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Four Fun Friday Forties, Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Thirty-Eight of the Kodachrome Image Series begins this week with a photo of what appears to be two salesmen from a used car dealership posing for a promotional photo with two automobiles. The first car, a late-1940s Hudson has a “Shearer Motor Club” sticker on the front bumper. Behind it is a bathtub Nash, tell us what you know about the two cars.

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 at all the earlier parts of this series here. The images are via This Was Americar.

  • A late-1950s street scene in California in front of a pair of impressive-looking buildings.

  • Junior is learning all about this Pontiac, and looks like dad got a little out of control with his Dymo Tape writer under the hood beforehand.

  • A well optioned two door 1950s Dodge station wagon with two-toned paint work.  

33 responses to “Four Fun Friday Forties, Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

  1. The Hudson’s a 1948 or ’49 Step-Down. Anything earlier was a “beaky” Hudson, and 1950 was when the badge was moved down to be in line with the chrome bar, rather than above it. Possibly a Super Eight based on the hood shape? Could the photo be a pair of used cars in the mid-50s after AMC combined Nash and Hudson?

    I couldn’t find anything on Shearer Motor Club, but there’s a Shearer Automotive in South Burlington that’s been in business since 1928, which may be related.

    Dymo Tape is a wonderful thing, though I can’t find my writer. I may have lost it in a move (or it could be buried somewhere in one of my “things I rarely use” boxes).

    And last, not a single license plate to be seen.

    • My dad designed the first Dymo Tapewriter in the 1950’s. He worked for a company in Los Angeles that did custom design work for anyone needing something designed. Interestingly, about 3 months ago I found a Dymo Tapewriter in the original box at a garage sale here in Lake Havasu, AZ for $5.00. I had to buy it.

  2. In the last photo, that 2dr. `56 Dodge wagon is certainly more decked out than one would expect. And it’s gorgeous in a two-tone color scheme! In the second photo, besides an english Ford Prefect sedan I see a nice `57 Mercury Monterey hardtop, complete with cruiser skirts! The yellow `57 Chevy behind it pales in comparison!

    • That ’56 Dodge wagon is a Custom Suburban model, the name given to the two-door wagons. The four-door version was called Sierra. And, it is a “tri-tone” paint scheme, popular on many cars of the mid-sixties. The car shown here is decked out with a Sapphire White roof, Iridescent Charcoal midriff and Chinese Rose lower body. The six chrome “fins” atop the grill’s center bar, indicate that this Custom Suburban was an example of the Royal series as opposed to the entry level Coronet. Both series offered the 2-door Custom Suburban. At $2,694, the Royal shown here was $130 more than the Coronet model, but included a V-8 as standard equipment. Coronet versions came with a six-cylinder engine standard and the V-8 available for an additional $108.

  3. I remember those tape writers very well. Seemed like high technology to us kids back in the day. Insert the plastic tape, turn the rotating dial to the correct letter, pull the trigger, rotate the dial to the next letter, pull the trigger, etc. After a minute or two you had two or three words embossed into the tape in contrasting color for readability. Then you pulled clipped the tape off, peeled away the paper backing, and applied it to whatever you needed to label. In this case, it appears he labeled just about everything with red tape and white lettering to help Junior with his auto tech studies.

    • My dad designed the first Dymo Tapewriter back in the 1950’s while working for a design company in Los Angeles, CA. I found one at a garage sale about 3 months ago and bought it for $5.00.

  4. Junior is looking at the carburetor in the book, the 63 Pontiac looks to have some age to it now, maybe they need better gas mileage out of it.

  5. Young Billy looked through the whole shop manual but still couldn’t find where to fill the blinker fluid. He began to question the other instructions his older brother Eddie had given him over the years.

    • there are a few junior mechanics around here who simply cannot deal with points or carbs….they are they say off the radar.One compelling reason to go to electronic ignition on my stag and next the lad’s Land Rover.

  6. 1st pic, could be delivering a car. One thing for sure, it’s a warm day. Got all vents and wing windows open. Note the radio antenna on the Hudson is in the “down” position. ( center of windshield) Our Packard had that, there was a knob inside, and one would rotate the antenna for better reception. Little car in the 2nd pic, is a Ford Anglia or Prefect. Old man had one. 3rd pic says it all. Most of us here, that could easily be one of us. We probably knew that car manual better than most of our school books. My grandfather had one of those label makers for his pegboard of tools in the basement, where every tool should be hung. Me and my brother laughed about that. Last, those were just beautifully styled Dodges. You could really personalize those cars to your taste. What ever happened to that?

  7. The second shot is of the California Academy of Arts and Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, on a typical summer day. I’d like to own that ’57 Merc….

      • The second photo is taken near the entrance of the De Young Museum in Golden gate Park in S.F. The buildings across the street included a natural science museum and a very fine aquarium. Eric, the dome is the top of the excellent Planetarium that was there. The Palace of Fine arts is further to the north next to the bay, and not visible from here. All of these buildings have been demolished snd replaced by newer structures and much, much higher entrance fees. Because most of the greenery is evergreen it’s hard To pinpoint the season, but this certainly could be a cold, foggy, drizzly summer dat in S.F.

  8. Kid with the shop manual reminds me of myself in high school fixated on the owners manual of my 64 Mercury Marauder. The page with available engines was my favorite. A 427 duel quad 4 speed would have been so much cooler than a 390 automatic. Much later in life I discovered how incredibly rare the big motor 4 speed cars were.

  9. 2nd photo; perhaps the police academy behind the hedge? Looks like a statue of a patrolman. Will, I must agree with you in reverse. The Mercury and the Chevy are treasures, but please take the Merc and leave the 57 Chevy for me. It looks so clean and uncluttered in comparison. As if it could be 100 feet down the road before the Merc gets rolling. The Mercury just gives the impression of burning 20 horsepower to lug the extra bling. At least it is spared the continental kit.

  10. The boy and the ’63 Poncho could’ve easily been me. If the hair was a tad darker and the car, a ’62 Chrysler, it definitely WOULD be a dead ringer. I read and re-read the manuals for the cars, trucks and tractors on the ranch where I grew up. I knew what needed to be done, and when, all to the frustration of everyone else. Often wonder why I grew up to be a mechanic.

  11. Either the Nash or the Hudson were excellent alternatives — to the “compromises” of the (not-so)-“Big Four” — jammed out of Detroit at that time. “Bathtub Joke” all you want; (it’s called Aerodynamics!) — The Nash & the Hudson were excellent: “Road cars” and the Hudson was King of the Stock Car race-track, in its day! Edwin W.

  12. The Hudson and the Nash were: Aero-dynamic, please remember the Hudson’s speed on the stock car race track, and: Both Hudson & Nash were excellent road cars, — the Nash being very economical at 65 m.p.h. Way more important than “bathtub” wisecracks! If you have ever driven one of these, then: Detroit, (with a few exceptions), was not into: Aerodynamics, nor race track speed, nor economy. Edwin W.

  13. I have a small parts bin with numerous drawers, each one still maintains the labels I created with one of the label makers way back in the 60s. Sad to say they do not always contain what the label says. It took a long time to make the labels one character at a time.

  14. In the photo with little Willy, it looks like labels applied to the brake booster and the wiper motor also. I wonder if the labels are an aid to help the little guy get to know the car better? I wonder what he is doing today?

  15. I am carrying on the Dodge station wagon tradition, just bought a Magnum RT AWD. Equipped right with a Hemi, leather, 5 spd automatic, Sunroof, navigation and Serius/XM radio. Just starting it puts a smile on my face.

  16. What jumped out at me was the excessively baggy pants on the salesmen. Glad to see someone noticed the English car in the next photo. The 2 tone wagon looks great on its trip down a dirt road out in the country.

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