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Five Fun 1950s, and 1960s Friday Kodachrome Car Images

Number fifty-nine of the “Kodachrome Image Series” begins with a hotel and beach view containing very colorful cabanas. The newest car to be seen in the photo appears to be a 1941 or ’42 model which could date the photograph to that time or possibly to the World War II period or shortly after it. Tell us what you find interesting in the scene or if you know the location of where this image was taken.

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.

1950s Jaguar Coupe and Harley Davidson

  • This young man liked high performance in both his two and four wheeled vehicles. The Harley-Davidson is fully dressed and the Jaguar coupe is fitted with wide whitewalls.

Early-1950s New Orleans Street Scene

  • A busy intersection in New Orleans with plenty of plain Jane American iron in the street view.

1950s Ford and Plymouth

  • The Plymouth wagon looks dated compared to the more modern Ford hardtop behind it. 
  • .
  • Jerry must have been proud of the Jeep pickup truck he used for plowing snow and as a service truck.

1950-1960s Jeep Pickup Truck


36 responses to “Five Fun 1950s, and 1960s Friday Kodachrome Car Images

  1. OK, the 1st could be anywhere, but I’m leaning towards Fla. Looks like the Atlantic. I like the ’38 Ford stake truck ( there’s one nearby me like that, I’d love to check out) and what may be an International(?) dump truck with a load of,,,,sand? Who would order a load of sand at the beach? I’d think a stiff ocean breeze would set those little huts flying. 2nd pic, some guys had all the luck. Looks like somebody’s dad struck it rich after the war. Love the Jag. The bike is a panhead. Hey, if my old man was successful ( which he wasn’t) I’d have done the same thing. 3rd, looks like the “cabbie” in the Plymouth (or Dodge) is jumping the gun ( or it’s time to hit the brake shop). 4th, looks like a ’52 Plymouth with 1956 Oregon plates. Making the wife cut the grass with a , gasp, PUSH MOWER? You know, I remember, as a kid, gas powered lawnmowers were not the norm, and everybody had a push mower. Matter of fact, my ex-FIL, still used one well into the ’80’s. Probably still has it in his garage. And the last one, my favorite. The Jeep has to be a ’61 or newer. I think they had that side treatment starting in ’61. And 1 piece windshield too. Not sure where this is, some northern climate. Maybe Wis. Can’t see the plate well, and every town had a “Jerry’s Service” I’m sure. These trucks did it all. Every station had one. This one appears to have an electric lift plow ( none of that hand hydraulic jacks for Jerry), the “BL” prefix. Maybe someone can ID it from that, the old tractor tire front bumper, for pushing, the .27/.31 cent gas, the “Piggly Wiggly” across the street ( now I’m thinking Ill. or Wis., PW was huge here) and looks like a Rambler wagon coming out of the parking lot. The leftover pile of dirty snow by the sign, got to be Ill. Great stuff. THX again.

    • Could only be SoBe Miami- coconut palms/same art deco hotels- looks a little different today. No cabana concessiones. Same sky and water.

      • I think it may be Fort Lauderdale – I have some Kodachromes my dad took there on Spring Break in 1953, and the buildings and the cabanas look very similar.

  2. My first car, a 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe, behind the lamp post at the New Orleans intersection. Mine was battleship grey, cost me $200 saved from paper route money. Boy do I remember mowing with those non powered push mowers in the next photo – made for quieter Saturday mornings in the neighborhood though than we have today.

  3. When I was a kid in the early 60’s we had a 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan like the one in photo #4 and I remember my dad always shaked the car with his right foot on the rear bumper when the gas station guy filled up the car in order to lower the gas and fill up completely the car’s tank because the pump’s nozzle always disengaged when the gas tank was about 2/3 full. If the car was not shaked, the level of gas showed like the tank was full but in reality just at 2/3 full. Is this case was something particular to these cars in general or it was just particular to our car?

  4. 1st pic car at left is a 1938 Lincoln Zephyr. You can see it’s central mounted instruments through the window.
    3rd pic car at right is a 1953 Oldsmobile

    • The nose of a ’53 Plymouth can be seen right behind the Olds. Also, ’53 Plymouth taxi hogging the intersection. Cabbie looks anxious to go even though the light is green the other direction.

  5. The car in the foreground of the first photo is a 1938 Lincoln Zephyr. Very cool photos. Thanks for posting them.

    • It’s a ’39 Zephyr and maybe the hood ornament of the car in front and closest is a ’42 DeSoto… the 5th car down, a ’41 Olds or that’s the hood ornament on it.. so I do think it’s pre WW2…I still think it’s South Beach Miami, because even in the mid 50s when I was in Ft Lauderdale and Miami a lot as a college student, it (Ft. L) was not that built up on the beach like Miami was, anyway it’s definitly Florida , lower east coast… coconut palms and the Gulf Stream.

      • Iwould say the first picture is Hollywood fi north of miami. I lived there and looks just like it with the bordwalk so close to the beach .A nd the buildings sure look the same

  6. I believe it to be Miami FL shortly after the war started due to the lol of extravagance still… the fifth one in, black and Pontiac?

  7. I think that the yellow car at the back of the lawnmower picture is a 1953 Mercury. The angle of the taillights was quite distinctive.

  8. 4th pic: behind the hedge, a 1952 or 1953 Mercury sedan, I think. At that time, much more modern and sleek looking cars than contemporary cars from GM or Mopar. It doesn’t look outdated compared to the 1956 Ford. Yet it was still moved by the famous flathead V8, which started in… 1932!

  9. Thanks for the motorbike picture. Early fifties vintage, (I need a bigger monitor!) The windshield is peaked, two mirrors, big bertha style bags, and front and rear engine guards. What’s not to like?

  10. Miami Beach before the war.
    New Orleans 1954 or so– ’47 Chevrolet coming at us four cars back. ’54 Plymouth Savoy cab just entering the intersection on the cross street and the grill of another just coming into the picture at the right.
    A ’46 or ’47Packard Clipper is between the ’49 Plymouth Special Deluxe and the trolley bus.
    Mowing grass – we used those reel lawn mowers to cut grass in the cities . Ours had a grass catcher that hung from a hook on the handle.
    The station wagon is a ’51 Plymouth Suburban. Those all steel body Suburbans introduced with the new ’49 models were a big seller. The Ford is a ’56 Fairlane Club Victoria- likely new.
    Looks like a yellow ’52-’53 Mercury sedan with a black top parked on the left.

  11. I’ll bet our young man was a returning Vet that was stationed in Europe. He saved his service pay and set himself up with a Harley and a XK120. Nice!

    • I “almost” had a restored XK140 Fixed Head Coupe years ago but my wife said we couldn’t afford it….bummer.

  12. I’ll agree with the first pic being South Beach. I think the first building you can see in full is today known as the Colony Hotel. What’s amazing to me is the women in the photo, with hats and dresses at the beach. The lady on the bench seems to be wearing heels! Not such a good idea in the sand. I’m also thinking it might be winter, considering all the wind umbrellas (?).

    Our young lady with the mower might try running more toward the curb and get those tall weeds.

    These pics are always a delight. Thanks, yet again!

  13. Im guessing that the New Orleans photo is of Canal street.In N.O. traffic islands down the middle of broad streets are called Neutral Grounds.Can anyone tell why?

  14. I agree with others that the first picture is the South/East coast of Florida, and probably Miami Beach.

    The motorcycle in the second pic is a Harley-Davidson. The tank emblem is the only obvious clue and that emblem covers 1951-1953. I can see the hand shift lever on the left side and even though foot shift was introduced in 1952, the hand shift feature was still common because so many riders were used to it from years of riding. The color is hard to pin down but I think it is Persian Red which was offered in ’51-’52. I’m going to take the safe bet and say it is a 1952 Harley-Davidson. I love it when you have a motorcycle in a picture !

    • That would fit w/ the ’52 Jag 120 sports coupe… those knock off wire wheels were a considerable up grade… even if he were a returning vet who’d saved his wages there were only a few importers- Hoffman, NYC- of cars like so and they were not cheap… that set of “rides”- the major sports car , the very well fitted motor cycle and the suburb, up east somewhere he obviously lived in would have put him in a more than modest income bracket … a lucky man enjoying a very good life… I wonder what his wife drove? At the very least, a Buick Super Estate… he certainly didn’t mind living up to his means!!! Ah, David … every foto has a story. Many thanks

  15. Yup! Definitely Canal Street looking towards the Mississippi River and I agree with the South Beach location. Thanks for these photos! Born in 1950 and they bring back wonderful memories of a different time in our culture. Today belongs to the youngin’s, these pics belong to us!!!

  16. In most cities this is called the “median-” You know, that little strip of ground in the middle of a road. Legend has it that the neutral ground got its name from early New Orleans when the French and Spanish could do business between sections of the city standing on the “neutral ground.”

    • In Florida, the developers and the public agencies (City, County, State) often call them “Esplanades” and load them up with Palms , flowering trees, landscaping, benches, even fountains. Typically these, be they heavily trafficed or not, are called Boulevards, Drives , Ways, even then , tho they are residential ,they maybe parts of the Federal, State or County road systems, however, when you get back to heavily commercial or industrial areas they become “Medians” again. In Florida even the Enterstates between the lanes of travelers/traffic will receive “Enhancements”, particularly if they are approaching a metro area or an attractive view.

  17. Oh,hell.I just noticed that the “bus” in the N.Orleans photo is actually a street car with rubber tires.You can just make out the whip that rode the overhead wire.Flxble made some of those vehicles.You see them in S.Frisco too.

  18. I might be wrong, but that beach scene looks like Fort Lauderdale either just prior to WWII or just after. Of course, it might be South Beach as someone has previously suggested.

  19. I’m almost certain that it is Ft. Lauderdale–during the tourist season, because of all the traffic. During the off-season the town was very quiet and there would not have been many cars at the beach. I grew up there–starting in 1946. Back then the beach road (highway A1A) was only two lanes and cars could park right on the beachfront, as in this picture. Today, the road is widened and there is no parking allowed (they needed the room for the road). The sand consisted of ground-up sea shells. You could see that plainly–the tiny pieces of shells. A golden tan color, very clean. Years later, it had turned gray because of all the road dust that was mixing in. Seaweed was frequently washed up on the beach and tractors would roam up and down the beach, towing devices that picked it up. Now there’s a low wall that runs between the road and the beach. I’m thinking the reason is to keep the road dust away. Only thing is, I don’t remember everything being so close to the ocean–but then it might be high tide. The only part of Miami it could be is South Beach, but the ocean is much farther back from the road. Elsewhere in Miami the hotels are directly on the beach with no road between them and the water.

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