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Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Photographs

Number One-Hundred and Fifty Three of the Kodachrome Car Photograph Series begins this week with an image filled with racing and passenger cars along with the drivers and their crews waiting to run in a competitive event on a beach. Tell us what year you believe the photo was taken and where the event was held.

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.

Editors note: Now that spring has finally arrived in Vermont we will be taking a short break this weekend and will not posting on Saturday. Sorry for the inconvenience, but The Old Motor will be back up and running as usual on Monday morning.

  • This colorful image contains a tourist trap and vehicles that apparently are near a scenic attraction of some sort.

  • This Cadillac is considered by many to be the most attractive of all of the post-war 1940s models produced by the automaker.

  • This sleek 1960s Buick appears to have an unusual two-tone color combination, tell us all about  the car and the paint scheme.


48 responses to “Four Fun Friday Fifties and Sixties Kodachrome Photographs

  1. David,

    Great pictures again !!

    In the 4th photograph is a nice two-tone 1961 BUICK Invicta Riviera. When a kid, had a neighbor who had one of these two-tone ’61 Invicta cars. His was a dark tan with dark brown accent.

  2. I’m intrigued by the Model T touring car chugging toward the camera in the second photo. Judging from the other cars, the picture looks to be taken about 1953, when the antique car hobby was just coming into its own. So I’m guessing an early collector, taking one of his prizes out for a tour?

    David, after the winter you’ve had, you certainly deserve time off.

    • On the left is the tail end of a ’53 Mercury. Fourth car on the left is a ’55 Mercury. Farther down under the restaurant sign is the tail end of a ’56 Chevy. The blue ’49 Ford in the right lane partially hides a ’56 Pontiac convertible. So, I would say the picture was taken late 1955 or early 1956

  3. The last photo grabbed me; a `61 Buick Invicta hardtop, with the optional two-tone combo of silver beige & cordovan brown. Buckets were an option on these, and a friend who owns two `61 Invicta cvts. has them in his cars. The black `48 Cadillac sedanette looks new for the period! The design was miles ahead of everything else that year! The top photo is probably Daytona Beach, probably no later than `56. It appears to be an even for the everyday guy wanting to “run what he brung”. (I like the smug guy on the right, leaning against his `55 Olds Super 88–he looks like he might have a trick up his sleeve!)

      • …or red. To each his own. I like the painted, inner fenders of the 1953-54 Buick Skylark so much that I’m painting the ones on my black, 2011 Camaro SS convertible red!

  4. That mass beach scene is a good hour of analysis to be complete, including the early Jeep and a Henry J/Allstate off in the distance. What I have time to point out is that this event is apparently an early autocross/gymkhana, drag race, or timed straight-line speed event, not a wheel-to-wheel race. The numbers seem to be a long sequential series on the windshields – probably start order. There are NO roll bars, even on the topless T-bird, so I figure this is a timed solo event.

  5. The tourist trap photo appears to be about 55 maybe 56. To think that Model T is only 30 years old then is interesting.

    • That is interesting , especially since my daily driver today is 12 years old. (2006). That Emphasizes how much of a spike in development autos had back then. Now, the development progress is less tangible (electronics), of which ‘progress’ is debatable (e.g. parallel parking feature).

      The 48 Caddy is in my top 10 list. It’s design locks you in and forces you around it’s appearance from all angles.

  6. The first picture is the 1956 Daytona Speed Trials over a measured mile. Tim Flock set a new record at 139.373 miles per hour in a Chrysler 300B. Mad Dog II was Bob Osiecki’s car.

  7. 1st picture “Speed Week” on the beach during this time period meant single runs for top speed with a class structure and lots of clandestine participation from the manufacturers. A pretty sketchy proposition given the sand and tide conditions ! There is lots of vintage film footage showing spectacular end over end crashes on the beach. The black T Bird has some home spun streamlining on his grill, just an opening for the radiator, thank you, and some kind of racing tire ( Indy car ? ) mounted too. I love this era of Daytona and have chatted with one of it’s top competitors Paul Goldsmith.

  8. The beach shot was Daytona Beach Measured Mile event in 1956. There is a video of the following year’s event on youtube if you search: Daytona Beach Measured Mile Speed Trial 1957

    Speedweeks was an event us local youngsters looked forward to. Events going on all over town!

    • Y’know, I’ve never seen reference to the first Mad Dog. The only one I’ve seen other than II is IV (I’ve seen one reference to III, which ended up being too heavy). Mad Dog IV was a Kurtis-Kraft open-wheel racer with a Chrysler Wedge 413 V8 that Osiecki bored out to 450 cid and supercharged, driven by Art Malone to a closed-course speed record of 181.561 miles per hour in 1961. That car’s in the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.

  9. Research shows, the 1st pic is the road course on Daytona Beach, 1956. Certainly come a long way. Further research shows, the Sequoyah Restaurant was/ is in Cherokee, NC. Little bit of everything in that photo. The black Caddy in a driveway would make me a bit nervous, like the black Suburban of today, and a ’61 Invicta(?) This young man knew what to drive.

    • Sequoia was the man who created the written language for the Cherokee Indians. His single-handed achievement marks the only known instance of an individual creating a totally new system of writing. His biography is worth taking a look at.

      • The Cherokee quickly realized the value of his contribution, and by 1825 had a higher literacy rate than the neighboring European/American settlers.

    • Howard, I was going to say Cherokee, N.C. , as that is the way I remember it from the ’50s, and early ’60s. Our family vacationed in N.C. because of relatives, and it’s proximity to Connecticut where we lived. I was reluctant to say Cherokee because so many mountain towns in the deep South look the same. I’ve always been a car nut, so I loved out trips to the South, and all those beautiful old cars sleeping in fields, and next to old wooden sheds.

  10. Best guess on the “tourist trap’ photo is somewhere in the Smokies, likely on the NC side based on the license plate colors I can see. A restaurant named “Sequoyah would fit, too.

  11. Re: the Model T in photo 2, I wonder if it isn’t some hill ‘n’ holler dweller making a run into town for supplies. That car might have been actual daily transportation in the mountain back country, even in 1953!

    • John R, Good comments and question. Most people do not realize that some such cars were still used as daily transportation even that late.
      When I was really little, in the mid to late ’50s, there was a local “junk man” that drove a model T all around a good part of San Jose Califunny. He was elderly, and apparently made a few dollars buying and selling junk. His car was a black era model T with a pickup box added on the back. I was already fascinated by antique automobiles, even at that age, and always loved to see him driving down the road, or stopped somewhere. I was not informed enough yet to see whether it was a cutoff touring or a runabout with the pickup box.
      My parents of course said to stay away from the strange man, but I continued to watch with interest whenever he went by. A few times I got to see him crank starting his T. One time when we were driving to or from somewhere, he had killed the engine in the middle of an intersection and was frantically cranking to get the car going and out of the way (done that a few times myself since then!). Another time, I don’t know how or why, he killed the engine right in front of our house. I stood in our living room looking out the front window and enjoyed the show as he cranked and got the car going again.

      My guess on the car in the photo above would be that it likely is an early hobbyist. I base that largely on how shiny the car appears to be. There is not enough detail of that car in the picture to tell much more about it or its condition.. It does appear to be a black era model T. You are absolutely correct. It could be a local with his daily driver, or it may be an early hobbyist. Either way, it is a wonderful catch for the camera for us to see today.

      Thank you David G and all for the excellent photos and comments on all of them.

      • I remember in the 50’s seeing a few Model A’s use as daily transportation. In the 60’s, there was a man in my hometown who used a (late 20’s?) Reo automobile as his daily ride.

        • Many model A Ford’s were still being used as daily transportation throughout the1950s and 60s. I also remember seeing a lot model A and other early 30s trucks in regular use when I was growing up. Quite a few 20s Buicks were also in daily use. They were extremely reliable cars, and maintenance parts were available. Few people will recall that in the early days of the antique car hobby, many hobbyists would not consider having a 1920s Buick because they had just always been around.
          Earlier cars of the 20s, including model Ts, were much less common in daily use.
          However, one of my longest time best friends,before I knew him, had a neighbor that was still driving her 1921 Dodge touring car as her only car.

          As a minor side note. One of my first “antique cars”, and the first one I really drove, was a 1929 Reo coupe. I even drove it to high school a few times.

  12. Peter G., that was my first impression but couldn’t find enough in the photo to want to make that claim. I agree with you that it does look very much like Cherokee, but since I couldn’t spot even one TN tag, I waffled on making that ID.

  13. I think the guy to the left of vince’s number 82 must be a time traveler from the future….looks like he’s staring at his cell phone.. 😉

  14. The ’48 Caddy looks like it has some damage (could it be rust?) around the front wheel well; unusual and strange to see this in Southern California which the architecture of the homes behind the Sedanete imply. Chrome guards on the rocker panels make it a 62 Series, the penultimate achievement of the designer, Franklin Q. Hershey, who 7 years after his landmark ’48 Cadillac gave the world the classic 2-seater T-Bird.

    • I believe the marks on the Caddy fender to be either dirt or reflections in the Photo. Love the “curb feelers” on the right side – put them on some of my early autos – amazing how loud they were!

  15. In summer of 1953 we spent a Saturday night in Manhattan Kansas, there were three Model T’s on the street that were family transportation. When I went in the army in 1957 there were several Model A’s in Eugene Oregon that were daily drivers, when I got out in 1959 they were gone. That Caddy would sure look good on my garage.

  16. Cherokee, North Carolina is a far piece from northern California and a place I’ve never heard of, but interesting none the less.
    There are many photos online, most for some reason with the same view. It is a good thing they made the old boulevard wide because now it is four lanes between the old businesses.

    Daytona: I can’ think of any place in the U.S. today that you can race what you drove.

  17. I graduated from Arcadia High School, California in 1959. The grand mother of Carl Huff, (a friend of mine) was still driving her 1926 or 27 model T Ford coupe around Arcadia at that time and into the ’60s.

  18. A great friend of mine drove his 1928 Ford A as his daily driver until the day he died in
    1998. I used to work with him on restorations every Saturday for many years and if he had run out of cigarettes he would just jump into the A and head for the nearest shop, and if the A was being repaired then he would just jump into his 1913 Morgan Runabout instead.

  19. The Reply here is just as good as the photographs.
    Take a birds view, this is most interesting week end reading.

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