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Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Twenty-Two of the Kodachrome Image Series begins this week with a colorful image of rush hour traffic taken circa-1964 on a congested freeway. Where this photo was taken is unknown, but there may be a black and white version of this shot out there somewhere floating around in cyperspace that will help home in on where this throughfare is as this scene looks familiar. Who can identify the location of where this photo was taken and of what highway?

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.

  • Palm trees and sunshine at a California strip mall circa 1964.

  • The General Motors Art and Color Studio generally picked out the right hue to go with to go with any two-tone combination.

  • An early post-war scene highlighted by a near new rehashed General Motors sedan.

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

  1. 2nd pic at left: a low range 1958 Edsel (Pacer or Ranger, based on Ford body) parked alongside a 1957 Mercury.
    Last pic: 1946 Pontiac

  2. The cars on the freeway appear to have Michigan plates with corner tag indicating the year, 1964. That would agree with the newest car on the freeway that day, a 1964 red Dodge Polara in the middle. Could be in Detroit where I-94 and I-75 come together but without landmarks it’s hard to tell.

  3. A wonderful series. Top photo could easily be a scene from my youth in Atlanta – the cars, not necessarily the place. My old man had a ’64 Polara like the one in the center of the shot; he traded the well-worn ’54 Chevy for it and it was his all-time favorite vehicle. HIs was an Ivory 2 door with the 318.

  4. In the first pic, notice how everyone in the left lane (right lane as we view it) is crowding over to their left and leaving no space as if to say ” you are not merging in front of me”.
    Third shot shows a very young driver seemingly proud of his ’55 BelAir.

  5. 1st pic, what’s interesting, is you have the Big 3 in medium duty trucks here. The one changing lanes is a ’61-’64 Dodge D 500 series, the Chevy farther back, a C50 or 60, and the Ford getting on, probably a F500, and farther back, what looks like a N series Ford tractor trailer. I see one solitary VW ( and no other foreign car, for that matter), and for sure, none of that Detroit iron is gonna let THEM in, which leads me to think it could be Detroit, as by the early 60’s, most traffic jams had more foreign cars.
    2nd, that’s Barry Goldwater’s campaign office there. Remember, “AuH2O” bumper stickers?
    3rd pic, kind of odd color combo on the Chevy, I don’t remember many black cars years ago. It’s not new, as it’s had at least one oil change. Last pic, the Pontiac Torpedo(?) sure looks brand new. Picking it up at the dealer, maybe? I read, 1946 would be the 1st post war Pontiac, and it looks like these folks went all out.

    • The black and white 1955 Chevrolet Belair hardtop pictured was an early production car, judging from the two tone combo. Later cars featured the upper quarters panels and trunk lid painted the same color as the roof.

    • In that 2nd photo, parked in front of the “Republicans for Goldwater” office, is a 1955 Packard Clipper 4 door sedan in two-tone blue and white.

  6. The highway scene has a blue ’64 Chevy Malibu 2 door H/T, second car in the right lane. I really don’t see anything newer. Near the lower left is a ’55 Ford 2 door Club Sedan. That’s the first car I owned in high school back in 1959.

  7. Oops! That’s westbound I-94.
    I should add that if the photo had been taken about four years later and there was a new Cadillac merging on the left side of the photo it could have been me returning from the GM Building. I was an entry level clerk at Cadillac central office on Clark Street and regularly used a company car to pick up boxes of computer printouts from the GM data center. Wow! I got to drive a new Eldorado – five miles each way!

  8. I think the newest model in the first pic is the 65 Chevelle , 2nd car on the right in the merge lane. But that doesn’t rule out the photo being taken in 64. Fellow boomers know what I mean.

  9. I continue to be amazed at the variety of colors and design in the fifties.. the flair of those fins on the ’57-8 Imperial in the merge lane. first foto; the kalidescope of color and design in the second foto, with a tangerine ’57 Mercury-fore ground ; the way the combination of Red Black and White all on ONE car-a ’55 Chevy BelAir- yells at your eyes; and finally the hush of the last foto, with the v=e-ery subdued sober but lovely jut postwar Pontiac Streamliner not a color screamer any where in sight… it took a few years for the fifties to explode on us.

    Maybe we’re seeing something like that today with all the electric colors we’re seeing about,,, maybe it’s generational… we’re certainly seeing that today, I remember, my Mom and Dad bought those cars in thier lifetimes.

  10. That’s a ’64 Chevelle, Rich. It looks like there are several ’64 models in the picture, including a Galaxie, a Dodge, a Mercury, and perhaps that Corvair (although it could be a ’61…tough to tell from that distance).

  11. The first photo is the intersection of M10, Lodge Freeway, and I-94, Edsel Ford Freeway looking into westbound traffic on I-94 which is being added to by merging southbound Lodge traffic on the left side of the photo. The snap looks to have been taken from a pedestrian crossing over I-94 that serves the Wayne State University football stadium.

  12. Top pic: Got to be Michigan, around Detroit. Very Mopar heavy traffic. I count 8-9 Chrysler Corp products. I would agree the location is around I-94 & I-75 merger, near the Chrysler Hamtramck plant.

    2nd pic: I think that might be in Nevada, seeing all the blue with white lettering license plates. I don’t know…. the palm trees and Mediterranean tile roofing scream So Cal, but the western architecture and plants look desert southwest. Then again, Barry Goldwater was from Arizona.

  13. I know that I am wrong but, I am from Ontario Canada and the first picture of the traffic sure looks like the Gardner Expressway at the entrance at Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto. My guess at the date would be mid 60’s.

    • I had a hunch, too. Scottsdale, maybe Fifth Avenue, Main Street. And Goldwater election office? Definitely. I grew-up in Scottsdale (1960s-1980). It’s changed a lot, now like a small Los Angeles, which is a shame. Never used to allow any building more than two-stories high, to allow (in theory) view of the mountains. Now there are gigantic hotels everywhere, including where my alma mater, Scottsdale High School (1922-1982) was located.

  14. In Photo #1 I see a flat top 1960 Oldsmobile. Hard to tell but it looks as though it could have a roof mounted radio antenna. If it does, that would be the first I recall seeing on a 60 Olds.

  15. The second picture looks just like the Gulf Gate strip mall here in Sarasota, FL. I don’t doubt that it is California, but I think our 2 States pioneered the ugly strip mall blight that has uglified America. The cars are beautiful though.

  16. Donald is correct – the second photo is of Main Street, Scottsdale. That’s Ugo’s Opera Restaurant (Italian Cuisine) on the far right (73 West Main Street) and to the left is Troy’s Western Store (the Bar-M).

  17. You had to be a tough kid to wear sandals back then-the other kids would think you came from France.
    Keds,PF Flyers or Cons ruled back then.

    • As in, Laugh-in… “veeery inturestin’ “. I always thought “Cruiser Skirts” were a factory- approved accessory, ie; “Turnpike”?

  18. The blue-green hue in the first photo makes me think it may not be a Kodachrome print. In the Sixties and Seventies i think Agfa or Fuji films tended to run slightly off-colour in that hue.

    • In the “Mad Ave World” of the time that was a “trick”,,, a “mood inducer”, art directors and other insider types, marketers and, arttists/ printers… a tool of the trade. Ironic , we all thought we were so smart, indeed.

  19. The ’57 Mercury in the second picture was a standout; looks to be the Montclair 2-door Hardtop. 1957 Mercs were the first year that Mercury designs were their own iteration, not based on what Ford and Lincoln were offering. I think the earlier model runs that year had two headlights, and the later ones had “four-eyes.” I think what makes them standout is the upper rear (gold I this case) fender inlay that’s a nice substitute for tail fins!

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