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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 197

The long, low, and luxurious 1950s two-door hardtop featured in the lead image was produced at the forefront of the period when over-the-top styling, large tail fins, and an ever-increasing amount of bright trim became very popular on automobiles.

The picture appears to be an advertising image for the automaker that produced it, which leaves the subliminal message in the mind of a prospective buyer – if you were to purchase one of these cars you would also live in a beautiful house and have good looking and well-dressed children.

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.

  • This fairly rare red two-door hardtop model was probably powered by a 390 c.i. V-8 engine.

  • Its always best to start them out young.

  • An interesting view of new Chevrolet’s out in front of an assembly plant. Tell us where you believe this facility was located.

47 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 197

  1. In the 3rd picture [2nd expandable photograph], parked on the right, is a 1949 BUICK Sedanet [either black or dark green].

  2. The dapper young man sure seems proud of Grandpa’s shiny new `57 Premiere hardtop; and he’s almost as tall as the car! The red `64 Mercury Marauder hardtop must be brand spanking new, but not sure about the part of it having ‘the best performing engine produced at the time.’ Standard was the 300HP 390, which this one probably has, but I don’t see any indication it has the 427 which I would think is Merc’s ‘highest performing engine of that time’.
    Looks like a load of freshly-produced 1950 Chevys leaving one of the plants. Must be a special PR shot, since it shows each bodystyle, and the cars are prepped already with hubcaps.

  3. For the last picture with the car carrier full of new Chevrolets, from the palm tree I would guess it is South Gate, California.

  4. 1st pic is a ’57 Lincoln Premiere, I believe, and I don’t think this is a promotion shot. Lincoln promo’s would have beautiful women in evening gowns. Judging by the house, I think this is someone in California, showing off their new car, with junior on his way to church. 2nd, I believe, this is just a standard Monterey Marauder with the base 390. The 427 was offered in the Super Marauder, and had different side trim. I have a friend with a car just like this.
    3rd, some sort of MG T series, and the cleanliness of the sedans, and roof on the restaurant, again, suggest Cal. and last, the palm tree should suggest California again. Oakland, maybe? I can’t place the P.M.T. transport truck, but kind of an odd combination. In the 50’s, it was usually 4 car semi enclosed trailers pulled by a single axle tractor. Except for the wagon, all 2 doors.

    • Howard, you’re quite right. There is 57 Lincoln ad with a Premier in front of Ciro’s in Los Angeles, the place to see and be seen. And, in the valet line, right behind the Premier is a Mk II. And, there are, of course, beautiful women in evening dress.

    • What an odd setup that transporter is. The extended rear of the tractor with the fifth wheel cantilevered even further back and then the teeter-totter trailer. Was that maybe the way they unloaded the cars? 😉 Perhap the point here was more to display the cars rather than transport them efficiently.

  5. In the lead photo, the Lincoln is a top of the line Premier.

    In Item 1 of 3 the Mercury would be a Montclair 2-door Marauder, the “Marauder” indicating a non-Breezeway Design hardtops. The Montclair has slightly wider side trim aft of the rear wheel. The car behind it could be a ’55 Chevy.
    I also see the guy is wearing Hush Puppies loafers, a soft crepe rubber-soled, sueded pigskin shoe that was extremely popular in the late ’50s and into the ‘60s, with a resurgence sometime in the ‘90s.

    In Item 3 of 3 those Chevys are all Deluxe models…three Stylelines and a fastback Fleetline. The two-tone green combo on the Sport Coupe and the maroon on the wagon were among the more popular colors I recall.

    • White bucks are laced modified oxford shoes made of white-dyed buckskin, usually with brick red rubber soles. The shoes pictured are loafers with black soft crepe rubber soles. Hush Puppies (the brand) came in various styles, including loafers, laced and desert boots and various dusty colors.

    • I realize now that Dennis was likely looking at the lad by the Lincoln…who is indeed wearing white bucks. Though, rebel as he no doubt is, doesn’t seem to have the usual brick red soles on his white bucks.

  6. The happy little guy in the third photo is almost certainly at the wheel of a late 1940s MG TC, the first British sports car imported into the US in significant numbers. Right hand drive distinguishes it from the later TD. Few MGs were in the US before the post-war TC.

  7. The door handles on the MG also establish it as a TC. They are significantly shorter than the later TD & TF. Also the spread between the major instruments ,the speedometer, strategically placed in front of the passenger, and the tach, which would provide far more important information to the driver.

  8. What is the old 30s coupe in the background of the car hauler photo ? Looks too large for a 33 or 34 Ford, and the color is different too..

  9. Does anyone else think that it looks like the young man’s suit in the first picture is made from aluminum foil? Probably not but that is one shiny suit of clothes.

    • The style of the time. A shiny material that looks a bit like silk but is probably a synthetic blend.
      I believe they called it “shark skin”.

      • Entirely possible I suppose. Most of the sharkskin suits with which I’m familiar were darker, either gray or even black. The light color of this suit certainly emphasizes the shininess of the fabric.

      • John and Joseph, as I recall, “shark skin” was a material used in the early ‘60s on suits and slacks that seemed to have an iridescent quality. On quality clothing, the threads of the fabric were truly iridescent and it had a distinct sheen. On cheaper knockoffs, the look was somewhat achieved by weaving a copper-toned thread deep in the fabric…usually a dark-colored fabric, as Joseph mentioned, for the best effect.
        When new, it looked ok, but with some wear, and the outermost threads of the fabric subtly wore away in the elbow and knee area (as it they do with most fabrics) the inner copper threads became more prominent. Soon, the elbows and knees in those suits had an unfortunate orange-ish burnished look…and they looked awfully shabby. Most stores stopped carrying them after the second year.

    • I was thinking the same thing about the suit of foil. I hope he doesn’t make contact with those curb feelers on the car and crate a spark.

  10. In the third MG photo the Ham And Eggs sign reminds me of the popular diner on Old Country Road in Westbury L.I. of the same name back in the 50’s & 60’s. Maybe there was more than one.

  11. Let’s see here…the car hauler can bring the gray Fleetline right to my house, and I think the red Marauder would look nice parked next to it. I test drove a too rusty ’64 Breezeway sedan years ago and loved it…

  12. “Inside and out, every dramatically new detail makes Lincoln, now… more than ever…unmistakably…the finest in the fine car field” Julia Meade, Lincoln-Mercury spokeswoman on the Ed Sullivan Show.

    The Taos turquoise ’57 Lincoln Premiere hardtop coupe and mid-century modern house is a vision of the optimistic post-war American ideal of the era.

  13. Talk about making u feel old !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In the good old days i had a 64 Mercury PARK LANE 2 door HT in this red with white interior/bucket seats as my driver. BLAST FROM THE PAST. Man was i cool. Picked my wife up in it while dragging State Street.

  14. The Mercury folks…with cell phones today, that shot needs a re-due. No smiles,eyes closes,fidgety kid.
    Back then,you got what you took, if you took one picture!

  15. The pic of the lad in the MG puts me in mind of the opening scene in the movie “A Man and a Woman” where Jean Louis Trintignant slides into the passenger seat of his Mustang convertible and tells his (presumably, since he’s out of sight) chauffeur “Take me to the beach” followed shortly by “On second thought, drive to the country club,” then “No, let’s go to the go-karts,” all the while donning his sunglasses, lighting a cigarette and nonchalantly leafing thru his Time magazine. Only when he leaps over to grab the steering wheel do we see he’s letting his ten year old son drive.

    • Google up some pix of ‘57 Premieres and you’ll see they’re just like that. If you’re lucky you’ll come across a red one WITH an actual continental kit. Get ready for about an additional foot of body colored sheet metal between the car and bumper!

    • No, it has nothing to do with any continental kit…if you notice, the ’57 Lincoln’s fins extend an extraordinary distance back of the body, requiring the bumper to extend even further. Check out a Google image and you’ll see all ’57 Lincolns look like that.

  16. The nice little tract homes in picture #1 reminds me of the neighborhood that I grew up in in Oakland Calif. It was in the late 1950s through early 60’s. Lawndale if anyone would remember it off of E.14 th. St. My families’ house was a compact little two bedroom one bath home. Pretty small but with nice touches like hardwood floors, a fireplace, and tiled kitchen and bathroom, even the floor. We had the same type of little covered porch. That little octagonal window in the entry was a real status symbol in my neighborhood! We three boys shared one bedroom. Homes like this were the achievement of the American Dream for blue collar workers like my Dad and homemaker Mom. I did a Google Earth search and found our old house, the results were a bit disappointing! Tom Wolfe was right.

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