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Four Fun Friday Forties and Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

Number Seventy-one of the “Kodachrome Image Series” begins this week with a colorful fifties image of a Chevrolet loaner car. When the first instance of providing a car that a customer could use while theirs was in for service isn’t known, but many, like this Chevrolet, provided a dealership with a rolling sign board. One other benefit to the agency was if the car was a current model the customer might like it and trade up to a new car when returning.

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.

Las Vegas Vintage Cars Circa 1960

  • A circa 1959 street scene in Las Vegas from back in time before it became fantasyland.

Late-1959s Dodge Custer State Park in southwestern South Dakota

  • A Dodge and an Olds with the friendly donkeys at Custer State Park in southwestern South Dakota.

1940s International and Chevrolet C.O.E. trucks

  • Illinois truckers with loads of hay – note the miniature bulldog on the hood of the red truck.

24 responses to “Four Fun Friday Forties and Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

  1. That 1959 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery equipped with wide whitewall tires in the Las Vegas photo is proof that not ALL sedan deliveries were bare-bones el-strippo models devoid of any appearance options.

  2. Actually, loaner cars from dealers are still used. We got to use several different kinds during the many times my ex-gf’s Kia Sorento was in the shop. That is one plain ’56 Chevy, possibly a demonstrator and the guy looks like a shyster, that would love to put you in a new Chevy. The Vegas pic I’ve seen. The car in front of the ’58 Chevy is an Opel, and look, a ’59 Chevy sedan delivery, actually being used for what it was intended. ( However, I don’t think I’d visit the cafe that the pest control truck is in front of) I remember when attractions would put banners ( with wire) on your car, like the ’59 Dodge. You’d see them strewn for miles on the side of the road. Then they went to stickers, seen here, that were just the opposite, impossible to get off. And last, my favorite, trucks, of course, the ILL. hay haulers. Hay is one of the hardest things to haul. Unless it’s tarped, the edges of the hay are like fingers holding you back. I think that’s a terrier, not a bulldog on that D series IH ( ’37-’40) and a ’41 Chevy ( or post-war) Chevy cabover, which appears to be a road tractor. Looks like mama could sling a few bales, as well. One thing for sure, with their 90 hp. engines, it was a slow ride. Check out the little mirrors. A luxury in the ’40’s.

      • I was thinking the same thing. That is the kind of set up that quickly became popular at the drag strips across the country.

    • That “one plain ’56 Chevy”could’ve been ordered as a 210 Delray coupe with a matching red and white custom vinyl interior – add wheel covers and whitewalls- that made it a pretty “standout” ride. in the Vegas foto in front of the Opel is a ’54 Plymouth sedan, also the ’51 Merc had a serious run-in with something, note the rear quarter as well as the rocker. in the third foto, behind the Dodge and Olds is a ’55 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe. Wonder whether he’ll enjoy having the donkeys slobber all over his car?

    • You’re right, I think that is a Boston Terrier, once popular but not seen much today. And besides, what self respecting “bulldog” would be caught dead on the hood of an IH? And/or vice versa.

  3. The 1st photo with the 56 Chevrolet was taken in Los Angeles. The telephone exchange was Dunkirk. Notice the neat heavy wooden garage doors in the background that are almost extinct today. I believe that dealership became Western Chrysler Plymouth sometime in the 60’s.

  4. I bet Sedan Deliverys were also used as hearses.
    There was a funeral home in my town which used a Chev. station wagon as a hearse for” econo” funerals but that was a ’69 that you wouldn’t have wanted to be caught dead in.

    • Years ago, an undertaker lived across from me . He had a black Chevy wagon used as a pick up car to collect the deceased from homes or hospitals. Sedan deliveries were also used as call cars for the departed.

  5. The 1956 Chevy is equipped with a one piece “smoothie” rear bumper. California mandated that bumpers on cars sold there in that era be equipped with one piece bumpers. The rest of the country’s Chevys were equipped with three piece bumpers.

  6. Las Vegas picture : Light green ’49 Chevy, dark ’51(?) Buick, white ’50 (?) Merc, Facing are a ’58 Impala, ’53 Ford, and a
    ’57 Plymouth

  7. The International truck and hay trailer combination have wording on them for the business owned by Rudolph Herman Schooff of Huntley, Illinois. That may be him and his wife Louise standing beside the truck. Born to minister Dietrich Henry Schooff, and his wife Mary, in Meherrin, Virginia in 1894, Rudolph Schooff was a farm hand, an engineer at a feed mill, and the owner of a grocery store. On his WWII Draft Registration he listed his occupation as a “Trucker.” He married Louise Tessman about 1918, and they had one child who died shortly after being born.

    Schooff passed away while riding as a passenger in a truck, pulling an empty cattle trailer, when the truck and another auto collided. One other person was killed and four others injured in the accident which took place near Hinsdale, Illinois on October 28, 1949. Louise Schooff died in 1977, and she and Rudolph are buried together in Harmony Cemetery in Harmony, Illinois near the town of Huntley.

  8. My two cents, for what it’s worth (wouldn’t that be two cents?)

    1) Am I missing something on the Chevrolet? The name of the dealership is Courtesy. Is there something saying it’s a “Courtesy Car”, in the modern sense of the term? And, that’s a rather snappy pose by the driver for a loaner car. There were very, very few “loaner cars” in those days. My guess is that the car is a “demonstrator”. In those days salespeople left the showroom to prospect for customers, using a demonstrator to show the new cars. If that’s the case the pose is appropriate.

    2) Isn’t that a “baby Lincoln” crossing the street in Las Vegas, not a Mercury?

    3) The 59 Dodge and 59 Oldsmobile show just how far cars had come in a few years, compared to the 55 New Yorker in the background.

    Again, thanks so much for your blog. I don’t comment every day, but I sure do read every day. Thanks.

    • I’m not so sure. Seems like demonstrators were almost always top of the line models, not only to show off features and options only available at that level, but also to sow seeds of doubt among customers who were intending to buy lower level models.

  9. Going by the license plate frame the name of the dealer was Courtesy Chevrolet on that sweet 56 chevy. My uncle had a new two tone green 56 210 with a 265 power pack and 3 speed trans. He blew the doors off all the local flathead Ford guys around here at the time. The comment about the bumper stickers was right, my Dad caught a kid about to put one on our 58 Buick one time when were were traveling out west. Dad told him if he stuck that on his bumper he would be wearing the rest of them on his shirt. Those loaded hay trucks made me break out in a sweat just looking at the picture, when I was a kid I put up hay many a summer for 75 cents an hour, a whole buck if the farmer was in a good mood. As always, thanks for the good memories!!

  10. That ’56 Chevy would be a nice car to get. I sure wouldn’t kick one of those off my driveway although the ‘Courtesy’ stuff would have to go.
    That Vegas photo gave me a start; I could’ve sworn I saw my ’49 Chevy driving down the street but I realized that the one in the photo is a 2 door.
    And, yes, Howard, hay is an SOB to haul; I don’t think there is a harder load. I’m sure the drivers had their work cut out for them in those rigs. They would’ve used every gear available plus every last bit of power those motors had. That Chevy Cabover might have been equipped with a 235 which was better than a 216 but it would’ve still spent a lot of miles in Granny-granny. The Binder might have had the pleasure of a Red Diamond motor, which would’ve made the task a lot easier.

  11. At Norman’s Automotive, — Circa late 50’s, — our ’48 Chevrolet LOANER Paid its Own Gasoline Bill: They were told that the gauge was NOT working (TRUTH!) and that: It would be best if they put in a few bucks — just enough to cover getting to work & back & do errands: The Customers PAID for their OWN gasoline use !!! (Which they should have)! When the LOANER came back in —ON came the switch : ONLY to READ the gauge and turn it OFF again , for the next Customer!!! The very same car “popped up again” 20 years later! — Owned by my Service Manager at our Dodge agency for 20 years ! I told him the story : He went to the car, —turned on the gauge and discovered that he had 3/4ths of a TANK!!! He had me modify our LOANERS, — and advised Customers to NOT run out of gas !!! Life goes on ! There is NO FREE lunch OR Gasoline! IF you BORROW a LOANER — Check the gauge!, or Better : JUST Pay for the gas
    you USE !!!

  12. Donkeys are domesticated, burros are wild. Wild usually means smaller ( less nutrition while growing up). Similar to a dog species. Shepherd s, terriors, retrievers. All are dogs, but sure look and act differently. Incidently, I dont like the animals at the cars. This is a bad idea. I’ve got a farm boy background and know how to milk cows. Something will happen sooner or later and it won’t be pretty. Last rant on animals for me! If you want to know about mules, you have to count chromosomes.

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