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Four Fun Friday 1930s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s Kodachrome Car Images

Number sixty-five of the “Kodachrome Image Series” begins this week with a colorful vintage sixties image that was posted to trick your mind and help you cool down in this summer’s heat. New England, where “The Old Motor” is located is in the middle of a heat wave this week, but not as hot as some of the other parts of the country. The lead photo is reported to have been taken in Glacier National Park in Montana – so let this image cool you down and tell us more about it.

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.

Early-1950s Buick Two Door Hardtop

  • This pastel blue early-fifties Buick hardtop with the grill to beat all grills is in perfect color contrast to the mother’s dress and child’s cowboy shirt. Could this be a new to us used car moment?

Late Forties Chrysler Town and Country

  • One of the very attractive and popular Chrysler Corporations top-of-the line convertibles.

Below is a photograph sent in by reader Earl Jamgochian showing family members and a late thirties sedan he would like to have identified. The photo was taken between 1939-1940, and his dad (standing, with hat) was either about to graduate from high school, or already had. His grandparents were taking him and his siblings to visit UC Berkeley. He ended up enrolling in UCLA since it was closer to home and after the war, he finished college at USC also in Los Angeles. He suspects the location the photo was taken at may be Pismo Beach. Help Earl by identifying which GM Division built this car and also its the year and model.

Mystery Late-1930s GM Sedan


26 responses to “Four Fun Friday 1930s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s Kodachrome Car Images

  1. 2nd picture for me. Smacks of all that’s important…pretty mom, a cowboy and a Buick. Just about right. Thanks.

  2. 1st pic, what a lousy day for a ride in our new 1960 Chevy. Did Chevy still have vacuum wipers at that time? Could be a little dangerous in the mountains. 2nd pic, “but mom, that cowboy suit doesn’t fit me anymore”. Man, that 1950 Buick front end sure makes a statement. It’s hideous. I love it! 3rd pic, one fancy Chrysler ( with a dent in the running board) Girl across the street (in what appears to be saddle shoes) thinks this picture is about her. Last pic, I’m guessing mid 30’s Chevy.

    • Hi Howard. The 60 full size Chevy’s had electric wipers.
      The 59 brochure doesn’t say if the wipers were electric or not, other sources say 60 was the changeover year for GM.
      I think some states (California? ) didn’t allow electric wipers until 59 or so. A lot of changes around then, such as allowing quad headlights.
      I like the old motor site much better than Hemmings. I’ve followed it for a while but never commented here. Hemmings has gotten too sarcastic for me.

      • Hi guys. That’s definitely the Going to the Sun Highway (sometimes referred to as Logan Pass). That’s just due west of my home forty. It’s a great tour; you just don’t want to get in much of a hurry. I might add that it usually doesn’t open up till the first part of June and is pretty much snowed in by October…

  3. 3rd pic: these Town and Country Chryslers were built from 1946 through early 1949, so if the 1954 Pontiac in the background is brand new, it would be at least 5 to 6 years old, still looking pristine.

    • The scene could be out of many late Forties musicals or comedies. Peter Lawford may be getting ready to drive away with the blonde in the Town and Country…

  4. If that is Glacier National Park that would be Going to the Sun Road. On a Family vacation there in 1967 the family truckster – a 1960 Ford Country Squire- broke down near the top! It was great fun for us kids. We explored a nearby stream and cavorted around the rocks. Dad wasn’t too pleased. Eventually help arrived- it needed a new distributor cap and coil. Made it back to Minnesota just fine.

  5. The last picture, on the beach, looks like it could be a ’37 Oldsmobile six touring?

    I really do enjoy these Friday posting!!!!

    • Thanks, David, for running the photo, and Russell for identifying the vehicle. My grandfather and his brothers were “GM men”, so the Olds fits with family tradition, at least within my memory.

    • It’s definitely the 1937 Oldsmobile Four-Door Touring Sedan. The other four-door model, with the six-cylinder engine, did not have the trunk as shown here. It was Olds model number 373619, cost $920, weighed 3,295 pounds, and 59,794 made plus another 3,139 were exported. It was Olds’ most popular model in 1937.

      You can see a brochure at the link below (replace the “dot” with a period).

      oldcarbrochures dot org/NA/Oldsmobile/1937-Oldsmobile/1937-oldsmobile-Six-Brochure

  6. Hard to tell what model that ’60 Chevy is. From the emblem in the center of the grille, it looks like it was equipped with the 283 cu in V8, probably mated to a 2-speed Powerglide automatic. As a former owner of a ’60 Impala convertible, I’d say (in answer to Howard’s question) that the ’60 Chevys had electric wipers.

    • Sorry, Bill, but Buick had no six-cylinders. It would have had the smaller of the straight eights (The Roadmaster had a bigger eight). That grille, as some have noted before, only lasted that one year. It was supposed to be cheaper, as the vertical bars could be replaced individually, but it didn’t last.

      The first photo just looks to me like a place I would not want to be on a day like that. To me, the ’60 Chevy had one of the flimsiest grilles I have ever seen. The Chrysler Town and Country shows in this photo why it was so desirable.

      My first thought on the old car was Olds, but without sufficient info to know for sure.

    • Buicks in this era were, of course, all eights. The 1950 Super was the first to have Buick’s 263 straight eight, a redesigned and slightly over bored version of the their long running 248.

  7. The chrome strips on the side of the bonnet / hood, look more like a 1937 Oldsmobile . Buick have a much wider and more elaborate design.

  8. The picture of the Chrysler T&C convertible is simply stunning. Amazing to think that a car like that, nowadays valued in 6 figures and only seen at shows and museums with “Do Not Touch” signs, were back then simply used cars that a young person or newlywed couple could afford. Fabulous picture.

  9. I think you’re right about that ’50 Buick Super being a used car – the house behind it is a little small for a new Buick Super (with Dynaflow, no less) buyer. The houses also appear close together, so I wonder if Dad commutes by train or bus?

    I’m really intrigued by the Chrysler T&C shot. Seems like a well-off neighborhood, judging by the house and large lot across the street, but where is it? The curb lanes appear to be unpaved, and it looks like there are train tracks in the near side. The style of house suggests the Eastern half of the country, but where?

  10. Defiantly a 37 olds f series it had the inline six the l series had the 8 cylinder
    It added 10 hp. The back of the headlight nacelle which you could see in the pic is pointy the l series had sort of a vertical knife edge treatment to the nacelle back
    I couldn’t tell if the tail lights were on little stems way up around the belt line just in front of the trunk , that was a styling feature of the Oldsmobiles if not there may be a different GM like a Plymouth
    They were all reLly similar appearing around that time from the back with the styling clues on the hood or front grill treatment ,like chief pontiacs silver streak , or the Plymouth boats And buicks portholes

  11. This fascinating feature just shows how important it is to photograph what may seem a mundane street scene in your town. A now deceased relation of my wife’s photographed the shop window displays of his hometown in East Anglia, UK, over many years. On his death his widow presented the collection to the local museum. The curator was delighted to have an archive which so graphically told the story of shopping in the locality.

  12. Ugh, don’t remind me of vacuum wipers! Their faults were readily apparent when passing a big rig in a pouring rain. Just when I hit second in my 59 Ford to pass the massive wake, the wipers would take their own sweet time to swipe again! Surprised survived a few of those, but I guess living in California helped…LOL

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