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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Number 179

Today’s lead photo of a late-1950s to early-1960s fuel injected Corvette is just one example of how many of these vehicles were modified by the first owner after its purchase or by a subsequent owner. Share with us what was changed on this “Vette,” or what you may have adapted to one of your own back in this period.

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 Americar.

  • Some Oldsmobile’s had optional high-performance engines installed at the factory and this one may have had a “Tiger” put in its tank to keep the one of these high compression motors happy.

  • A mid-1950s view of traffic in downtown Tazewell, Virginia.

  • We have already had a snowfall  here in Vermont so if you also live in one of the colder parts of the northern hemisphere it is time for our annual reminder to winterize your car and put on your snow tires.

42 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Number 179

  1. In the 3rd photograph, on the far left, is the front-end of a red & white 1956 BUICK Special.

    Also in the same picture, on the far right, is the front-end of a dark 1948 or ’49 “step-down” HUDSON.

  2. In the second photo, a rather tired `57 Plymouth Savoy on the other side of the pumps from a nice Tahitian beige `61 Olds Super 88 coupe. In the last photo, a young lady looks to be heading to work on a snowy morning in her `41 Plymouth coupe. Probably the early 50s when that was taken.

    • Based on her age, dress, and the numbered doors behind her, I’m thinking this might be some kind of vacation trip (perhaps a honeymoon) taken somewhere in cold country.

      • Ken and Steve,

        I agree, looks like one of those mom-and-pop motor courts that were so popular in that era. Some were kept up by owners that were house-proud. Some where real dumps. From her clothes, I can’t see her staying in the latter. I bet that snow was an unpleasant surprise in the morning from the look on her face. (Although the grime behind the rear wheel leads me to believe the weather had been lousy.)

  3. If Norman Rockwell ever painted town traffic jams it would have looked like the Virginia photo. Some of the people seem like they’re posed.

    • Exactly what I thought, Greg! That’s a testament to how well Rockwell portrayed life. This is a priceless scene, without anything notable occurring.

  4. While I’m not an expert on early Vette’s ( ’58?) it remains my favorite Corvette. I’d recognize that hood scoop anywhere. It’s an early 60’s Ford Big Job/ SD Pontiac scoop. Mom in the kerchief checking the mail before terrorizing the streets in sonny boy’s Vette? 2nd pic, oh, you better believe that Olds is getting “high test”. Suits hanging in the back, this guy had a nice saleman’s car. There must be another “Regular” pump we can’t see. I doubt the beater ( shoebox Ford?) is getting premium. The regular pump still has that sight glass where the marbles went ’round and ’round. 3rd pic, looks like organized confusion, good thing a cop is present who doesn’t seem to be helping much. On the extreme left, is the nose of an IH R-190 truck, the 1st heavy duty truck I ever drove. I think that’s a Chevy step van with a one year only ’56 IH S model pickup behind it. Last pic, no smiles here. Not a lot of money, old haggered coupe (Plymouth?), sagging in the middle, mismatched tires, coming out of motel unit 12, and that car may or may not provide some heat for her. Judging how she’s dressed, the snow is a surprise. My dad talked about a 2 door Dodge coupe my folks had right after the war.

  5. 1st photo. If that Vette has a Texas tag on the back, it is my buddy Johnny’s in Ft. Worth. He took the fuel injection unit off, gave it away and put 2 four barrells on it. Don’t remember him ever putting a rack on the back, but the rest is identical. WOW .

    2nd photo. One of the prettiest rears and roofs ever put on a vehicle, and if a 394, one of the best engines too. ( And I’m a Ford, Studebaker, and British car guy.)

    3rd photo. The blue and white 56 Chevy wagon could easily be me returning to Tennessee after escorting a mobile home to the Tazwell area , except this is too early in time for me. Mine was the same though.

    4th photo, Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… Sorry young lady, hope you didn’t freeze !

  6. im a ford guy but that vette is a tough lookin car
    I can see U.S racing wheels , luggage rack and what looks to be a tbird hood scoop

  7. First photo: I notice by the two storm doors and the 3 mailboxes that the building is an apartment buiding. The Corvette owner is a man after my own heart: Splash out on the ‘vette’ and cheap out on the apartment. :^) After all, apartments don’t get looks from the babes.

    Thanks, David. Some more fabulous fun Friday finds.

    • Yes, looks like one of those New England “triple deckers,” where the upper two floors share an outside entrance. I’m guessing the lady taking in her mail is not the owner of the ‘Vette.

  8. Seeing the rubber hose on the pavement under the Oldsmobile reminded me of the bell that would ding when you pulled up to get gas. The attendant would come running, pump your gas, clean your windshield, and check your oil. Things have changed. Fill her up. In high school us three friends would scrap together a dollar to buy 3 gallons of gas so we could go cruising. The gas tank was always empty when my folks wanted to use the car.

    • Hi Neil, I worked in a Target gas station ( when Target had gas and service centers) right out of HS, ’73, and the cheapest I remember it going for was . 34 cents/reg..38 cents/prem. The most common purchase was “Five( bucks) or fill it”. We were suppose to push premium, even to the beaters, “Fill it with premium, sir ( or mam)?” “Nah, a bucks worth of regular” was the comeback. Around that time, I remember the “pump guy” came in and updated the guts for over 3 figures. He cut a little square hole on the face by the price. I didn’t see $1.00/gal. gas when I was there, but they were obviously planning for the future.

  9. In the photo of the intersection in Tazewell. Virginia, there is a 1956 Chevy sedan in front of the Grove Green, Classic White Merc. It appears to me to have had all of it’s chrome trim removed! May be the car was being painted, and the owner did not put the trim back on it. Anybody else see that? Thanks again for the great pictures.

  10. Are those standard size tires on that Corvette? They look out of proportion. Also, I hope the young lady in the last photo is getting a snow brush to clean off the minimal rear window before she drives away.

    • I think they are 70 series tires which would be oversized and made in the late 60’s or early 70’s at least. Should be a ’59 or ’60 Corvette as they didn’t have black in ’58 just charcoal grey.

  11. Third photo is not Tazewell, Virginia. It is the 100 block of East Washington Street in East Peoria, IL looking SE from the intersection of N Main Street. Many of those buildings still exist.

    • East Peoria being located in Tazewell County, IL, hence the confusion caused by that bank. The Tazewell county seat is Pekin, IL, which back in the 40s and 50s was one of those small rural towns whose high school basketball team, thru sheer grit and determination, was a state tournament powerhouse out of all proportion to its small size. Back then, the team went by the completely un-PC name of the Pekin…. well, let’s just say it began with “Ch” and ended in “ks.” Those certainly were very different times, back then. That just seemed “normal” to folks.

      • Jay,

        I used to visit the Pleasant Hill (I think) Antique Mall /Restaurant in Pekin, IL that was converted from an old gymnasium. Do you know, by any chance if that was the gym for the winning team’s high school? I remember that the men’s room at the antique mall, was still configured as a locker room.

  12. There may not be a tiger tail in the tank of that Olds, but a search for “The Esso 67-X was the best way to see Canada” may lead to another. Or see “Russo 67X Canadian History” on YT.

    If you don’t like the look of that Olds, find a photo of “Scotty’s Esso Service Garage [in] Wilkinsburg PA.” You may like a ’46 (?) Olds more.

    Happy Motoring!

  13. photo 1, I’m not an authority but, hard to tell if it’s a 58 or 59 the 58 hood had verticle fake hood louvers where the scoop is now (59 hood?) and the 58 had 2 verticle chrome strips on the rear deck lid under the ski rack and in 59 both front and back louvers and strips were removed.

  14. The 58-59 and 60 Vettes were my favorites. Most guys I knew that had fuel injected 283s switched to dual fours when they found no one could keep a fuel injected car running right.

    While all big Olds had 394 engines in 61 the hottest one was the Starfire. My neighbor had a Starfire and he took me and my Dad a ride in it when he first got it. It would peg the speedometer without even trying!

    The picture of the small town brings back memories of Saturday in Logan, Ohio when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Mom or Dad would give my brother and I each a quarter and we would go to the 5&10 and look around and maybe the drug store for a nickel cherry coke and a pretzel. I would have enough left over to get a comic book or maybe a 10 cent bottle of model car paint. Then we would head back to the car to wait until our parents came, no worries about someone grabbing a kid back in those days. The older I get the more I miss those days, As Bob Hope always said” Thanks for the memories!!”

  15. I think the Corvette is a 1960. Fake hood louvers were on 58’s only. The fuel injection emblem placement tells the story.
    I think the wheels are American Mags (actually aluminum). The aftermarket hood scoop may have come from the local parts store but is not a T Bird. Cool car though.

    • Doug, are there a few chrome strips missing from the “gills” too?? Looks like something may have been attached to the contrasting silver color at one time???

  16. Women and cars.
    The cold morning with a frosty Plymouth was early in the relationship and she looks unhappy but determined.
    There is only proximity to tie the well-coated and head-scarfed lady with the purse to the hot Vette, but I think the tie is there and must hold a great story.

  17. As for dating the last photo, the dried salt spray on the sides of the car with what appears to be a solid, unrusted body suggest the photo dates to the ’40’s when the car was newer rather than older. The women’s coat style is a 40’s style and color matches an outfit suggesting it is a fairly new outfit;. Mismatched tires with white wall on the rear and black wall on the front along with the good condition of the car body suggest late wartime , mid 40’s to later 40’s? I’m trying to identify the era based on the hair style as well. All of the above is pure speculation. Non the less the exercise causes one to look close to all detail in the photo.

  18. 90% sure the Corvette is a 60 model ; externally identical to a 59, except the seat stitching went vertical in 60 as opposed to horizontal in 59 if memory serves. Methinks I see vertical stitching here.
    As far as changes… obviously the wheels and tyres, the hood scoop which does look a lot like the big Ford truck / Pontiac super Duty item, but the grille on this leads me to believe it is not one of those. Aftermarket maybe, or off something else, certainly nothing Chevrolet.
    Its missing the three little strakes/mouldings there in the cove . That rear rack isnt stock or even a GM supplied dealer installed option either. Imagine if we could see under the hood that we would find a lot more changes!

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