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Four Fun Friday Forties and Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

Number Ninety-two of the Kodachrome Image Series this week contains photos that were taken during the winter time with a covering of snow on the ground. The lead image shows a sporty-looking early-1960s Buick two-door hardtop finished in a blue and white two-tone paint scheme. In addition to telling us all you know about the car, identify the maker of the triple stripe whitewall tires if possible.

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.

pre and postwar wwii chevrolet and ford sedans

  • This photo demonstrates the differences between 1930s and 1940s coachwork designs.

mid-1960s plymouth barracuda

  • The early Plymouth Barracudas are one of the first 1960s fastbacks with a wrap-around rear window.

mid-1950s chevrolet two door station wagon

  • This mid-1950s Chevrolet two-door station wagon is getting tire chains fitted for the trip home from a ski area.

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

  1. Great photos, as usual. Thanks. The Buick in the first photo is sporting General triple S tires on the front and snow tires in the rear. Looks like a brand new car.

  2. The Ford coupe in the second picture is a 1942 model,as the trunk lid ,with the exception of handle is unadorned.
    The ’46 had narrow stainless strips on both sides of the trunk handle, and the 47,48s had a stainless strip embossed with Ford in the middle of the lid.

    The Chevrolet is a ’38 Master Deluxe With Knee action front suspension, as the standard model with beam axle front,didn’t have a painted strip on the bumpers.

  3. Wow! Love that blue Wildcat! 1st thing I noticed – clean car in snow. Maybe someone just rolled it out of their garage. The common thought is that there were only about 2,000 Wildcats sold in 1962, but at least 1721 Wildcats were built just at Flint. South Gate built at least 1038. This doesn’t include South Gate production from the end of June through July or the other 5 plants that were building B-body cars. I worked as a mechanic for a Buick dealer, and boy, were these cars cool! Bucket seats, a console, tach, and rear floor lamp. Floor shift, rear speaker (big deal at the time!), electric clock, unique steering wheel, electric windshield wipers, vinyl roof, unique wheel covers. These beasts weighed 4,150 pounds, but the 401 rated at 325 horse with a 3.42 rear was quite adequate, in my opinion. The hefty 10″ drum brakes were better than average for the day. I remember triple white wall tires, but I thought that they were not available until later on in the 60’s (?) I know that General made them.
    In the last photo, chains! Boy, do I remember those. My dad had a full size Pontiac, & I always helped him put chains on. One time, he tried taking the back wheels off, then putting the chains on, thinking it would be easier. The wheels would not slide under the body metal with the chains on!
    Great stuff, as always! Thanks, Dave!

    • Mr. P, don’t forget one of the more unusual & new features the Wildcats had in `62: a vinyl top! In `63, Pontiac, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile offered them, but in `62 these were relatively new options! Standard was a painted roof, but for just ‘a few dollars more’ you could impress your neighbors & friends with a vinyl top!

    • I knew these extensions as “elephant ears”, remember them more on similar vintage Chrysler products.

      How popular were two door wagons? Having only two doors (Nomads excepted) seems to contradict the utility function of having a wagon in the first place.

      • Two door wagons, like two door sedans, were often preferred by families whose back seat passengers were children and wanted to avoid any unscheduled exits at speed.

  4. 1st pic: 1962 Buick Wildcat
    2 nd pic: Maybe the photo is taken through the windshield of / from behind a 1940s Cadillac? I think the hood mascotte is the flying godess used by Cadillac… not sure, though…

  5. The ’62 Buick Wildcat was quite a car. I cringe to see it with it’s “Town & Country’s” on. I believe the fronts with triple whites were US Royals. 2nd pic looks like a late 30’s Cadillac hood ornament. The Barracuda is a ’65 ( round reverse lights) and I’d bet that’s mom next to the son’s car, who is taking the pic( either that, or one swingin’ mom) The ’55 Chevy wagon has a V8 and a lost art, “hangin’ iron”. You certainly wouldn’t see this scene today, with the car jacked precariously by the almost certain death bumper jack, father showing the older son, this is how it’s done, and the younger son, getting in on the act, the daughter playing in the snow has no interest. In all my years as a truck driver, I never once put on a set of chains.( did on tractors though) I figured, if it was bad enough to chain up, or “hang iron”, as we called it, you probably wouldn’t get very far anyway. No big hills in the midwest, but out west, you better know what you’re doing.

  6. The Buick appears to have several sand bags in the trunk as a traction aid. Driving gloves and hat on top of the dash was a nice touch. That alone would probably explain the immaculate condition of the car.
    The Barracuda beat the Mustang to market by two weeks.
    And I once met a semi driver on I80 in the Sierras who mentioned nearly the same quote as Howard A. Not using tire chains must really be a badge of honor. He included that he was over a million miles at the times. 1989 I think.

    • Hi Pops, the problem is, they work well, but you don’t get far because the traffic all askew stops you anyway, now you’ve left the safety of the “truck stop”, in the middle of no where( usually) waiting for the “salt shaker”. Most places out west, won’t let you pass a check point until you “chain up”.

      • I still use sand-bags in the back of my car, a 2005 BMW 328i touring (wagon). Works well, and no troublesome Bimmer all-wheel drive to contend with. The winter weather here in Cleveland literally makes everyone (sane ones at least) slow-down, take it easy. Amuses me to see so many cars with all-wheel drive when I don’t know if it helps other than the car companies bottom line.

        • In the upstate NY snow belt my observation has been that the numbers of cars spun out into the medians or right shoulder ditches are disproportionately high in AWDs. Seems like the owners don’t understand that AWD may help you go better but it doesn’t help you stop better. They only discover it after it’s too late.

  7. Love the Wildcat. My grandfather had several including a four door
    light blue version of the one pictured. He traded up to a Caddy in 76.
    His 69 Wildcat went to my mom but it became my weekend car as a
    newly licensed teenager, and later handed down to me. The 430 CI, 4 BBL, 430 HP engine could burn rubber for a block while the gas gauge rapidly descended towards E on premium gas. Seats like a couch, factory stereo, big and comfy. What a car.

    • I believe the first Wildcat came out as a limited production late in the year in a Coupe version only. 1963 had at least one four door, a “hardtop”. A sedan might have been available but don’t know for sure. . .

    • Nope . That’s the proper side for it. Interesting note, the 1962 Wildcat (first year for the model) was the only Wildcat to sport VentiPorts. Beautiful automobile.

  8. While I’m a MoPar fan, we sure thought the first Barracudas were ugly with that giant rear glass. Was pink an original color? Because we sure seemed to have a lot of them running around our town in later years in that color.

  9. I had a ’65 Cuda with the 225 Slant Six and a factory 4-speed with Hurst shifter. Really miss that car!! Couldn’t race the V8’s, but it was great for Rallying and Autocrossing.

  10. Loved seeing the ’38 Chevy 4 door, one of the cars I had in high school in the early ’50’s. Shaved the truck emblem, installed Terraplane taillights with the license on the bumper. Split manifold made a great sound (noise?), gray primer, so very 1950’s. The bouncing knee action finally got too me and I sold the car for $50.

  11. Love the photos. That Buick is gorgeous (minus the T&Cs). I must admit, I had a ’55 Roadmaster in about 1960, and put a pair on for winter. It seemed nothing would stop that car with those “tractor tires” on the back.

    The ’38 Chevy brings back memories. My dad bought one in 1948. He had bought a new ’41 Buick Super, drove it through World War II and sold it after the war — at a profit! After finding out he couldn’t get along with a bus line, he bought the Chevy.

    In ’49, I had an attack of acute nephritis (Kidney lockup) and was in bad shape. He and my stepmother was coming over from the next state to see me and they got in an accident about 25 miles away. So I was in one hospital and they were in another! The Chevy was a goner, so after he got out of the hospital, he bought a new ’49 fastback Chevy.

  12. The Barracuda body style was interesting. Its only drawback was the rear window glass : Wi$h that you never have to replace one. $$$ The slant SIX? AS LONG AS you paid attention to replacing the HEX SHAFT DRIVE from the distributor to the OIL pump, — (MORE frequently than other engine designs) the Motor was good for 250,000 miles without opening it! A true embarrassment for the “PLANNED OBSOLESCENSE” crowd at MOPAR!!!

  13. Hahaha to you. That Buick looks just like one that my neighbors son kid parked in the driveway under a tarp about 20 years ago. I’m pretty sure everyone has forgotten what was under that tarp. I once thought about buying it but it’s probably been transformed into a exact replica Buick formed from leaves, rust, acorns squirrel carcasses and mouse turds.

    I should know because that second photo shows a Barracuda exactly like the one I parked on my own side yard 10 years ago. Same color (black) rear bumper guard and dirt accumulation.
    The only difference is that the Roof rat living in my car isn’t nearly as big as the one that is looking out the window of her’s. The forlorn expression on her face is the same one my mother has when ever she sees my Barracuda.

    I am always quick to remind her that we live in a good neighborhood.

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