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Five Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

For number thirty-six in the “Fun Friday Kodachrome Image Series”, we start out with an image of a what appears be a convenience store. The “Positively 7-11 Parking Only” sign above the VW lead us to think that this may be a 7-Eleven store. The architecture looks similar to that used by the chain at the time, but we are going to let our visitors weigh in on the subject.

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.

1950s Cadillac Hardtop

  • This 1959 wintertime photo was taken in Wisconsin of a Cadillac two-door hardtop.

1950s Childrens Car

  • One of the many different models of children’s cars built in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

1950s Chrysler 4-door

  • This Desoto sedan is a good example of the popular two-tone color schemes of the fifties.

1950s Buick Hardtop

  • Take a close look at this Buick hardtop and note the pink wheels and skis on the roof rack.

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

  1. My Gramp had a 53 Buick just like the bottom photo. As a kid, I used to roll the front and back windows down and just admire the beauty and style of it all. Very nice batch of pics today. Thanks.

    • I have that same car with the same colour scheme in the garage. It’s about half way through a total frame off restoration. Mine has the red rims as well. Only difference is mine has red and black interior. Great pic.

      • Think the foto was taken w/ Ansco (?) color film which unlike Kodak had problems sometimes on the red scale (shelf life?) hence the pink rims on the foto… Buicks of that vintage came w/ red or black rims depending on exterior colors… also the ’53 Golden Anniversary Roadmasters were for the first time on the same chassis as the Supers w/ the advent of Buick’s new “Nailhead” V8 which no longer needed the extra hood length to accommodate the larger Roadmaster straight eight. Only difference in ’53 was the extra porthole, minor exterior trim, and richer interior appointments…great fotos as always, thanks David.

    • Think its n”59 and DeSoto was the ’59 Indy Pace Car … Can you imagine how much the present day owner of one the originals or clones would pay for one… at any rate any DeSoto Convertible owner would want it at practically any price. Think also one of the replicas was owned by Richard Carpenter of singing Carpenters and it at the time of his collections sale after his passing brought one of the highest prices of any postwar cars including the ’59 Cadillac convertibles of the “flying fins” fame. Actually Cadillacs fins that year were the only ones in the industry that rose above the Chrysler Corps fins. Also the ’56 Plymouth Fury debuted in gold and white to pace that years Indy… 1st year for V Exners fins for the Chrysler corps marques.

      • Think the Indy replica toy is a promotion item for the kid who has everything. I’m sure the local DeSoto/Plymouth dealer had a contest and this boy was the lucky also sure the local policeman/deputy escort was ahead of them just out of the picture

    • Ah, Eric and everyone else… mea culpa again, the sun was over the yardarm when I was posting , but I swear I was not drinking at the time… the natterings from a confused mind, at least didn’t he, the very living Richard, collect cars and maybe that particular vehicle… I thot- i recalled- it had been featured in one of the Hobby publications… I subscribed to them all at that period of my life. By the way Karen’s unfortunate condition and passing was a loss for us all as the brother/sister team were a creative force that entertained many of us at a very intense time in our nations history.

      • Graham, I know Carpenter favors Chrysler products, and he had one featured in, I believe, Special Interest Autos some years ago, a Chrysler 300 from one of the finned era.

      • I agree with you, Graham. Whenever I hear them on the radio or one of my old tapes it’s an event. Back suddenly to another time and place. They were wonderful duo…

      • Richard Carpenter at one time had a very nice ’63 Pontiac Grand Prix hardtop in dark brown. I don’t recall where/when it was sold, but I saved a few photos on my hard drive.

  2. What caught my eye was in the DeSoto Jr. convertible picture. (I don’t know if DeSoto Jr. was the name, but I know there was a Thunderbird Jr. about that time.) And, there was nothing more this Ford dealer’s 5 year-old son wanted more.

    But in that photo, the cleanest car is the 46-48 Ford Club Coupe with the snappy clean white walls.

    In that photo, also notice the Buick. That car is shot. And it’s not much more than 10 years old. They don’t make them like they used to. Thank Goodness.

    • The Ford coupe is a ’47 or ’48. The ’46 had turn signals up high above the grill next to the hood nose and were rectangular.

  3. The picture of the children in the ’58 DeSoto kiddie car , there is a white building at the far end of the street that looks like a DeSoto/Plymouth dealer. It has a Mopar sign hanging off the wall near the garage door. The Pace Car for 1959 was a Buick Electra 225 convertible. Great photos.

  4. There seems to be some confusion in the craft concerning the DeSotos. The kiddie car is a ’58
    model. It may be a pace car replica, but not for the Indy 500. The only time that DeSoto was
    chosen as the Indy Pace Car was 1956. I well remember one of the doctors in my home
    town bought one of the few replicas made that year. Gorgeous (White/Blue) and went like
    a you-know-what. As to the Plymouth Fury, Graham is correct on the intro date, but was
    not a Pace Car (at least not in the 50’s). Also am wondering what year DeSoto introduced
    the Adventurer. Always thought it was ’57 thru ’60. If the mind is still OK, think the
    ’56 was still called FireFlite. Thanks for all the great commentary. Love this site!!

  5. A little humor concerning picture #3 (or #4). The ’56 Fireflite. As a young
    high school kid, I remember my favorite uncle finally trading in his 1948
    Desoto Custom for a hot new ’56 Fireflite. He was a bit on the penurious
    side and was reluctant to part with the $$ but wanted a new car. Perhaps
    this will be humorous only to those of a certain age, but imagine going from
    an 8-yr. old 6-cylinder Fluid Drive car to the new 250 HP w/automatic.
    Many, many good laughs (sliding all the across the back seat if you weren’t
    hanging on) and a few scary escapades with him as he drove the new one
    the same way he drove. the old one. What a great car the ’56 was. That
    would be, for me, one of those that got away. Forgot to mention that he
    was one of those lead-foot guys. 100 MPH across the desert to CA

  6. I will take 100 boxes of those ice cream bars for 39 cents each! The ’61 or ’62 Chevy convertible would not be bad to have in my garage either.

    The ’57 Cadillac photo makes me cold just looking at it. No more snow photos, OK? 🙂 Even as small as it is, that ’58 DeSoto makes that poor old ’46-’48 Buick at the curb look extra dumpy. The pink ’57 Olds convertible and ’57 Dodge don’t look too bad, though. The ’56 DeSoto in the next photo was a good example, although some had three colors. For example the top may have been black, followed by the red and white.

    Finally, the ’53 Super also brought memories. The first one I saw belonged to one of my high school teachers and was that orange-red color favored by Buick back then, with a white top. Sharp, sharp, sharp!

  7. I like Photo #2 of the ’57 Coupe de Ville in the snow. The red-over-gray color combination looks unusual, at least on my monitor.

  8. The kids in the parade are in a Desoto Firemite. Internet search Desoto Firemite. Also visit the Junior Central website which has lots of pictures of Firemites and other similar promotional cars.

    • The DeSoto Firemite was made by Robel, it had a 4-cycle Briggs & Stratton gas engine with chain drive, and 325 were produced. Apparently about five are still known to exist. They had a steel frame, plastic body (later fiberglass), and battery powered electrics for the headlights, taillights, and horn. Original cost was $350 – 450, but one value guide puts the price today at $15,000. The original thin plastic bodies cracked in the cold, so some ended up with replacement bodies of fiberglass. There was also a Plymouth Fury Junior model. Speed was governed to five miles per hour. The gas tank held two quarts of gas, and 50 miles per gallon was claimed.

      In October 1958 the Haines & Haynes DeSoto dealership in Westover, West Virginia placed an ad to sell their Firemite. Part of the ad stated, “Used only in 2 parades and for show purposes. Cost Dealer $375, will sell for $225. Take reasonable deposit and store until Xmas.” Burgess Motor Company in Aiken, South Carolina simply listed their Firemite in their January 1959 newspaper ad along with all of their full-size used cars. Between the “smashed in” 1953 Chrysler 4-door for $250 and a 1950 Oldmobile 88 club coupe was their 1958 “Midget DeSoto” Firemite for $195.

      There were four different models of DeSoto convertibles this year, and the Firemite most closely resembles the Fireflite convertible. Desoto probably should have produced only one convertible model as they hardly sold any of them. Production was: Firesweep, 700; Firedome, 519; Fireflite, 474, and Adventurer, 82.

  9. Please note that the one line caption on the blow up of photo #3 misidentifies the car as a “1950s Chrysler” and not a DeSoto.

  10. The 58 Indy pace car was a Pontiac and 59 was Buick. The 53 Buick wheels were as stated by someone else either red or black. The 61 Chevy convert is an Impala, I am pretty sure Chevy didn’t offer a ragtop Bel-Air in 61. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s the memories of that era are the best! Never was anything but a GM fan but I enjoy seeing all the other makes shown in Old Motor pictures, look forward to it every week, keep up the good work!!

  11. My friend Paul M’s dad owned a red ’61 Chevy convertible with a 283 when we were in high school (late 60s). On the rare occasions when he was handed the keys, we had a ball in it. This post includes a number of 50s favorites of mine. Keep ’em coming!

  12. The VW is a 63. The tell is the larger tailites with the half round license lite. Later models had an oblong lite. It also looks like the hubcaps are missing and it has a locking t handle on the engine cover (maybe?). This can only be definitive by the serial number. There is a lot of feature overlap on these cars.

  13. I was in High school when all those great makes of cars where in dealers showrooms, back then I would visit all makes and drool over the big fins and great color schemes . V8 engines where just getting popular. My car was a Model A Ford roadster. I am. Lucky to have a 20 antique car collection and still love all the cars of that era.

  14. The white VW , my guess would be a1963. I purchased a new Super Beatle that year. The give a way is two items , the size of the tail lights jumped to this size in 63 but more important is the shape of the license plate light, it became elongated in 1964.

  15. I had forgotten that many convenience stores in the ’50s and ’60s had multiple sliding glass doors that opened up the whole front of the store in nice weather. They weren’t air-conditioned, of course. Shoplifting would have been absurdly easy, but people in general were more honest in those days.

  16. The cars at 7-11 look to have Texas plates. They alternated white on black/black on white in the 60’s. I’d guess the photo was taken at a Dallas 7-11 since their (at the time) parent company was Dallas based Southland Corp.

    The 57′ Olds looks to be a 2D ragtop but I can’t confirm from the distance even zooming in as the pic gets too fuzzy. I’d say its color is a dirty reddish pastel color.

    The dude in the Firemite has to be on cloud 9. Not even 16 and cruising with a young lady in the parade.

  17. One more observation… on the 7/11 foto look at the men, except for the one in black w/ his back to us, all in collared white shirts, and the one striding to us in full uniform for the office (wonder if there’s a 6 pack in the bag?), and no facial hair to be seen, only Elvis had sideburns… remember the ban on facial hair at Disneyland, no hippies here. A different world , for sure. Oh, and lest I forget, the Impala.. before rear glass convertible windows, remember the day you went out and for the 1st time noticed your rear window had developed a slight haze, remember that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach… that evermore hazy window certainly didn’t fit the image you wanted, and it inconveniently rained when you had the window unzipped, and the top well filled with rainwater and then the 1st vinyl crack… Oh Lord, you knew within a month or 2 you’d be off to Rayco or wherever to replace the hopelessly fogged cracked rear window. So much for “dashing”. A real problem here in Florida.

    • I worked at the Rayco store in Silver Spring, Md. (corner of Georgia Ave and East West Hwy) in 1971 as an auto trimmer. BTW, that store still exists. I can remember replacing many convertible tops of the 60s era cars. Actually, rear window replacement (technically called a curtain) was relatively easy. Usually took less than 1 hour. The curtain was stapled to a metal bar that had a fiber insert that the staples could adhere to. The metal bar was bolted to the body in the top well. And, or course the curtain attached with zipper at the top which in turn was stapled to the most rearward top bow. This was a typical design for most American made cars (exceptions being some Chrysler products and the Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental. One option often used as a repair, was to remove the curtain from the car and sew a new clear plastic which went by the name of Herculite. The trick was to not scratch the Herculite while performing the repair!

    • Graham, I didn’t know about the ban on facial hair at Disneyland. I have a Ford Dealer magazine from 1952. There is an article on parts delivery from a phone order. The accompanying photo shows a Parts Manager in a white lab coat, sporting a beard. The caption mentions the beard was grown for their town’s centennial celebration. (it was a customer in those days (it may still be so) that when a town celebrated it’s 100th birthday all the men in town grew a beard. (My home town, Ashland, PA had it’s centennial in 1957. But as I was only 3, I didn’t participate.)

  18. I greatly enjoy your weekly postings as the quality of the research and photos is the best! However, I have one question: why do you repeat the Kodachrome photos so often?

  19. The gun in front of the two kids is miniature car is a M-101 105MM Towed Howitzer. Boresighted and synchronized a bunch of them

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