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Six Fun Friday Forties, and Fifties Kodachrome Images

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For number thirty-two in the Fun Friday Kodachrome Image series, we are featuring a set of six photos that are older than the usual fare. All of this week’s photographs appear to be from the early postwar period, many are of human interest and feature mid-1930s through early 1950s vehicles and a pair of gasoline pumps.

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 the photos. You can look back on all the earlier parts of this series here. The photos are via Americar.


  • This Nash sedan and trailer are painted in matching two-tone colors. 


  • Father and son posing with a Studebaker coupe.

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  • Back in the time when double-breasted jackets and pipe smoking was popular.


  • Niagara Cave is a major tourist attraction located in Harmony, MN, that is still in operation today.

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  • An interesting view demonstrating the rapid changes in automobile styling over the years.


29 responses to “Six Fun Friday Forties, and Fifties Kodachrome Images

  1. Can anyone explain the merits of that hitch arrangement? Is it intended to be an extra wheel going down the road to keep it all level? Does it work?

    • Yes that set of wheels is meant to go down the road. It is meant to keep everything level, and take some of the load off the tow car. You can see the same idea used today with motorhomes that are pulling heavy trailers. If the suspension of the tow car can not support the trailer this is an option. They are built be several companies, one is called trailer toad.

    • The R-R is probably a late Ghost as there doesn’t seem to be any front wheel brakes on it. Also I would guess it is a Springfield, Mass. built R-R , the coachwork without doubt came out of the Brewster shop in Long Island City , Queens at the East end of the Queensboro Bridge.

  2. The 1st pic seems to be just before the war. The gas pumps look like a Wayne model 60 from 1935. Is the truck a mid-30’s Ford?
    2nd pic, definitely post-war. ( Willy’s panel van across the street) Couple war buddies going fishing in their newly purchased ’46-48 Nash, and the trailer looks like a Trotwood or maybe a small Spartan(?) I’ve never seen those “bogie” wheels before. I wonder if that worked?
    3rd pic, again, post war, The “Captain” smoking a stogie and a new ’47(?) Studebaker, and his kid, we won the war, life was good.
    4th pic, is the car a mid 30’s Plymouth? It’s not new ( although, may be sporting a new paint job), and the plate looks like ILL 1940, but can’t find any examples to back that up. Can’t see the windshield for gas rationing sticker, but I’d say right around the war, probably before.
    5th pic, after the war, looks like a late 40’s or early 50’s Dodge “pilot house” cab pickup. Not many shiny vehicles in Minnesota at that time. Most roads were gravel.
    Last pic, during or after the war. I believe that’s a 1942 Dodge business coupe,(?) late 30’s Mack with no bumper, can’t place the other truck, but looks like a mid 30’s Chevy. Who knows what treasures lay behind that wall. ( that probably all were turned into jeeps and tanks and such) Thanks again, great stuff.

    • 1st foto… definitly before my time, still in “Buster Browns”, however when I got my first car by the middle/late fifties gas station attendants had begun to disappear when I finished school it was practically all self service.

      2nd foto… 46 Nash 600: 47-8 had a wider upper grille. The RV industry has really evolved, remember the ’50s movie “The Long, Long Trailer” w/ Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez with that Mercury convertible, and today a Ford 250 King Ranch crew cab w/ a fifth wheel and a’40 footer or a Prevost. We’ve come a LONG way.

      3rd foto… 48 Studebaker Champion Starlight Coupe… had forgotten how little protection those bumpers offered, he went for the whitewalls , but not the chrome wheel rings… that coupe design was amazing for the time as was the interior and the dash- the era of the industrial Designer … Raymond Loewy, in this case

      4th foto… Lord, it looks so cold- I thot in the Army it was Olive Drab… In the Navy it was dark blue and called a Pea- Coat… He looks very natty, very coordinated with his neck scarf and fedora.

      5th foto…a ’41 Ford sedan and a ’42 Buick Special sedanet- they maintained that and the sedan model after the war right up to early ’49. I never heard of “pilot house” pickup. I just thought Harvey Earl or someone had put his magic finger on a Chevy Cameo.

      Last foto… a ’42 Dodge Business Coupe, no back seat- when you opened the trunk lid you could crawl in to reach the front of the trunk… another model that was built after the war up to early ’49. In the Chrysler line it looked perhaps its best- a Saratoga on about a 130 inch wheelbase with the long hood for the straight eight was really striking. Yes, It is a Rolls , probably a Brewster American built/ assembled(?) in Spring field , MA in the early ’30s- not that many were imported. It’s an odd place for it to be. Later when serious collecting began those American Rolls didn’t have the panache the European ones had. When the early “collectors”, many were ’50s high school kids, we bought up big thirties cars including classics- because they were cheap and outrageous, at the time- they’d survived the war scrap drives, A high school friend of mine had a Packard twelve trunk back sedan that we drove with abandon like a truck- a bunch of irreverant kids we were… in 1953 it ended up in a junk yard. It didn’t survive us, more’s the pity.

        • Thanks Graham, just a “spoke in the wheel” here. This feature is all about memories. The “pilot house” cab was offered by a few truck makers. Chevy, GMC, Dodge, ( and I saw a Diamond T with them, but may have been added later) all had optional “extra windows” in the corners. I think Dodge actually called it “pilot house” to mimic a boat cabin.

  3. I’d guess the 4th picture is just after the war. The guy with the pipe is wearing an Army officer’s overcoat. I forget its official name, but I wore the same coat all through high school — my uncle’s — and still have it somewhere.

  4. The last photo shows a 42 Dodge Business Coupe, a mid- 30 ‘ s Chevrolet truck & an International Truck along with the Rolls Royce. My Father had a 42 Dodge 2 door sedan in the same color blue. I remember that the entire grill assembly quickly rusted in the harsh Chicago winters.

  5. I thought the jacket was a “CPO” coat short for Chief Petty Officer, but also that the collars on mine were much smaller and not quite as stylish.

    And what goes best with Women in hats? Men in hats.

    Would be tragic if that RR were heading off to the scrap heap instead of a movie lot car storage.

    I wonder if the loudest snorer got to fold down the seats in the Nash to allow the other guys to sleep in comfort.

    Though I’m a sucker for Studes, favorites today are the ’42 Chevy Fleetline coupe in 5, and the Business Coupe. Have to love those proportions.

  6. The 1936 Chevy is exactly like my first car. I found it in 1972 after having been in storage for nearly two decades. It had 32,000 miles on it at the time. I paid $200 for it. Dad let my have it only because it was like the one he dated Mom with, and because he figured I wouldn’t get it running until I was 18. I surprised him, though, and had it out and about two weeks later after giving it a tune-up and a rebuilt water pump from JC Whitney. I sold it in 1976 to buy a 1927 Willys-Knight 70A. I’d love to find the Chevy again…it’s easy to spot because it wore a 1936 Plymouth front bumper. Anyone seen it lately??

  7. I’d love to know where the photo with the Nash and trailer was taken. It just screams heartland, with those houses and the brick street. It also appears they parked on some trolley tracks.

    • The houses would be right at home anywhere in upstate New York, and I grew up with several brick streets in the Finger Lakes region of western New York.

  8. The two gas station attendants reminded me of an old joke. Seems this lady drives into a gas station, and the attendant was hard of hearing. She asked “Do you have a restroom?” and he thought she said “. . . whisk broom?” He replied, “No. But if you push your seat up a bit, I’d be happy to blow it out with the air hose.”

  9. Uncle Howard had one of 6 ’46 Nash Covertibles sold on the wast Coast. The Nash products were NO slouch!!! A TOP quaility “road car”, no mattrer the body style , with BOTH good power OR economy and reliability. Edwin – 30 –

  10. I would be quite sure the small wheel assembly on the drawbar of the Nash is simply a ‘jockey wheel’ used to move the van around and it normally winds up and down to allow you to fit it to the car towbar ball.
    I worked for a trailer mfgr for many years and you would be surprised at the number of trailers / vans etc. that came in for repair / replace the wheel because owners forgot to wind it up or un clamp it from the drawbar before driving away. It could not be a support wheel as suggested because it would scrape on the roadway every time you went into a spoon drain etc. and would try and pop the ball coupling off the towbar. the other thing we used to find was people leaving the safety chains too long which would allow the trailer nose to dig into the roadway if the trailer came off the towball.
    Common sense says that the chains must support the trailer before it can touch the ground if the ball coupling fails for any reason.
    My old boss used to make sure we always told customers to cross the chains over to give extra security to the trailer – i.e. left chain connected to the right mounting point on the towbar and viceversa.

  11. 4th picture That’s a 1950 Illinois license plate ie Illinois is abbreviated to “ILL” and is white background so numbers would be dark green.. This first time since1933 that Illinois was cut down to “ILL”

  12. I believe that the ’36 Chevrolet in the 4th photo is a Master rather than a Standard.
    The previous commentators are correct, the Masters have chrome headlamp buckets.
    Closer examination of the photo shows these to be chrome.
    There is also the Master’s horizontal depression in the center of the bumper which the Standards don’t have.
    Look at the horizontal hood louver just visible between his left forearm and the RH headlamp bucket – it appears to have the Master’s chrome trim strip that Standards don’t have.

  13. I might be wrong but the Studebaker is a late ’40s Starlight Coupe, probably a Commander. It’s hard to tell because I can’t get a good look at the grille. The hood ornament looks like a Commander hood ornamant.
    The Nash looks like a ’48 to me.

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