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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Number 190

Long before the minivan and the sport-utility vehicle became popular in the marketplace the American station wagon was in favor for a vehicle to use for ski trips with the family. Today’s lead photo taken at the base of a ski slope is a promotional image showing this vehicle’s optional third rear seat, and the up-to-date one-piece tailgate with the rear window in the lowered position.

As is the 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.

  • Even though this picture only shows a rear view of the cars parked at the “Windsor,” the palm trees and blue ski look inviting to anyone living in the northern snowbelt.

  • This business coupe appears to be parked at a scenic overlook on a summer road trip.

  • The gentleman standing next this coupe apparently is pointing something out to the individual taking the photo. Share with us all you know about the car and the utility trailer.

49 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs Number 190

  1. In the 2nd photograph, parked on the left and in the far back, is either a 1947 or ’49 maroon four-door FORD, next to a black 1948 HUDSON.

    • As in the January 16 photo in Grand Rapids the Ford is a 1948 model distinguished by the horizontal chrome trim piece on the trunk lid above the license plate. The third car on the left is a rather rare 1951 or 52 Oldsmobile Deluxe 88 (as opposed to a much more popular Super 88) identified by its unique tail lights. The two model years were identical except for the addition of a small “tooth” to the grille for 1952.

  2. 1st pic, clearly a promotional picture for Dodge. How did it get to the slopes without a speck of snow or dirt? Windsor Motel, with palm trees like that, has to be Florida. 3rd pic, played out all across this land in the 50’s. Young man, got dad’s old Plymouth, and road trippin’ it cross country, and made it to the mountains. Last pic, I think, is the Crazy Horse Memorial and the man imitating the pose. Commissioned in 1948, I’m sure this was all the talk in the early 50’s.

    • Howard, I think you’re right about the Crazy Horse Memorial on Thunderhead Mountain in that photo. I’d seen it in the late ‘90’s; the amount of work they’ve done since is amazing! The scale of it is immense and the visitor facility is quite nice. Many don’t realize it’s privately-funded, taking no Federal or State money.

      • As Andy and Clyde pointed out, the land around that rock does appear to be too flat for it to be the Crazy Horse Memorial. Also I notice the layers of rock strata are horizontal in this photo, while at Crazy Horse they’re definitely diagonal.

    • Though the background is dark , I believe that you are correct. In those days men stood on their two feet and shot one handed.

    • I think you may be right. Can’t actually see the gun, and what is that black line, a railroad track? Might be a bit far fetched to think it was Crazy Horse, although, that notch in the mountain does look like after the 1st blast.

    • Were he firing a pistol, would not his forefinger be curled on the trigger? I just dont see pistol there. Or anything in his hand for that matter.

  3. Two thoughts on the 62 Dodge wagon in the first photo:

    1) How did the car get there? There should be impressions in the snow either in front of, or behind the tires.

    2) As was common in artwork from that period, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in a photo, but why are the windows down? I mean, it’s cold enough the snow hasn’t melted, and it’s likely the Dodge has a heater.

    • I do see some tracks under the tailgate, but the whole family must have exited from the left side of the car. No foot prints by the right side doors. I wondered about the windows also Mike, a better look for the ad? Single parent? Where’s Ma?

        • Hi Rob, nice to meet you. Ya a huge Leinies fan. The Original is my go to brew but I really like the Creamy Dark as well. My favorite is the Snowdrift. Discontinued till next year. Don’t care to much for the candy beers they offer but I know they sell well. I am going to tap a Creamy Dark now and watch Svengoolie. I made the mistake of leaving a sixer on the railing outside last night. All six caps were bleeding beer this morning! 25 below this morning, my fault. Take care, Mike.

    • Nice call on the down windows. Another thing that marks it as a promo is the two skiers behind the wagon. Why? Because they appear to be conversing but aren’t facing each other. I say they’ve been carefully posed so that both faces are visible. (As a retired adman I’ve directed photo shoots and know a bit about how much care is taken .)

    • There are plenty of tracks, footprints or whatever in the snow on the right of the station wagon. Being in the shadow of the car, there simply are no shadows from the direct sunlight to delineate them. The windows are down so you can appreciate the beautiful yet sportily practical interior and modern “flight-deck” instrument panel of the car. Also, these folks aren’t yet used to being cosseted by “climate-controlled” everything at all times. Mom is at home preparing Campbell’s Soup and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese so they’re ready for their return. Poor unliberated Mom!

    • Even though the picture of this Dodge wagon is a photograph, it was common practice at the ad agencies that produced this material to engage some phenomenally talented artists who could add in or remove (way before Photoshop) virtually anything in any picture.

  4. The first photo is a rare factory publicity photo of a `62 Dodge 440 wagon. You definitely don’t see these anymore. It’s the same shade of blue as Sid Caesar’s `62 Plymouth Fury wagon he & Edie Adams drove in “It’s a Mad, mad, mad world”! In the last image, a nice `48-`50 Hudson coupe. I wonder what he’s pointing at?

  5. In Photo #1 on the right, a black over pale grey ’51 Chevy Styleline Bel Air coupe, a white over black ’53 Bel Air and a ’52 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe (last with the 3-piece rear window, first with backup lights incorporated beneath the taillight and exhaust ports going through the bumper on all models).
    Up front on the left, a ’53 Plymouth Cranbrook convertible

  6. 1st. photo, I remember learning how to ski….I spent more time putting on/taking off spring-bindings than actual ski time.
    I do miss the push-button automatics from MOPAR.

  7. I noticed in the description of the lead photo the mention of the ’62 Dodge’s “up-to-date one-piece tailgate with the rear window in the lowered position.”
    Dodge, as well as Chrysler and Desoto pioneered that and had that feature as early as 1951 (oddly dropping it in ’55 and ’56, but resuming in ’57 and thereafter)…AMC had it in ’56, Mercury got it in ’57, GM didn’t have it till ’59 and Ford, not till ’61.

  8. I agree that the young man with the Hudson appears to be aiming a pistol. That trailer is very close to the back of the car, which could be a problem if it jackknifed in reverse. Bumpers are nicely integrated into the car body; overriders are a prudent addition.

  9. In the second photo, second car in on the left, is a 47 Nash 600 4 door trunk back sedan. Very pretty in Platinum Blue over Strato Blue.

    • I’m sure glad that you knew that because I sure didn’t. I was thinking maybe a ’47 Chevy Stylemaster or something like that. But the bumpers reveal it to be definitely a Nash. Beautiful photo, with lots of blue cars parked in the lot.

  10. First picture: It appears the photographer took some “artistic license.” How do you carry skis without a ski rack in a station wagon with the rear-facing seat and the middle-row seat not folded down? It also looks like the car was jockeyed around and then maybe the snow retouched a little or physically broom-brushed to eliminate most of the tire tracks.

    Last picture: I agree with John, Bill and Howard. It’s hard to tell for sure, but instead of pointing something out, my first impression was that he could be pointing a pistol and shooting at something in the desert (old bottles, cans, etc), desert target practice was a popular past-time in some western states. Unfortunately, the dark rails of the tracks behind fall exactly where the gun would be and make it hard to distinguish if he has a gun in his hand.

  11. In the Hudson photo, is that a war surplus Bantam trailer? Bantam got the contract for those as a consolation once Jeep production was limited to Willys and Ford.

    That Dodge 440 wagon is something else. Probably the angle that makes the design look the most coherent.

    • Hi, Robert. First look, I thought Jeep trailer, but they all had fenders. Don’t see why somebody would take them off, especially as most states require them.

    • The trailer rides too low to be a Bantam (I have one). Also, they didn’t have those diagonal braces on the side. I believe they continued to build them for the civilian market until around 1956.

  12. I grew up in the back of a 1956 Chevy Wagon. Bounced and slid around in the back with my Dalmation. Later, my aunt and uncle bought a new 1966 Dodge Monaco wagon. My uncle was a Chrysler man. It was gargantuan in the cargo area. They never really used all the space but thought they needed it. They were flipping mobile homes before it was cool. Their last American car was a 1973 Chevy Monte Carlo with a bench seat. My mom bought the car when they were ready to trade. She is 5’3″ tall and set the seat accordingly. I was 5″11 at the time and had to eat my knees when going anywhere.

    My son bought my 2000 Mercury Sable Wagon this year and took his friends for a ride in the wayback, the rear facing 3rd row seat. At 21-25 years old they were giddy with delight to discover the pleasure of riding back there. My kids grew up back there and have many fond memories.

    Station wagons are the best!

  13. What states go without front license plates?
    The last photo could be from “In Cold Blood”
    And Dick and Perry have gone into the junk hauling biz.

  14. The man in the last picture is definitely not at the crazy horse monument. There are no railroad tracks on either side of the highway in the area.

  15. Were it not for the “unique” front and rear styling, the complete ’62 Dodge design could have been very handsome as the mid-section is finely featured and sculpted.

    The Windsor Motel was a fine example of Mid-Century Modern architecture.

    The young blade with the red ’46-’48 Dodge business coupe looks to be enjoying his first car which was either a family hand-me-down or one he purchased with his first job paychecks.

    The ’50-’51 Hudson club coupe was parked next to a railroad line in an environment that reminds me of western Colorado and sections of Utah. The shooter was probably targeting gophers.

  16. The rock formation in the Hudson photo looks could be just north of Moab, Utah. The rail line is parallel to the highway and the Moab airport is just a few miles up the highway.

  17. Hope the Dodge coupe has a good parking brake. With fluid drive if you brake wasn’t in good nick, cars were prone to wandering away on anything but a flat surface. Dad had a 49 and a 54. Our driveway had a very slight some towards the street. I remember several time where they went to visit the neighbors across the street..

    The wagon versions of the Dodge and Plymouths were the least homely of the rest, thought the convertibles with tops down were ok too.

  18. It is a promotion shoot, so they show everything off, the interior by opening the side windows, the unique tailgate by lowering the window (making it easier to get to stuff in the back), the rear facing 3rd seat, etc. Just makes sense and has nothing to do with the family being cold or the proper way to load skis. Doesn’t even have snow tires making this a trailered photo shoot IMHO. (a dead giveaway is the craning necks of the two folks on the ancient lift, wondering what all the (photo) gear is about, I think.

  19. ’48 or ’49 Dodge. My first car was a ’49 Dodge with a straight 8, given to me by neighbors when I was fourteen years old. 59 years ago. Got it running and sold it for a big $35. Love to have that straight eight now.

  20. The Dodge is a model code D24 produced from 1946 to March of 1949, when the newer body was produced. Had a 230 flathead straight six. Definitely not a straight 8. Chrysler discontinued the straight 8 around 38/37.

  21. Doggone it, I came back a week later to find out where that apparently easy to identify mesa is behind Pistol Pete and his Hudson.
    Still no one can place it and I don’t know how far additions are made to each thread.
    Oh well, new ones to come.

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