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A Selection of Outstanding Images from Imbued With Hues

Hot-rodders and custom car enthusiasts in the postwar era adopted the parking lots of hamburger and hot dog chain drive-ins to hang out and talk cars with like-minded enthusiasts. This late-1950s colorized image by Patty Allison of Imbued with Hues was taken at a busy A&W restaurant. In the foreground, left-to-right is a 1955 Chevrolet, a 1933 or ’34 Ford five-window coupe and an Austin Healey with a V-8 engine swap and extended front fenders. Behind the young men is a customized Ford convertible


  • Enlargeable version of the lead photo taken at an A & W drive-in restaurant.


  • 1932 Auburn V-12 “Custom Dual Ratio” Cabriolet.

An attractive 1932 Auburn V-12 “Custom Dual Ratio” Cabriolet is shown here with the actress Mary Doran behind the wheel and film studio buildings in the background. The “Custom” models are also referred to as the “Salon” which was equipped with extra polished metal trim on the doors and a Columbia two-speed rear axle. Learn more about the popular 1932 Auburn here.


  • 1933 Nash “Advanced Eight” Cabriolet.

Nash is one of the last automakers you would suspect of building high-quality luxury cars, but in 1930 the company introduced a 298.6 c.i. twin ignition o.h.v. 100 h.p. straight eight for its deluxe models. Pictured here in an impressive showroom appears to be one of the later attractive upmarket 1933 “Advanced Eights”, both it and the top-of-the-line “Ambassador” model were equipped with o.h.v. 322 c.i. 125 h.p. engines and were available on 133 and 142-inch w.b. chassis’.

View more of Patty Allison’s fine work at Imbued with Hues and here on The Old Motor.

33 responses to “A Selection of Outstanding Images from Imbued With Hues

  1. A & W’s were all over the place up until the 70s. The one my family went to was the one in Holdrege, Nebraska at the junction of US-6/34 and Nebraska Highway 23. The A & W in Lexington, Nebraska even had an indoor dining room!

  2. Too bad they didn’t leave that Austin-Healy 100-4 alone. In stock condition, and in good shape it would be worth $50 – $70K. As a hot rod, not much at all.

    • Same can said for an awful lot of cars. I remember all of the muscle cars in scrap yards in the 70s. I scrapped a few myself as a teenager. That is why the reramining ones are valuable. We made them so!!

  3. 1st pic: behind the young fella’s, in front of the restaurant entrance you can see a 1959 (model year) Plymouth hardtop, so this scene is not mid -1950s but at least very late 1958, assuming the Plymouth is brand new.

  4. There is a white ’59 Plymouth parked pointing to the A&W logo. Assuming it is new, the local hot rodders really “owned” this parking lot!. I’m sure even the Hudson Hornet sedan driver thought he was cool.

  5. Fantastic colorized photographs.

    In the 1st picture, the “hot-rodders and custom car enthusiasts” were not only talking about cars. Girls and cars in equal measure !!


  6. Looks like the ’33 Nash has a Pilot-Ray directional driving light, a product featured on The Old Motor on November 25, 2014.

  7. The original Getty Images caption for the A&W picture states:

    “Local teens hang out in the parking lot of an A&W drive-in restaurant, Hutchinson, Kansas, August 1959. This image was part of an article called ‘Kansas Squares vs. Coast Beats,’ which appeared in the September 21, 1959, issue of Life magazine.”

    The referenced photo at Getty Images may be found online, as can the Life magazine article mentioned in the caption. The photo apparently was not used.

    • I just realized Getty Images has a second photo of this scene, in this one the car hop is delivering root beer to the guys. Maybe they will give her a good tip?

      Other questions/observations-

      The Life article “Kansas Squares vs. Coast Beats” is available online, entertaining to say the least.

      What’s the convertible at the back of the canopy in the picture here at TOM it’s red?

      An article by the local newspaper gives the address and history of the A&W, and identifies the flip flop guy by name. The A&W building is long gone. Internet search “Throwback Thursday: Hutch’s first A&W Drive-In ”

      The color used for the A&W is unlike any A&W I’ve ever eaten at or even driven past.

  8. Cool picture of the A&W and cars in the lot. Nice gold nosed and decked ’50 Ford convertible lowered with flipper caps white tuck and rolled interior . Nice back end of a ’49/’50 Merc also decked, along with a neat ’34 Ford “The Blue Beatnik”. Nice lowered ’55 Belair sedan with Olds flipper caps. Only thing missing are a couple of girls leaning on the fenders. Like the Austin Healy with primer spots. Great pictures as always.

  9. The Austin Healey 100 seems to had had more than an engine swap. It appears that the front end has been modified with a different headlamp treatment–the fenders seems to have been extended and the leading edge has more of a convex shape. In fact, it looks as if the fender beading ends where the fender used to end, and more bodywork has been appended. That might explain the primer also.

    The V8 engine swap was a common thing, and while many in the Healey world don’t like it, it nonetheless is mostly accepted as an appropriate period modification. The cars are known as “Nasty Boys” and have a large following. Today, of course, an unmodified car would be more valuable.

    Much less accepted today would be the body modification I suggest happened. There is no way to improve on Gerry Coker’s original design of the 100–total automotive purity.

  10. A truly authentic restoration of any of these cars parked at A&W wouldn’t be complete without a (stolen) A&W root beer mug. The car hop who put the tray of food and drinks on the driver’s door window often brought more mugs out than she took back. I used to have one myself but I seem to have misplaced it in the years that have passed since I was a teenager. I had a gray 1951 Ford Custom back then. I must have left the mug behind when I traded it for my 1952 Desoto. Memories….

  11. You always hear this from people:
    “Yeah,but I had to sell it when I went away to college and/ or had my first kid,etc….”
    Is there anybody out there who actually held on to their pride and joy thru thick and thin?

    • My Austin Healey is the car I drove to high school, back in 1980/1981. It was my dad’s car at the time. I am lucky that it is mine now and that it has been in the family so long. It is currently being professionally restored, and some day it will be my daughter’s car.

  12. Big Burger-Basket of memories in that first photo! A red Healey 100 was the first sportscar I ever rode in and a ’34 five-window was the first hot rod (full-fendered with a ’48 Merc flatty carrying twin 97’s and Weiand heads, twice-pipes had Smithy’s and there were bigs and littles with whitewalls and Fiesta flippers). The red Corvette in the distance would be time-appropriate since it has the dropped rear fender line of the ’56 and later cars but not the “tusks” of a ’58.
    I have a couple of vintage A&W mugs that I paid way-too much money for several years ago but the way they feel and make a root beer taste make them worth it!

  13. I teach auto mechanics, have some hope. Kids are tired of the look alike cars of today and are starting to revive some of the old Junkers from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. I know they don’t sound old to us but they are 20 to 40 years old now. Visit your local car shows and give some kids encouragement to keep them Rollin’ on Rubber. Show them the way to do it right and they just might listen. They are just like you guys when you were young, thick headed and stubborn. Try not to sound like an old fart and you just might make some new friends that need you.

    • That’s good news and good advice, Pete – and congrats and thanks for the job you do. About 15 years ago the shop teacher at the junior high where I taught retired, and l convinced the administration to let me take over the shop to keep the last two hands-on classes open (the other was art). I created a quarterly aviation curriculum for designing and building flying model aircraft. It was well received by the community and the students and I believe it did some good. When I left for another trade the shop was shuttered and eventually torn down.

  14. There was an A&W that looked like this in Ft. Lauderdale, where I grew up in the ’50s and ’60s. The Healey reminded me of an acquaintance named “Lucky” who did several Chevy-Healey swaps. He had a pile of the removed 4-cylinder engines. One time, he showed me a Healey cylinder head with large valves, much larger than stock. I didn’t know then, but it must have been an “M” head. He probably scrapped it.

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