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Four Fun Friday Forties and Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Sixteen of the Kodachrome Image Series begins this week with a photo of a women, her dog, and a late-1930s Ford sedan. At first glance, mostly due to her look and hat, she appears to resemble the actress Margaret Hamilton, who portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West in the classic 1939 film, “The Wizard of OZ.” The Ford is well preserved, and like many pre-World War II cars, it may have spent time during the hostilities on blocks and under a cover.

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 woman appears to be posing for a new car photo with this streamlined Nash.

  • A well-equipped entourage with a pair of spacious GM vehicles on a summer road trip.

  • The tall late summer corn makes for a perfect background for a photo of this man and his Studebaker.

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

  1. As a baby boomer I’m just going to guess that the giant beast in the front of the camping duo is a Buick and the other vehicle is a Suburban. It looks like the Buick has a ham radio antenna which I don’t think was common on privately owned vehicles during this time. Confirmation or correction invited please.

    • The antenna was the origial placement for the radio. I remember spinning the antenna with the interior knob on my grandfathers Buick.

      • Lee, you missed the whip antenna over the rear fender. I used one for CB radio but this photo is well before that era so I too would guess ham radio.

  2. Really great photographs again !!

    In the 2nd picture is a 1950 NASH Statesman Super, in the foreground.

    In the 3rd photograph a stretched 1942 BUICK Special, leading the pack.

    In the 4th picture is a 1950 STUDEBAKER Champion with two different replacement hub-caps..

    • Nash/Rambler, Studebaker, Cadillac and Buick made the most unique cars of the post war era, in my opinion. In particular, Nash, and Studebaker had the guts, and commitment to style cars to a vision, rather than what the big 3 were devoting to mediocrity. The Nash is one of my all time favorite cars. And let’s face it; cars are remembered for how they looked, not how well they were built. Beautiful pictures as always; thank you.

  3. The lead photo is a 1938 Ford DeLuxe Fordor sedan. Is that a camera laying on the hood or a cigarette holder? In the second photo, behind the Nash, someone tell me what make the well used 5 window coupe is please.

  4. The `50-`51 Studebaker its owner appears so proud of appears to be fairly new! In the second photo, the Mrs. looks proud of her family’s new `49 Nash!

  5. The lead GM vehicle is a 1942 Buick Limited 90. As used cars, long-wheelbase seven passenger models tended to sell very cheaply relative to their condition because few wanted to foot the bill for their daily operation. As a spacious family car, they could be ideal. Downside is most weren’t well cared-for by second and third owners, were used up and junked, making them even rarer than they were to start.

  6. 1st pic: 1938 Ford
    2nd pic: a 1950 Nash Statesman Super (the 1949 model would be a ‘600’)
    3rd pic: a 1942 Buick Limited limousine!! Very, very rare, and discontinued after the war because it was too close a competitor to the series 75 Cadillac
    4th pic: 1950 or ’51 Studebaker

  7. Glad were back here. What’s great about this feature, is, it’s not so much the vehicles, but little pieces of someone’s life. 1st pic, while the attire is something you’d see Margaret Hamilton wear, I don’t think she looks like her. Ms. Hamilton had a long skinny face and a big schnoz. She fit that witch part perfect. I’m more drawn to the dog. I’m not a dog person, but the friends I stayed with last summer, had a dog similar to this. A Chihuahua. He was the most amazing dog I ever met. I swear, he could read your mind. The “Oregon” sticker on the windshield, I believe, is an inspection sticker.
    Now, the 2nd pic, that could be Lois Lane standing by her 1952-3 Nash. But what’s better, is the scene going on behind her. It appears, the teenage hooligan, with cobbled hot rod ( deuce coupe?) picking up Betty Lou, and the father, in between them, clearly isn’t too crazy about it.
    3rd pic, that Buick has got to be some sort of limo. I don’t recall them being that long. The Suburban is using the trailer as a parking brake. Maybe a band? Out West, for sure, and lastly, Uncle Fritz with his new Studebaker company car. Were neck ties always that short back then?

  8. The Coupe w/o a spare tire behind the 1950 Nash could be a Willys coupe, c.. 1939/40. The hint is the shortness of the body.

  9. Hooray for Kodachrome Friday!

    My thoughts, please;

    1) I don’t know the make of the 5-window coupe, but I’d put it to be a 1932 or 33. It’s astonishing how much car design had moved forward by 1949. The Nash must have looked like a spaceship.

    2) The Suburban is in it’s OEM blackwall tires. As it was (is) basically, a truck with seats I would imagine very, very few would have had whitewalls. Yet, GM ran an advertising campaign a few years talking about the heritage of the Suburban. Every one in the ads has whitewalls. I think this is how they would have all looked back in the day.

    And, as always David, thanks for all you do.

      • Oh no, thank you Dave.

        Second picture, the 5-window in the background strikes me as Ford. Just a well worn 16? year old survivor car. It must have seen regular night, route duty. Note the working (not a dummy) spotlight. Perhaps newspapers. Don’t ask how I would know.

        The lady in front is holding on to her cigarette. If you can’t see it in her hand, it shows in the shadow. Plus the smoker’s smile. Yeah I stopped after a few decades of trying to.

        First picture, that object on the hood might be an expandable camera.

        The Studebaker looks similar to one my father had for a short time. He used to flip cars. Anyway it had heated seats! And… if you use your imagination, you can parse out the pattern of rows, in that tall corn. As opposed to today’s method of max yield per acre.

        • I knew everybody would say the five window coupe is an early Ford. But if you look at the short body it is far stubbier than a Ford. I say Willys, which was a shortned Ford look.

        • RE: Heated seat in the Studebaker. Well, not quite. There was a heater core under the front passenger seat. This was part of the “Climatizer” system. A separate defroster core was under the dash. The blower motor was on the right front wheel well. Could be used in conjunction with the fresh air vents on the fender. An excellent system.

        • In almost every picture I have of my dad, he is holding a cigarette! Too bad I lost both my parents to smoking related illnesses.

  10. I too want to thank you , David, for all that you do, but especially the Friday en tries.

    In the first picture the tag on the windshield says Oregon with a date of 1944. If this is no t a left over, Gas rationing would have still been in effect. My guess this lady, had some connections, or an occupational reason, to get enough gas that she could be on ride in the country.
    I am not sure but I think the five window coupe might be a Plymouth.
    I think of the two hubcaps visible on the Studebaker the rear one is the original.

    • The Oregon windshield sticker, 5″ x 2 3/4″, is actually a 1946 issue that went with a 1946 Oregon rear license plate. There was no Oregon front plate this year. The 1944 sticker was completely different with an outline of the shape Oregon, the state seal, the year 1944 , and a serial number inside a box.

  11. In the first photo the woman would be blocking the gas rationing sticker I think. That looks like a camera on the hood. In the Nash photo I’m going with the Willys. There appears to be a hood ornament windshield bug deflector of orange plastic on the Studebaker. As for the campers, those pre RV days were real camping. As a child my dentist had an older Cadillac limo to haul his large family.

  12. Last week when you made your updates, I commented ‘ more dogs!’. Thanks. I almost asked for more Buicks. This is better than asking. This is a mighty fine site. A big hearty thank you for your efforts.

  13. Another fine set of Friday pics. Glad you’re back!
    Would like to add my take on picture #2. No question about the Nash lady
    (could use a set of “curb feelers” for those wide whites). Across the street,
    the coupe just happens to be there. See no connection to the folks behind it.
    The man on the left is holding a baby, the lady standing in front of what looks
    like a ’49 Buick is likely his wife. Looks like she might be taking a smoke. As
    for the man in the middle, he looks too young to be a Father-in-law, so think
    they are all just friends (or maybe neighbors). Maybe the guy in the center
    is married to the Nash lady. How far out am I? Comments appreciated.

  14. The first photo I s of a 1938 Ford coupe which my dad had one and worked good,it had a flat head 6cylender how I could tell it was a coupe is of the long door’s on bothsides but I do not know the woman in the picture

    • The Ford in pic #1 is a fordor. The right rear door top hinge is just visible by the top end of the fold in the womans right coat sleeve, while the top hinge on the l/r door appears as a a black square on the pole behind the car.

  15. The 1938 Ford’s didn’t have a 6 cylinder available, only the V8 60 or 85 h.p. The one pictured is a Deluxe, so it probably has the 85.

  16. Just checked, can’t be Margaret Hamilton, she is from Cleveland and spent most all of her life in Manhattan + doesn’t look like her Google photos.

  17. In the first pic whats the grooved thing beside the hood emblem ?It not seem to be part of the emblem and feflexes over the hood as if it´s near the windscreen pillar .

  18. That Ford is not a coupe as I see it. Three windows per side, coupe’s have two.
    Thanks for a great newsletter. I lokk forward to it weekly here in South Africa.

  19. The 1938 Ford shown appears to be a FORDOR Sedan (?) The last of two years – (’37 – ’38) of cable – operated Mechanical brakes (which worked well — if not in “salt territory”!) –By: Being: “kept Lubricated” on all cables & linkages & adjusted! A great accessory for these was: Aftermarket “Floating Anchors”. The available engines were: V-8 60 & V-8 85 H.P. units. Columbia (rear axle) Overdrive was also available . The Business Coupe version for ’37 & ’38 were favorites for stock car and other forms of track racing from ’37 to: After WW-2 , as these coupes (with the 60 h.p. Lighter Tubular Front axle added— plus all kinds of After – Market Speed equipment — (Thanks to Bootlegger “Speed – needs”!!! These were the lightest and fastest – most maneuverable cars (without too much modification) and they helped stock car racing get re-established after the War! Note: My guess is: That a later Ford flathead 6- banger Truck engine —( A very good engine!!! ) was grafted into an earlier year of Ford (???) Edwin W.

  20. I believe the answer on the tie is that the short ones were designed to wear under a vest. Possibly, as this one, they were from an earlier era when vests wearing was common. One of my “treasures” is one which belonged to an uncle of an earlier time. !!
    Love these pics, David!

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