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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 244

The “Kodachrome Image Series” begins this week with a photo of a pair of women posing with an attractive two-tone Buick four-door hardtop with its signature front fender portholes, and check out the perforated vent window screens. Share with us where you think the image was taken, the Atlantic, the Pacific or at one of the Great Lakes?

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 This Was Americar.


  • This gent is decked out all in red in front of two Chevrolets in Anchorage, Alaska.


  • The scene is Pikes Peak circa 1959 or later and is a study in itself as to what America was driving at the time. 

  • You might say the postwar horsepower race started in 1949 when Oldsmobile introduced its advanced overhead-valve high-compression V-8 engine. Here we see Chevron announcing its “highest octane ever Supreme” high-test.


63 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 244

      • The Dirty Car philosophy is: “Wash the car when the roads dry in early summer. Let the dirt accumulate over summer and fall and leave it on over winter to protect the paint from salt damage.” Sort of a ‘Pa Kettle’ approach.

        As for the Buick on the beach… From the earliest days of the automobile until 1960’s or so, people posed by their cars to demonstrate to their kin that ‘they had the where-with-all’ to afford a car. Not so much nowadays. Not too many pictures of the folks standing by their wide-screen TVs

        • Hi Vincent, I believe that’s true. In the 50’s, people were mighty proud of their automobiles and where they could take them,, especially when they made it to Buick status, and had unusual color combinations to boast that fact. “Look at me!” , unlike today with everyone driving bland identical cars, as if to say “DON’T look at me!”As far as washing a car, I don’t ever remember my old man washing any of his cars.

          • Hi Howard, I would have thought that the Buick owner would have used one of those mesh grille protectors that some folks used to drape over the grille of their cars when they drove on the highway. Looking at the buggy mess on the front of that beautiful Buick gives me the shivers, thinking of how hard it would be to clean that.

            We lived about a mile down a gravel road so washing our vehicles was never big on the agenda, but I was the one who washed the cars in our household. It didn’t do much good as the road was dusty in the summer and muddy and snowy/salty in the winter. I know how the Anchorage folks must have felt, “Why bother?”

  1. I would guess the black & red Buickwas taken on Daytona Beach. It often looked vacant in the winter and the number of other tire tracks indicates cruising.

    • And the presence of bugs all over the front would be indicative of a road trip from Ohio to Daytona, or maybe during “love bug season” in Florida, which occurs in late April and early May every year, then again in late August and September.

    • As far as I know, there is only one place on the greatlakes that you can drive on the beach (Ontario, Upper Lake Huron). I’m betting that is not it.

  2. A number of sightseeing tour companies in Manitou Springs, Colorado at the base of Pike’s Peak had fleets of Cadillac 75 seven passenger sedans and limousines for hire to take tourist up to the top for a day of viewing. Some had the center top section canvas sunroof installed as one in this group. Those I saw in 1969 at most were places were at least five years old, looked shiny but tired around the edges. Later in the 1970’s, in a salvage yard south of town, there were rows of used up Cadillac 75’s.

  3. In the Alaska image, what is the car in front of the 1955 Chevy, lower right? In the Pikes Peak image have you ever seen so many early 50’s Cadillac Fleetwood 75’s in one image?

  4. Forgot to mention, the red and white ’59 Cadillac sightseeing coach behind the tan ’59 Rambler and yellow ’56 Ford truck to the left was one of the Broadmoor Resort Hotel fleet built by Superior Coach Co. of Lima, Ohio. They even had a gold-plated “Broadmoor” nameplate high on the tailfins.

    Also, there is a solid dark blue ’55 Packard Clipper next to the ’59 Buick ‘flat-roof.

  5. If it weren’t for the bug-spattered front end and `57 Ohio plate, the photo of the `56 Buick Century Riviera hardtop could almost be a GM publicity photo.
    Wow…quite a few Cadillac Series 75 limos in the Pike’s Peak photo! I wonder if those were used by tourism outfits or something? I see botha `57 Plymouth wagon & `57 Dodge in the same shade of gold–they make a nice pair! There’s even one of those `59 Cadillac wagons with the roof windows!

  6. Looks like a ’56 Buick Century on the top. By the looks of the bugs on the grill I’d say that the car came from somewhere in the midwest. Looks like Chevy trucks made it to Anchorage. It isn’t a common sight to see a couple of Chevy Long-roofs parked next to each other, even back in the day. That Pikes Peak shot looks like a major Cadillac convention. Looks like three Model 75s. And that ’51 Chevy Bel Air, looks like it’s used a lot of leaded gasoline in its day; the exhaust pipe is nice and gray…

  7. Looking at the Buick in the first photo, my vote for the site of this picture is the Great Lakes. Lady has a sweater to stay warm on what appears a windy day. It also looks like the front of the car is plastered with grasshoppers, possibly a hatch from the Iowa corn fields?

  8. In the lead picture has a four-door 1956 BUICK Century Riviera. It looks like 1957 spring brake at Daytona, with all the bugs driving from Ohio !!

  9. A Chevy Nomad in Alaska. Second photo, looks like Cadillac limps were used as your busses. Last photo. My neighbor had the same brown and tan 52

  10. Notice in the upper right corner of the Pikes Peak photo is a Lockheed F-94C Starfire (said to be the namesake of the Olds model).
    It was placed there in the late ’50s as a memorial.
    It was stripped and vandalized, eventually buried up there. More recently, it was unearthed and hauled away.

    • A little sleuthing reveals the following information about the Starfire that was displayed on top of Pikes Peak. Info from the Forgotten Jets website.

      Model: F-94C-1-LO with serial number 51-5590
      *1957: USAF 48th Flight Interceptor Squadron
      *1957: USAF 602nd Organizational Maintenance Squadron
      *1958: Placed upon Pikes Peak mountain in Colorado by the Colorado Springs Chapter of the Air Force Association. After being vandalized it was removed in 1964, but after being damaged in transit it was buried on location on the mountain and largely forgotten for forty years.
      *2003: Unearthed from a gravel pit on Pikes Peak and hauled away to be scrapped.

      Last year contributor Patrick Wallace stated the following here on The Old Motor. “In 1918, a GE engineer named Sanford Moss decided to move his airplane engine test facility to the top of Pikes Peak so that he could conduct a greater number of turbocharger tests at altitude then [sic] his test pilots could manage through test flights.” And Mr. Wallace further stated that the jet was placed there, “to commemorate Moss and later engineers that followed him up Pikes Peak.”

      Whether the plane was hauled away for scrap or whether the plane is being restored/rebuilt is unclear from the material I could find.

      And let’s not forget that “Starfire” was also an Oldsmobile model name. It was used for a fiberglass concept car in 1953; for the 98 model convertibles (98 Starfire) from 1954 – 1956; for several models in 1957 (Starfire 98); as a separate model line from 1961 – 1966; and finally the subcompact Starfire of 1975 – 1980.

      • About the Olds, it seems that it and the Lockheed came up with the name first,
        Though the F-94 aircraft itself predates the car, many say the Starfire nickname only came about when the improved F-94C was introduced…circa 1951-2.

  11. In the 2nd picture [sole expandable photograph], in the center foreground, are a 1955 CHEVROLET One-Fifty two-door station wagon & a 1955 CHEVROLET Sedan Delivery [model 1508].

  12. In the Lead Photo, a ’56 Buick Century 4-door Riviera, perhaps on Daytona Beach.

    In the Anchorage photo, likely a ’55 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan on the right followed by a ’55 Chevy Sedan Delivery and a ’55 Chevy Nomad, Across the street a ’50 Ford and a ’54 Mercury Custom Sport Coupe.
    Farther back on this side, a ’56 Chrysler New Yorker Town and Country Wagon

    In the Pikes Peak photo, at least six ’50-’53 Cadillac Series 75s. The one at the top of the hill a bit behind the red ’59 ambulance appears to be a ’52. The one between the ’59 Buick and the ’56 Ford is a ’50. The one in the lower left with duct tape (?) on the roof is a ’52 (gold “V” emblem = 50th Anniv). The two-tone green Series 62 up front is a ’53 (exhaust ports)
    To the left of the ’59 Buick which appears to be long enough and trimmed like an Electra 225, is probably a ’55 Clipper Deluxe Sedan. Seen over it is a ’59 Rambler ahead of a ’56 F-series.
    In the second row, a ’57 Chevy sedan, a ’57 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Suburban, a ’57 Ford Custom or Custom 300, a ’57 Dodge Royal or Coronet Lancer 2-door and a blue and white ’55 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan.
    To the right of the Flxible bus with skylights and aimed to the right is a black mid-‘50s Borgward Isabella Kombi and at the top of the hill beyond the ’59 Chevy is a ’58 or ’59 Rambler wagon.

    The last photo at the Chevron station has a ’52 Chevy Bel Air.

    • What looks like duct tape on the top of the ’52 Cadillac 75 is the frame for the Plexiglas panel that was installed in many of those sightseeing tours 75’s used to ferry tourist to the top of Pike’s Peak. Some of the 75’s were fitted with removeable canvas sunroof covers while others had a Plexiglas panel installed, all for the viewing pleasure of tourist as they ascended the mountain. From the junkyard with rows of used-up Cadillac 75’s I saw south of Colorado Springs in the 1970’s, it was hard on those cars running up and down the mountain daily loaded with a compliment of tourists. There must have been garages with mechanics assigned to continual brake jobs and transmission swaps to keep that fleet operational.

      • 58L8134, thanks for the info on the Cadillac’s skylight…I should’ve noticed the sunshine on the dash and interior.

  13. I’ll bet that 56 Buick got most of the bug spatters coming through south Georgia on the way to Daytona Beach. I get those same bugs driving to my wife’s home in SE Georgia from Tallahassee. And if you don’t get those little buggers off pretty quick, they will permanently stain the paint.

  14. Suzie , you do know that your 56 Buick is going to turn into rust bucket between the Ohio road salt , the salt water ocean spray, and damp sand getting trapped, right ?

    • Sad but true. My uncle had a beautiful ’58 Roadmaster that he drove from Pennsylvania to Florida, including many Daytona Beach visits. By the time the car was only about 15 years old, with less than 100k on the clock, the frame and the brake lines (not much body rot, surprisingly) had rusted so bad it was beyond saving.

    • I hope that’s not a rub on GM. My 11 year old Chevrolet Camaro has only needed 2 tail lamp bulbs replaced since 2009. That’s it. A great car that is still worth 50% of what I paid for it. No complaints.

  15. I live in GA. I guess that’s Daytona Beach, but the sand looks too dark for Daytona where I’ve been for a number of vacations. Could have just been a hard rain and sand is still wet. Re: the bugs on the Buick, we used to spray Pam all around the front fenders, headlights, and hood before heading down the road through South GA; and it would deflect most but not all flying objects. The Florida lovebugs could be impossible certain times of the year (don’t see any thing on the Dynaflow’s bumper that resembles them which causes me to question the location, but no big deal since everybody loves a beach no matter where). BTW, I counted 8 Cadillac Limos in the 3rd photo.

    • I love the details these pictures stir up in the memories of the great story tellers on this site. Their car knowledge is impressive, but the taste of life in past years that they add is priceless. Great way to reminisce as I’m sure it sparks the memories of others as it does mine. Thanks everyone.

    • I grew up in Orlando and went to Daytona, and Ormond beach many times. I agree the sand looks a bit dark for Daytona but probably just wet like Harorld said. Also, the waves are typical of the Atlantic side of Florida. I love that Buick and black and red is a classic combination on any car.

  16. 1st pic, no question Daytona. Been many times, not many beaches like that and people from Ohio generally don’t go to the Great Lakes for vacation. I’d say winter, that bug collection looks like local Florida stuff. The 2nd pic, the front ’55 is a sedan delivery, with the company name on the door ( something automatic), the 2nd Nomad could just be a coincidence. I’m sure, around that time, the only paved roads in Alaska were main streets in town . With the windshield freshly wiped, might back that up. 3rd pic, we’ve seen this before, about a year ago. From the comments then, the plane was a display honoring a man named Sanford Moss, that was GE engineer that did tests on top of PIkes Peak( thanks Patrick Wallace for that) that got torn apart by the wind, and was dismantled. I found back then, this may be dated May 16th, 1959 when President Eisenhower made a stop at the new Air Force academy in COS, also stopping here. The Rambler has a water bag on the front. The guy with the blue jacket and sunglasses is surely Secret Service, and common folks wanting to say hi, maybe. Last, they may have the highest octane premium, but not for the old stovebolt Chevy. Can’t you just hear the attendant,,” Fill it with premium, sir?” “Nah, a bucks worth of regular”, would be the usual reply. And that’s another thing, how did those old car exhaust pipes get flattened like that?

    • Howard, apparently those exhaust pipes came that way from the factory for reasons that elude me. I have 3 NOS chrome tailpipe accessory extensions that change the oval to a round outlet. Since no one has oval pipes anymore I’m probably stuck with them forever.

  17. I bet that was the ONLY 1956 Chrysler New Yorker Town and Country in the entire city of Anchorage. (Must be the Judge’s car!)

  18. To our benefactor, Dave Greenlees – THANK YOU. For myriad reasons, most of us readers look forward to, long for The Old Motor to arrive. It’s always, always entertaining, and educational. The Old Motor is the spark, and then the readers contribute oodles more entertainment, and education. That’s a rare commodity today. Me, I’m always amazed at the details everyone else sees! How’d I miss that?? Now I’ll return to the photos, and look for what I’ve missed. Thanks.

  19. The 1956 Buick Century lower body color appears to be bittersweet. It was one of the additional Spring colors introduced by Buick to presumably “punch up” sales of cars in the Spring. This is something they did in the mid-1950s and possibly other years. I have a folder that promotes the Spring colors as being released to the public April 6.

  20. Am I blind, or is that a Chevrolet emblem in the middle of that Olds, whith the squished tailpipe, resulting in back-pressure horsepoer,getting high-test at the Chevron?

  21. In the third picture you can get a glimps of one of the few ‘Broadview” custom site-seeing stretch coaches. They were made in 1956 and again in 1959 especially for the Broadview Hotel.

  22. Since no one else has mentioned it since Friday, I just have to point out all the luggage carefully stacked atop that station wagon. Wonder what kind of mileage that got? The door men probably ran and hid when that pulled up to the hotel. Or maybe not, perhaps that might have indicated a big tipper.

    That and the ever-present Smokey the Bear telling us to “Prevent Forest Fires.” Ummm, I’m not seeing much to burn up there.

  23. The oval exhaust pipe on the Olds, may have been an performance adder for their hot OHV V8! NASCAR now uses the oval pipes to increase exhaust flow vs round pipe. It also helps ground clearance ( I did not see that as a problem on the 49 Olds, however the oval pipes have become quite popular with the custom car crowd to allow that super low look with out damage to exhaust. Maybe those new old stock tail pipes mentioned could help the Custom car keep their cars super low, while maintaining the round pipe look of the 50s with extra clearance of oval exhaust!!

  24. In the bottom picture, is the white sign in the background giving the price of a gallon of gas – 26 9/10 cents. Have US gas prices always used a fraction instead of a decimal point?

  25. With all the fanfare about the new high test gasoline you would think that the attendant would be feeding that Chevy with it. I guess plain old regular is good enough.

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