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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 196

Today’s lead image was taken at a Soapbox Derby race in Peoria, Ill, and a couple of the small cars can be seen at the far right top of the photo on the starting ramp. In the foreground of the photo is a sporty domestic post-war compact car promoting an upcoming AMA Motorcycle National Championship TT Race. The flat track competition meets were held for the first time in the fifties.

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.

  • A two-tone green post-war GM sedan and a deluxe tear drop trailer with all of the comforts of home.

  • It appears that all the money this thrifty car owner saved on this station wagon was applied to the purchase of a deluxe travel trailer.

  • This photo hits close to home for your Editor. My first car was a 1928 Chevrolet, but the second one was a low-mileage mint original emerald green two-door sedan identical to this one.

40 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 196

  1. The ’58 Studebaker Scotsman owner certainly saved on his tow car to spend on the premium travel trailer of the era. If there wasn’t a dealer-installed 259 V8 under the hood, driving in hilly country must have been slow, involving much downshifting and patience. That 101 hp, 185.6 ci flathead six was working very hard to do its job.

    On the other hand, the ’42-’49 Buick Special owner might well have forgotten there was a trailer hitched on. Neat streamlined fenders on that ‘canned ham’ trailer.

    Crosleys were always a novelty, showed up in many parades then.

  2. In the Lead Photo, the year of the Crosley’s ads for Sunday, Sept 7 would be 1952

    In Item 2 of 3 a ’57 Studebaker Champion Scotsman station wagon, originally priced at $1995..and it seems to be followed by a possible ’59 Buick

    In Item 3 of 3 on the left is probably a ’50 Chevy sedan with its taller bumper guards vs a ‘49

    • For ’49 the red lens of the Chevrolet tail light was flush with the surrounding chrome trim all the way around and the face of the lens was parallel to the slope of the car body. For ’50 the top of the lens was projected out from the chrome trim so the face of the lens was more nearly vertical. The tail light In the photo looks like a ’49.

      • Joel, thanks for your correction! I’ve always had difficulty finding the differences in the rear of those two years’ Chevys, and your detailed explanation makes it clear. Thank you.

    • Pat, the Studebaker’s tail lights are visible enough to verify it is a 1958 Scotsman wagon, not a ’57. The MSRP was $2,055.

      The 1958 Scotsman wagon was the most-popular 1958 Studebaker, with 7,680 units built.

      Seven (7) 1958 Scotsman wagons were confirmed built with 259 V-8 engines, but they were likely for a fleet or municipal order of some kind, so it is all but certain that the photo is one of the 7,680 with the 101 HP 185 CID flathead six.

      • Bob, I appreciate your correction. I’m puzzled by what is the correct ’57 vs 58 taillight on the Scotsman…some period photos and ads for the ’57 show an oval taillight with argent metal above and below, others show argent metal above and body color below. Possibly a running change as Studebaker rummaged through the parts bin…or took some trim off as the year went on to help keep the price down? Some even show the argent metal pan below the front bumper being chromed, which I believe didn’t exist on any ’57 Studebaker.
        Anyway, what might distinguish them is the ’57 Scotsman has a stylized “S” emblem above the grille while the ’58 has a blocky coat of arms emblem there…but even that seems to vary from one brochure to the next. Today’s photo appears to have the latter emblem, which ought to make it a ’58. Thanks for your correction!

  3. Although the lead image appears to be a Crosley Hotshot (1949-1952), it is not. It is a slightly more expensive Crosley Super Sports (1951-1952). The Hotshot was doorless with a dip in the body side for entry, similar to a WWII army jeep. It featured the word “Hotshot” in script on the cowl. The Super Sports used the Hotshot body, but had full size doors and featured the word “Super” in script on the cowl.

  4. 1st pic was taken Sept. 6, 1952 in Elmwood, Ill. sponsored by McCartney garage with the events Grand Marshall in the passenger seat. Seems like a pretty low buck event, but hey, the kids are interested in the car. The adults, not so much. I believe, the events the next day were at Peoria’s TT flat track, still operating today.
    2nd pic, couldn’t ID the camper, but many were made from kits and they hardly had “all the comforts of home”. A covered bed which is nice for camping, but that’s it. Everything else was done outside.
    3rd pic, that’s a new Avion camper. Looks like a ’57 Scotsman wagon, the cheapest wagon offered in ’57 ( but didn’t skimp on the trailer, Avions were 2nd only to Airstreams) and only available with the 101hp straight 6. It was a long ride for these folks. Last pic, the plate is 1954 Michigan, so the the Chevy is only a year old. Sure doesn’t look like it.

    • Based on Old Man McCartney’s overalls and hat, not to mention the door sign, it appears the place was little more than a gas station.e

      • The Peoria Historical Society Facebook page has a photo album for the Elmwood Soap Box Derby (1951, 52 & 54). The same picture of the Grand Marshall in the Crosley appears there, but it was noted that neither of the two men in the car was Chuck McCartney the Crosley dealer. The derby appeared to be quite the event with 78 entrants.

  5. The Sunday, September 7th, day and date on the poster on the Hotshot will allow you to determine the probable year this photo was shot.

  6. Cool coincidences: my Oregon brother’s tow car is a two-town green ’47 Chevy Aerosedan (a variant of the Buick in the second image). And his towable is a 1957 Silver Streak much like the gleaming example in the third photo! And might the two dark green Chevys in the last photo have belonged to the Michigan Bell Telephone fleet? The ’53’s license plate county code “AN” denotes Wayne County (Detroit Area).

    • I believe that the towable behind the Scotsman is a ’57 Avion. The little bid of badge that is visible is an Avion not Silver Streak or Airstream. Avions were high dollar units.

  7. Thanks, David! I always love Kodachrome Fridays!

    Two thoughts:

    1) I’m guessing McCartney garage was the local Crosley dealer. I would also guess he (or she) wasn’t making much money, judging by the sign.

    2) The 53 Chevrolet shows how license plate dimensions varied by state. For the 1957 model year they were all standardized. Knowing this, the 57 Chrysler Forward Look cars (except for Plymouth) had a “shadow box” in the deck lid for the plate, a very custom car look for the time.

  8. Today’s selections hit close to home David.
    I grew up in White Plains, NY. Many talented Italians in the neighborhood.
    My first car was a ’53 Chevy two-door. Blue and white. (I would have preferred the green).

    Further afield:
    You could title the photo of the trailer-towing Stude: ONE WAY TO WEAR DOWN A SCOTSMAN

    I like that teardrop!

  9. Great to find a pic of a car like you once had, isn’t it David ? Out of the 150 something cars we’ve had, I have pics of all except my 1st one and two others. Precious memories….. I wonder also how the poor Studebaker Scotsman did pulling the Airstream ? It seems like those were only available with the six, but if the V-8 was optional, it would have been OK. I am sure glad you mentioned the two soapbox cars, my wandering eyes would probably never noticed. As always, thanks so much for this great site.

  10. Interesting that the older GM coupe in the bottom photograph has paint in excellent condition, while the ’53 Chevy’s seems to have already begun to oxidise. My ’50 Olds coupe was the same colour as that of the car on the right. I’ve never know how to accurately describe that colour – I’ve just called it “metallic olive green.” I believe it was widely used on GM cars of the late Forties and very early Fifties.

  11. The little green camper reminds me of our first camping trailer when I was about 7 years old. After a couple rain soaked nights in a tent Dad bought a camper like the one pictured. We pulled it with a two-toned green 53 Chevy wagon. It was pretty cramped sleeping with Mom and Dad and two little kids! That lasted two summers and we moved up to a 56 Buick wagon and a Scotty trailer. From then on it was Buick wagons and Scotty trailers. Great times and memories to last a life time.

  12. In photo #3,
    The 1953 chevy is displaying a 1954 Michigan plate , indicating it was registered to a Wayne county resident
    ( Detroit area)
    There was and still is, a lot of salt used on the roads in winter, as Detroit sits on a large salt deposit,and is easily obtained.

    That would explain the rust already starting on the rear bumper of the car.

  13. The Crosley,s were tough little cars, I have had several Super Sports , and other body styles through the years and would buy a round side pickup if one becomes available

    • Unfortunately, the Hotshot/Super never got any deserved respect. The car was designed and engineered for high speed competitive driving. Power came from a cast iron, four cylinder, overhead cam engine, with a wide assortment of available after market cams, manifolds etc. Almost on a whim one was entered in the 51 LeMans 24 hour race and performed admirably. The car was prepared in part by none other than Pop Dreyer, of Indianapolis. His offspring is still on Washington in Indy. Way too much history (first Sebring race, among other things…) to go into here, but much of it online for anyone wishing to know it.

  14. The sticker on the front of the Crosley brings to mind the 50’s election bumper stickers (e.g. “Ike and Dick Are Sure to Click!”). Removal from a chrome bumper was challenging enough (at least for a kid). I wouldn’t be surprised if the Crosley’s hood needed a repaint before the car could go back on the showroom floor.

  15. I believe the Buick pulling the sedan is either a ‘46 or ‘47 Special judging by the features you can see… the moldings appear to be concave, ‘42 moldings were convex and ‘48/49 Specials had a horizontal molding that ran the length of the car.

  16. The Crosley is indeed a Super Sport and the years mentioned are correct. No one should be embarrassed riding in one. The Super Sport dominated H Production in Sports Car Racing!I saw one run at Meadowdale
    Raceway and it was a winner. I owned other Crosleys in the late ’50’s and had at least one with a souped up engine. It would crank over 10,000 RPM no problem. They had their faults, but they had the heart of a winner.

  17. The Buick is a tough one. Prewar Specials had dual concave Strips. The ’46-49 had convex stainless strips. If a ’42 its an early one without blackout trim. The two-tone green color scheme was available after the war. The picture was not taken in the early ’40s because of gas rationing. Camping was out of style during the war. Lack of the target hood ornament could be because it was popular with the kids to pry them off and give it to their girlfriends for a bracelet. Back up lite might indicate a ’48 but in wrong place. Paint in good shape, a guess would be 1948-1949 version of a Deluxe Special, ie dual trim on rear fender.

  18. Some good observations on the Buick. You really need to see the front to determine a ‘46 or ‘47 and without the beltline molding, don’t believe it can be a later year. I have also heard about the ornaments as jewelry . To young to know first hand! A cross hair was added to this ornament in ‘48 for strength?

  19. No mistaking a 1953 Chevrolet by the tail lights. The front turn signals were just as distinctive for that year. My parents first new car was a 1953 BelAire and I remember it well. It replaced the 1938 Chevy business coupe my dad first bought when he got out of the Navy after WWII. I vaguely remember that car too.

  20. Dad had a teardrop similar to the one here and pulled it with a 48 Chevy, really not up to the task of going up to Sequoia with 3 or 4 kids and all our luggage. Never got to ask him why he got rid of it, but it was probably too much of a hassle with underpowered and underbraked cars and all the other stuff that comes with driving a fully loaded car and trailer.

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