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Four Fun Friday Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Eighteen of the Kodachrome Image Series begins this week with a photo of the Spring Creek Resort Chevrolet El Camino and a happy fisherman with his catch. The car-truck is looking somewhat worse for the wear and appears to be several years old. Where in the Ozarks the Resort was located is not known, but it appears the town name and state it was located in are painted on the front fender.

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 Oldsmobile sedan was being pushed hard and put through its paces for a photographer.

  • Very interesting Chevrolet or GMC with a wooden station wagon body, is this a factory body or aftermarket?

  • Is this Nash being used for a driving lesson or did Dad put his little princess behind the wheel for this shot?

35 responses to “Four Fun Friday Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

  1. 59 El Camino looks worse for the wear, seems to me the Ozarks are not in South Dakota. Tom McCahill putting a 55 or 56 Olds threw its paces. “Corners like a Chris Craft.” Camping was a different experience in 1952 or 53, a nice woody though. 55 Ford, 57 Olds, 53 Ford, 54 Pontiac parked safely away from Buffy’s first drive, safe just like dad’s Nash.

    • Bill, you are correct about the Ozarks not being in South Dakota, perhaps the operation moved later on as the name and the description and what the Resort offers is identical. Maybe a reader will know more?

    • Bill: My favorite Tom McCahill quote , written about a 1948 (I think) Buick, “Goes around a corner like a rhinoceros on a wet clay bank.”

      • My favorite McCahill comment was that something, can’t remember now what it was, “Stands out like a lighthouse in a bowling alley.” Unfortunately he lost some credibility when he did a promo film for the ’58 Edsel.

  2. Nostalgia time! Ah, the woodie wagons! My earliest childhood memory of a family car – we had a used 48 Ford woodie. No charm there; my dad and grandfather were often replacing wooden parts that were rotting. Heaters were optional, and I remember Dad and Grandaddy installing an aftermarket unit on the passenger floor. Ahh! Warmth at last on cold winter days!
    Was the Nash being used for a driving lesson? Both of my grandfathers believed that if you could see over the steering wheel, you needed to know how to drive. So, we kids learned to drive at a very very early age. As a little child, my aunt could barely see over the wheel but begged to learn. (After all, her older brother, my dad, got to learn!) She had to sit on pillows! Even when he was old, my Grandaddy talked about when my aunt (a young girl) had to rush him to the hospital. The doctor told him that he would certainly have died if they had waited for an ambulance!
    Thanks for a great blog, Dave!

  3. I’m thinking the shot of the fisherman & the `59 El Camino was probably taken around `64-`65; the narrow whitewalls being the most obvious clue. Mfrs. started building cars with those in `62. The early fifties Chevy Suburban with wood trim is one rare beast.( I wonder if Cantrell built those?) That `55 Olds Super 88 could take all that punishment and then some! The 324 V8 was a torque-monster if tuned right.

  4. I believe the verbiage on the front fender reads “Theodosia, Marina”. It’s on Bull Shoals Lake, Isabella Missouri.

  5. 1st pic, “Rat”, the dog, always had a thing against little Johnny. Judging by the condition of the El Camino, he pushed that “GVW 6,000″ more than once.
    By 1955, Olds had kind of faded from the racing scene, but that didn’t stop these country hooligans from putting dad’s Olds through it’s paces. When I was a kid, a friend’s brother had a car like this. We re-arranged the letters in the front to say ” Leboomsled”.
    It’s hard to tell if it’s a GMC or Chevy from this angle, but it has to be a 1950 or older, no vent windows in doors. Sure was a plain thing, no chrome. I read a company named Campbell Body made the woodie wagons for a number of makes. They were exact copies of the metal bodies.
    Last one, you know it’s little peanut’s 1st driving lesson. Clear day, big parking lot, what’s the worst that could happen? Might be the “before” picture.

  6. In many European countries you cant have someone else teach you have to drive,you have to go to a commercial driving school or no license.
    A common notion among many Europeans is that Americans don’t know how to drive.
    Yeah,right.Judging from the Kamikaze drivers Ive seen in Rome I think its the other way around.

    • Hi Chris, we, and other folks my age, had the luxury of Drivers Ed in high school. It was the only course I got straight A’s in. Drivers Ed was discontinued many years ago, and I taught my kids how to drive, or it had to be a school. And btw, I believe bad drivers have no boundries, they’re worldwide.

  7. I liked browsing through my granddad’s woodworking magazines of the ’50’s, where they all had a project on making a woody wagon.

  8. The first pic, 6000 GVW on the El Camino, is a bit of a stretch. Maybe they’re bragging about the size of fish in that area. I owned two El Caminos, ’64 and ’69. About the most that could be safely hauled was a carton of light bulbs.

    • Hi Tom, the ’59 El Camino had a payload rating of between 650 and 1150lbs, with GVW’s at 4900 max, making it a half ton pickup, so yeah, at 6,000, he was half a ton over,,,and displayed such info on the side of the car. Even in my trucking days, that would have been a gutsy move.

      • Regarding the GVW of the El Camino, if my memory serve me right back in the 50’s Missouri issued all truck license based on GVW, including pickups. They also required all trucks to have painted on the side the name of the owner, their address and the GVW their license were issued for. My father, being a trucker earlier in his life, always purchased his pickup license with a higher GVW than what he expected to being hauling so, as he put it, “just to be on the safe side”. Thanks for bringing that memory back.

  9. I have a postcard of the picture of the ’59 ElCamino. The card was published in 1987 by Quality Postcards. On the back it is printed : “SPRING CREEK RESORT Wayne and Hazel 12 Miles West of Gainesville Off Hwy. HH at Isabella, Missouri.”

  10. I always wondered how they managed to get any kind of turning radius on these full front skirted Nashes, and now I know. My gads, look at that front track!

  11. The 1951 Nash was my car! My sister was my model as we documented this coming of age scene at Detroit’s Balduck Park at the border between east side Detroit and Grosse Pointe.

    This park off of Chandler Park Drive was a popular recreation site in the 1950’s.

  12. The woodie is Chevy Suburban. There was one at the recent Forest Grove Concours in Oregon. According to the owner they were available though dealers, but few were sold.

    • Apparently woodies built on truck running gear were more common than we would think now. They were used as school buses, resort wagons and general utility vehicles, but as noted earlier, the wooden bodies required constant upkeep, so most did not survive. There is a Ford around town that caught my eye, because it is not your family station wagon, but a truck front end. The family car versions were sometimes beach cars or lightly used and garaged, the trucks were used up.

  13. An El Camino Resort Truck? Really great for “Fancy Travelling Sign” fenders! Not so much for large loads. Our ’30 AA Ford Truck was assembled near San Francisco. A Special Stakebed body and gates were fitted on her 157″ W.B. frame & cab. She also saw “Resort service” for ten years – received a new Ford factory remanufactured engine in 1941 and continued Resort work through WW-2, – as the Resort was picked for “R & R ” for Military Officers . She went to Farm Service in 1956, and (what was left of her) was rescued from a barn in 1984. She now resides in W.V. where there is no more drudgery for her — as she is too busy with parades, festivals , cruise ins , funerals and enjoying kids sliding down her fenders !!! Her name is: “Belle”, for her bells, whistles & horns (her present calling ). She is a “touch me ” truck with rolled on Rustoleum paint in orig. Ford combo. colors. a cruise-in prize for oldest vehicle and a parade at the Monongah-Fest Festival — this week end. Ha! I guess she’s still a “resort” truck when you think about it, as everyone has FUN seeing her come out to play! She’s Ready for Work anytime, —though! (at her 1930 pace! )

    • Nice to know that some of these great old cars-and trucks-are still being fully enjoyed and not preserved in garages, only driven 20 miles per summer. Yes, I know it is very expensive to restore cars and Concours classics are unlikely to be driven to Dairy Queen with the family. (Although occasionally they should be!) We have 1000s of cars in Minneapolis, yet at a local show on a clear day, the oldest car is likely to be an example from the late 40s. Look, I like almost anything with wheels, but where are the older cars? Or trucks? Why spend so much $$$ and not drive it at least once in a while or show it off?
      So I congratulate you, E Winet, on having FUN with your old Ford and I wish Belle many, many more happy miles.

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