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Five Fun Friday Forties, Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

For number forty in the “Fun Friday Kodachrome Image Series,” the lead image shows one of two of Ford Motor Company’s biggest attention getters in the first half of the fifties. This creme and pink colored Ford made for a perfect father and son photo opportunity for a Kodachrome moment over sixty years ago.

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

Royal Gorge, CO

  • The scenic bridge at the Royal Gorge in CO, makes a perfect backdrop for studying the cars of the era.

1940s Buick Convertible

  • This brilliant blue Buick and its smiling occupants look fine in front of the Red Oak, IA, train station.

New York City 1950s Street Scene

  • This image was identified as being taken in New York City, tell us anything you can about this scene.

1960s GMC Pickup

  • This early to mid-1960s yellow GMC pickup licensed California was no doubt someones pride and joy at the time. Junior, looks a bit bored.

36 responses to “Five Fun Friday Forties, Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Images

  1. The car in the first photo is a ’54 Ford Crestline Skyliner with the clear plastic panel in the roof. Can it really be cream & pink?

    The fourth photo was taken looking north on Broadway in Manhattan, just above Times Square. The newest car I can see is a ’54 Chrysler New Yorker parked on the left. There’s a big yellow DeSoto taxi in the middle of the street &, to the right of that, is a green & white Checker.

      • There is a Redoak, OH (no space), half way between Cincinnati and Portsmouth. But it doesn’t appear it had a RR and even if it did, it appears to only be a crossroad, not big enough for a station like that. Must be visitors from Ohio in the Buick. Does the plate say 1943?

        • There were no 1943 Ohio passenger car plates. The 1942 Ohio plate continued to be used in 1943 in order to save material for the war. A window sticker was used to validate the 1943 vehicle registration.

          Also, the Buick is a 1947 model. The 1946 Buick’s had a grille with two nostrils at the top, and the 1948 models had the model name above the side trim on the front fender (except for the Buick Special which had entirely different fender trim).

          The short length of the fender between the front wheel well and the door leads me to believe this is a Super and not a Roadmaster model. On the Super the length of the “spear” on the side of the hood and the length of the fender between the front wheel well and the door are nearly identical. The Roadmaster fender is much longer in this area. The Super Convertible cost $2,333, weighed 4,050 pounds, and Buick produced 25,796 along with 501 more for export.

          Based on the colors and format of the license plate, the plate on the Buick is a 1949 issue. The tail portion of the number “9” in the year curved all the way under the top section of the figure. The colors are actually a light lemon yellow on black.

          • I stand by my 1949 identification. The number “7” in the 1947 Ohio license plate had a very vertical leg (almost no slant). If this was 1947, there should be much more empty space below the number “7” on the plate.

            As stated above, the “9” in the 1949 Ohio license plate curves under the figure as shown in the photo.

  2. Is the train depot the Burlington depot in Red Oak Iowa? All the architectural details seem to match. View in image above would be facing East. This depot is now a museum, view on the google maps streetview and other pictures on internet. Two of my period railroad references don’t even list a Red Oak North Carolina.

  3. I always thought that top on Ford’s was laminated glass. It’s plastic? That little cowboy could be any one of us.
    Last year, while in Colorado, we passed the turn for Royal Gorge. It was slippery and getting dark, but I see we should have stopped. Not sure about that bridge, hope they’ve improved it. The ’56 DeSoto looks like the newest car. There is a “Redoak, Ohio”, and people were just happier then.
    The NY scene, I’m glad I’m not there. And the last pic, oh, I’ve been there. I HATED camping trips when I was that age. I believe the GMC is a 1962, as in ’63 they changed to amber turn signals. It surely had the tough as nails 305 V-6.

  4. The NYC street scene was shot in 1954 (3rd year of “This is Cinerama”), and was shot at 48th & Broadway (Broadway Theatre & Tango Palace).

  5. It wasn’t pink … it was Salmon w/ Cream in the top ‘o the line Crestlines; however in ’55 next year with the “to’l” Fairlanes it was Watermelon PINK and Refrigerator White. The interesting thing to me was … Dad was a typical middle class suburban male dressed for a saturday morning juant to ??? When was the last time you saw a dad and his son dressed like ,that headed anywhere … a son that age maybe…, but a dad, clean shavened w/ a windbreaker, a grey fedora, pressed slacks, a casual tie , shined shoes, a matching belt, all w/ matching colors, oh, and a top buttoned opened – VERY casual. NOT today, even to the mall

    2nd foto… The mix of cars, 9 GMs, 2 FoMoCos, and a MOPAR, couldn’t identifiy the last car beyond the Olds… sorta foretold the sixties adage ” As GM Goes So Goes the Nation!”

    Every body wanted a convertible and the Buick Super was certainly one to aspire to…”When Better Automobiles Are Built Buick Will Build Them”! Remember the famous 4 Bui-Coil Spring ride as your dad eased into a turn and you rolled across the back seat.

    New York… Note the overiders on all the cars’ bumpers except the Checker cab… parking in the city was by feel, never gently or w/ caution.. Cinerama was THE big adventure to a youngster then… even seated in a New York theater going somewhere in the world was BIG… there were no Disneyworlds yet , not even Disneyland and going somewhere and sleeping in a hotel or motel going to anywhere , much less New York was HUGE for many of us. Travel was no small luxury.

    Last foto… that was an adventure of another kind- no less exciting!!! NOT boring.

  6. The scenic bridge at the Royal Gorge in CO was one of the places my family visited 1957 or 58 on our vacation. The “Robbins Egg Blue” ’53 ford coming across the bridge could have been ours. I would have been 13 or 14 then. We did see the Gorge. To my recollection this was a bit of a tourist trap. The bridge only went across to the gift shop. You then would leave crossing the bridge once again on your exit.

  7. I can relate to the first three pictures the most. The Ford is almost like the one my grandpa had, that could almost be the two of us in the picture. The Royal Gorge picture is about the same time frame our family took a western states vacation and visited that very same spot. The blue Buick convert. pulls at my heart strings as it was a Roadmaster sedan that was my Dads first of a long line of Buicks that started my life long love of GM’s finest!

  8. It’s hard to imagine that was the original color for the Buick. But the age of the other car in the background would lead me to believe this wasn’t a re-paint of the Buick.

    • The color is probably Canterbury Blue which was a Sherwin-Williams opalescent automotive finish that was a standard Buick color.

      There were three other blue paint colors available on Buicks in 1947: Calvary Blue, which was much lighter than shown here; Seine Blue which was darker than shown here; and Midnight Blue which was an extremely dark blue (almost black). The Seine and Midnight Blue were also opalescent colors.

  9. AHHHH! PRE-“Portavents” on the fenders, — but UNIQUE BUICK FEATURES That impressed — were the (ON GOING) Buick ONLY Throttle – Coupled vacuum – controlled starter switch!!! (for many years), and the HOOD THAT OPENS from EITHER SIDE!!! STILL AMAZING !!! Edwin – 30 –

  10. The city photo is Broadway in New York City, possibly at the intersection of 51st Street, looking north. I used Google Maps and placed the figure at that intersection for a view on the street itself. Looking into the distance, you can see the same white building on the right with the exact same penthouse or water tower on the roof. If it were the 53rd Street intersection, the Ed Sullivan Theater would be on the left. In the 50’s it was called CBS TV Studio 50, and was for television use. It’s possible it’s sign could be obscured by the Cinerama marquee. Thanks for the challenge!

  11. Taking another look at Google Street View- the white building with the penthouse is 1740 Broadway. An old photo shows the Winter Garden Theater several doors north of the Howard Clothes building.

  12. That 54 ford takes me back… 1965, my dad bought one, not that fancy, two dr, cream with a purple top. Ugliest car dad ever owned, but the best memories. He paid $12.00 for it, and I helped drag it out of a barnyard where the rockers were buried in manure. Drivers fender was cut off leaving the headlight, but you could see the tire from the drivers seat. No floors, no trunk floor. A good buddy got it running for dad, and he and I removed the seats and made a floor out of 1/4 ” plywood, six ” strips that we wove together like lattice. Put the seats back in and they were real springy. The doors wouldn’t stay shut so we tied a rope from one post to the other and used the windows to get in and out. Dad ran it for two yrs as the only car with six kids. Went to Sabattise in the Adirondacks with five Boy Scouts . Including me… My buddies rassed him terrible. We had no trunk, so all our pack gear was on the roof. ( two wks gear for six people) comming out of the mountains, the generator bracket broke, I think it was cast, and we had no money except a texaco credit card. We had no fan, so for forty miles, we all climbed out the windows about every five miles to fill our canteens and refill the radiator. Finally found a texaco with a junkyard out back, and we boys had the adventure of a lifetime. I could tell more stories about that car, but…

  13. This is the first year for the OHV Y-block Ford V8, all 239 CI’s of it. 130 HP in an era when Mercury was the performance King at FoMoCo. Their Y-block sported a 4 barrel Holley (?) and a rompin-stompin 160 hp. Problem was, these engines had oiling problems at the rocker shafts. I know, I had a couple of later ones, the last being a 292 with the added copper line from the oil pump to oil the rocker shafts.

    • The rocker got its oil through the cam bearing and the bearing would turn this blocking oil flow. I forget now which cam bearing oiled the right bank and which one oiled the left bank. When I was young in the early 60’s I owned a 57 with a 312 and the cam bearing for the right bank turned. I didn’t have the money to have it repaired and didn’t know about the copper line oiler kit. So my solution to the problem was to pull the valve cover and lay two Kotex pads on top of the rocker and soak them in oil. Surprisingly that would keep the rocker quite for about a month or five weeks. When I would pull the valve cover to replace the pads they would be shrunk up to a fraction of the original size.

  14. I presume Graham was referring to the yellow Buick entering the Royal Gorge bridge.

    The Buick appears to be a ’47 Roadmaster convertible. The front plate appears to be a 1947 tag. In those days, Ohio (as it does today) had plates front and rear. Back then, the plates changed color every year — no stickers on the same tags then.

    Those familiar with many Ohio plates back then could tell where they were from. I grew up in Miami County, north of Dayton (and live there today) where the tag endings included UA, UB, UC, UD, UE, UF, UG, UH, UJ, etc. Troy, the county seat, had the UF-UL series, as an example. Now, you can’t tell.

  15. I had a 52 beautiful roomy Buick super 8 for a whirl until it was lost inKatria ,when you drove a Buick you were STYLin! the long long straight 8was a magnificent engine , the tilt hood was fun and I never had a lot of faith in the little ball and spring starter in the carburetor , you depressed the starter to the floor board to fire her up . coupling from the transmission to the driveshaft was so problematic
    It was this ball shaped thing that was eternally leaking and the rear axel had to get dropped to Change it out . I think the desoto cab in nyc is a 51 or52 when they added a little snout treatment to the austere from grill .the fluid drive must have been quite the deal In all of that primordial traffic there was a desoto cab co
    Someone had a good eye picking out the old checker !

  16. In the Royal Gorge picture I see in the row on the left a 51 Chevy, 56 Oldsmobile, 56 Pontiac, a possible 49 or 50 Ford and a another 56 Pontiac. The row on the right is a 56 DeSoto, 55 Ford, 55 Chevy, 53 Chevy, and a 54 Pontiac. On the bridge is a 52 Buick and a 53 Ford

  17. The color combination of the Skyliner is Sandstone White with a Cameo Coral top. One of my cars is a Skyliner but is single color Sandstone White, one of the only solid color option available, the other being Raven Black.

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