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Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Fourteen of the Kodachrome Image Series begins this week with a photo taken at a car dealership of a new car moment with the classic view of the salesman handing over the keys to the happy new owner. There are more than enough clues in the photo to tell us all about the Corvette, the name and location of the dealership, and some of the other cars in the view.

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 below are via This Was Americar.

  • This shot appears like it vacation time at the lake house with the new four-seat Thunderbird.

  • This three-quarter rear view of a new Buick hardtop shows the amazing amount of chrome plated and stainless steel trim used on luxury cars in the late-1950s. 

  • And finally, a young man and an Oldsmobile two-door hardtop with a two-tone paint scheme which was popular at the time.

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

  1. Again great photographs !!

    In the lead picture is a powder blue 1960 FORD parked out front of the dealership and driving away is a white 1960 FORD.

    In the 3rd picture is a limited production 1958 BUICK Limited Riviera Sedan

  2. In the top photo, I like the `60 Ford Fairlane sedan on the left. The minimal of trim made the lines on those stand out. (This must be a Buick/Chevy combo dealer if he’s getting that new `62 Vette?) Third photo–a GORGEOUS `58 Buick Limited; the definition of excess. In the last photo, the young man looks mighty proud of his new red `52 Olds 98 Holiday coupe! The blackwalls don’t surprise me, since the Korean war was still ongoing.

    • Believe the Olds is an 88, based only on the minimum hub cap. The 98’s usually had a full hub. Could be mistaken.

  3. Looking at the chromed-up 1958 Buick is a reminder just how good looking tastful bright work was on the cars of the 50s and 60s. Needless to say 1958 was the year of excess and this Buick is a prime example. Today chrome and decorative badging is limited if used at all.

    In my humble opinion, a car w/o tasteful bright work is like a woman without makeup or a picture without a frame. Odly, the chrome barges now are the picklup trucks.

  4. Obviously the ’58 Buick is brand new as it doesn’t have a permanent license plate only a paper plate taped to the rear bumper.

  5. 3rd picture is a 1960 or 61 Ford Thunderbird. I had a 59 and this one has a different grill so I believe it is a 60.

    • This geeky guy is not buying the car. He is accepting the keys for his dad (it`s a birthday or anniversary present from mom). He`s hoping no one will notice the big bulges his coat pockets which are a couple of sandwiches he brought along during his lunch hour.

  6. I didn’t know Al Capone was also a car salesman. The new owner isn’t dressed as I would think a corvette driver would be. Looks more like another salesman doing a promo shoot. And if you added all the chrome on a ’58 Buick, Cadillac, Olds, and Pontiac it would sink a ship.

  7. A high-school girlfriend’s dad bought one of those Buicks new, identical to this one. Because he was barely five-ft tall, he looked ridiculously lost in it. All of us kids breathed sighs of relief when the sleek ’59 Buicks came out!

  8. I believe the Corvette is going to be registered out-of-state. In my time in the car business in PA (78-96) car dealers issued the metal license plate. (If there was no trade / transfer of tag) If the car was to be registered out-of-state a cardboard tag was issued by the dealer and the state where the car was registered issued their tag.

  9. The Buick dealer next door has a green and white 4 dr sedan in his used car lot. My guess is it’s a ’54 Buick Special.
    The Volkswagen has the large rear window, but small light over the license plate and small tail lights. My guess is a ’64.

  10. First photo – Scott-Smith Cadillac was located at Broad and Ridge in Philadelphia. Their building was actually a beautiful multi-story dealership.

    So my best guess is that the first photo shows a view that appears to be looking down Ridge toward Broad. Nothing remains of that area today to suggest any of these dealers.

    • The main Scott Smith Cadillac dealership at Broad and Ridge is not in the background, but rather the background shows their branch office at 87 Lancaster in Ardmore, PA. St. Colman Catholic Church across the street, at Lancaster and Argyle Streets, is still a perfect match for this photo.

  11. Without a doubt the 58 Buick was a beautiful statement about cool chrome and class in its day.
    Today cars all look like pregnant jelly beans with next to no class or style.
    Sad to see such gadget loaded beans sucking class and big bucks from the owners.
    Even sadder is the lack of color creation.
    Basic colors is basic blah. On the jelly bean cars…..

  12. Photo #1 – Difficult to read the dealership name, maybe GEHRA BUICK? Pennsylvania, I believe. Late 1961, or sometime in 1962. With a combined marque dealership, I’m thinking a small(er) town.
    Photo #3 – The 1958 Buick Riviera, “Nothing exceeds like excess” is the proper motto. Wow.

  13. 1st pic, oh, he’s the Corvette buyer , all right. Gets around the corner, glasses come off, suit goes out the window, out comes the red sweater. I think that’s a PA dealer plate, as the ’60 Ford has a 1962 regular PA plate. Why is there a VW on the curb facing us? 2nd pic, mom always did have a heavy right foot. She loved their T-Bird. Looks like a 1958 Michigan plate,,,makes sense.
    3rd, pic, the ’58 Buick, the ultimate in American glitz. The grill alone was made up of 160 beveled chrome squares. This rare “Limited” was over the top, billed as the most chromed car, ever. Last pic, I think may be a Texas plate. America’s 1st muscle car. I’m sure this young man knew that.

  14. The auto dealer in the first photo is Gehris Buick, Inc. at 123 E. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The dealership appears to have started out as Gehris Motors.

    The building is still there, but it has been heavily modified, and is the home to Martin Main Line Honda. Confirming the location is St. Colman Catholic Church on the left side of the street which also still exists.

  15. Lead photo appears to be Flohr Chevrolet in Ardmore, Pennsylvania with Gehris Buick right next door and Scott Smith Cadillac in the distance.

  16. Looking at that ’58 Buick Limited, I didn’t like it when it was new, and I don’t like it now. To me, it looks like the designers didn’t know when to stop with the chrome and stainless.
    Although the ’58 Olds had a lot of chrome on it, to me, it was more tasteful.
    I t was interesting when the ’59s came out. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

  17. It is more than obvious that Buick wanted the ’58 to sell— and that : Way more shiny “doo-dads” were: A way to “squeeze more blood from the turnip!”, Year- Model wise, as re-tooling the whole body is expensive! Edwin W.

  18. The interesting thing with the 1958 Buick Limited is that it is basically a Roadmaster with ten inches added into to trunk. I wrote an article some years ago about a ’58 Special for a local magazine and in my research ran across a website called ‘kingoftheroad(dot net)’ which has a number of less common cars, all in superb condition, owned by Kris Trexler, a Hollywood film editor. There is a good picture on there of the inside of the truck lid showing where the extension was let in.

    The only other car I can think of that was achieved that way was the Holden Brougham, built in Australia from 1968 to 1971. There is a wiki page about it. In the Holden’s case it was a short notice response to the success of the local Ford Fairlane, which was built on an extended Falcon frame and a very different animal to the US car.

  19. howard a. – funny. All he needs is a phone booth to change into his corvette suite. BUT, he’s gotta be a salesman. They are identically dressed and both have bulging pockets of sales brochures.

  20. First picture I see a 60 Fored going away and the rear end of a 59 Chevrolet to the left. Don’t know the year of the VW driving down the street. As regards the Buick , my good friends father in law purchased a similarly dressed out Pontiac in 58, returning to Oregon from Michigan where he purchased it he blew out two tires. The problem was with the factory equipped air ride type tires that stretched under high speeds and let the air out around the beads. Not long after he got it home he parked the car in the garage one evening and the next morning backing out he hear a loud scraping noise which turned out to be the front bumper had some loose and was dragging on the floor. Car disappeared shortly after.

  21. The cars of today don’t look like jelly beans , they all look like Idaho potatoes sliced in half, long-ways. Disgusting no style, nothing to distinguish one make from another, all punched out of the same cheap plastic mold . All manufacturers are afraid to be bold and innovative they all want to look like their competition STERILE. In the 1950’s you didn’t have to walk up and read the name on the car, you could tell the make from 1/4.mile away.

    • Safety and fuel efficiency regs are part of it BUT complaints about look-alike cars go back many decades, including during the 1950s. I have read several articles from the 1950s with older or retired engineers and designers, everyday folk, etc. commenting that cars of that time looked too much alike. Every generation of auto design has or had people feeling that way.

      I can much more easily tell cars apart from the 1960s through even today than cars from the 1950s or before (those before my time). A lot can depend on when you grew up and/or what you “connect” with.

  22. Great photos once again. I love the “White Glove Service” sign below the Buick neon sign in the background of the lead photo. The car infront of the Corvette looks like a new Impala haedtop.

  23. Gentlemen, and Ladies, please let me say (once again!) how I love this site: the comments are just as delectable as the old photos. I was a kid in central Kentucky near Lexington (8th grade) when that incredible Buick had its debut. Neighbors up the street had a black Roadmaster of that year, which seemed to me one of the longest cars I’d ever seen. (This was in the day when the old guard in our little town were driving cars like a 1949 Cadillac Fleetwood — which still seems to me one of the classic designs. We had an mid-50’s Oldsmobile Super 88 — “black & mist gray” it was called, but I can’t remember its year.) I continue to look forward to The Old Motor posts, and to the comments! Thank you.

  24. At first glance I too thought the ’52 Olds was an ’88. Blew it up and looked to the
    rear and noticed the chromed stone guard. That is a clear indicator to me that it
    is a ’98. The ’88s had a smaller, more triangular stone guard, still chrome (stainless).
    Once more, thanks for the great pictures.

  25. In the second picture the Thunderchicken has an aftermarket rear view mirror and the left wing is broken off the Thunderbird emblem on the nose of the car..

  26. The young man is taking delivery of his 62 Corvette from Flohr Chevrolet on Lancaster Ave., (Route 30), in Ardmore, PA, (About 3 miles west of Philadelphia), where I bought my own 1974 Monte Carlo. Next door is Gehris Buick, “White Glove Service”, and a little further up the street was Scott Smith Cadillac.

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