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Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

Number seventy of the “Kodachrome Image Series” begins this week with a colorful early fifties image of a vintage Phillips 66 service center on opening day. The creme and maroon colored prefabricated building is of the type that many oil companies used in the time period and could be assembled in as little as few days with a good crew. Phillips also supplied a set of attention-getting opening day signs as seen in the in the image. The location is somewhere on Route 66.

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.

Main Street USA Filled With 1950s Cars

  • This photo appears to show a popular tourist town that is filled with fifties cars.

1950s and 1960s Cars and Boats

  • Some type of a boating event appears to be going on here as the two rigs in the center of the photo are  wearing identical posters promoting whatever is taking place.

The Old Point Ferry and Forties and Fifties Cars

  • A lineup of forties and fifties cars are waiting for the ferry in an unknown water front location.

29 responses to “Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

  1. I was thinking how unusual (and nice) the two tone on the Cadillac in the first picture was, and scrolled down to the second picture to find there was a Pontiac with the same combination! I really find the combo attractive. Is it that unusual?

  2. The second picture is looking east on Wall Street in beautiful Eagle River in Vilas County Wisconsin. The VILAS Theater sign in this photo is still there as confirmation. This photo is most remarkable to me personally because it was taken a short time after my grandfather built a log cabin (1955) on a secluded lake about 15 miles north of there. So this is exactly like he would have experienced Eagle River in those days. We’ve been visiting Eagle River and the cabin for all this time as it is still in the family. Eagle River has spread out and the downtown is much less colorful and popular than in this photo, but it is still a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing this photo!

    • Hi Brian, I believe you are right. I googled “Spiess Sporting Goods”, and came up with Eagle River. ( closed long ago) I thought that looked familiar. Also, the “Red Owl” grocery store, I believe, was a midwest thing. I delivered to their warehouse in Green Bay years ago. Could the black and white Mercury (Lincoln?) be a police car?
      Since I’m here, it seems “Old Point Ferry” is or was in Norfolk,Va.
      The boating picture could be anywhere. Boating was HUGE in the 60’s. EVERYBODY had a boat. It was actually dangerous on lakes then, as they were incredibly busy.
      The gas station could be anywhere, USA. Lokk how many attendants, I count 5, with uniforms, it was a good job.

        • Exactly right. The parked 2-tone car at right is indeed a small Lincoln, and the trunk handle marks it as a 1950 model. The paint division is normal for the smaller Lincoln in that year. It’s NOT a police car; in fact a close look seems to show that it has whitewalls.

      • Hi Howard, Yes, I remember the Red Owl in Hales Corners very well and the one in Eagle River was “Trig’s Red Owl”. It moved to a new much larger, suburban type location on the east end of Eagle River and now is just called “Trig’s”. I also wonder about the car that looks like a police car.

        This may be so coincidental as to be ridiculous but the light car with the dark roof behind the two-tone green sedan on the left could be my grandpa’s 1954 Packard. Maybe he was at Spiess Sporting Goods when this was taken buying one of the bait-casting reels I was looking at this morning. That would just be too weird wouldn’t it?

  3. In Photo #2,the newest cars I see are a white ’58 Buick Caballero wagon &, behind it, a blue ’58 Pontiac, maybe a Bonneville, both parked on the left. On the right is a very sporty 1950 (?) hot-rod Lincoln coupe.

  4. The first photo was apparently taken in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Frank L Mulrooney ran a pharmacy from 1919 until 1969. (I Googled “Mulrooney Drug Store” and got a Wisconsin State Assembly Motion of Congratulation). Maybe someone with better eyes than mine can verify or disprove this based on the license tags,

    • Bob,

      I identified the location in a post 3 above yours earlier today. Rhinelander is WSW of Eagle River. If there was a Mulrooneys in Rhinelander, it would have been a second location or maybe that’s just where he lived. The picture was taken at the corner of Wall and Railroad Streets in Eagle River, Wisconsin looking east on Wall Street. Do a Google street view and you’ll see the Mulrooney, Rexall and some of the other buildings remain today. The two triangular signs on each side of Wall Street were Blatz beer/tavern signs. In addition to the VILAS Theater sign on the right, the Blatz sign on the left partially obscures the EAGLE Theater sign that is still there today on the Street view. You can just make out the “GLE” from EAGLE in the photo.


      • This easterner stands corrected. It’s likely the same Mulrooney: The “Northwestern Digest” of 1919 list Frank Mulrooney as opening a pharmacy in Rhinelander; the aforementioned Assembly motion only states the Frank “of Drugstore Fame” was a pharmacy “from 1919 until 1969.” I understand Eagle River is a delightful location.

  5. The fourth picture shows one of the overlooked cars of the fifties,the 53/54 Dodge. With the right model and an attractive paint job it’s looks are hard to beat in its range.

  6. I believe the 4th picture is the Little Creek – Cape Charles ferry dock – from the mid-30’s closed in 1964 it crossed the mouth of the Chesapeake and eventually was replaced by the Bridge-Tunnel.

  7. Interesting thing about the boating event is the trees have not leafed out yet. Maybe it was pre-season boat show?

  8. If you Google Old Point Ferry it shows as the northern area of Norfolk, VA in the town of Willoughby where Rt. 64 crosses the Bay and the landing point in Hampton is called Old Point Comfort. I couldn’t find any current photos though.

  9. 50-51 Studebaker 4dr sedan in the Texaco picture.
    What is on top of the light standards? Look like upside-down wine bottles.

    I was also struck by the cream colored MoPar in the Old Point Ferry photo. Very clean looking.
    Looks like the first car in line may be a Hudson?

  10. They must have had standards on that ferry. Look at how clean all the cars are!

    Also, we must be of a more jaded age. At the Phillips 66 station they’re offering “Free Prizes Today!” They don’t describe what the prizes are. I sure wouldn’t have bothered to stop. They must have been more impressionable then.

  11. Even more interesting with respect to the Eagle River pic is that it is for sale on Search under Eagle River.

  12. The service station appears to be sheathed in modular enameled steel panels which remind me of the U S Steel “Lustron” houses of the same period. Looks like it was “all hands on deck” for this promo picture. Five attendants for three cars can’t have made economic sense in the long run.

    The “Rt 66 Belt Line For Trucks” sign by the traffic signal probably helps narrow down the location. Well, a little bit, at least.

    • The 53 Cadillac convertible was my dads Picture was taken in Virginia Beach VA in 1954. A year before I arrived. He traded this one on a 55 Cadillac convertible. I’m so glad he took slides. I can scan them and get great reproduction.

      • Hi Berry: Sorry I don”t see a 1953 Cadillac Convertible in any of the pictures. The Blue one in the fourth picture is a 1951 Cadillac Convertible. The rear bumper is the give away.

  13. The narrow strip of land leading to the present day Hampton bridge tunnel is “Willoughby Spit”. All routes out of Norfolk over the water are required to incorporate tunnels. This allows the Navy ships to get out and fight in case of enemy attack. They could bomb the bridges,not the tunnel

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