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Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Forty-Two of the Kodachrome Car Images Series begins this week with a photo of a bright red 1960s Chevrolet Corvette. The scene shot in front of a garage apparently is in a residential subdivision in Ohio, and the two-seater appears to be close to new. Tell us all you know about this sports car including the brand name of the white wall tires.

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.

  • An excellent close-up 1950s view of a new Union 76 filling station.

  • An interesting line-up here, tell us all about the four vehicles in this photograph.

  • A familiar site here in Vermont, out of staters enjoying skiing, a popular winters sport.


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

  1. Great pictures again, especially the 4th photograph !!

    In the 4th picture, 2nd from the right, is a black 1941 PLYMOUTH, and 7 cars to the left of this PLYMOUTH is a dark green over light green 1950 BUICK Riviera, either a Roadmaster or Super.

  2. That ’59 Merc is certainly a rare one. Not many ’59s to begin with and a 2door “post” coupe on top of that.
    The styling was certainly over the top but it was 1959 and all automotive styling was.
    Mercury went from a nicely styled vehicle in ’57 and just pushed it too far.
    The model plane on the trunk is a nice touch, if it was facing towards the front it could help acceleration,

    • I MHO: The ’59 Merc Monterey two door sedan is outstanding! Great paint color and condition. Mercury built 12, 594 Montery two door sedans for the model year, not too shabby. Manual 3 speed or Automatic 3 speed (two types) with either 312 or 383 Y-block OHV V8s using 2 bbl. carbs. 210 or 280 BHP. Love the distinctive rear roof line while maintaining tremendous visibility and protection from strong sunlight (unlike the merciless GM “bubble tops” that created roast turkey rear seat passengers on long sunny drives.)

      This would be a great car to drive! The whitewalls and standard hub caps make for a sharp clean look on this owners’s well groomed car. Bet it is the shop manager’s or owner’s personal car and he has good taste in aviation models as well. I believe the Monterey (entry level model in ’59) was certainly more tasteful and conservative looking compared to the gaudiness that could overwhelm in the Montclair and Park Lane series hardtops. Gotta’ love all the Mercs though incluldng the 4 door Phaeton hardtops and Country Cruiser station wagon series. They were fine driving vehicles of good quality when given normal service by responsible owners. They always draw admiring enthusiasts at good American Original car shows today.

      I think Hank may have the 1957 year mode seriesl confused with the much more conservative 1956 year model smaller car series. ’57s were pretty gaudy overall and the ’59 styling and trim was actually toned down quite a bit. To each his own!

  3. 1st pic, someone got that big promotion they were a gunnin’ for. House in the sticks, 2 car garage, new Corvette ( AAA member),,,America!
    2nd pic, clearly the owner of the station,which looks pretty new as well. Apparently, this guy used Brylcreem, “a little dab will do ya’.” I think the plate tag says 54, making the Chevy wagon pretty new too. I’m sure they were getting “76 Regular” and not “7600 Super”.
    3rd pic, almost looks colorized, I don’t remember many cars that loud of blue. You sure could land a plane on that car. The truck in the corner is a White 3000 cabover. Either this place is a White dealer, or getting a delivery. And last, the Pontiac ragtop,,,”You’re not from around here, are ya’?

    • Yes, the second picture has a 1954 validation tab. 1951 was bare plate, 52 was yellow tab, 53 was white, 54 was red, and 55 was grey (56 had new plates).

      The third picture looks to be in Akron, Ohio. 1250 Triplett Blvd is still a repair shop. It was Brake Drum and Equipment, which was acquired by Point Spring & Driveshaft in 1997.

      • Yes, Triplett Blvd. is a main east-west thoroughfare in East Akron just South of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; it runs in front of the old, art-deco Akron Muni Airport and then past Akron’s Derby Downs, home of the Soap Box Derby.

  4. That ‘Vette photo is the stuff dreams are made of! At the age of 10 the new ’63 Vette was other worldly to me and my buddies. Saw the lift off body display at the 1963 Chicago Auto Show . Lots of AMT models and fantasies revolved around this car. Alas, the big auctions have taken these cars out of the common mans reach, not what Zora intended I’m sure. The big Merc 2 door sedan with the poverty caps is choice also, what a car! My uncle took me up in his J-3 Piper cub, a full size version of the model on the Mercury trunk.

  5. 1964 Corvette with General tires. 1953 Chevrolet wagon at the pump. 1958 Mercury 2 door sedan with a Piper Cub on its ample trunk. 1955 Ford with roof and headlight bezels matching. A White cab over stake body truck. Not a BMW, Mercedes or Volvo to be seen in that ski area lot, a little different from today.

  6. The Corvette is a 1964; no grille-work in the hood depressions as on a ’63 and the odd one-year only wheel covers. The tires on the car may be Vogue tires. The triple stripe is very Sixties and the center stripe should be a gold color. Vogue’s were expensive, considered to be the best. What I didn’t know until I just checked, is Vogue Tyre Company (note the spelling) is still with us…and still expensive.

  7. Beautiful Corvette in first picture. Can’t say the brand name of the tires, but they might be a little ‘over-designed’. The narrow black stripes in the center of the white appears as scuff marks at first glance.

  8. First Rule of Car Photography: Make sure there are no garbage cans in the frame.

    Why does that ’56 Ford have black headlight trim?

    • The Ford’s blue-gray doesn’t look like factory paint, either. i suspect someone just painted it the way they wanted. It appears to be a Customline, on which the headlight bezels would normally match the hood.

  9. Photo 4, based on the patterns of the Vermont plate on the black Imperial at right front and the gray Chevy Stylemaster (or is it a Fleetmaster) from New York, I’m going to date the pic as 1952. I don’t see any cars that look newer.

    • I agree – it looks like the New York Chevy has the ’51 black on gold license plate with the black endorsement tab from 1952 at the bottom right. The next time that color combination and location was possible was 1959 (1956 has the same colors, but the tab was at the top right).

    • The bumper makes me think it’s a ’53. What a sinister car! I bet all the teenagers left the slopes the minute they saw Judge “Damn Kids” Smiley pulling off the road…

  10. In the ski scene ,Looks like a 50 Lincoln or a Merc in pea green with a smart black top inbeteeen the woodie and 40’s car . can’t tell from the back,
    The only difference in bodies between the two was the front clip , and the bigger 337 flathead v8 that the Lincoln and ford trucks had

      • Hi Kit,

        Definitely an early ’50s Buick (“pea green”?) rear clip, wrap around rear windshield, rear quarter panel and side styling. Tail lights are dead giveaway too. Nothing much like the classic ’49-’51 Lincolns or Cosmos I know and love with the excellent big 337 Rouge flathead V8s.

  11. Encountered a ’59 Mercury Monterey two door sedan like the one in the third photo in a large Lincoln-Mercury collection in southeast Pennsylvania about twenty years ago. It was solid light gray, dog-dish hubcaps, manual shift, no power steering or power brakes, no options at all. It was either a basic skinflint choice or a salesman’s route car. Never have seen another like it.

    My sister and brother-in-law bought as their first car as newlyweds a ’59 Monterey four door sedan in 1971 in Colorado. Rode in it a few times, very smooth ride, felt gigantic inside and out, loved the all around vision especially that huge wrapped windshield, even at the top!

    The ’59-’60 Mercury platform would have been a better platform on which to build the ’61 Lincoln than the unibody they mostly shared with Thunderbird, imho.

  12. At first, I saw the Black headlamp bezels, on the blue Ford, and I concluded that the owner drove into a loading dock , (something with a protruding oak beam at the same height as the bezels!) ,— and “black bezels” were what the junkyard had! (I was wrong, look some more! ) Then, I saw the: Matching -color top! Case closed !!! the J-3 Piper Cub model “styling” far- outshines the “Plug- ugly” styling of the ’59 Merc, — (or most anything else, — in 1959!) Was it an invasion of “D
    esigners” from “Lower Slobovia” ???(From: Al Capp’s “Lil Abner” newspaper comic strip???)

  13. The Union Station was identical to the one where I pumped gas and serviced cars on the evening shift on Sunset Blvd, near Hollywood, across from the Sunset Hotel, while attending Jr College. In the foreground, you will see the: (Forker Air Products, Los Angeles) Below- surface reel hoses, for Customer or Attendant to : Add radiator water or: Add air to the tires. This product revolutionized the “cleaniliness” & convenience of the service island(s), as : 1 to 2 decades earlier, — “all of that” was on “balance poles” up in the air, (which allowed vandals to vandalize or steal the equipment !) The below-surface models were equipped with padlocks, – for stowage! Edwin W.

  14. “Snow Slope” : Looks like a great place for skiing beginners. Not very many ski racks on the cars, no tire chains , lower altitude, and the “woody” looks like: ‘rode hard & put away wet”, on the soft -top’s sides. It also looks like: A lot of Families in two door & four door sedans, — are having a lot of fun! Somewhere, in there, — is a future Olympian!!!

  15. I believe Tim is correct, Big Bromley ski area (the original Little Bromley was across the road) with the “Lord’s Prayer” slope in the background. I learned to ski there. The best winter car in sight is the green 1950-53 4WD Willys Jeep station wagon. My parents had a similar 1951 2WD version. The 4WD models did not have front hubcaps due to the extended hub. Earlier Jeeps had a flattish grill and no chrome bars. ’50-’53 had a pointier grill and 5 chrome bars. ’54 and later had 3 bars.

  16. Yeah, no ski lift in site and a couple of gaggles of folks side-stepping up the slope. Nice workout before that very short run back down, probably made ‘Apres-ski’ a bit more inviting, but I don’t see any facilities nearby.

  17. The thing about 4wd in those days was if you got one wheel spinning away, the others would not help you get out. Locked or limited slip diffs helped, but before that one just hoped the 4wd would keep you moving to avoid such a situation. Also, the tires on the jeep are pretty useless on icy pavement.

  18. I’m pretty certain that the model aircraft had a functioning motor – it would have been a “control line” plane, with two wires going from the wing back to a hand control held by the operator on the ground. My Dad flew “control – line” model aircraft back in the mid-1950’s. Radio-controlled aircraft was very, very rare.

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