An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Volume 173

The Kodachrome Car Photograph Series begins this week with an appropriate image for tomorrows change of seasons. Saturday the 22nd of September is the first day of Autumn this year and today’s feature image contains fall foliage in the background of this light blue Studebaker coupe.

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.

  • We have seen other photos of the Clingmans Dome parking lot, however this image taken at slow time on the highest mountain in Tennessee provides a better view of most of the vehicles. 

  • Six nineteen-fifties Ford sedans are the cargo on this long wheelbase heavy duty Ford six car hauler. Note the palm trees in the background.

  • And finally, this post-war General Motors station wagon appears to have been a late model car at the time this photograph was taken.


31 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Volume 173

  1. Of the first post WWII generation of Studebakers (`47-`52) I happen to like the `52’s best. To me it’s a combination of the updated grille, taillamps, and of course the hardtop Regal coupe that was new that year. The transporter full of new `58 Ford Fairlane 500s looks like a publicity shot. Even the truck is a new `58, with quad headlamps. In those years, most mfrs. shipped the cars with the wheel covers on, rather than in the trunk. Then it was discovered that wheel covers were coming up missing off of cars in the rail yards waiting for delivery to dealers, so they were left off and stored in the trunk. (I’ll take the cream/copper hardtop on the top rack over the cab!)
    In the last image, a nice `48 Pontiac woody wagon missing a hubcap but otherwise a beauty! A `41 Oldsmobile with fog lamps parked behind it.

    • The chrome lettering on the side of the ’48 Pontiac’s hood says “Silver_Streak”, not “Silver_8_Streak”, so it is a 6-cylinder model, unusual for a wagon.

    • Will,

      Interesting fact: 1958 was the year the big three switched from single to dual (or quad) headlamps at exactly the same time. Unless you can give another logical reason this would happen, you can’t tell me the auto companies didn’t have spies in their competitors’ operations.

      • Ford Motor Company got the jump on the others. Mercury had 4 horizontal lights, Lincoln’s were verticle. Not available in California, which approved the design for 1958 models.
        Chrysler Corp anticipated the new design by putting a parking light next to the headlight in all of their ’57’s.

      • Up to 1956, the law required that all US cars were to use two 7 inch round sealed beams.

        The law changed. In 1957 US cars were allowed to use four 5 3/4 inch sealed beams.

        It was a matter of the law changing.

        • A number of states did not authorize the change, hence the “hedging” by some makes – fog lights in the lower position on 1957 Lincolns, for example. Somewhere I have a list of the holdout states. Federal Motor Vehicle Standards did not emerge until the 1960s.

        • 1) Plymouth, Dodge and DeSoto used the Headlight / Parking light set up. Chrysler and Imperial built both ways, single headlights for some states and dual headlights for others.

          2) Nash used 4 headlights – stacked – in 1957.

          • Plymouth and Dodge did use the H/L / P/L setup, but DeSoto, like Chrysler and Imperial, used offered single or dual lights as allowed. I wonder if you could opt for the single lights in states that allowed duals? The Imperial actually looked better with the large ringed single lights, at least to me. The smaller lights looked kind of lost under those big fender hoods on the ’57s through ’59s.

  2. I always liked the styling of the ’57/58 Fords but, to me, the chrome moldings on the side of the ’58s top models looks like it is upside down.

  3. 1st pic, California, and someone would love to break into the movie biz with that pose. 2nd, way back, an older Chevy(?) looking pretty tired, still goin’ for it. 3rd, the truck is a ’58 Ford and with the hood scoop, I’d say it’s the biggest one, the F900. I don’t think they used the “Big Job” moniker for these anymore, but this was the biggest Ford offered. Still a gas job, as Ford’s 1st diesel was in 1961. I’m surprised there are no retractables in the bunch. Last pic got to be down south with that style houses, with the sister on the porch, jealously looking on.

  4. What’s the blotchy-looking car in photo 1? 1953-54 Chevy?

    That Pontiac station wagon is nearly identical to the one used by noted photographer Ansel Adams. His had a top rack, so he could set a tripod and camera on the roof.

  5. In the last photo the architecture and the citrus tree in the side yard indicates this is either Florida or California, probably the latter.

  6. I cant believe that the color purple was in the inventory of any American car company back then-as in that Pontiac.
    If it was a factory color,that must be the only American car in the world with it.

    • Pontiac offered a metallic color in 1948 called “Parma Wine”. It was still offered in 1950. That may be the color of the wagon shown in the photo.

  7. 1958 was one of my favorite years for Fords. I wonder if you would have been kind of an oddball in the 50s if you didn’t have a two-tone car, sort of like a vinyl roof in the 70s. It must have been labor intensive doing all the taping/masking to paint them.

  8. I love the 1958 Fords on the car hauler, especially the wide variety of colors that were available then. Quite the contrast from today when 95% of the vehicles are either “plumber’s truck white”, “German resale silver”, or “eastern European warship gray”. I will have the yellow and white two door in the middle of the top row please.

  9. There is a Studebaker on display in a small restaurant in Chesnee South Carolina that looks just like the one in the first picture. It has a sign in front of it that says they got 30 MPG back then . Is this true? and if it is why cant we get a car that size now that gets 30 mpg?

    • Mileage claims were always suspect until the Federal government got involved. For example in 1975 Ford had a group of “housewives” drive a fleet of LTDs that got nearly 30 MPG. They drove from Denver to Phoenix. Which, by the way, is all downhill.

    • Overdrive was a little more common on some makes, including Studebaker and probably Rambler. So with a small engine and tall gearing, and modest speeds, 30 mpg was probably within reach, and so some of these offbeat brands had a reputation for economy.

  10. The Stude was probably kept in top tune,thats why.
    Sun Automotive Equipt. once demonstrated at a car show how a late 50s Ford put out less emissions than a then current late model Toyota when they stuck a probe up both cars tailpipes.The Ford was a restored T-Bird kept in top condition and the Toyota was one that someone had volunteered from the audience.This was in the early 80s.

  11. Gosh, that Pontiac image brings back memories. My parents in Christchurch, New Zealand, had English friends who had spent time in Ohio, and brought out “Monty the Ponty” with them. Mr Adams was a builder, and this huge straight-8 version worked hard for its living, with the wood bits soon deteriorating. Thanks as always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *