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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photograph Series No. 171

The Kodachrome Car Photograph Series begins this week with this image taken by General Motors Photographic of a Chevrolet convertible and an attractive “model family.” The photo was taken on a runway at the Miami Beach Airport and subconsciously tricks the viewer into thinking that their family will look like this if they purchase one of these top-of-the-line models.

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 you find of interest in the photos. You can look back at all the earlier parts of this series here. The images are via This Was America.

  • Spindizzie car owners preparing racing cars at a meet at a miniature car speedway. Note the car  on top of the tool box on the far-right covered up to keep its “speed secrets” private.

  • This image has the appearance of a son who has met with success visiting his parents in the old neighborhood.

  • To finish up here today, a photo taken of a young women at a scenic overlook apparently enjoying an adult beverage.



42 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photograph Series No. 171

  1. Thanks Daniel,

    Wonderful pictures again !!

    In the 2nd photograph, in the upper left corner, is a 1942 OLDSMOBILE, which could be a four-door Special Sedan.

  2. Re. photo #3, I can imagine Mom and Day saying “You spent HOW MUCH on that car? And it doesn’t even have whitewalls or a back seat?”

  3. In the photo of the spindizzie cars, looks to be a 1939 or 1940 Ford tudor sedan at the top center in the parking lot. I think it’s a ’39 Ford. The last photo of the woman sitting on the fender, I think the car is a 1941 Mercury sedan.

    • Flanking the Ford sedan are a couple of 1936 Chevrolet offerings…a 2 door Sedan and Coupe. Can’t tell if Master Deluxe or Standards.
      Great feature!!

    • I think that is a ’39 Deluxe Tudor with ’40 headlamp doors, common conversion to sealed beams and update at the same time.

  4. 1st, “See the USA, in your Chevrolet”, which is exactly what they are promoting. Big smiles, everybody happy. Most of us did not have shiny new ’59 Chevy Impala convertibles,( more like 6 cylinder, 4 door Biscaynes) and safety advocates will gasp in horror, but somehow we made it. Can you see that scene today? All the kids staring at their phones. The 2nd pic, looked like a flea market, at first. Did you know, that “fuel” they used contains nitromethane? If I’d have known that, I would have run it in my Honda 50 as an additive when I was a kid. 3rd, way before illicit activities, so this guy earned his Vette the honest way, and his folks were mighty proud, or plenty mad. And last, well, she’s no movie star, riding around in an old hack with bald tires. Not sure what she’s drinking, but looks like Mulholland Drive.

  5. Photo 1 — The 2-tone green is a nice color combination on the 1947 or 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Sportmaster 4-door sedan, a rather uncommon car. In the rear, is the black car between the Olds and the Ford a 1937 Plymouth? The bluish coupe in the far right also looks like a 1937 Plymouth.

    Photo 2 — Must be a Chevy neighborhood. Behind the Vette is a 1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe coupe, and in the distance is a 1954 Chevrolet Belair 2-door sedan.

    And no whitewalls anywhere!

  6. What was it with license plates?
    For the second week most are crooked or crumpled.
    Dry cell batteries and fragrant fuel at the races.

  7. Hi David (and everyone else)!

    My thoughts, please:

    1) The 59 Impala is a rental car. If this were a Chevrolet photo the license plate would read “1959”.

    2) Before anyone else says it, the young lady sitting on the Mercury is NOT Doris Day.

    Thanks again for Kodachrome Friday!

  8. How appropriate that this ’59 Chevy was photographed on an airport runway. Recall, when Unca Tom McCahill reviewed this model for Mechanix Illustrated, he wrote of the wide back end, “What a spot to land a Piper Cub.”

    • Speaking of flight, PMD: A popular urban legend of the time said the horizontal fins on the ’59 and ’60 Chevys made them light in the back end at speed due to “lift” from wind passing under the fins.

      For years, my grandmother got the first new Chevy in town every year and fought the Mayor of a small town in Indiana for the “1” number on her license plate. She was big in the Democratic Party.

    • Loved Unca Tom’s “pull no punches” reviews in Mechanix Illustrated at a time when such were rare indeed in any publication. My favorite was his comment when testing a late 40’s Buick — “Goes around a corner like a rhinoceros on a wet clay bank.”

  9. The Corvette is a ’64 with air conditioning, fairly unusual for the time. And black with black interior was a common choice either. BTW David, lots of people call me Dave, which is my son’s name. And many have never met or heard of him when they do it. I take it as a compliment, I think.

  10. David, you sneaky guy. At first I thought that was a Coke in the young lady’s hand in the fourth picture. The red(ish) can fooled me. But you’re absolutely right. It had to be an “adult beverage” because Coke didn’t come in cans until 1960, long after the vintage of that Merc. You really made me think on that one!

    • OK, this comment is late, but you piqued my interest about beer cans – specifically, when did they first appear? Googled it. Looks like the answer, in the US at least, was 1935. Never would have guessed. Wonder why it took another 25 years for Coke cans?

    • Having lived in the Detroit area at one point in my life it seemed that the big 3 dominated certain neighborhoods. Where we lived most all our neighbors drove GM cars and worked for GM. The employee discount offered them an opportunity to drive a new car that might be sold for almost what the car cost them new. Not working for the auto companies put you at a disadvantage when buying a new car. Dealers were not even interested in talking to you and the first greeting was often “are you a …………. employee?” A yes answer was an almost sure sale coming up for the dealer. There was a very active roadside auto market as the factory employees marketed their “old” car to be replaced by a new model. Dealers had more late model trade in’s than they needed and prices they were willing to pay for used cars was pretty low to help them compete with the lawn lot at least in my experience.

      Thanks for a great e-magazine. I always enjoy it.

  11. I thought at first that in the second picture the number 48 on the man’s cap might represent the year 1948, which seems about when the picture was taken. But in the background is a black 1937 Plymouth with what appears to be a 1948 California License plate on it that has a silver tag present on the upper right hand corner, meaning that the photograph was taken either in the year 1949 or 1950. I sure like that 1942 B-44 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser next to the Plymouth. You don’t see too many of those cars in old photographs from times past.

  12. Thanks once more David for some great photos. In the Spindizzie scene, the car behind the #48 visor seems to be a 1952 Buick…the same as my first car.

  13. The ‘Vette is a ’64 as they i believe only used those wheel discs that one year ! It was my dream car in 1964 when i was 18.

  14. Great pics love them all. Second photo, Buick convertible behind man with 48 cap…I believe is a 47. The bombsite ornament is missing it’s ring as was common since it had no cross hair to support it. Cross hair was added in 48.
    Recently scored a 47 ornament on eBay for my 47 Special. Haven’t seen one on eBay in 10 years looking.

  15. The spindizzie enthusiast (can we call them “ec-dizzie-asts?”) with the 48 cap appears to also have been a White mechanic. That must’ve been a contrast.

    The previously mentioned damage to the taillight trim on the Chevy convert looks like yet another artifact of the “park by ear” era.

  16. 1959 Chevy, I remember when women wore gloves, Corvette man, he had his future plotted. Doris Day on the Merc, I’d love to have a beer with her!

  17. I liked his comment that one car’s performance was “smooth as a prom queen’s thighs”. Pretty racy for the ’50s. Or for Mechanix Illustrated!!

  18. In thge second pic, I think the black sedan and the light blue coupe are ’37 or ’38 Plymouths, not Chevys. ’36 Chevys had a split windshield and these windshields are one piece. And that’s a gray ’42 Olds on the left behind the Buick convertible.

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