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Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Car Images

Number One-Hundred and Forty-Four of the Kodachrome Car Images Series begins this week with an image of a couple with a creme over red four-place Thunderbird convertible. The pair appear to be guests at the Monte Carla, an Oceanside Motel located next to a Municipal Pavilion in an unknown location.

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.

  • This late-1950s scene appears to be in San Francisco. The hill in the background with a structure at its base on the far-left maybe a tunnel that might help to identify the location.

  • This is a perfect image to share after the Northeaster which moved through earlier this week.

  • The squad cars belonging to a municipal police department located on a rooftop parking lot.

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

    • These police cars belong to the city of Philadelphia. They had red cars until the 70’s, the 55 and 56 fords looked the best in my opinion. The garage is located I believe on “D” street, just down from St. Christopher’s hospital. They still had some red cars stored there until the late 80’s.

      • Interesting. I’ve seen the red cars before, but I’d never seen ones from Philadelphia that didn’t have either the police logo or the city seal on the doors. It was Rizzo that changed them from red to blue and white when he became mayor.

  1. In the first picture, the fourth car from the end on the right, might be a 56 Chex police vehicle or a Checker cab

  2. 3rd pic: a big 1964 Buick (Electra 225?) underneath the snow.
    4th pic: 1961 Studebaker Larks and 1962 Plymouth Savoys.

  3. While I can’t ID the cars, the first photo is definitely in San Francisco, taken facing West on Broadway near Green Street. I lived a block from there for a while 🙂

    • We may have been near neighbours, Jim. I lived for a year in an apartment at Green and Taylor. My corner unit is shown where Bullitt’s car flies into the air during the chase scene at the intersection. A year of high living, but the gas crisis intervened and I got up at 4 a.m. once a week or more to line up at the Chevron Seal carwash on the Embarcadero to tank up early.

  4. I think it’s the “Monte Carlo” motel, of which there’s a bunch. The patches on their shirts, along with the new T-bird, indicate hoi-paloi status. Since snow is on your minds, that hill looks pretty slippery in #2. The sad part of #3, is I’ve seen people driving like that with a little hole to look out the windshield. Ultimate schmoes, in my book, can’t clean the windows ( or tail lights) off.
    When I saw the Studebaker police cars, my 1st thought was , city comptroller saying, “budget is a bit tight this year, gonna have to go with the Studebakers”,,, but research shows, there were many cities that used them, Baltimore, Louisville, Philadelphia, even Washington, DC. While I doubt these were the supercharged police units ( of which Studebaker was very proud of, btw) I’m sure these had some variation of the V8 and lightweight made them a contender. Imagine the horror of your friends seeing you in your “deuce coupe” pulled over by a Studebaker Lark,,,

    • Oh, one more thing, judging by the line of new Plymouth’s, I’d say the Studebakers are on their last patrol. ( dirty, headlight ring missing, wipers won’t shut off, far right)

    • No S/C’d cars until 1963 and 1964 models. These are 1961 models. This is the first time I saw ’61 model marshal cars from Studebaker. Nice post.

      • The 1961 model line could have one of three engines. The City Marshal came with a 112 horsepower “Skybolt” I-6, the Patrol Marshal with a 180 horsepower V-8 (259ci), and the Pursuit Marshal with a 210 horsepower V-8 (289ci). The 289 may have been a bit under-rated, since I’ve seen it listed as a 225 horsepower engine.

  5. Love those Paddy Wagons! In the police photo, the Paddy Wagon on the right has what looks to be a small platform on the back. Any ideas on its use? Thanks, Mike.

  6. Nice photos! 2nd pic, at first glance the car under the Napoli sign looks like a low rider, until the dip in the street explains the deception.
    Last picture, the rookies and the cops in trouble had to drive the Studebakers.

  7. Red police cars are unusual. Fire departments usually used that color. Anyone know what city this might be?

  8. 2nd photo is taken on Broardway looking west- if you google the theater, one of the signs is still there, 644 Braodway.

  9. My cousins had a Stude Lark.I used to sit in it slouched down so people wouldn’t see me riding in that Frumpmobile.

  10. Interesting how some very early buildings in this area survived the 1909 Earthquake ! Another example is: the earlier small bakery , with brick oven , at Broadway & Kearney Streets just below Broadway, L.H.S. , (looking down Kearney toward: S.F’s “Chinatown”), which for years, was: Lupo’s Neapolitan Restaurant —Arguably(!) The best Pizza! , – made in the same brick oven, (oak & hickory chips fired!) “Lino” was the Waiter, Tommy Chin was the Cook. The Cantalupo family retired — and the Cook bought the restaurant: Not wanting to get too far from “Neapolitan” Tommy chose a new name: “Tomaso’s Neapolitan Restaurant”! Herb Caen, (Reporter, continued to approve of his favorite Pizza in S.F. , same Cook (& Owner) (Better to write about: Good Pizza, than what “Broad”-way has become!)

  11. The third photograph with the Studebaker and Plymouth police cars also included a Dodge panel truck. I see the Plymouth cop cars and it reminds me of my brother. When my brother was in college had had a 62 Plymouth two door Savoy very similar to the ones in the picture. One winter his car broke down and he borrowed dad’s short bed step side pick up to tow it back home with. He rented a tow bar and hooked the Plymouth to the truck and took off. He was about twenty at the time and had never towed a car before. He was riding along happily and a traffic light changed as he neared the intersection. He put the brakes on and the car pile drove him right through the intersection with the brakes locked up. Thank God there were no cars coming and he didn’t jack knife. He was OK and he drove a little slower and with much more caution the rest of the way home.

  12. First picture is a 1959 Thunderbird. I bought one in 1961. This one has the three louver looking chrome sections on the rear side areas near the tail lights.

  13. The Lark police cars are 1961 models. Note that the side stainless trim pieces do not follow the body line like the ’59 and ’60 Larks. These are utilitarian models. The more deluxe models had quad headlights. As others have said the red police cars are something I don’t think I have ever seen before.

  14. Is the Monte Carla in Oceanside CA? If so, this guy may be an ex- or active duty officer, Marine, but more likely Navy with that haircut, and his wife from overseas enjoying her new Yankee life. Not too many mixed marriages in 1960, except in the military when there was such a large presence in Asia.

  15. The First Photo is San Fransico. It’s looking west toward the Broadway Tunnel in North Beach 2 blocks west of Columbus Ave. For the most part, China Town was on the south side of Broadway and North Beach (Italian) was on the north side. Broadway is where it blended. Broadway and Columbus is where the west coast beat generation gathered at City Lights Book Store, Tosca”s, Vesuvio’s, The Iron Pot, The Purple Onion and The Spaghetti Factory. This was a vortex for a lot of culture, ethnicity and, ideas.

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