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Seven Fun Fifties and Sixties Friday Kodachrome Images

It is Friday once again, and number fifty of the Kodachrome Image Series. Today for a change of pace along with the fact that spring-like weather has arrived for all in the Northern part of the country leads us to this post. This is the time of the year when summer camping trips are planned and some campers start to get out on the road, so we have included cars and trucks with travel trailers in tow for this post.

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 seen in the photos. This week tell us what you may know about the trailers pictured here and where the scenic photos were taken. You can look back on all the earlier parts of this series here. The photos are via Americar.

Circa 1960 Car and Travel Trailers

  • A coincidence or three families traveling together, who stopped to fuel up thirsty tow vehicles?

1960s Airstream and Avion Meeting

  • Two different brands of high-end units are seen in what appears to be a trailer association gathering. 

Early-1950s Chevrolet Truck and Travel Trailer

  • Pulling large and heavy trailers has always been handled well by heavy duty pickup trucks.

50s and 60s Cadillac and Camp Trailer

  • This dirty Cadillac at a Mobil service station is pulling a high quality, well-equipped trailer.

Early-1960s Dodge and Camp Trailer

  • A more reasonably priced option is a base level station wagon pulling a smaller trailer.
  • .
  • Once again a truck-based and popular tow vehicle of the time. This couple might have been on an early springtime trip, through a little snow.

1960s International and Trailer

27 responses to “Seven Fun Fifties and Sixties Friday Kodachrome Images

  1. Such great stuff! Thanks! In the last pic of the (61?) IH Travelall, noticed the cardboard in front of the radiator. Used to see a lot of that in northern areas. I had an 88 Olds Cutlass Ciera 4 cyl. Could NOT get good heat unless I put cardboard in front. Several Oldsmobile technicians told me that there was no fix – “They’re all like that”. Years later the water pump went. The new one came with a housing that was noticeably different and directed the coolant differently. Guess what? Great heat! Anyway, wonder if that couple were on their way to Florida?

  2. 7 great photos… thanks!

    The first is a 53 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special. The scoop below the c-pillar shows that it has the trunk-mounted a/c system. The second photo shows a ’58 Olds Fiesta wagon & a beautiful ’60 Chrysler New Yorker 4-door.

  3. I like picture 5 with two great 50’s Cadillacs getting gas at the same time. What are the odds? The ’59 (a convertible!) looks a bit worn so perhaps these are each used cars. They are likely filling up with premium at 25 cents a gallon which is a good thing for these land yachts. It’s a fine period piece with things that are no longer common sights: futuristic island lights, the tire stand, non-electronic pumps, an oil can stand–and an oil can with a spout. When did you last use one? Finally there is a Howard Johnson visible just beyond the hill. Motoring at its best!

    • Hi PMD, I forgot all about that “oil can” era. I was after the “glass bottle” oil container, but remember full well, the cardboard container quarts. It took a knack to pierce the top of them with the spout. Incorrectly, and you’d crunch the can, and the ensuing mess that followed.

  4. I’ll take that ’59 Caddy cone, thank you very much!

    Came across one of those oil can spouts when I was cleaning out my garage last fall!

  5. I grew up in a town close to a state park, and there wasn’t hardly a summer day that went by, when some tourist from the big city, wearing bermuda shorts and a camera would come through town pulling a huge airstream trailer with a 3/4 ton car like a Cadillac el Dorado. Those things had monster 500 cu. in. engines and would probably pull a plow.

  6. This one hits a nerve. We did a lot of camping when I was a kid. 1st pic, while I don’t know all the Cadillac models, I believe it’s a ’53, and I never saw those hubcaps before. I think it has A/C with those vents on the rear fender. And must have had a flat tire, no fender skirt. 2nd, ah, the fuel stop. We finally can get out and get a candy bar. Mom doesn’t look too happy with “folded arms”. We used to travel together with my parents friends, who had campers like this. GMC pickup looks pretty new, with the “tough as nails” (yet thirsty) V-6. 3rd, clearly a “doin’s” going on. We weren’t allowed in this group with our lowly Winnebago or Shasta. Oh yeah, there were boundries back then, and these people generally stuck together in their own corner of the campground. Fact is, you’d never see them in “3 W’s” or less places where we would go. ( Woodall’s rating system) IDK, the 4th pic, that is still an in-line 6, and appears to be quite a load for that. I’m sure it was a slow ride, but what was the hurry? Truck looks like a ’54. Next, ahhh, another fuel stop. I don’t remember too many Cadillac’s where we went ( remember, 3 “W’s” or less)( “5 W’s” had a pool and luxury accommodations, “1 W” was behind a gas station) Had to “swing ‘er wide” with a trailer on. Remember when gas hoses were long enough to reach that far? Good catch, PMD, the Ho-Jo in the background. Stopped at those many times, Stuckey’s too. The ’63 Dodge sorely needs the “equilizer hitch”, with those chains or metal bars. The old man had those. And the last one, “Adios Ohio winter, we’re headed for Florida”. 1961 Travelall, and a 1964 plate, so it’s not brand new, but we did the same thing. Every Christmas break, we’d go to Florida. There were so many camper maker’s then, it’s hard to id them all, but one thing for sure, America was on the move, and our family was right there. Thx for the “bonus” pics.

    • foto 3 appears to be members of Wally Byams (Airstram’s founder) Caravan Club… they were an “exclusive” group, Airstream owners …and would go on excursions and grand tours in groups of sometimes 100 plus units off to Mexico and Central America or around Africa, or here in the states and Canada, all the National Parks, abroad as well… Airstream’s ads in the National Geographic would picture an Airstream, pulled by a new Buick Estate Wagon in Rome by the Coloseeum, if not Eygpt at the Great Pyramid of Giza, or a colonial town square in Peru…. the impression was these people did NOT have budgets. The lead foto w/ the ’53 Fleetwood pulling the “Silver Bullet”would not have been “putting on the dog”… “roughing it” w/o the fender skirts stowed in the trunk w/ the Air Conditioner. I remember here on the west coast of Florida seeing a silver chain miles long heading north on I 75 south of Tampa Bay in the ’80’s… my wife lost count while calming our excited children, it was a really awesome sight. It seemed all the auto manufacturers offered “Trailer Towing Packages” form the ’50s on.
      Howard, those “Adios, Ohio Winters” that prompt Ohiowans to head for Florida… Y’all are still welcome, come on down!!!

  7. I guess that’s a Howard Johnsons in the background in the 2 Cadillacs photo.
    Mankind will never forgive them for going out of the restaurant business.
    Except for Route 22 in northern New Jersey.They liked their greasy spoon diners too much.

    • When I was a small boy my family lived in New Jersey for a time. Going to Howard Johnson’s for Sunday lunches a rare and wonderful treat – white table linens, nice atmosphere, and a conversation was actually possible. And they served a mean Roy Rogers!

  8. The blue pickup with the blue trailer appears to be a 3/4-ton First Series ’55 Chevrolet with a 235 cu in I6 and therefore with a 4.55 rear end. Top speed was probably about 45 mph and cruising speed was around 35 mph.

    • Wondering if the trailer may be a “home away from home” on a remote construction site . The p/u appears to be a work truck with the tool boxes and such.

  9. Cadillacs were very popular tow vehicles as well as a base for heavy ambulances. Tow vehicle buyers started to switch over to Suburbans, pickups and station wagons as they became more comfortable and powerful in the sixties. Cadillacs in the years pictured were essentially built on a 3/4 ton truck chassis, had a long wheelbase, large brakes, a powerful engine and a well earned reputation for reliability. And there were about 1600 Cadillac dealers back then so service was available if needed. Also popular were homemade hybrids consisting of a used fifties Cadillac car with its back body half removed and replaced with a pickup camper module.

  10. The ’58 Cadillac is pulling the “Cadillac” of travel trailers, a Boles-Aero. Quite a history. I believe that the founders of the Silver Streak, who originally worked for Airstream, couldn’t agree on structural design, which led to the development of the Boles-Aero. Correct me, please, if I’m not right on this.

  11. The large gathering of trailers in photo No. 3 upon closer examination shows what looks like a few “Avion” owners were part of the group! Look at row on the left with lines in roofs.

  12. On the “missing fender skirt”: An observation: Around town, fender skirts are “dressy” Now, fast forward to “ON A TRIP, with a large “House” Trailer, — (which puts lots of strain on rear tires!) A flat tire, — or worse yet, a blow-out occurs — out there in nature’s yesterday storm away from pavement, that caused caked mud packed onto the inner fender and the elegant “fender skirt” that NOW must be removed to swap to the spare tire: Problem is: dried-on adobe mud does NOT surrender without a fight!!!—and THAT’S JUST THE FENDER SKIRT!!! (YOU CAN bet YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR THAT THE FENDER-SKIRT WILL BE LEFT AT HOME, for a NO repeat MUD-BOG experience that you never asked for, — nor wanted. So: Leave your wheel covers and fender skirts at home —as they “interfere with combat” with a dead tire — out in the middle of (NO CELL PHONE!!!) what nature might use, — to test your “Trailering Skills” to the maximum!!! General Motors Cadillac Division will forgive you!!! If you have ever experienced packed adobe mud, fenderskirts & wheel covers — you will understand WHY you see this in the above picture: A fenderskirt-less
    experienced “Road Warrior of old” —WANTED the Cadillac & Trailer to perform as faultlessly as possible. Edwin W.

  13. We used to pull a teardrop compact trailer with a ’48 Chevy, but by the time all of the kids arrived (6 of us) by 1956, we opted out of the trailer pull with our ’56 I6. On the way to relatives starting in Texas and up to Indiana, we just parked at roadside parks or stops and everyone slept in the car, me on the package shelf many times, my sisters on the floor with the tranny tunnel being taken care of by pillows in the footwells. Dad, bless his heart, parked on a park bench with just a blanket or two and a pillow of his company baseball jacket. Being the only ‘real’ driver for a few thousand miles, guffaw, I am pretty sure my dad was the toughest dad out there, not requiring any stinkin’ trailers….LOL. As an aside, he ran a gas station for a few years after the war and we had a number of those oil bottles hanging around in the garage. However, I became adapt at using the punch and pour spouts, ensuring a pungent thumb for the amusement of my girl friends at times!

  14. The Travelall photo reminds me of a dentist friend of ours who retired in 1973, outfitted a travel trailer pulled with a new Travelall. They leased out their San Antonio home and headed West for what they thought would be decades of life on the road. The gas crisis of 1974 hit and they scurried back to San Antonio because gasoline was too expensive. They never camped again but the Travelall served them for a long time. I have no idea what happened to the trailer but it was a box shape and REALLY nice. Great series of photos, brings back fond memories!

  15. It was Route 29 back then in New Jersey, before it was renamed Route 22 and the diners are still there greasy as ever.
    Art Lloyd

  16. In pick 5, just wondering where they stored the picnic table.(lol)
    In pic 2, looks like a 62 Galaxie poking it’s nose out. I had a 2 dr club sedan that I transplanted a 428 CJ with a 4 spd, 4;11 posi into. Lots of fun, especially if you consider 4 wheel drum brakes and manual steering.
    Great site, great variety. Thanks David

  17. Late to the party, but loving the first photo. Looks to be a 1954 Airstream Flying Cloud being pulled by that Caddy, and it’s not quite like others from the factory at that time. The dual furnaces indicate this could’ve been a ‘Custom’ unit, which would have its own tag stating as such, and a 20% price hike. There were also ‘International’ versions of many trailers, specifically designed for the aforementioned caravans across Europe, Central and South America, and of course the famed six-month trek from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt.

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