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

Number sixty-two of the “Kodachrome Image Series” begins again this week with another Oldsmobile, this time, an earlier model. This car, in fact, became quite famous because it was chosen to introduce the automakers new high-performance OHV V-8, and was also a big winner on the NASCAR racing circuit for several years. Tell us all you can about this convertible version of the car in the lead photo.

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 Cars-The San Fernando Freeway

  • This location is reported to be right next to the new San Fernando Freeway in Southern California, and dates to the early-1960s. Included in it is a Ford hot rod and a Chevrolet Corvette.

Littleton NH Early-1960s Street with Cars

  • This circa 1960 Littleton, New Hampshire street scene shows the center of the small town near the White Mountains in the Northern part of the state filled with cars.

1950s Mercury Hardtop

  • This photograph of a Mercury two-door hardtop appears to be a Ford Motor Company promotional image.
  • .
  • This roadside pull over scene, taken circa 1960 in the Black Hills area of South Dakota has its own a four-legged welcoming committee.

Early-1960s Cars-Parking Lot Scene


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

  1. I like how the hub caps on the Ford match the top color. I miss 2-tone cars. Still with panoramic roofs I guess it’s almost the same as long as you don’t get a black car.

  2. In the Littleton New Hapshire street scene, looks like a 1949 Ford sedan behind the red Chevrolet. The freeway photo the hot rod Ford is also a shoebox 1949 model. Great series and photos as usual. “Mamma don’t take my kodachrome away……”


  3. 2nd pic: I really dig the big finned Plymouths of the late fifties, even they were crappy assembled cars. There’s a 1959 and a 1960 model (right behind the hot-rod shoe box). Before the Ford truck we see a 1956 Mercury.
    3rd shows 1955 and 1958 Chevy’s at the right, last pic shows also 1955 and 1958 Chevy’s at the left.

  4. 1st pic: notice how the drivers’ head sticks out well above the windshield! That must be a real tall fellow…

    • Common pose for promo photos of convertibles. Often sitting on a couple phone books to raise the visibility of the driver for the shot. Would not look “right” to only see the driver’s head above the vehicle’s beltline.

      • sorry, but the guy does not look like ‘promo’ material. Just tall IMHO, kind of evidenced by the visor being in the upper position.

  5. HIKF! – Hooray, It’s Kodachrome Friday!

    My two cents, please:

    1) That’s a swell-looking Futuramic Oldsmobile. I agree with an earlier poster. My first impression was that the driver must be an awfully tall fellow, to be looking over the windshield header on a car as large as the Olds.

    2) I can’t make out the car between the 59 Fury and the 56 Fairlane. It appears to be too slab-sided for the era, and much smaller than either of the other cars. Any ideas? The 49-50 Ford is very high in the rear end. Short stopping? Perhaps a moonshine runner? Also, it’s nice to see the Corvette peeking in.

    3) In the NH town, it appears the car behind the 56 Plymouth is also parked nose-in. Could the parking have changed behind the Olds wagon?

    4) Agreed that it’s a FoMoCo publicity photo. Too well-staged. However, I sure don’t remember that shade of orange. (I do like the matching wheels) And, it almost looks like a vinyl top. I sure don’t remember any Montereys (other than the 1950) with a vinyl top.

    5) It would be interesting to know just where the last photo is located. There are several cars parked, indicating there is some kind of attraction. Those animals must be very tame. Notice there’s no outside mirror on the 1960 (Finest Fords of a Lifetime!) Ford.

    And, thanks so much for what you do.

    • I think that’s a 61 Ford between the 59 Plymouth and the 56 Ford. The glare in front makes it appear to have stacked headlights but I think it’s an illusion.

    • 2) My best guess is a top-line 1961 Ford Galaxie or a similar Mercury, because of the specific roof. It’s the newest car in this picture, for sure.

    • 2) Looks like a 1961 Ford Galaxie. Clues are the parking light in the bumper, the character line running back from the bottom edge of the hood, the rounded shape of the front fender running back from the rounded rim of the outer headlamp and ending at the wheel opening, and the little fin running along the top of the rear fender.

  6. The shoebox ford with the whitewalls is raked (lowered in the front), which was referred to on the East coast as a California rake. Not to be confused with the rear being jacked with air shocks, for fat tire clearance, in the muscle car era.
    However that shoebox Ford in not a hot rod. Hot Rods are built from a wide variety of makes, models, and styles, with one thing in common. Hot Rods are all pre ’49 cars.

    • During the time that the picture was taken enthusiasts argued about lots of things but not about whether the cutoff for a “real” “hot rod” was pre 1949. (Ford or Chevy, who makes the best 3/4 race cam, what’s the fastest 1/4 mile time possible according to science, Quaker State or Pennzoil)

  7. I once had a ’49 Olds club coupe rather than convertible, but it was a fast car for its day.
    The truck in the second photo appears to me to be a GMC, with a ’59 Plymouth behind it. The next car, after close look, seems to be a ’61 Ford. I see the shoebox Ford, with a white ’60 Plymouth in the other lane, a two-tone Pontiac vintage 49-52 and a mid to late ’50s Corvette partly obstructed by the parked truck.
    In the Littleton, NH photo, I’m going to go with the Dodge wagon as a ’55, with a ’59 Olds behind it, although I concede it could be a Pontiac. The red ’55 Chevrolet coming at you has a light green ’58 headed the other way.
    In the next photo, I see a ’58 Chevy left of the ’60 Ford, with a ’55 Chevy behind that and what appears to be a ’61 Chevy in the distance on the road.

  8. 1st pic, this guy served our country, came back ( luckily) and bought a brand new ’49 (50?) Olds convertible. He earned it! 2nd pic, that’s a ’55 Chevy pickup. Looks like it has a snow tire on the left front. The ’61 Ford looks pretty new. I agree on the parking in the 3rd shot. What is it, angle or parallel? I had a blue ’58 Chevy Delray 4 door like that. Clearly, the Mercury is a promo. At 1st, I thought the roof was rusted. Womens clothing color coded. The 1960 Ford was a popular model. Appears to have a kink in the front bumper ( after all, in 1960, that’s what bumpers were for, bumping things) Great photo’s, thanks again.

  9. The last photo was probably taken in Custer State Park in southwestern South Dakota. The format of the license plate also indicates a likely date of 1960. An undated USA Today article partly stated the following.

    “The Custer State Park burros are feral. They were introduced into the area by humans and have reverted to a wild or semi-wild state. Specifically, the park’s donkey squad descends from pack animals once used for treks to the Harney Peak summit. Now naturalized, they often pander for food from park tourists in places like the Wildlife Loop Road, sometimes causing traffic jams. Such is their boldness that they are often referred to as the ‘begging burros.'”

  10. The 1949 Oldsmobile 88 Futuramic came with a 303 c.i. V8 that took the top spot in six of the nine NASCAR late-model division races in 1949. It produced 135 HP and 263 Ft-Lbs of torque. The bore was 3.8 in and the stroke 3.4 in. Fuel was fed to the engine through a two barrel downdraft carburetor. The car featured an ignition key and a starter push-button . A total of 5,434 convertible models were made.

  11. Uh, no need to air shock that Ford. It probably only had the rake done in front with the shackles reversed on the rear leaf springs, a common trick in California at least.

  12. Har!
    The donkeys at the national park photo reminds me of all those home movies from the 50s of tourists feeding beer to the bears at Yellowstone

  13. The road by the “San Fernando Freeway” is still there. It’s called “The Old Road” and it winds beneath what is now Interstate 5 as it splits with Interstate 405 .

    • I lived nearby, and it was (then) the junction of Highway 99, and CA Route 6.

      I totally remember this construction, which was somewhat complicated by the Southern Pacific main line running through the same narrow pass.

      Was hoping to see my parents ’57 Olds Fiesta wagon in that photo, as we used that interchange quite a bit.

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