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Five Fun Thirties, Forties, and Fifties Friday Kodachrome Images

It is Friday once again, and we are back with number forty-eight in the popular Kodachrome Image Series. Today’s lead photo shows a women and her son in a clean and shiny red and white Ford convertible. The beach and the drawbridge looks similar to what you might see in Florida north of Amelia Island or in Southern, GA.

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

1940s International Harvester Service Truck

  • This International Harvester service man is taking a break during harvest time to eat on his running board. Check out the tractor-like spare tire and the Gomer Pyle hat.

Late-1950s Cadillac Four Door Hardtop

  • How does the saying go, a chicken in very pot and a Cadillac in every garage?

Late-1940s Dodge Sedan

  • This image shows how some Kodachrome and other similar brands of film handled red and purple at times. Check out what her daughter behind the wheel thinks about her mother.
  • .
  • Looks like dad or grampa are going on a fishing trip with the boys. Is this location somewhere out West?

1950s-Chevrolet Pickup

48 responses to “Five Fun Thirties, Forties, and Fifties Friday Kodachrome Images

  1. I love the picture with the mom. The younger set thinks that is “their” gesture but the old rule applies, everything old is new again.

  2. The first photo is a ’57 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner convertible, with a late 50’s Rambler 4-door sedan in the background. What’s strange about the Ford is that the headlight surrounds seem to be black. Is something (cloth?) wrapped around them?

  3. The ’58 (9) Rambler in the background tells me the ’57 Ford is not brand new, but sure looks it. No surf and the child’s hat (and the Rambler just being there), means probably one of the Great Lakes. The IH pickup is a ’37-’40 D series, and taken in Indiana (IH of Indiana on the door) appears to be a service rep at a demonstration ( not dirty enough to be working on something) and spare tire is a snow tire, also indicating a northern location. The chrome headlights must have been special ( for IH reps) as none of the D series trucks I see have those. The beautiful brand new ’58 Caddy shows, ( by looking where they live) it must have been quite a purchase for these folks. ( btw, I heard that Caddy is still sitting in that garage) I believe the 4th pic is a ’48 Plymouth, and the woman behind the steering wheel making the gesture seems to be too old for a daughter, sister maybe? The hand gesture, while could have many meanings, like “I love you” to the “BS” sign. The pilot house “Advanced-Design” Chevy, while we can’t see the door handles, it does have vent windows in the door, indicating a ’51 or newer. Where ever they were going, they don’t look too happy, and must have been 3 in the cab too( with picture taker) it is a bare bones truck with painted hubcaps. Check out grandpa’s “high waist” trousers. Thanks again for the series.

    • If those are Joshua trees in the last picture, these guys are in the Mojave Desert. Usually the Joshuas have more varied shapes, though.

  4. Here is my best guess as to the year, make and model of each picture –
    1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner convertible
    1938 International Harvester D2 1/2 ton pickup
    1958 Cadillac Sedan deVille
    1947-48 Plymouth Special Deluxe
    195 0 – 53 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup

  5. I can just imagine the excitement. When the owner of that brand shiny new Cadillac realized it was going to fit in the garage!

    • Hi Andrew, or the despair when they found out it WOULDN’T fit. I remember years ago seeing many garages with the door half closed on the trunk of many big cars like that.

        • Hi John. For a while I owned a house with a frontal garage. That was also a time when my wife and I both drove full-size trucks; I had a 3/4 ton SWB with an extended cab and my wife drove an SWB pickup. Her side was the short bay, with the steps and landing to the house in front. That short pickup still barely had the clearance of a cigarette paper with the garage door. I rigged a pole (from an old fishing rod) and small flag that my wife could see. All she had to do was inch forward until the flag waved, and she could hit the ‘Door Close’ button. Never a problem with that but when we got rid of the truck and replaced it with a Focus wagon she bumped the steps many times…

          • My Grandpa bought a brand new 59 Olds 98 4 door hardtop. When he put in in the garage it was about 3 feet too long. Being the resourceful builder that he was he stacked up a bunch of old bricks, cut a hole in the back wall and framed in a extension that was just high enough to stick the nose of that behemoth into.
            Problem solved.

      • Yeah, one of my dad’s uncles converted the garage on their early postwar Cape Cod into a rec room when his late 50s cars would no longer fit – a fairly common situation back then.

        We had an alley garage with a kind of giant blind, that bulged out and over my mom’s ’68 Plymouth Sport Suburban, then when kids were using the otherwise open garage as a smoking (and worse) den, we put in an overhead door and used it for storage.

    • As a kid in Chicago, I remember a lot of garages being ‘remodeled’ to add a box-like addition that extended into the back yard. The nose of the car had to be driven into this add-on box so the car would fit. You could always tell when someone got a new car.

    • Tony, it could also be Philadelphia. Most of the postwar rowhomes built by both Orleans and Korman in Northeast Philly had alleys with rear aprons and basement garages like that.

  6. in front of the yellow International Harvester is a 1937-9 Plymouth. The common greenhouse across all Chrysler product lines has no side trim, characteristic of the Plymouth .

  7. The Chevy pu appears to be a 1954 or possibly a first series 1955. The flat top rails say at least 54. I’m not able to decern the emblem on the hood.

  8. The last photo, Chevy pickup, appears to be a ’54 or first series ’55. A little tough to be certain as the fellow is standing in the way of a couple details. The hubcaps look to be the ’54/’55 variation (and unpainted as previously mentioned). But of course, hubcaps often were changed by the truck’s owner, so are not a decisive detail.
    The pickup box has the flat top around the sides of it. This was a ’54 and later feature for Chevrolet and GMC. 1953 and earlier way back to about 1930 had tapered (or angled) tops on the sides (tailgate and front edge were round sheet metal stamping on the top).
    The man is standing in the way of seeing much of the windshield. A ’54 or first series ’55 would have a one-piece glass windshield, slightly curved. ’48 through ’53 Chevrolet and GMC trucks all had two flat pieces of glass for the windshield, mounted at an angle from one another. Other things that cannot be seen in this photo would be the dash panel and front grill which also were different for the ’54 and first series ’55 than the ’48/’53 were. The grill for the ’54 was what my dad always called the “bent knee” grill. Popular today with truck hobbyists, my dad never liked it.
    About mid model year ’55, the Chevrolet and GMC trucks moved on to the style that continued through ’56. “57 had a few minor detail and trim changes, ’58 and ’59 had more minor changes, the most obvious of which was the change to a “four-headlamp” system.
    W2

  9. The Chevy in the last photo is probably a 1st-series ’55 1/2-ton: has the embellished side-script on the hood. The WWW mud-grip tire is a neat touch ! Those “double bow-tie” hub-caps were ’54-’55-1st only, and are kind of rare these days, especially for the 3/4 & 1-ton trucks.

    The International is a D-series, ’37-’40. I’m struck by how much bearing grease is spattering out across the wheel from under the hub-caps on the RF and Spare tires… :O

  10. MY W.A.G. is: that the Chevy truck full of kids might be in the portion of the Antelope Valley , (Calif), not too far away from the L. A. County – Kern County Border where that dirt road would be somewhere between Del Sur and Neenach, across the Valley from Rosamond, looking West through Joshua Trees, toward the East side of the mountains of the Eastern side of the San Andreas Earthquake Fault (Pine Canyon), where *Lake Hughes, Munz Lakes, and Lake Elizabeth are) , part of which — there were GREAT inexpensive places for camping , fishing and swimming — within 30 to 40 miles West of this picture, a “piece of cake” trip for the truck, and *The famous Lake Hughes Trading Post (Store made of field stones ) and Campground, offered all necessary supplies for a weekend or extended stay, with a promise of catfish, bluegill, crappie, bass, steelheads, crawdads, regular croceries, gambling, outdoor dance-floor, 3 bars, coffee shop and a Cottonwood shaded campground. Something for everyone. Edwin Winet

  11. I am not much of a Ford guy but that 57 ragtop looks pretty snazzy to me! The IH guy looks like he pulled some easy duty that day. My uncle had a 58 Caddy in the late 60’s as a work/ fishin car, my cousin showed me a couple times it would still almost peg the speedometer. you wouldn’t believe how many tennagers we could pile in that big old boat. The lady in front of the Plymouth could have been my Mom or any one of my aunts back in the day, but that would had to been someone elses car- no mopars in my family. The girl in the drivers seat would have been described by Mom as a smart-elickly brat! My guess on the Chevy pickup would be the first series 55 going by the bed, hubcaps and trim details. As always, these pictures bring back so many good memories of growing up in the good old days!!

  12. I Believe the gentleman with the IH truck is Earl Baltes. Former owner of Eldora Speedway in Ohio. Looks like maybe taking a lunch break on race day.

  13. The photo of the 57 Ford is reversed left-to-right (notice the “Fairlane 500” badge on the rear fender is backwards). So Mom is in the passenger seat, the kid is standing in the driver’s seat and Dad is taking the picture.

  14. I look at that International D2 and think about the times when I was on a service call, or hauling machinery, I ate my lunch while sitting on the running board, or sitting just inside the open door and listening to the radio. That spare tire tread design was fairly popular back in the day. I saw lots of them when I was a kid–they called them ‘Groundgrips.’ When I got my ’47 Ford pickup back in the spring of ’67, it still had the weathered remains of the once popular Goodyear ‘Stud Type’ tread on the two front tires and the spare, the latter of which was probably original because it was a highly polished ‘ Racing Slick’ that had badly cracked sidewalls.

    I look at the ’54 Chevy pickup and recall all the days us boys rode in the bed of the truck out to the ranch and back. Before I turned 12, in the summertime, I seldom rode in the cab unless there were only two of us…

  15. Having read all of the comments about the picture of the ’57 Ford, given that the sun sets in the west, that puts the water to the east of the front of the car. Add in the height of the bridge in the background and I’m wondering if this isn’t somewhere near the tip of the lower peninsula of Michigan near Mackinaw?

  16. Just a guess about the location of the first pic. Based on the bridge and sand, it could be the south end of the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay. That would explain the calm water of Tampa Bay and the sand and top down.

  17. Kevin MC… Not Mackinac. The sand at the bridge is rocky. This sand looks more southern to me. I know where the good sand is in Michigan, but I’m not saying!

  18. Joel, good job on the ’57 Ford . I agree, the negative is reversed. First noticed
    the location of the antenna, then the Fairlane 500 script and the location of the
    Mom and boy, the only logical conclusion. As to the bridge, am sure it is not
    ‘Big Mac’ in Michigan. The suspension towers for ‘BM’ are more pronounced
    than on the other one. Have seen other pics of a bridge with what appears to
    be a very steep roadway elevation, but have forgotten where they said it was
    located. (Maybe its all in the angle of the photo). Thanks again for this Friday
    feature.

  19. Can’t imagine the side view mirror on the IHC would be of much use in that position. Where would the driver view it from? Can’t see it looking through the door window opening. And can’t see it through the windshield, either.
    Which leads me to the Chevy P.U. Seems the mirror is too low to do any good. Except…this photo has been reversed, too (like the Ford Fairlane pic)! How do we know? Look at the bowtie on the hub caps. The slant on the ends goes the wrong direction. No one else caught his? And the license plate reads J 54 6..

    • Hi Kurt, re: mirrors. I’ve had this discussion with old truck nuts before, mirrors back then were a luxury and rarely used. Traffic wasn’t what it is today, there was nobody behind you and generally, 2 lanes, so nobody next to you, and if you notice on most older semi trucks, maybe 1 small round mirror was all they had. I think as highways got busier, ( and wider) better mirrors were in order, and the “West Coast” mirror became the standard later on.

  20. The picture of the Chevy pickup is reversed. You can see the reversed “LET” on the left-most end of the tailgate. Also, the ’57 Fairlane is pimped out with door edge guards and exhaust extensions (the target market of J.C. Whitney).

  21. Yes, the Chevy pickup photo is reversed. Additional clues are that no steering wheel is visible through the rear corner window and the license plate holder is on the wrong side.

    • Nope, it was Gomer. Goober wore a hat like Jughead of the Archie comics. Although sometimes he had a mechanic’s (?) hat–fits tightly on the head with no brim or bill.

  22. I HAD ONE JUST LIKE THAT !!!!!!!!!!
    Ever heard that ??????????

    Right after High School i bought this exact 57. Remember it was in the winter and we were driving around with the top down. Snow – 12deg. AH the good old days.
    Then a Chrysler.
    Then a 57 FORD 2 dr hard top (green/white)

    Have a 57 T-Bird right now.
    Guess i like 57 FORDs

  23. I bought a new ’57 Ford Convert. like the one pictured in October 1957. Mine was ‘Dresden Blue’ on the bottom and ‘Colonial White’ on the trunk and hood areas. Canvas top was a dark Blue. Very beautiful but a real ‘DOG’ having to have it in the repair shop continually. They used to say never buy a car built on a Monday or Friday unless you want a Lemon !

  24. The IH pickup is a D-2 or D 3 a rather deluxe one at that with Chrome headlights and cowl lights also a rh windshield wiper probably a 39 because it does not have the little lights on the top of the front fenders but looks like the headlights are sealed beam units. the splatters on the wheels puzzles me because the same marks are on the spare. Picture was taken in 1945 or later because IH did not adopt the emblem painted on the door until appoximatly may of 45

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