An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Seen on the Streets and Byways of San Francisco

Earlier in the month we looked at vehicles Seen on the Streets and Byways of San Francisco and return to the City today with this circa 1960 photograph of the Bayshore Freeway. The thoroughfare, known as the 101 Freeway replaced the dangerous and non-divided “Bloody Bayshore” Highway between San Francisco and San Jose which was built between the late-twenties and its completion in 1937. Construction of the modern replacement, the Bayshore Freeway began in San Francisco in the late-forties and was finished in 1962.

Exactly where in San Francisco this image filled with late-forties to 1959 vintage automobiles was taken is not known and hopefully, readers will be able to pinpoint the location. Tell us what you find of interest in this photo courtesy of the USC Libraries.


32 responses to “Seen on the Streets and Byways of San Francisco

    • That really is a Metropolitan. Also, in the far right of the photo, going away from the camera, is a Rambler American. Also, coming at us, is a ’56 Chevy, a ’57 Pontiac, and a ’59 Chevy. Also coming at us is a ’48 Mercury.
      I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.
      I just want to thank you for all the entertaining photos you’ve posted during the past year. So enjoyable! I wish all our “Old Motor” fans a very happy and healthy New Year.

  1. In the right hand lane there is a 1959 Ford, which was my first and worse car. Up ahead looks like a small car in the slow lane. Then back in the fast lane of the commuters is some kind of sports car. I’d guess Porsche 356

  2. Your photo appears to be looking south along 101. The pedestrian overpass deep in the shot is still in place. The area is known as ‘Hospital Curve’ because of the proximity to SF General Hospital, located just outside of this frame on the right side.

  3. I could be wrong but I don’t think that’s Hospital Curve on 101- I’ve always lived in SF and those hills in the background of the photo are simply not at that location.

    I think it’s along the old Southern Freeway- now called 280, taken off of the north edge of the Baden Ave overpass looking NE into the Sunnyside neighborhood. The pedestrian overpass is still there but BART now runs alongside the freeway just to the right of the hapless Metropolitan…
    To the left is Glen Park and to the right is the Excelsior.

    As always, great stuff David- I look at your site every day.

    • You are correct sir. I lived in The City for over 20 years near City College and often drove this stretch twice a day and many times 4 or 6 times a day.

  4. It is looking south along the Bayshore but well south of Hospital Curve. You can see the bay on the left in the distance along with Daly City and Brisbane. Candlestick would be just out of the picture on the left beyond the overpass.
    That Metro is on the off ramp. Appears to have learned his lesson although there is what appears to be a southbound Rambler American in the fast lane on the extreme right just entering the picture.

  5. The ’59 Ford in the center lane looks like it could be a Skyliner with the squared off rear deck.

    Can anyone identify the car in front of the Porsche? Fourth one in the left lane.

    Tough doing these on a laptop!

  6. Taken from the 23rd st overcrossing, looking south towards Army St (now it’s Cesar Chavez). That is Bernal Hill in the upper right

  7. Using streetview, I believe the buildings at the top are along Vermont St. For reference, check the two houses at the far right. There is the one with the distinctive Palladian window in the gable located at about 1262 Vermont Ave. It is partly hidden behind it’s neighbor with double bay windows at the very edge of the photo. Both still there. The church building in the center – with the short boxy tower directly above the highway sign – I believe to be the San Francisco Alliance in the Mission located at 1332 Vermont Ave. (between 24th and 25th).

  8. The Bayshore and Nimitz Freeways , plus Highway 101 and Freeway 580 & more— ALL merge — in a very short area in San Jose , Ca. , due to limited availability of real estate upon which to build or “UPGRADE” the older roads . Merging WRECKS became common: One “solution” to this on-going problem was to CREATE a new Calif. State authorized ( set of) signs: They DEPICT: a SYMBOL OF ALL of the lanes on the road — PLUS there is an imaginary “Needle & Thread”— and ONE WORD: “WEAVE”! It SEEMS to help — because it all happens — really fast ! Menlo Park’s “El Camino Real” ALSO has an interesting sign: It shows: A MOMMA Duck & Ducklings crossing EIGHT lanes of Boulevard; It states: “DUCK CROSSING”! IF you want a whopper “moving violation” ticket -then —“Run” a Duck Crossing” while duck & ducklings are present or just one duck, then get out your wallet in court!!! Everyone & Everything comes to a screeching HALT when ducks are present! The SF peninsula ALSO has signs That come from earlier days, (best left UN -_translated)! Example : Salsipuedes; ( leave IF you’re able!!!) or: the street: “Alameda de las Pulgas” : The Mall or Walkway of the FLEAS! ROMANTIC!

  9. Thank you , OLD MOTOR News for showing ME pictures of Pep Boys Retail stores! Ours was in Glendale. California : I learned what to buy there, — and what NOT to buy . for my Bicycles, Motorcycles, Cars & Trucks !
    Now, we live in Fairmont West Virginia and there is NO Pep Boys Store!!! I am 77 , —and I miss Pep Boys !
    NOTE: we receive a barrage of ads on cable — from M, M, & J, — but we do NOT have a M,M, & J store anywhere NEAR HERE!!! (that I know of) . How about at least doing a Customer Base Study ??? I hope a Car Nut preferably the CFO from MM& J is reading Old Motor News. Thanks, folks .

  10. This photo is of the Bayshore Freeway looking south from Hospital Curve towards Army St. (now Ceasar Chavez blvd.). The overcrossing is 23rd St.

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