular dealer installed option right up into the 80s/90s replaced by the plexishades of today
    and Gene you’re right they were “coranado kits” originally ford but adopted by the rest of the aftermarket industry… you could sse them on some of the last Grand Marquis here in Florida where the dealers add thousands to a cars suggested retail prices… here the dealers order “Strippers” and the rest is profit to them and their make ready departments.

    • My Dad had a 55 Nash Ambassador when I was a kid and I loved it. We lived in Detroit and the harsh winters and salt soon ate up the metal shrouds holding the front springs and one day the spring on the passenger side popped right through. My Dad got a piece of 1/4″ steel strap from work, we jacked up the car to take the weight off the spring and then bolted the strap across the top of the shroud to hold the spring in place. The following winter the other spring popped through and he then scrapped the car.

  4. Once again, mostly in agreement on the photos. with Graham. I rather suspect, however, the New Yorker had 250 hp, although this view doesn’t show the dual exhaust that accompanied it. I well recall those chromed sunshades on the side windows of the Nash, which meant you could get a bit of air in and keep rain out if the window was down an inch or so. I too, question the “2-stroke” comment. I am not aware of any of them in the bigger trucks.

  5. Is the one man in the white shirt and service cap the chauffer? Never woul have imagined a chauffer driven Nash, but who knows, maybe these are big money investors who don’t know their way around.

  6. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the beach shot was recent, and the dude was sending an IM to his BFF.

    And the shot of the Ambassador looks like an old photo my dad had of HIS dad and two others, taking a bathroom break next to their ’38 Chrysler.

    • Nope not the SF Valley (I grew up there) but where else but Quetzaltenango, Guatemala! The picture was taken on Christmas Day in 1956

  7. Stone… you may well be right on the Ambassador scene… many midsize and larger companies at that time had their company cars and a driver /maintenace position… someone to tend the fleet maintain service schedules, have them spotless and ready at any time to roll on a mission, p/u people at the airport chauffuer them about. it was a well compensated position w/ the requisite cap white shirt and dark trousers, shined shoes clean nails and a responsible mature professional attitude and a bent for basic auto mechanics coupled with a tremendous knowledge of the area… oh and a spotless driving record. The Ambassador would ‘ve been the perfect car… respected, sedate and luxe but not too intimidating or over the top, comfortable and just right for the party pictured… maybe its Tuscon with the mountains beyond… Del Webb and realtor, banker in for a couple of days from??? looking for a place to build Sun City. One note, however, the Nash should’ve been been dark blue , but then again because it was AZ it could’ve been tutone.

  8. The seats backs in those Nashes reclined to create a bed. Window screens were an available option, as well as the rain shields for the side windows. You could sleep in the car safe from predatory insects or crack the windows and have a little ventilation while staying dry in the rain.

    • I loved your comment Robert. I was/am a big fan of the Superman tv shows, and I loved the early promotion of Nash, and Rambler. I think the Nash, and Ramblers of the early 50s were the most unique American cars of that era, but obviously unique doesn’t sell. I believe the show went to Chrysler in the later years.

  9. I believe, as STC sez, GMC’s used Pontiac motors in ’55-’56. While Detroit diesels were around in the mid-50’s, I highly doubt these had diesels, as they were reserved for semi’s and carnival generators. For city deliveries, probably the in line 6. Mirrors, even in the mid-50’s were a luxury, and I’m surprised they even had these.
    I’m sure the guy on the beach had no idea, in 50 years, most people would adopt that stance fiddling with their cell phones. Got to a beach house in Malibu.
    At first, I thought 7 grandkids, but the girl in the red dress looks a little old for the rest of the clan, so probably a sister. Fancy Chrysler and 6 kids, dad was doing ok. Shy kid behind the red dress girl probably had problems later on in life.
    Never knew Minnesota had hills like that, but the Suburban is clearly a tour bus of some sort.
    And the last pic? Obviously, waiting for Superman to show up.

    • Hi Pete, I couldn’t find anything on the smaller heavy duty GMC’s with any kind of callout on DD equipped trucks. The larger trucks (semi’s) had a badge that said “Detroit Diesel” under the GMC badge. I did find some that had a V-8 (gas) badge, not seen on these trucks, so I’m sure they had the in line gas 6. It’s quite possible Amilcar’s reference is true, as many gas jobs were repurposed with diesels later on, but they just weren’t that popular then. I’d think it would, at least have an up pipe exhaust, as they were definitely “heavy smokers”.

  10. I’m late to the party, but would like to comment on the trucks. A friend of mines dad trucked and farmed his entire life. They had a lot of photos of the day and I was astonished at the almost primitive equipment. It was brand new. I did comment to him about the lack of a mirror on the pass side, he just shrugged and said that was the way it came. Imagine, hauling fruit from Florida to Pennsylvania in a 52 Chevy cab over. Two lane roads and slogging up the mountains at 8 mph, and flat footing it on the way down. He would usually make enough money to buy a new piece of equipment after each run, not including household and maintenance bills. He was an interesting man.

    • And farm trucks often had one tail light. One thing though, despite the otherwise basic equipment they often had two speed differentials which made a big difference.

    • Hi Chuck, remember the TV series “Cannonball”? They used a mid- 50’s GMC 950 cabover with a DD. Great “truckspotting” in that show.

  11. The Oldsmobiles pictured in not your Fathers Oldsmobile are a 1950 or ’51 Rocket 88 two door hardtop, and a 1954 88 sedan. Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Buick started wrap around windshields in 1954. The trim on the sides of Oldsmobiles of ’55 and ’56 started below the winshield post and in ’55 was a v shape and in ’56 rounded.

  12. 52 Ford Conv with cordobers kits were very sharp in there day, also the Nash cars were great, anyone can have Ford or Chev but who now has Nash?

  13. The ’48-’53 Chevy “Advance Design” “Suburban” in photo #4 is not a standard factory “Suburban Carryall”.

    The body is longer, and the fenestration (windows) are different. Looks like a third-party made a conversion from a 3/4 or 1-ton Panel Delivery.

  14. SUBUBAN ??? NOPE. This looks like a “special” (Such as a Henney Body —for example), as it looks like the AMBULANCE & HEARSE CHASSIS & BODY , –TO ME.

    LOTS of Good experience with early Nashes, ’39 Fourdoor (twin Plugs) 6 cyl. powerful! All early Nash engines had more MAINS than cylinder bores! The ’51 Rambler Station Wagon served our family in commute and long distance travel including through rural West Coast Mexico!
    A broken steering knuckle required a 2 – Oxen tow — into a village. A festival delayed the repair, so Mom & Dad did what the villagers did: Party! Monday came and the Village BLACKSMITH —FORGE WELDED the steering knuckle! 1,000 Miles more, — and back in the USA, dad had his Mechanic INSPECT the forge weld: He said: “Leave it alone, the Smithy KNEW what he was doing”!!! GOOD power, GOOD ECONOMY and Reliability were common in older Nashes. One Uncle owned a ’46 Nash convertible (one of 6 sold on the West coast). Edwin – 30 –

  15. You gotta like the chrome vent visors, The last set I had was on my 79 F350, along with the vent windows, it was great for ventilation. Remember when cars had rain gutters, ash trays and no cup holders. Great site!

  16. My folks had a 1952 Nash Statesman. That body-style is not what was called the ‘Bath-tub Nash. The fast-back body prior to the shoe-box shape was the ‘Bath-tub’.
    I am really surprised that only one other commentor noticed & posted to correct that error.

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