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Four Fun Friday Forties and Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

Number Eighty-five of the “Kodachrome Image Series” begins this week with a late fifties photo of a Cadillac convertible taken in Connecticut in 1957. Back in the period those that had done well in life and wanted to show it or own the “best” bought one of the luxury cars. Due to the Kodachrome type of film, it is hard to tell if this one is pink or white.

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.


  • A colorized photo of Taos, New Mexico, in the late-fifties or early sixties with two filling stations in view.


  • This early forties Buick convertible appears to have made it through the war looking a little worse for the wear.


  • Albany, New York is the State Capitol and this late-fifties photo gives a good view of the center of the City.

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

  1. That Caddy is ominous looking. Imagine seeing that coming up fast in your rear view mirror. Bottom of passenger door looks funky, for a new car. The NM pic could be “Anywhere, USA”. Some brave soul bought a ’59 Edsel. I think that’s the front of a ’53 or ’54 Nash to the right. Looks like the Buick was painted with a brush ( not a bad job, though) and mom with those “red shoes” on. Goin’ dancin’, and lastly, after spending 5 months in NYS, it’s not Albany, but “Ooolbany”.

    • The provenance of the plate notwithstanding, our CT Caddy is a 1956 convertible, I believe 6237X. It could be an El dorado, but that call could only be made by seeing the tail fins (which were more akin to those on the ’57 models). Based on what I can see, I believe it’s a standard convertible coupe.

      • Bob, you’d be correct in saying the `56 Cadillac is a series 62, and not an Eldorado. The standard full wheelcovers were seldom, if ever seen on non-Eldorados, And the Eldorados did not have the virtical side trim aft of the doors.

        • Sabre Spoke wheels were standard on the “Eldo”… gold {plated} was an option, also grille, “vees”as well as name badges… further the belt line was enhanced by heavily ribbed brite chrome trim only on those models. The “Eldo” was an unmistakable upgrade beyond the mere “62”. To some, the extra money they charged for prestige and uniqueness was worth it. It was the “top” soft top in the industry(… it also came in a shiny fabric covered hard top!). With the top down, driving along you were a garuanteed head turner!

  2. Looks like a ’58 Buick in the Albany picture, on the right with its brake lights on. Or could be an Olds. Also, a ’48 Dodge prominent on the left. Or could be a 46 or 47 — I’m not good enough to pick out the tiny trim differences that sometimes differentiate the years in a styling cycle of that era.

  3. 4th picture down: Behind the ’48 Dodge on the left, a ’52 – 54 Ford, and behind it, 1955 Pontiac? Across the street, a 1957 Dodge or De Soto?

  4. 2nd pic: red wagon facing viewer is a mid-fifties FoMoCo product for sure, but the front end seems to be customized or simplified… Can’t decide it’s a Ford or a Mercury.
    Last pic: newest cars are the 1958 Buick and Chrysler (not Desoto) of the same year.

  5. In the 2nd photograph [Taos], entering the picture from the far right, looks like a black 1953 or ’54 NASH RAMBLER.

    In the 3rd photograph is what appears is a 1940 BUICK Special Convertible Coupé Model 46C.

    In the 4th photograph [Albany], parked on the left, 2nd block, looks like a black 1949 BUICK.

    • Hi Dale, I saw that too. Apparently, Tobin Packing, makers of First Prize meats, was a big deal in Ooolbany, from 1924 to 1981. They were mostly known for their “First Prize Hotdogs”, and from what I read, are sadly missed by the locals.

  6. The Cadillac bumper guard ( dagmar) has what appears to me a young girls face with flouncy hair. Kind of a clever illusion. Also, the outer door skins on those cars are made in two pieces. The trim covers the seam. There is a lot of lead in those rides.

  7. Love to see Connecticut stuff posted! Don’t know if 57 was the first year for those plates or not, but the “Year” badge was, for several years, a tabbed metal plate. You inserted the tabs into slots on the plate and bent them back to secure. This was before the advent of adhesives. We used to find them all over beside the road when I was a kid. Had quite a collection! Love this stuff!!!

  8. Just proves the old adage that “nobody loves a bus” even when a tired Old Look GMC transit coach is stage center in the Albany photo.

    • Hi Chris, the 5150(?) “old look” bus ( thanks Gene) might not have been that old. I think the picture is smudged (no right head light) It more than likely had a smoking 6-71 Detroit Diesel (peee-yewww, remember being behind those?)

      • This is another spring ride, prior to 1953 GM. The center spring pads under the front axle give this away. Smoke! Yes sir., we got your smoke right here! In the late 50’s, GM came out with a version called the “E” kit. It had higher compression, slowed down the blower drive a little and smaller delivery fuel injectors in the name of economy. The real result was less power and more smoke and Most engines with this upgrade were returned to normal engines as soon as possible.

  9. AS large as these cars were, the Cadillac of that time period was reasonably economical on the road — with a careful right foot!!! a great car for a vacuum gauge, — to assist with bragging rights.

  10. Bottom photo three cars back on the left looks like a 1955 Olds (note side trim). Going out on a limb the car behind it could be a ’55 or ’56 Merc.

  11. While some of you like identifying the cars in the photos, I enjoy using Google Maps and Street View to ID what the location looks like today. Using TinEye I was able to find a much higher resolution postcard image which allowed me to clearly ID the signs in the photo. On the left-hand side of the photo, in front of the Philiips 66 sign, you’ll see a sign that shows going north will take you to Questa, NM, and east to Raton, NM. In front of the building that says El Chico Dress and Curio Shop you’ll see another sign that says Taos Ski Valley. With those clues, the location, verified by the fascia of that same building, today this is the intersection of US64 (Kit Carson Road) and what is currently NM68 coming in from the south. In Street View you literally can stand where the photographer stood about 57 years ago, based on the newest car identified by others in the photo.

  12. We’ve all been told how important the Lockheed P-38 was to the development of fins on cars. Look at the engines of the P-38. Those caps on the front of the engines look just like the “Dagmars”.

  13. It’s amazing that today one can an original un-restored driver quality Buick in far better condition than that blue one. The running board looks to be sagging probably from rust. That car had a hard life and must have driven relentlessly in all weather conditions and never garaged.

    Another take away is that car is a special which was the base model however it’s a convertible. Cars aren’t marketed/sold that way nowadays. Today convertibles are considered to be a classy model and not sold as a base model. That is a 1940 Buick Special convertible with a straight 8 and a speed column shift.

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