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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photo Series

Number One-Hundred and Sixty-Seven of the Kodachrome Car Photo Series begins this week with an image of the “Great American Dream” for an average family – a house in the suburbs and a new car. Although this gentleman appears to be uneasy about all the debt he has committed to while he poses with his Plymouth and tree out in front of the family house.

As is the usual practice in this series, we ask our readers to tell us the year, make, and model of all of these vehicles along with anything else you find of interest in the photos. You can look back at all the earlier parts of this series here. The images are via This Was America.

Editors note: We will be taking Saturday off this week and will return again on Monday morning.

1950s Two Seat Thunderbird

  • Time for a 1950s roadside picnic and a rest for a two-seat Thunderbird. 

1950s Willys 4-Wheel Drive

  • Dad and the boys pictured with a Willys 4-Wheel drive Station wagon. 

1950s Chevrolet Sedan Deliveries

  • This Hach Brothers Chevrolet is about to deliver a load  Miller “High Life.” 


51 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photo Series

  1. Another great selection of photos. 57 Plymouth, 58 Pontiac and a 58 Chevy on the corner in a new development. Concrete sidewalks and a gravel street? I doubt that the tree survived. Mrs. tbird doesn’t look enthused, but it’s hard to tell with the sunglasses and kerchief. Soft side cooler and a jug of martinis, we are ready to party. Jeep famly and their hard working truck. 54 Chevy sedan delivery great advertising and look, no graphic wrap here.

      • My dad had a 1959 Plymouth. White with a cool sport steering wheel, as I remember. First new car he ever had. Polished it so much that he actually starting wearing through the paint on the fenders. That’s the very definition of pride in ownership. For some reason, these cars always looked to me like they had an overbite.

    • I’m with you Bill, that must be a new edition where the city is responsible for paving the streets, but the developer is responsible for sidewalks and other infrastructure. Considering that almost everyone has a good stand of lawn, I’m guessing it must be the city’s responsibility and it’s been tied up for a while in red tape.

      Maybe that’s why he looks so dejected.

  2. The first photo (which I’ve seen before) seems to show a fairly new sub-division. The street isn’t paved yet. Don’t see much variety in design choices for the homes, either the two story with one stall garage or the split level. There does appear to be a different two story design further down the street.
    Home prices must have been low enough to leave enough left over credit for a new ’58 model of your choice. Where is the Ford in this picture.
    Last pic, love that sedan delivery .

  3. I’m guessing the lady enjoying the picnic with the 55 Thunderbird is in NE Pennsylvania. The billboard behind her is from the Ray Walsh company of Shenandoah, PA.

    As always, thanks David for all you do. I enjoy and appreciate your work every day.

    • I was hoping that someone would place the location based on the billboard, and indeed a keen eye identified it as being for a business in “Shendo”, in Schylkill county PA.

  4. 1st pic, Pressboard Estates, could be anywhere USA. I wonder if this man was satisfied with his new Plymouth. I heard, these had terrible build quality.( doors popping open on big bumps) I like the ’58 Pontiac across the street. When I was a kid, a neighbor had a 2 door, same color combo with fuel injection. 2nd, I think we saw this lady and the T-Bird before. I have no idea what that sign means. 3rd pic played out all across rural America.The Jeep was part of the family. Split windshield, pre 1960. Last, they were very proud of their new ’54 Chevy sedan delivery, as you can see by the looks of the older one in the background, it’s about time. I don’t think these delivered a lot of beer, probably for displays and such. Looks like they had an all Chevy fleet.

  5. Lead pic: Plymouth is a 1958 Plaza with the very rare ‘Silver Special’ trim option, which include silver painted rooftop and stainless steel dart-shaped inserts on the lower body. Also, the Plaza script on the rear fins was replaced by a Forward Look logo. It added a touch of luxury on these low-level models. Not many of these were made, and very few survive today (1957 – 1958 era Plymouths were things of beauty, but suffered very badly from crap build quality).
    Last pic: I think that’s a 1953 model base trim 150 Delivery (hard to tell a 1953 from a 1954 Chevy when the front is not visible)

    • Luk,

      Agree the ’58 PLYMOUTH in the lead photograph is a Plaza. Am not a PLYMOUTH person, but would this vehicle have a six cylinder engine as there isn’t a “gold” V on the grille ?


    • And, for those who like to toss trivia into the old-car-loving breeze, those fender logos were “recycled” from the 1956 parts bin. Like those 1953 Studebaker wheel covers were “restruck” (figuratively and literally…) for the 1963 Avanti.

      Smart thinking and good designing. Like they used to do.

    • Flathead 6-cylinder engine, The slant six was introduced in 1960. The two-tone, extra trim, whitewalls, and wheelcovers suggest that this was from dealer stock and not a special order.

    • Flathead six engine. The slant six was introduced in 1960. Those extras – two tone, extra trim, white walls and wheel covers – on the base Plaza suggest that this was from dealer stock and was not a special order car. Today, developers cannot sell houses until the road is paved/ This developer was taking advantage of a loophole in the local ordnances with curbs but no paving. Must have paid off the local elected superintendent.

      • Some subdivisions were built with a stipulation that all houses had to be built within a certain time frame, such as 1 year. Then the streets were paved and sidewalks built. this was to keep the heavy construction equipment and delivery trucks from damaging the new streets. Also, the sidewalks being done after driveways, did not need to be cut and pieced back together.

  6. The man looks proud with his new `58 Plymouth Savoy! It could be his first brand-new car! Interesting photo, in that a new `58 Biscayne, and Pontiac Star Chief sedan are all in the same photo! New houses; new cars! The explosion of suburbia.
    The lady with the `55 T-Bird looks like she found a nice spot for a picnic. Based on the narrow whitewalls, I’d say that photo was probably taken in `62 or `63.

  7. First photo is a 1958 Plymouth. My Uncle had one new. Huge bucket of bolts that rusted out in no time. The 1954 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery in photo #4 was a much better vehicle. Seldom seen today as so few were built.

  8. It was not only the fellows first brand new car, it was probably the first tree that he ever planted. Couldn’t you get that tree any closer to the curb?

  9. The Thunderbird’s hubcaps and chrome rocker panel trim appear to be aftermarket items.

    I always thought Miller’s slogan,as shown on the pretty sedan-delivery, was “The Champagne of Bottled Beer”, but a little research shows that they also used “Bottle Beer.”

  10. The 4th photo with the Chevy Sedan Delivery had 1954 Iowa commercial plates. The picture is from the Hach Brothers Company of Cedar Rapids, IA, which at the time was a paper supplier and beer distributor.

    • Hello! This photo was of my late father’s personal car (Robert Hach Sr.). I have several old Kodak slides that I developed into pictures and posted on my personal Facebook page. Three years later, from that post, my photos have circled the globe. Our family started distributing Budweiser Beer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the late 1800’s. After Prohibition ended, our family picked up the Miller Beer distributorship. The only sedan delivery they had in the fleet was my father’s car. The buildings are all still standing at 401-411 1st Street S.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Just sharing the story behind the photo.

  11. The Chevy Sedan Delivery is a 1954. The 1953 tail light assembly had a circular bullet (red) in the center of the chrome taillight door, with a red triangular lens at the top and clear triangular lens at the bottom .
    The T-Bird is the first I’ve seen with aftermarket rocker panel moldings. Knowing how badly they rusted in salty environments, I suspect that the rocker molding conceals damage from the tinworm.

      • Cameo taillights are slightly different from the ‘54 passenger car. Oddly enough, the ‘54 bezel was used on the ‘58 and ‘59 International Travelall. The IH used a different lens though.

  12. The new subdivision offers the latest in modern traffic safety!

    The utility pole is set back a considerable distance from the curb…

  13. You have no idea how much I look forward to Friday Kodachrome Car Photo Series. These are from my era. It’s kinda like how I see all my childhood toys at the Antique Malls now.

    Thanks for all you do, David.

  14. The 55 Thunderbirds didn’t have sunvisors but this one does. I wonder if it’s a very late 55 that may have gotten some ’56 parts?

  15. Hmm? No one has ID’d the white over red sedan in the upper right of Photo #1. A 1958 it is not. My guess a 1956 Plymouth?

  16. Oh how well I remember those Jeep 4-wheel drive “station wagons”! My father (with 0 mechanical interest or ability) loved them, and i think we had something like three in a row. I also remember the green one I rolled off of Route 7 in Vermont, March 1958 just north of Rutland, VT. Dad was not pleased…

  17. With all that’s being said about the ’58 Plymouth I now understand why “Christine” was so angry and had to keep rebuilding herself. Too bad they all didn’t have that feature (the automatic rebuilding, not the attitude).

  18. The 1958 Plymouth as has been pointed out is a Plaza Silver Special. This fancier version of the normally low price Plain Jane Plaza model was introduced mid year in 2 and 4 door sedan bodies to try to generate some more sales in a very down sales year. In addition to the silver top these had Sportone Trim with an anodized insert, white walls , full wheel covers, and stainless trim strips on the front fenders and doors. Base price of the 2 dr sedan was $1958, less money than a similarly equipped Savoy which it resembled.

  19. Number 3 rings a bell. Can’t improve on the original commenter who said something on the lines of “Dad and the boys making memories”.

    Thanks again for the weekly helping of Americana making its way across the pond.

  20. The Willys wagon is 1950-54 and it looks like it is set up for a snowplow on front. The latches on the sides of the hood were a useful add-on because the hood tended to flap at speeds over 45-50 mph.

  21. Of the several Jeeps I owned in the mid 60s to early 70s, the Jeep wagonI owned(51) was one of the more fun units. I had pulled the 4 banger and installed a Jeep flat head 6 in it. Cannot believe the places we went with that truck.

  22. Photo 1….Back in the day it was ‘the thing to do’ to have your picture taken with your new car. Often, the whole fam damily would be in the picture so copies could be sent to ‘the relatives’. Envy city!!! Who takes a picture standing beside your grey jellybean nowadays? Cheers. Vin

  23. Well once again all my comments have been made when I get around to responding!
    I can’t tell you how much I look towards your feature arriving in my inbox. Keep up the good work, it is much appreciated.

  24. The Willys was a tool I used, to run road service calls, for The auto club (AAA). Neat little Motorola two-way for dispatch. The Chevy panel sometimes brought groceries to the house. We also were visited by a Rawleigh door to door salesman in one. They featured notions and lotions, household products for cleaning cooking, and good health. A very interesting line. A few years later after relocating 16 miles away he showed up in our driveway. With the same pleasant pitch.
    Those visors on the T Bird appear to be tinted, accessory add ons, from such as Pepboys or J. C. you know who.

  25. Hach Brothers was the wholesale distributor of Miller High Life for Cedar Rapids from 1930-1968.

    The truck in the garage is from Carling, which was part of Canadian Breweries at the time, and looks to be marked on the side for Carling Black Label. It’s now part of Molson Coors.

    It looks like this part of the building is gone, though. Looking at the Google Maps street view, the fire house became a science center (which is now closed – not sure if something else has moved in there). The next section up to (and including) the first loading bay became the offices for the science center, and the rest of the loading dock became an Irish pub. There is still a building marked Hoch Brothers to the right of where Photo #4 ends. It’s right on the river, so flooding is a problem.

  26. Lots of guesses on the red car in the distance in picture number one.

    My guess? From the shape of the roofline, i’d say a Rambler of some sort.

  27. Hi

    As I write this it is about 11:00 AM Saturday, CDT. I have not yet received this week’s edition of The Old Motor Newsletter. I hope my subscription has not been lost somehow. Or, have I missed a notice of a pause in publication?


  28. The Chevrolet sedan delivery was my late father’s car (Robert Hach Sr.) of our family business of Hach Brothers Company that was located at 401-411 1st Street S.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. All of the buildings are still there today. This photo is one of many I developed from several boxes of old slides I developed. I posted this on my social media page three years ago, and now it’s here. This was the only sedan delivery vehicle in their fleet, and was my father’s personal car. We initially bottled and distributed Budweiser beer in Cedar Rapids in the 1880’s, which ended with Prohibition. After Prohibition was abolished our Hach family picked up the Miller Beer Distributorship. My father took over the family business when he returned from World War2 as a Lieutenant Colonel. I can certainly share with you more photos, as long as you can acknowledge my late father, Robert Hach Sr.

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