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Four Fun Thursday Kodachrome Car Photographs Volume 174

The Kodachrome Car Photograph Series begins this week with a circa early-1960s image taken from the inside of a Volkswagen showroom of a Type 2 fifteen window Deluxe Volkswagen Bus (Transporter, Microbus, Kombi) parked outside at the curb. The upscale “Samba” Deluxe model features eight more windows in the roof and a sliding fabric sunroof. Can anyone identify the location of the VW dealership?

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.

Editors note: Thursday Kodachrome Car Photographs? Yes, we are taking a four day weekend off to do maintenance work on The Old Motor Shop building and equipment. Sorry for any inconvenience, we will return on Monday morning and hope you all have a great weekend.

  • Circa late-1950s parking lot photo taken in a southern California of a young woman and a two-seat Thunderbird with an optional hardtop.

  • A “Petty Blue” Plymouth sedan, one of two cars that Petty Enterprises ran in NASCAR during the early-1960s.

  • A Standard Oil Company filling station across the street from the Corn Palace located in Mitchell, South Dakota.

47 responses to “Four Fun Thursday Kodachrome Car Photographs Volume 174

  1. David,

    As usual great pictures !!!

    In the 2nd photograph, on the left, are two 1957 PONTIAC models; a white over gold Star Chief Catalina and a solid black four-door sedan, either a Super-Chief or Chieftain.

    Have a great weekend !

  2. In the top image, I’d estimate it was shot in `62. I like the `62 Falcon Squire wagon parked in front of the Renault dealership across the street; complete with the (dreaded) Dauphines on the showroom floor! A babysitter I had as a kid drove a black one that burned oil something bad.
    The second photo is a colorful one; with many `57 models in plain view. I always liked the color combo on the `57 Star Chief next to the `57 Ford. An odd but nice two-tone greenish combo. In the last photo the young boy’s pant legs are rolled up; so typical in the early 50s.

    • I notice there are not zip codes on the, presumably new, signage on the VW parked on the street. So, yeah, probably before 1963.

      As to location, there’s still a Sanders Motors car dealership in Jackson, MI. That might match the address on the Samba’s front door.

      Again, great pictures, David. Enjoy your weekend.

    • I still roll up my pant legs…LOL. Lot’s of 57 iron, but nothing really super. Even the T-bird was pretty sedate for most models. Nice to see them all in pristine condition though!

    • Will,

      Behind the Pontiacs is a ’55 Chevy, and behind that, the roofline and rear side window makes me think mid-’50s Hudson. Right in front (I think) of the gold 57 Pontiac is a two-toned 57 Chevy Bel Air, and directly behind THAT, is another ’57 in the same color, but without the white top. And to the left of THAT, the tail light makes me guess a ’55 or ’56 “ugly salmon” and white two-toned Ford. The baby-blue T-bird is a little harder but the taillights make me lean toward ’57. I’m no expert on early T-birds. The dark car in front of the T-bird appears to be an early ’50s Chrysler (??) All that leads me to believe that this photo is 1957 as nothing appears newer, and as someone said, a lot of new cars in the lot. It’s really odd that there would be that many new cars in a car lot, maybe a clue as to where it is or what the lot is for?

      David does it again!

      • In looking at that picture I imagine it’s a very upscale shopping center. Aside from the 55 Chevrolet and 54 Chrysler, and what appears to be a 55 Chrysler, it seems almost all of the cars are 1957 models, nothing newer.

        • It appears to be a ‘58 Ford Fairlane or Fairlane 500 4-door Victoria just to the left of the red ‘56 Ford Tudor sedan and directly above the ‘57 BelAir Sport Sedan.

    • Back in 1959, someone brought a Dauphine into the Chrysler-Plymouth dealership my family ran, in need of a new clutch. The job took 3 days, not least because the engine had to be removed first. Back then, they regularly replaced clutches on Plymouths in about an hour.

      • I’m not surprised as the Dough-fein was voted one of the top ten worst cars of the century. It was not introduced in the U.S. until 1957 and yet that poor car already needed a new clutch job not more than two years later. A quick seller at first, but sales quickly cooled off once the public got hip to what a bad car it actually was despite the low price and good gas mileage.

        • By counterpoint, my best friend got a new Dauphine in 1960. I was our senior year adventure car, and took us and the girls willing to go out with us on adventures over Northern California. He drove it back and forth to college on the East Coast trouble free for a couple of years as well. It was a neat ride.

  3. Thanks as always for some great color photo’s! I always enjoy them.
    The California parking lot photo does cause me to wonder however, if cars in Southern California ever get dirty? I can wash our cars and they seem to have more dirt on them by the time I get them back in the garage than the cars parked in this photo!

    • Its interesting that the building has Renaults inside. There’s the Falcon in front, a 1962 Galaxie in the mist at left and a couple 57 Fords over there, too. Odd.

    • Tony,

      The letters across the street when read through the VW showroom windows look like “Ford
      – Simca” to me, but those are Renaults in the showroom. If you look to the left there’s a lot full of Fords.

  4. In the parking lot photo, the 1958 Pontiac hardtop in the middle, might the color be Jubilee Gold?

    Paint code: ZZZ, this 1958-only color was used to celebrate GM’s 50th anniversary.


    • Except it’s not a ’58 — it’s a ’57 — and there are no golds among the fall or spring paint codes — and ZZZ is Bonneville Red — and Grenada Gold was a ’56 Pontiac color?? I’m confused!! Help??

      • It’ is a 1957. Jubilee Gold was a 1958 color offered all year. It wasn’t offered in 1957 because that wasn’t the Golden Jubilee. There were no gold offerings in 1957.

        The color of the Pontiac is Limefire Green.

        • Thank you! I didn’t think I’d lost ability to ID ’57 and ’58, but the paint does look quite gold on a 6-point-something inch screen, and I thought a gentle note was appropriate.

          I’ll now note that later paints could appear gold or green in different lighting, as did P-57.

          1970s GM Placer Gold (53) or AMC Golden Lime (P-90) are but two. Nicer than the 2019 Chevrolet WA-628D.

          The paint name is “Shock.”

          It is.

  5. The 1st pic is Sanders VW, St. Joseph, Mo., but can’t find much info on it. 2nd pic, with the exception of older Chrysler, lot of new cars. 3rd pic, # 42 was Lee Petty’s number, but I believe Jim Paschal drove the #42 Plymouth in ’63. I believe this car had a 426 hemi. And the”Corn Palace”. About the only stop going across SD. They change the scenes on the sides, which looks like what they were doing then, in corn, of course.

    • I think the Hemi came out in 64, so this looks like a 426 Wedge, and upgrade from the 413. NASCAR put a limit of 428 c.i. for the 63 season and everyone went to 427 (Ford, Chevy) and 426 (Chrysler products). It was in 1963 that the Riverside 500 was run lasting over 6 hours and won by Dan Gurney. This road course really taxed the skills and strength of the drivers as the cars were much closer to a definition of ‘Stock Car’ than the clones of today. I saw them run in 1964 and watched Chevies being out dragged on the long back straight by everyone else since they had to revert back to their 409 when everyone else had more modern, higher performing 427’s and the Hemi. 1963 also saw races on dirt tracks like Hillsboro and a 17th place finish by an MG (!) at the International 200 at Bowman Gray! Hell of a lot of fun back then!!

  6. The VW split window vans were for sale at Gene Sanders Volkswagen , 3421 Gene Field Road, St. Joseph, Missouri, Phone AD 25466.
    Still looking for the name of the Renault Dealer.

    • Hi Dan, the car looks quite new, and could be on display outside the Randleman, NC shop, or outside Southern Motors in High Point. They were a sponsor for a spell. Another car with the hood up is next to it. I read, Petty had 3 cars in 1963, #41, #42, and #43. And they were wedge 426’s, not hemi’s, my mistake.

      • The 1963 Plymouth is from when NASCAR stockers were still basically modified road cars, as opposed to the purpose built race cars they use today. Just check out how basic the roll cage is; quite a contrast from today. Same thing for the seat. it looks like it was sourced from a Dodge van and is quite different from the custom fitted seats used today. It is a wonder that more drivers weren’t killed in that era; I can’t imagine what would happen if this car were to smack the wall at 170 MPH, it wouldn’t be pretty.

      • This is a ’63 Plymouth with the under powered wedge engine. The following year he got the HEMI elephant engine that dominated until outlawed by NASCAR. This is when stock car racing involved real Stock Cars. This car may be a show car. The racers built several show cars for the “Super Market” and “Dealer Showroom” circuit.

  7. My eldest sister (3 years older than my 63) owns to this day the green and white VW bus that our mother purchased new (from Riveria Motors in Portland, Oregon) in 1963. The bus is on it’s second or third engine rebuild, but is still in excellent condition. The bus has been garaged and not driven much the last 20 years. No rust. It does rain in Oregon, but the state never used to salt the roads in winter.
    We went on many beach and mountain lake camping trips in this bus. Any time we were able to pass another vehicle on the highway, celebrations rang out.

  8. By the way, I noticed that there is a Singapore Sam’s Chinese Buffet in the background. There’s one currently located in Calgary Canada that’s been there for 30 years, but the mountains and general architecture says “California” to me.

  9. That VW van brings back good memories. I had three VW vans over the years, a ’58 multi-window van, a ’67 camper and an ’85 van that had the 2 liter engine. I would love to have a VW van like the one in the photo, but today’s prices on the split window vans is incredible.

    • I had a 84 Vanagon. Very nice ride. Too bad it was seldom available for use. Fritz and Hans at the dealer were always glad to see me though.

  10. I’m guessing that parking lot shot was probably taken in 1957 – and features a lot of new or nearly-new cars, even for Southern California and 3-year auto loans. Probably in a suburb somewhere in the Valley. The oldest cars I can see are the ’51-‘2 Chrysler right front, and the last to cars at the rear left – I think the blue-and-white one could be a ’50-’51 Lincoln Capri.

  11. 1st Photo was shot from showroom of Sanders Motors Volkswagen 320 S 8th Street St. Joseph MO. The buildings on this block still exist. The home in the background across the street is no longer there.

  12. One of my parents drove me on my first movie date in a gold ’57 T-Bird. I was 14 years-old and didn’t have a driver’s license. Our family was living in Los Angeles and one of my father’s pals had a son who got 1 ticket too many so his dad docked him his T-Bird and shipped it over to my parent’s house for safe-keeping. I asked a girl named Virginia to go to the movies with me at the Bay Theater in Pacific Palisades; after the movie my mom or dad picked us up and drove us home. I think my date and I squeezed together in the passenger seat; no seat belts in those days. If it hadn’t been for that first movie date, I wouldn’t have remembered the car; it was no big deal at the time. I remember thinking that the round port hole window was an odd feature to see on a car.

  13. Opera windows (on cars, not carriages) appear in the ’20s, but since I can’t show, I must say go. Find a photo of a 1926 Buick Opera Coupe to find early squared or rounded opera windows.

    Find a photo of an Elcar. Find other cars with.

    Then find mid-’70s to early-’80s, and go wild!

  14. The VW Kombi’s have flat indicators and over-rider bumper bars : therefore this makes them 1963 models at earliest . This format ran until the bay window Kombi in 1967.

    interesting to see Renauld Dauphines in the showroom opposite. did not realise that they were exported to the US

    have fun

  15. I remember a trip out west from Ohio when I was 10 years old. We went through Mitchell SD to see the Corn Palace and I was amazed. That was 1961, in 2004 my Wife and I took a trip from our home in southeastern Ohio via old 66 to California, up the coast then east to Reno, Yellowstone ,Mt Rushmore etc. I was telling her about the Corn Palace and I don’t think she believed me until we got there. I wish that Standard Oil Station would have still been there, I would have probably spent more time there than at the Corn Palace!

  16. The VW photo was scanned and posted by me on Facebook a while back, along with several others from the Sanders Motors (or Sanders Volkswagen) grand opening on 8th Street in St. Joseph, Missouri. The dealership was owned by my grandparents. The photo was probabily taken by my grandmother. It was located on 8th Street for a short time and then moved to a newly constructed typical VW building on Gene Field Road.

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