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Old Man Winter is Upon Us: Mid-Week Kodachrome Snow Images

We hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but “Old Man Winter” has arrived early this year in the hills of Vermont. With his visit he has brought along cold air, a bit of snow last night, and low temperatures of only 21°F are predicted for this evening followed by a low of 13°F on Friday night.

Now that we have gotten the bad news out of the way, hopefully it will serve as our annual warning to our old car friends and readers in the US and other colder parts of the world to prepare your collector cars for winter storage. At the same time get your snow tires mounted, new wiper blades installed, and your antifreeze tested if necessary on your daily driver.

To get into the winter spirit today’s lead photo contains an older gentleman posing with a clean 1959 Buick four-door “Plain-Jane” sedan – could this possibly be a new car moment captured on film?

The enlargeable image below appears to have been taken at a pull over on a mountain pass in California or Nevada, and the Chrysler station wagon in the foreground has just passed through some snow. In the background is a red and black sign with “STOP”visible on the upper part of it which maybe a warning for motorists to put on a set of snow chains before going over the pass. At the end of the parking area on the right, a person laying on the ground beside a blue Chrysler Products sedan appears to be either installing or taking off a set of the metal winter traction devices.

Tell us what you find of interest in the photos via This Was Americar.

32 responses to “Old Man Winter is Upon Us: Mid-Week Kodachrome Snow Images

  1. The old man sure seems proud of his new base-model `59 LeSabre, black walls & all. However, the dealer added a two-tone paint treatment for some reason, which really didn’t do much for the mundane sedan. (GM’s two-tones on the Buick line consisted of the body one color, and the roof another. Two-tone bodies weren’t an option until 1960)

    • Thanks for clarifying that , er, two-tone scheme. Our family’s car back then was a Shalimar Blue, 1959 LeSabre just like the one pictured but sans the white paint. Entry level as well, it had no power steering and as a teenager I was literally lifted out of the driver’s seat while trying to steer it into a parking space.

    • Will, I presume you know your Buicks, but the two-tone looks great to me. If it’s not factory, the body shop who did the paint work is really good. No orange peel here. Excellent reflection.

    • The two tone paint was an option called the 1959 Buick Spring Accent Paint Scheme. In the U.S. white was the only color available as the accent color which was always on the hood and down the sides as shown above. In Canada the accent color was available in any Buick color for 1959.

      By the way, did you know that a Buick Electra 225 convertible paced that years Indy 500?

  2. It’s not news to me, this is our 3rd teen morning, and single digits Friday,, ugh, here we go again.
    The Buick sports a 1960 Illinois plate, so is indeed pretty new. With a set of “Town and Country’s”, as equipped, he’ll have no trouble getting to work. 2nd pic, perfect timing, the kid just got hit with a snowball.

    • That is actually a 1963 Illinois license plate on the Buick. The yellow on green plates honored the 125th anniversary of the John Deere Company.

    • Not that unusual back in the day. Most of the time snows were only put on the rear drive wheels. Only real “road warriors” who put on a lot of miles good weather or bad put snows all around.

      My Dad was a road salesman in the Syracuse, NY area in the ’50’s. Real snow country. Our personal car only had snows on the rear, but his company cars usually had snows all the way around.

  3. Ayuh, Been up thru the Sierra Mtns. in the snow a couple of times en’ MG no less. I was advised in Sacramento that it was a whole lot cheaper to buy a set of cable chains and keep them than it was to rent chains once you hit the snow line. Quite apart from the fact that they vastly improve traction , semi’s have ’em on the trailers too, I suppose it also slows down the surf-dudes who have no idea whatsoever how to drive in it.
    Yeah, we can get snow early in Northern New England, but at least it’s not five feet or six feet at a time.

    Thanks for the great photos and the timely reminders…

  4. I like the tu-tone on the 59 and the grille looks better without the emblem IMO.
    The gentleman looks a little like Pres. H.S. Truman.

  5. The 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town and Country wagon was and is a very rare car. It’s one of only 1,399 produced that year.

  6. The wagon in the second photo is a 53 Chrysler Town & Country with a hemi V-8. The car in the background with the open deck lid is an S-11 DeSoto Custom.

  7. We get some snow where we are in the Sierra foothills, most years. However, I have not yet had to use my chains here. But it looks like we will have to make a few trips to Reno in the next month or so (family stuff). There is already snow over the top now. So for the past two days, I had to sort through my chains and find the ones that best fit the Expedition, clean them up, and have them at the ready.
    In the second (Califunny) picture above? It look like at least two of the cars are early ’50s Pontiacs. (out of 7 or 8 cars that can be seen, 3 of which are too far and blurry to identify) .
    That road could be any of many. But it sure looks like an area just a few miles up the road from us.

    More interesting pictures! Thank you David G!

  8. In the 1st picture, the center “V”decoration probably never came
    with the car. I bought a new 2-dr. hardtop in the early spring of ’59
    and there was not one on that car. Dealer told me the LeSabres
    didn’t use them. Generally on the Electra/Electra 225s or maybe
    that was one of those things that Buick just played around with.
    Agree with “Drinkinggasoline”, looks better without it. In the 2nd
    picture, love that’53 Chrysler Town & Country, pretty rare vehicle.
    Looks like the fellow in the background is either taking off or put-
    ting on a set of chains on his ’47-48 Chrysler. Coming up to the
    summit is a ’49-’52 Pontiac. Was not aware that there were areas
    that used snow tires on all 4 wheels, as far as I know here in CO
    they are generally on the back wheels. Always open to correction.

  9. I love mountain road trips. Never know what adventures lay around the next bend , especially as a young one with dad behind the wheel. Thank you a gain for the great images.

  10. As a sub tropical inhabitant,I don´t even imagine how to manage snow roads and weather… .I feel frustrated when in mild (0 centigrade degrees) winters our diesel Land Rover refuses to start an the first attemp… due a weak battery!.

  11. Having lived around the Great Lakes all my life I am all too familiar with the effect road de-icing chemicals has on cars. Whenever I see a nice old ride like the Buick all polished up but sitting in the snow I can’t help but wonder what was left of it when it was finally sent to the scrap heap. In Wisconsin we would brag if there was no rust bubbling through the paint after the first 3-4 winters. Running gear was usually good, but the body was cause to get rid of the old ride.

  12. I have fond memories of when i was about 15 and my dad had a59 buick.
    The old photo album shows it in a very viberent lavander color.
    The giggle of it all was my dad was a very conservetve person.
    This color was as he called it …..jazzy.

  13. I have lived in Michigan for most of my 75 years and never saw snow tires on all 4 wheels until I spent 2 winters in Kansas City. There the practice of snows all around was quite widespread. Also, cars from Iowa and Idaho seen in K C also had them. Interesting Missouri used sand not salt on its roads. No one would believe the condition of my sandblasted 63 Buick Skylark when I sold it in 65 in Michigan. No rust.

  14. I remember when tire chains were used every winter, also before the all season radial tires were made. With turnpikes and freeways invented for faster speeds, chains had to go. Road Salt , did and still does ruins our automobiles, it is so hard to keep them from rusting. I wonder if D.O.T. and the public Works would go back to only using sand instead of a mix of salt and sand, I doubt it thou. We all have been spoiled by having bare roads, hours after each storm.

  15. Those ’59 Buicks were among the most beautiful cars ever designed. A friend of mine bought a brand new
    ’59 LeSabre 4 door hardtop in metallic blue. I can’t imagine any car that was more luxurious than that car. It rode beautifully and was quiet on the road.

  16. What a lovely car (if fatuous)! But in those days that was not an “old man”, just a middle-aged guy (maybe even young) who lived in New England.

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