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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 195

Today’s lead image apparently taken in a family’s yard in Florida during the 1960s is a study in contrasts. On the right-hand side of the photo is a full-sized Pontiac hardtop and behind it, a large-sized power boat, and on the left-hand side is a Volkswagen which in comparison looks like a dwarf. Share with us all you know about this trio.

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.

  • One of the popular little French imports and a family cooling off with a round of cold beverages.

  • Photo without caption.

  • And to finish off here for today, a Packard with period wide whitewalls and a backdrop of colorful fall foliage. 

57 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 195

  1. The owner of what’s left of the red 1936 Chevrolet coach appears to have the heart of a hot rodder and the design skills of a demolition expert. That said, I’ll be he had a ton of fun!

  2. So were the lightening stripes, number”71″ and white side wall tires all applied at the same time using the same bucket of paint and the same brush?

  3. The second photo…wait…can it be? IT IS! A Renault Dauphine!! I forgot how cramped the interior were on those little things. Poor kids in back can’t even roll own a window–all they get is a slider! The hood doesn’t appear to fit too well either; typical of early imports I guess. The third photo appears to be a young kid’s homemade stock car of sorts, carved out of a `36-`37 Chevy, complete with a #71 on the door. I wonder what the ‘box’ over the rear wheels is that he fashioned? With the rear cut off, it almost looks like a chariot only motorized! A beautiful Packard cvt. in the last photo; would that be a `49 or a `50? Quite rare these days.

    • SECOND PHOTO: Will, I’m just afraid that the outboard weight of the shakes and tray will tip it over. ;^)

      FIRST PHOTO: Dave, did you color in the license plate on the bug to make it harder for us to place a location on the picture? :^)

      LAST PHOTO: That is one beautiful car love the top and body color combination. I guess, however, that model will always be associated with Doc Brown and “Back to the Future” It’s what I thought of when I first saw it.

    • Those Renaults had tendency to loose hood adjustment at the minimal shock at front,cause that hood was hinged at front with a lid that housed spsre wheel underneath.

    • Can’t say I agree with your assessment. I’m 6’2” and never felt particularly cramped in mine. Two or three of us – sometimes even four! – would drive back and forth between Champaign Urbana and Chicago (and later Fort Knox and Chicago) for a weekend. Those kids seem to have plenty of room. I think I remember back then people were perfectly satisfied with four bedroom, 1,000 sq ft homes. And the biggest McDonalds hamburger was… a McDonalds hamburger.

      • I agree, Jay. My best friend in college had a Dauphine. We covered many adventurous miles, often accompanied by coeds who thought it was cute. It was reliable and rode very comfortably.

  4. “Photo without caption”. Indeed.

    The Renault Dauphine reminds me of the old Birdseye Milkshake commercials where the family drives through the house in a tiny import to go “out” for milkshakes in their kitchen. One featured a 2CV, another a Mini.

  5. 1st pic, well, someone spreading around the wealth in Florida in the early 60’s. New Pontiac Catalina hitched to their new runabout, and the new VW for Dad’s commute to the Space Center. The Spanish moss in the trees would indicate northern Fla. Kid looks bored. The Dauphine looks like a later model with those wheels. They changed little over their 11 year run( 1956-1967) It may even be a Gordini, but still a base model with no rear view mirror. I had a neighbor across the alley with a blue one just like this. I remember it being a peppy little car, and had a real heater. This picture was taken in 1967 in Miami, Florida, I believe. 3rd pic, this, my friends, is why there aren’t many of these cars today. Many were like this, the result of a case of beer, some friends and a cutting torch. And last, people that bought post-war Packards were a loyal bunch. My grandfather, who was unable to go to war, bought a ’48 Packard specifically, because of their war efforts. I’m a bit hazy on my Packard models, but it appears, this couple spared no expense for what looks like a top of the line 48 or 49 Custom Eight or Victoria.

  6. The wrecking yard hot rod #71 looks like a six cylinder 1936 Chevrolet. 0 to 60 in 20 seconds. The beautiful bathtub Packard had everything but a V8 engine. Post war Packards were a disappoint to Packard lovers.

    • Hi Dave, not to me ( or my grandfather) We had a 1950 Standard 8 that our family restored in memory of my grandfather and his ’48 Custom 8. Since I have no connection with the “full classic” Packards, my 1950 was no disappointment to me. I agree, the straight 8 might have been a bit dated, but you could balance a nickel on the cylinder head when it was idling and it still was a wonderful car. If you ask this man, I’m glad I got to own one.

  7. Not just any Packard but a top-of-the-line ’48-’49 Custom Eight 22nd Series convertible Victoria. It must have been a cool day, note not only is the top up but so are the windows.

    • That is about as nice as any of those “bathtub” Packards ever appeared to look. I always thought that the major problem with that particular model is that the front grill was much too short, especially when one considers the fact that Packard cars were famous for their long and narrow grills. Too bad that they didn’t fix styling problem when they put out the nearly identical 23rd Series in the summer of 1949, as it sure could have helped sales wise.

  8. My first car was a 1962 Renault Dauphine in that green color. I believe the Mandalay Motel in the background was in North Miami Beach, Fl (Sunny Isles), demolished in 2003 for condos.

    • Scotty’s Drive-In Restaurant was at 16301 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, today the City of Sunny Isles Beach. The two kids in the back seat of the Renault look hot and miserable, wondering what’s taking so long for dad to pass back their milk shakes. Dad’s probably counting the money to make sure he didn’t get short-changed.

    • Better known as a ‘Dough-fiend’ because they were constantly breaking down and costing their owners money at the garage shop. Once the public became aware of just how bad of a car they actually were sales dropped off dramatically after an initial surge in the late 1950’s. The Germans made much better cars than the French ever did for the American import market. It looks like that tray has been welded on to the side of the car. I wonder how it was fixed there if it was put on only temporarily? And why are those four shakes just sitting there with no apparent takers? Guess we’ll never know.

      • Better for the American market if you didn’t mind driving with your arms pointing straight ahead and your legs canted off to the right to operate those goofy pedals mounted to the floor so that the pivots either got bound up by accumulated junk and corrosion or came adrift completely when the pan rusted out.

        And didn’t mind that the only place you could actually put a suitcase was thru the front door, over the folded seat and then in the bin behind the rear seat since there no really usable space under that front “hood.”

        And didn’t mind a “heater” that had about the same output as a panting hamster, and could asphyxiate you when the exhaust system rusted out. Unless, of course, you were lucky enough to have one of the ones that actually burned gasoline in the passenger compartment.

        And didn’t mind rear side windows that didn’t even open at all.

        But they were durable. I just could never figure what market they were designed for except maybe the “One Born Every Minute” market.

  9. Photo #4 shows a 22nd Series (1948-49) Packard Custom Eight convertible, with driving lights and a driver’s-side spotlight. Only 1,318 were built. It looks like the photographer left the passenger-side door open when they snapped the photo.

  10. The #71 appears to be a 30something Chevy. It has the original “burglar proof “ignition system. That was a set up with the feed from the ignition switch to the coil enclosed in a flexible steel conduit. Not too effective for all that had to be done was pop the cap off the coil and “hot wire” it. IIRC it was used on GM and some other in the 30s. Crime must have been a problem then also.

  11. That “Hot Rod” is possibly a cut down ’36 Chevy complete with a stock Stovebolt Six,, Of course the little blue car is a Renault Dauphine. They”d have been lucky to get those shakes through those tine windows and passed around inside without spilling any. They seem to be on the Road to Mandalay…

  12. The Renault Dauphine has finally made it as a feature photo instead of being a “Where’s Waldo” vehicle lurking somewhere in a huge parking lot or street scene. I like the quality control of the hood fitment with the body panels.

    • John, when I was about 4 my mom dumped me periodically on a jaded, bitter old babysitter named “Mrs. Feeney”. She drove a black Dauphine that burned oil something fierce! As a tiny kid, I never knew what was worse: riding in that rattle trap & breathing the fumes, or her dime store perfume. Mom said she could smell both in my clothes when she picked me up!

    • That red plate with yellow letters is a 1965 plate. At the time, Florida changed colors every year, so it would have had to have been less than a year old.

      • Hi Curtis, that would make sense. The VW is a ’65. Bigger license plate light( 1964) and push button rear deck lid catch ( 1965) ’66 had “1300” on the rear lid.

  13. The hood on the Renault is enough out of whack to perhaps suggest a front end fender bender, out of frame for us to be able to see

  14. 1963 and the first manual trans car I drove was a friend’s mom’s Dauphine. I was so excited I couldn’t stand it. Small and noisy but a 4-speed which was a main topic of conversation for car crazy kids regardless of engine size or body beauty.

    • I don’t know, Mike. If I remember, those hoods were as thick as aluminum foil, and owners, used to their big American cars, would slam the hood, and if the contents were too tall, it would kink the hood.

      • Or, just as likely, some old , short-sighted geezer in their gargantuan Buick might’ve backed into it while parking ‘cause they couldn’t see past their own nose. Keep in mind this was an era when, despite the oversized bumpers “sensibly sized” American cars wore in the name of “styling,” it was even a popular option to add bumper guards just for this reason.

    • Pontiac is a 64. 62 still had horizontal headlights; 63 had stacked headlights but with hoods at the top of the headlights instead of (via the bumper) at the bottom.

  15. Since no one’s mentioned them, I will; note the straws for the milkshakes are in an angled metal box affixed to the front of the tray. It would be a near-fatal mistake, though, to reach for the straws before carefully maneuvering the tall glasses which contain the shakes into the “dough-fiend.” Those shakes look like “black & whites,” chocolate milkshakes made with vanilla ice cream; maybe they’re malts! I had a 1950 Packard that had a perpetual whine in the ultramatic transmission which caused my friends to nickname my car “the submarine.” The “whine” persisted and eventually caused the death of my car. Even in 1959 or early ’60 when the car ceased to move on its ‘fatal day’, none of the local (Wilmington, Delaware) salvage yards could supply me with a replacement transmission; the transmission shops estimate for cracking open the tranny was far beyond the means of that 16 year-old boy who owned the car. I might have received all of $50.00 from a scrap yard for the car and perhaps nothing at all.

  16. Thought that picture of the 1964 Catalina and maybe 66 VW Beetle was mine. Had exactly the same blue Catalina and a red 1600 Beetle, at the same time.

  17. My Dad loved our 1957 Renault. It had a 3 speed stick with the electric clutch which was activated by pressure on the shift lever. The little car struggled to go over 60 mph. But Dad claimed it could go through foot-deep snow with no trouble.

  18. The gold on orange 1965 Florida 400th anniversary license plate looks like it has a “B” to the right of the county number which would indicate it’s for a boat. Maybe the plate for the runabout in the photo? Seminole county is just to the northeast of Orlando so more like central, not northern Florida. I grew up in Sebring (about an hour south of Orlando) and plenty of Spanish moss on the oak trees there and well south too in the central part of the state. Great photos David!

  19. That #71 hot rod is bizarre – the point was to lighten the car as much as possible, so why is there that extra bodywork over the rear wheels?

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