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Four Fun Friday Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Thirty-Five of the Kodachrome Image Series begins this week with a late-1950s photo of an older woman wearing cats eye glasses and a hairnet being driven down the road in the lap of luxury. This week readers need to date and identify the model and date this automobile from the inside out.

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 images are via This Was Americar.

  • This car and the models that preceded it initiated the 1950s horsepower race by automakers.

  • Tell us what you believe destroyed the under hood sound deadening on this Chrysler.

  • The morning after an early-1960s snow fall is a scene that looks all to familiar here in the northeast this winter, that and continued sub-zero overnight temperatures followed by brutally cold days.

48 responses to “Four Fun Friday Fifties Kodachrome Car Images

  1. First pic, manual window winder.
    Next, great shade of blue. Interesting wheel cover, or is it cap and ring?
    My guess on the Chrysler would have to be a stuck choke. The intake overloaded and ‘spit up’ causing some excitement.
    Last photo, any of these would please me, without the white decor.

  2. In photo #1, it appears Agnes Abbernathy is riding in a `58 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan; not a DeVille mind you, due to the absence of power windows in this particular car.
    In the third pic, it looks like Dad is holding remnants of tattered hood insulation from his `58 Imperial with Junior on the side of some road. Overheating problem? While I don’t see steam, it’s a possability.
    Ah, a fresh blanket of overnight snow has fallen in this early 60s photo! Might be `63, as I see a `63 Chevy sedan across the street a few cars back. Me, I’d be brushing the snow off the white `57 Sunliner cvt. !

  3. My guess is, the first pic with the older lady is she’s sitting proudly in the back seat of a ’57 to ’58 Cadillac, the second pic is a much younger lady beside her ’54 to ’55 Olds 88, the third pic is a ’57 to ’58 Chrysler Imperial Crown, possibly with a shredded belt along side of a major highway , the hood insulation could have also been torn up by a varmint too, they like that insulation for building nests…

    The fourth pic is a street with several cool cars, first car on right side is a ’56 Chrysler, mid ’50’s Olds, a Dodge pick up partially behind the tree, and the possibly a ’59- ’60 Buick in front of it., other side of street, I spy a 2 door ’57 Ford, next a ’62 Chevy Impala, next, a ’55 Plymouth, next, a 1963 Chevy 4 door, followed by a VW bus….

    I always look forward to your Friday Kodachrome Series!!

    • My first thought was varmints too, and brought to mind one of my favorite Frank Zappa albums, “Weasels Ripped My Flesh.” That and the garage mice that tear the fiberglass insulation out of the ceiling and always – ALWAYS – build their nest in my box of ratchet tie-downs. I have no idea what the attraction is. This summer I broke down and got a plastic tub. We’ll see…..

  4. Looks to me that the lovely lady in the first picture (who greatly resembles my grandmother) is riding in a 1958 Cadillac.

  5. The blue one is a ’54 Olds, right? The ’55 Chevy seems to have borrowed quite a bit from it. Similar wrap around windshield, roof line, side trim. Even an optional V8.

  6. The mature lady is luxuriating in the ’58 Cadillac Series 62 hardtop sedan smooth ride. The telltale its a Series 62 is the crank window handle, Sedan de Villes had power windows standard.

    The green ’58 Imperial owner is fuming over the minor damage a backfire through the carburetor caused.

    Digging out the ’57 Ford convertible, ’56 Chrysler Windsor hardtop, ’56 Olds 88 and Plymouth, ’55, ’62 & ’63 Chevys, VW bus, Dodge pick-up, ’60 Buick was a job no one looked forward to. The older cars look unusually clean, without visible rust damage, so this heavy snowfall might have been a rare event in the area.

  7. Interesting photographs today !!

    In the 4th picture, behind the DODGE truck, is what looks like a four-door a 1956 OLDSMOBILE 88 Holiday Sedan.

    • In the 2nd picture is a 1954 OLDSMOBILE 88 Holiday Coupé [non Super as an “88” forward of the side molding, Super 88 models had its “mark” behind the molding].

      • Ah, so that’s what that is forward of the side molding. My eyesight’s so poor it looked like an N to me, and I was trying to figure out what sort of Nash that was!

  8. GIven that the Chrysler has apparently made an emergency stop by the side of the road, I’d guess the carb caught fire. The insulation looks a little charred, as well.

    Hope you’re staying warm, David. Wind chills are due to hit -22 today in Massachusetts. I’m really not looking forward to clearing the driveway.

  9. You are lucky for once to have missed the brunt of the snow, David. Down here in coastal CT it’s a mess.

    Miss Daisy appears to be driven in a beautiful 1958 Cadillac Sedan de Ville.
    I thought the Olds coupe was a ’54 Holiday 88 but the 88 emblem should have been above the chrome trim, not in front of it?
    I can remember yanking hood insulation on dad’s car (definitely NOT an Imperial) when he thought it was deteriorating and could have fallen on the engine, thereby starting a fire.
    As for the last pic, I’d rather have the VW bus with an engine over the wheels than an RWD anything else. That, and a darned good horse blanket to make up for the heater (or lack thereof).
    Stay warm and use that block heater!!

  10. The car in the first photograph is a 1958 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. To me the 1958 and 1960 Cadillacs were among the best looking GM ever came out with.

  11. My guess? The Grand Dame is being chauffeured in a 1958 Caddy.

    (Tail fin in the rear window and probably that rear door vent window.)

  12. The ride of choice is a ’58 Cadillac 4-dr. HT. See no power
    windows or locks so is likely a Series 62 rather than a Sedan
    de’Ville. Maybe the buyer was a little on the thrifty side.

  13. In the hood insulation photo (based on the age of the car; I would have been about the age of the youngster leaning on the fender) I used to remove the air cleaner cover from Dad’s ’59 Buick so I could hear the air induction noise (sounded great). So maybe that’s what has happened here but with unintended consequences. Is that a guilty look on Junior’s face?

  14. In the first photo the side window profile and tail fin visible over the lady’s right shoulder mark it as a 1958 Cadillac, probably a Sedan De Ville, but it’s hard to understand why it doesn’t have power windows.

    The second photo is of a 1954 Oldsmobile 88, the “plain vanilla” version, not the more popular Super 88.

  15. Mother-in-Law is sitting in the back seat of a 1958 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. probably not a Model 60 Special due to lack of power windows. 1958 saw the re-birth of the rear vent window (for the life of me I can’t remember what Cadillac called these vent windows).I believe they first appeared in the late 20’s early 30’s. Duel Head Lights also that year.

  16. The other tell on the 58 Caddy, that it’s a 62, not a Sedan deVille, is the interior door panel / seat upholstery/pattern- definitely a 62. Hard to tell and not as certain, though it looks to be from where the fin is, that it’s the extended deck version.

  17. Mom didn’t say much, but that handbag sure meant business. That Olds 88 was some car. I wonder if she knew that? I don’t think it was a fire, looks more coolant soaked. I remember, when wet, that stuff would fall apart, just like this. Besides, I think I see the air cleaner still in place. Backfires were more of a cold weather thing, and it looks warm here. Speaking of cold, I can finally say, what cold? It was 50 and sunny today in central Colorado.

    • Hi Howard. That lady reminds me of my 9th Grade math/social studies teacher. I remember an Olds 88 similar to the blue one although it was trimmed in white. I don’t think the owner’s wife was quite as trim as this one though; I’d say she was more like the lady in the first photo. Coolant could sure dissolve those under hood insulators but so could mice; the latter was the most likely out west. Never get too complacent about the weather. It was 36 below the day after Christmas but it gradually warmed up until New Year’s when it broke above freezing again. Mid 40s with the snow disappearing super fast. All the streets are black ice.

  18. Thanks for an especially fine set of Friday Kodachromes.
    Picture #2, the ’54 Olds is, to me, a particularly unusual
    photo. Believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen a regular
    base series 88 in a non-factory photo like this. More of
    why I love this site. Would be fun to see a new pic of
    Stanley or Stanley and his new shop mates. Thanks


  19. First pic: Not “top of the line ” Sedan, (no power window) , The Passenger is probably being Chauffered by someone that she is not familiar with, (yet) or: she chooses to not ride in front with her Husband driving, as a safety precaution, but both of her hands are clinched , -as if in anticipation, and her eyes are forward looking & squinted , to “watch like a hawk”, so, although her legs appear to be crossed , she is vigilant., and her face does not register a smile. It makes me wonder why the photograph was taken. Edwin W.

  20. The third picture with the car beside the road — suggests : 1. The factory didn’t apply enough spray-glue to the “noise- deadener” fiberglass matting as a lot of it has delaminated . The piece that he is holding — was hanging on — by a few patches, for many, many miles. When it “dislodged “, it fell — and as it had been ready to fall off for some years, part of it was at a 90 degree angle, “already dangling down”, an “ideal scenario” for the dangle part to completely cover the Air Cleaner’s Air intake or intakes, thus, choking the engine to a Stop(!!!) —with the car “at speed”. Other scenarios include : Upper hose blowing open , or a fan belt delaminating, causing a “foot-long whip” to slice the (already loosened) Noise deadener off — in one chunk., to seal off the air inlet! This all could have been prevented from the “get-go” ! Later versions of “deadener” included an attached vinyl panel to cover the exposed fiberglass by using “push- in” fasteners with wide heads. This also covered the ugly fiberglass “attic batting”. Edwin W.

    • Yes, it does seem a bit too “metallic” for a factory color in ‘54, plus the same blue has been used to accent the wheel covers which would not have been stock either. My guess is the photo was taken to show off the car’s new paint. The car here is a Deluxe 88 Holiday Coupe (“Deluxe” being the designation for the base model = go figure) with the 170 hp V8. The Super 88s would use the same body but with the 15hp more powerful 98 engine and the model designation would be moved to be inside the trim’s “elbow” and consist of a round medallion with the 88 etched against a cross hatch background. Surprisingly, Olds produced many more Supers than Deluxes.

      • PS – I don’t see a radio antenna on the car – hard to believe a stripper Olds, especially a Holiday, didn’t include a radio. The young lady appears to be holding the photographer’s camera bag.

      • No, I don’t recall that blue either…but I do know that the brochures for that year all indicate the wheels being painted the predominant color of the car as is shown in the foto… it was however not the cheapest Deluxe model, that being a door post sedan. V—e–e-eree Inerteresting, or not… David a few entries back some one requested a current picture of Stanley and his shopmates… I too am equally interested… nothing like a 1 cat , 2 dog nite! Stay warm!

  21. Sure like that ’56 Chrysler in the last photo. My uncle sold Plymouth/Chrysler/Dodge Trucks from the war until ’59. I always liked his ’56. It was a triple-tone: blue/black/white. I wouldn’t turn down one if it showed up for sale in my neighborhood. We got snow like that out west. Kind of a surprise as the last 8 winters have been quite open out west in the Chinook Belt. Got 8-10 inches of snow in late November but it was completely gone before this last deluge. Got a good foot and now it’s chinooking again–mid 40s. Snow half gone; if I wait a little longer I won’t have to go outside to shovel the rest….

    • I too love the ’56 Chryslers. Pretty clean styling. My attraction could also come from one being our family car in the 1970s. It was a 4dr sedan. I think we bought it for about $75 dollars. Had it for several years, then sold it for about $75. Even as a kid all of 10 years old, I thought we should keep it—it was a “Classic” car.
      The Dodge pickup in the same photo we can date to 1958 to 1960. Those are the only years with that cab to use the large-lettered “DODGE” tailgate.

  22. I’m with Jay, “Deluxe” seems like an odd name for the low
    line series, but it is Oldsmobile and maybe “Deluxe” is the
    cheapest name they could come with. The only accessories
    I can find are the whitewall tires and the wheel trim rings.
    That trim level would use the regular ‘hub caps’ as shown.
    No trim rings. Methinks she just bought her first new car
    and had her BF (or)? take the pic. Its a different blue, but
    she must have liked it.

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