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Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

Number Eighty-nine of the “Kodachrome Image Series” begins this week with a fifties scene containing six majorettes in a parade passing by what appears to be Antocan Motors, a used car dealership with a B.F.Goodrich tire and service facility to its right. The parking lot at the facility is filled with an interesting assortment of 1950s vintage cars.

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 busy street filled with 1930s-’50s cars in a tourist or vacation area.


  • A circa 1965 view of Los Angeles International Airport with the landmark futurist theme building containing a restaurant constructed during 1961 in the background. 


  • An unidentified tourist town filled with 1930s-’50s cars and trucks.

51 responses to “Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

  1. Pic 1: 56 Mercury, 55 Dodge, 55 Ford, 56 Ford, 56 Pontiac, 55 Olds all great 50’s color combos. All plated (CA tags stayed with the car during this period) and ready to go! Wow!

    • You forgot the 1950 Pontiac, behind the 1956 Ford and 1956 Pontiac. 🙂
      At the left, way back is probably the newest car in this picture. The shape of the windshield makes me think about a late ’50s Mopar.

  2. Blue Hudson step down with the door open in the first image. Driver might have had a time getting out of that parking spot without any power steering.

    • It looks like the window is open on the car behind the Hudson. So just hop in, release the brake and let it drift back a little, and you could probably do it. I’m sure the owner wouldn’t mind.

  3. I think I’d read the name of the used car dealership in the first photo as either “Autocan” or possibly “Autocare.” And, in fact, there is still an Autocare motors in Vernon, CT. I don’t think that’s what appears in the photo, though — the license places look wrong.

  4. 1st pic, at first, I thought the cars had plates, but probably just the name of the dealer. Certainly not brand specific. Can’t quite make out the banner, something High ( school). The people watching appear to be Latino or Native American, so I’d say SW. 2nd, how is the family getting into the Hudson going to get out. I guess, that’s why they call them “bumpers”. It appears, the road goes to one way at the intersection.
    LAX,,,, that place is NUTS ( for a dirt-eatin’ Midwestern farmboy) Being a truck driver all my working life, I’ve always been able to figure out my surroundings, I had to, there was no GPS, but on a visit to L.A. a few years ago, my 1st time, for the 1st time, I got off the plane, and didn’t know what to do. It was actually scary, I mean, nothing made any sense. It’s a much different looking place today than the photo shows. I’m a big fan of the “Webb” series( Dragnet, Adam-12, Emergency) and they all take place when LAX looked like this. ( several episodes focus on the airport, but they never call it LAX) Is that Elvis in the pink Cadillac? And lastly, in stark contrast to the LAX pic ( no Caddy’s or Mercedes here) the plate appears to be a mid-50’s Colorado, and the hills would confirm that. Hope those emergency brakes work.

  5. In the 2nd photograph, parked two cars behind the light green 1953 HUDSON, is a white over green 1953 DeSOTO; parked across the street is a yellow 1949 STUDEBAKER Commander Regal Deluxe Convertible .

  6. My guesses for LAX: 1965 Mustang, 1960’s VW bus, 1962(?) Chevy, 1950’s M-B. Next to (above) the Chevy is a 1966 Falcon(?), and next to the Falcon in the next lane is a 1955 Cadillac, behind the Caddie is a Buick Riveria, and next to the Riveria is a med 1960’s Pontiac.

  7. The western town looks like it could be a down-on-its-luck Idaho mining town (which of the many, however?). The license plates look like 1950s Idaho and what looks like mining tailings are visible in the right background. One large brick building located on an unpaved street kinda implies a dying town that has seen better days.

  8. Second photo is Seaside, Oregon. The Times Theater was one block from the turn around. Most of the buildings are still the same. The Theater is closed and the rides are gone. In the 60’s this was the place to cruise on Friday and Saturday nights. There is a big car show the weekend after Labor Day.

  9. That black car in the last photo, with its back to the camera, and parked in front of a “NO PARKING Any Time” sign, is a ’38 Chevy. There’s one just like it in my garage.

  10. 1st photo – there wouldn’t be too many towns that had a Ferris Wheel and a Merry-Go-Round on the main street!

  11. That last photo, of the wayward, sliding-down-hill town reminds me a lot of Jerome, AZ (which I don’t believe the photo is). Jerome, as many of you know, is technically a ghost town not far from Cottonwood, and Sedona. High on a hilltop, the town was built on top of the town’s goose that laid the golden egg, the mine. Remember the little Ant Farm you could buy at the Woolworth? Imagine a town built on top of a channeled, tunneled hilltop. Anyhow, interesting place to visit still; was there in 2013.

  12. Last photo…I believe those are 1955 Colorado license plates. Only year in that time frame to have a white plate AND wording above AND below the number. So now, what mining town was that?

    • Following up on the identification of this being Colorado, I believe this is probably Central City in Gilpin County. My rationale for this is that the Denver bookstore “Collectors Center,” owned by Don Bloch, had a branch in Central City, and that is probably what is shown at the left hand side of the road.

      Further helping the identification is that the car in front of the bookstore and the green car in the right foreground both look like they have the number “60” on the license plate which identifies them as being registered in Gilpin County.

  13. YES! —- Mr. Hugh Janus! This early small town photo ALSO REMINDS ME of Jerome, Arizona, — looking toward the area of Cottonwood, the area just before SEDONA. , It IS before pavement, and many parts of Arizona were NOT paved in the fifties. Quite similar to Jerome, but It’ll require “a local” to I D it, — accurately . I’ll just call it: “JEROME -LIKE” and someone will rescue us, or KNOW its name. Towns on Mountain tops are not as common as towns near springs or rivers in a valley. Edwin W.

  14. JEROME??? The closest power pole has BOTH 1 phase and 3 Phase electricity , indicating the necessity for Both Domestic and Commercial Store Fronts use , plus Industrial use, indicating the presence of 3 phase Machinery to service or operate nearby mining equipment., (AFTER A.C. Power became common). IF it isn’t Jerome, chances are — that there is still a mine or mines nearby! Edwin W.

    • Dang! Very Sherlock Holmes-ish. I’m not savy when it comes to power lines, and I’ve been lookin at them for 65yrs.
      I agree that this is a mining town, or perhaps ‘was’ is a better word, three parking lots with a lot attendant tells me more is going on here than just mining. the pedestrians are dressed not to dig underground, but dig in touristy stores. the distant horses/mules would be there to add local color and ambience.

  15. Ken, made it all the way to your comment thinking I’d be first to mention the Mercedes!!!! It is a 220S hardtop coupe. Tough to tell the year as they were all pretty much the same til the end, 1960. Could be an SE but can’t tell externally without seeing the trunk badge.

    • Yes, what a beautiful circa-1959-61 220S (dual carbs) or 220SE (fuel injected) coupe! Pretty rare today, very stylish, and wonderful cars to drive. I owned and restored a 1959 220SE sedan, one of only about 1,800 made.

  16. In the 2nd picture (The street scene) I’d like to add my 5c worth.
    On the right side I see (from bottom) ’51 Chevy, ’50 Ford, Studebaker Champion
    convert., Blue car is a Chrysler (the divided rear window make me think it is a ’50
    model), another ’50 Ford, Green car unidentified and a ’47-’48 Ford Fordor.
    In the traffic lanes I see a Green ’51 Chevy, 46-’48 Olds, ’47-’48 Buick and
    another ’51 Chevy.
    On the left (from bottom) ’49 or ’50 Lincoln coupe (Maybe a Mercury), the Hudson,
    ’40? Plymouth sedan (can’t see the grille, maybe it’s a ’41) and a ’52 DeSoto. I see an
    air scoop on the hood and that first appeared in ’52 with the Firedome V-8. Definitely
    not a ’53 and a ’51 Cadillac sedan.
    Not even going to cross the intersection, too many cars.
    Note that all 3 of the Chevys are the Deluxe model. One is a rare 4-door Fleetline.
    Lot of big spenders in this community.
    Once again, thanks for my Friday entertainment. Look forward to the next one.

  17. That pale yellow ’62 Chevy Biscayne (or maybe Bel Air) in the third photo — I OWNED that car, same color and all. Hated it! Mine was a Biscayne, 6-cylinder with Powerglide, didn’t have enough power to get out of its own way. Cursed the day I traded in my ’60 V8 Biscayne 2-door for it.

    • Evidently no one caught the forbears of the “horseless carriages” we all love and cherish – the horses next to the large “Parking” sign in photo 4. These are true Colorado horses – stocky, muscular and able to long-trot all day through all terrains. I rode these horses’ descendants ranch riding in southern Colorado during the ’90s. Excellent mounts, cow-savvy, but snuffy if you’re not careful – got bucked off once, and never took them for granted again!

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