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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Number 187

This week’s Kodachrome feature begins with an image taken in the early 1950s at one of the entrances to the Sahara Hotel and Casino. The facility, the sixth one built on the “Strip” in Las Vegas opened for business in 1952. The pair of Cadillacs parked side by side in the photo shows the contrast in the styling of the Automaker’s postwar models as opposed to its early-1950s cars.

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 take look back at all the earlier parts of the Kodachrome Photographs series here. The images are via This Was Americar.

  • A mother and grandmother attend to the family’s children at a school bus stop in the late-1950s.

  • A later version of a National Park site pictured here in the recent past.

  • A three-quarters rear view of a 1950s Packard sedan parked at a country club. 


40 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Number 187

  1. A 1958 Buick Limited, looks brand new, at the school bus stop. It looks like the standing woman has a drink cooler so I’m guessing that this was a school trip.

    • The 58 Buick — when lots of real chrome was good, but lots more was better. From the looks of the other driverless cars, this is either a parking lot, or a popular “stop & carpool” location in addition to a school bus stop. The two earlier cars to the left look like a completely different species when compared to the finned land-yachts to the right.

      Third Picture: There’s one in every crowd: Noting the yellow 69 Galaxie parked all by it’s lonesome and under what looks like a “No Parking ” sign on the upper lot access road (right). Is it my imagination, or are their lots of Ford and GM products there but few mopar. I see the Chrysler Newport at the bottom right, but I can’t be sure if the red car parked all by itself in the background under the upper lot retaining wall really is the Chrysler product it appears to be.

  2. Grandma took her daughter and granddaughter to the school bus stop in her giant new 1958 Buick Limited, then parked next to a diminutive ’55 Nash Rambler, dwarfing it by comparison.

    The ’51 Packard Patrician in solid Sunset Red might have been a special order given the color was only listed for two-tone combination as the top color with Packard Ivory or Twilight Taupe. It also has the cloisonné wheel cover centers that were standard on early production but later deleted. The color choice is unusual for a large sedan which mostly ranged in the green/blue/gray/brown palette.

    The two Cadillacs parked at the Sahara are a striking study in the change to automotive styling in just ten years.

  3. I’m photo #2, note one of the mind is holding an old fashioned beverage cooler. That would be off for kids going to school. Judging by the wooded background, I wonder if they not at a park and the school bus is being used for transportation from a satellite parking lot?

    Photo #3…some nice wagons: pre-64 Studebaker, 66-67(?) Chevy, 67-8 Mopar, pre-68 VW Type 2 Samba. On the far right, in back of the shack, a silver-blue wagon, another Mopar? Few campers, no Suburbans, Wagoneers or Travelall SUVs, a bit odd for a national park.
    Perhaps it’s a day trip type of park near a city as opposed to a long distance destination park like Yellowstone or Glacier.

  4. 1st pic, the telephone company truck looks like an early 50’s Chevy Advance Design. The school bus in the 2nd pic looks like a mid-50’s Crown Supercoach, so I’d say out west. Sure is a fancy Buick that guys driving, compared to the Dodge, Nash and Ford. 3rd, there’s always some car with the hood up in these places. Looks like the early 60’s GM wagon running hot. The Packard in the last shot has to be a ’51. In ’52 they went with the flat wing Cormorant and the tires look a little low. Radials were a ways off yet.

    • Perhaps a school outing (the Crown Supercoach) and a family cool weather picnic (the Buick). California used to be seething with Crowns. We never saw them in the east.

  5. The school bus stop picture really shows the size of some of the late 50’s offerings. I think I can also make out more reserved choices in cars with what appears to be a Nash Rambler and Ford sedan parked to the left of the Olds with it’s trunk open.

    In the picture of the National Parks lot, I can’t make it out well, but it doesn’t seem to have any convertibles? Also only a few travel trailers. Most guests are day trippers? I hope someone can identify the park.

    • Hi FXLEW, the recent post David is referring to( I think) was Sept. 21st, and was identified as Clingmans Dome in Tennessee. IDK, the background looks a bit different.

  6. In the third picture there is a blue ’59 or ’60 Studebaker Lark station wagon between a white Pontiac and a burgundy Buick.

  7. In the lead photo, a ’51 Sixty Special beside a ’41 Series 61 or 62..with a pink ’52 Mercury Monterey hardtop appearing over its hood.

    In Photo #1, a ’58 Buick Limited beside a ’55 Rambler, book-ended by a ’50 Ford coupe on the left and a ’57 Dodge Custom Royal 4-dr sedan on the right whle a step down Hudson passes in the background

    In Photo #2, of note, a ’59 or ’60 Lark wagon beside a deep red ’60 Buick…possibly an Electra 4-door sedan.

    Photo #3 shows a likely ’51 Patrician 400 sedan.

  8. The Packard is a 1951 Patrician, complete with Ultramatic. Easy spot. First year for the new John Reinhart styling, and the last year for the upright wings on the Pelican.

  9. 1958 Buick Limited four door in the second photo.

    Nash(?) Rambler next to it?

    The ‘national park’ photo date – 1968?

    • 1st pic, based on color, I think the service truck is a Bell Telephone truck with extension ladders on the rack.

  10. “Gaping maw” is all I can think of, seeing that huge trunk lid on the fantastic 58 Limited captured in its natural habitat. Of course as already noted the 41 Sedanet and 51 Fleetwood are graphic depictions of a decade ‘s styling progress at Cadillac. Great pictures- thanks for your Friday posts, and every day’s of course, but I do look forward to these!

  11. Picure 2-Looks like a school outing at a Sierra snow/ski area with not much snow. The bus looks like a Crown Supercoach early 1950’s. 79 passenger mid-engine. Also, it was from an enlighted school district that installed radio’s. This one has the antenna on the left front. Also note the “Air Conditioner” flap in the front. No power steering or power brakes. All grunt power. I drove a 1951 just like this for two years while attending college and then for one year had a brand new 63 diesel with power steering, power brakes and air clutch.

  12. I’m pretty sure the national park site pic is the parking lot at Cumberland Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  13. That aqua Lark Wagon with the roof rack is about the saddest car there is. Studebaker needed the little engine that could and the Lark just couldn’t.

    That Packard with blackwalls looks a little rough. The rocker and fender skirt? Does the front quarter and door match? Is it a repaint?

  14. The national park is the Newfound Gap parking lot in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Appalachian Trail crosses the road there.
    My first trip there was 1969. It was an 8 hour drive through 4 states. We stopped at that parking lot and were walking to the comfort station. I saw a new Lincoln with IL plates and a dealer sticker from our town. We watched and it was the owner of our local Lincoln/Mercury dealership.
    I was driving a 1966 Nova, 327 4 speed with some nice sounding oval glasspacks. Sure sounded good going back down the mountain in 2nd and 3rd gear.

  15. The dramatic styling contrast between the two Cadillacs in the first photo is only part of the significant differences they exhibited. The overhead valve 331 engine in the ’51, which was introduced in 1949, weighed about 200 lbs. less than the earlier model’s flathead yet produced much better performance.

  16. I look forward to this site every Saturday morning when I have time to relax and look at the wonderful photos. Enjoying it while I can because sooner or later all the fun will have been taken out of identifying vehicles. They will all look alike, all black or gray, boxy, boring boring. No thanks!

  17. As Ed said to Johnny, “Au contraire” — for S-P sales went from 56,920 units in ’58 to 153,844 units in ’59, of which over 130,000 were Larks,
    and they generated over $28 million in profits!

    Lark sales fell far and fast in the ’60s when the Big 3 began to build compacts (and when AMC began to be the next “Last Independent”), but, initially, the Lark was quite a success — as was another car that also is dissed. AMC sold over 280,000 Pacers in five years: almost 146,000 the first year. Compare to today. The General sold what is called a “healthy” total of 168,324 “mid-size” trucks in 2018: 134,832 Chevrolet Colorados and 33,492 GMC Canyons. 19.3% more than 2017. Which did not make GM sad.

    Nor did “the Lark that couldn’t” make S-P sad.

    The Lark saved Studebaker long enough for us to see “forward” long enough to see an Avanti!

    With an “engine that could.” and 29 Bonneville speed records. And if you really want to know, search “Due Cento” — and you will see history.


    • Roadmaster, I really appreciate it when someone, such as yourself, points out the clear differences between commonly-held perceptions and the true facts. Thank you!

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