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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 208

Updated below: Even though the lead image contains only a rear view of a 1930s sedan we decided to use it today because it is an exceptional photo. Tell us the make, model and the year of the automobile along with the story behind the CCC license plates.

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 posts in the Kodachrome Photographs series here. The images are via This Was Americar.

Update: Just like the majority of our readers, we are taking a three day break over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend and will return with a new feature on Tuesday morning May 28th. Your comments will continue to be moderated and posted in the meantime.

  • Frank, this is the one that I want.

  • Outfitted with snow tires and ready to take on “Old Man Winter”

  • Can you identify the location were this “Gasoline Alley” photograph was taken.

64 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 208

  1. My guess for the location of your “Gasoline Alley” is the intersection of N. Wilson Ave. and W. 2nd St. in Sand Springs, OK, looking west on 2nd St.

    • Judging by the two highway signs of 64 and 51 seen in the lower corner of the picture, it is in fact located on Union Ave in Memphis Tennessee according to Google. In fact the large brown and white building on the upper left side appears on their street map. So that is the definitive answer. I would never have got that on my own however, as I’ve never traveled to that part of the South.

      • I should read the comments before making my own…
        This is definitely 31st and Yale in Tulsa, looking south on Yale Av. The brown bldg on the left is the Celebrity Club – still there. Just behind it is Shaws DriveIn; bldg still there but is a donut shop now. The KFC across the street is still there, but not a KFC any more. Just this side of it you can see an Arthur Treachers Fish & Chips – regrettably, Arthur Treachers is no more but that bldg houses some sort of ‘asian food’ now. The entrance to Hiway 51 / 64 nee broken Arrow expressway is just to the upper left side of the photo about 10 oclock high, out of sight in this frame.
        The photo was probably taken from the overpass that carries a train track there just to the north of the actual intersection given the angle.
        31st and yale in Tulsa- trust me on this one. 🙂

        • Looking at all three it is 31st and Yale in Tulsa. Several different things are all in the correct place.

          Nothing else has anything that lines up correctly.

          The doughnut shop sign is the best marker. It’s the most unique item still present. There can’t be two exactly like that.

  2. David,

    Nice pictures !!

    In the 4th photograph [3rd expandable picture], facing the camera & stopped at the intersection, are two CADILLAC cars; the one on the left is a 1959, unsure of model. Have no idea of the location.


    • AML, I believe that’s a ’60 Cadillac with the more rounded undersides of the bumper ends and the grille undivided by a horizontal bar as on the ‘59

      • Pat,

        Thanks for your comments.

        This car had me confused, being either a ’59 or ’60 CADILLAC. At first thought it was a ’60 until I enlarged the picture and a horizontal bar appeared across the grill. ’59 tail-lights don’t seem to be visible. Being enlarged, the view became somewhat fuzzy.

        It’s interesting we can look at the same picture and see something different. If it weren’t for what appears as a horizontal bar, I would have said a ’60 model.


      • AML I enlarged it too and there is a slim line appearing there…which I can’t explain. But another thing that distinguishes them is the license plate protective guards.
        On the ’59, the guards extend over the top of the bumper lip and the license “holder” rises above that lip, partially blocking a small part of the grille.
        On the ’60, the license guards are entirely beneath the bumper lip and the lip is unbroken from side to side…and none of the grille is blocked.

  3. The USCCC plate is for the Civilian Conservation Corps, which had well over a hundred camps in New Mexico. That particular plate is marked for the Department of the Interior, so it was probably for workers at a national park or monument. There were also Department of Agriculture plates and War Department plates under the USCCC. The plates were in use from 1933-42, and most are undated.

    • The Chevrolet, either a ’37 or ’38 is a base model two door coach without trunk which would be the type of car bought for fleet use by the CCC.

  4. I found that Oldsmobile showroom picture online a while ago and it is one of my favorites. The look she is shooting him is priceless. Looks like she wants the 4-4-2, smart lady! Be a smart man, Frank, make her happy.

  5. That first picture is the first documented evidence of a man asking directions , well according to my wife .
    That last picture , I have no idea where its at ,but if you go down about a block and roll down your window
    I bet I could smell a cheeseburger cooking .

    • Rick, (Great name by the way). I bet if you go down about a block and turn right at the big bucket you will smell fried chicken, that will probably drown out the smell of your cheeseburger. :^)

      One of my favorite cartoons is from a men’s magazine showing two very obese people sitting on their front porch next door to a KFC. The caption reads: “I wish to god they had never moved in here.” :^) That smell permeates the entire neighborhood where they are located.

  6. 5 Mustangs at this intersection !!
    The newest, waiting at the light facing the camera, looks like a ’69. That’s my guess for the year of the photo.

  7. In Item 1 of 3, despite the Jetstar 88 convertible and Dynamic 88 behind them, the couple seems focused on a red Cutlass Holiday Coupe (pages 24 and 25 in the ’64 Olds brochure, though they had looked at an F-85 wagon and coupe (pages 28 and 29), among others.

    In Item 2 of 3, a ’55 Sunliner V-8 with top boot semi-attached while the trees barely show buds…and still sporting snow tires, just in case….

    In Item 3 of 3, along the bottom appears to be a ’65 Galaxie 500 HT on the left, a ’67 Catalina sedan in the middle and on the right, a ’66 Cadilac (no chrome trim on the fender tops vs a ’65). A ‘66 Mustang coupe (seems to have 3 chrome teeth in the side indentation vs a ‘65).
    In the intersection, a red ’67 Catalina or Ventura sedan (rear door seam is closer to the wheel opening vs a 3” longer w/b of an Executive sedan) with a pair of Mustangs beside it: a black ’65 and taupe ’65 or ’66, followed by a possible ’69 Chevy with a ’66 Sport Fury HT beside it.
    Across the intersection, a ’60 Cadillac Coupe on the left, a ’69 Mustang (with Mach 1-like hood scoop) and a ’68 Cadillac Sedan deVille or possibly a Fleetwood Sixty Special.

    • I won’t argue with any of Pat W.’s very thorough listings of cars, except to ask how he can be sure that the 66 Plymouth Sport Fury is not a 65? My parents had a ’66 in gawdawful mauve.

      They very closely resemble each other and the only way I can tell them apart is by the grill and the taillights which cause the very back of the rear fender to appear differently. in a ’65 or 66. Pat, how can you tell from the side?

      • (Raises hand and waves…………..)
        The ’66 had the 3 side horizontals on the door, not on the fender.
        The spaces between those horizontals were greater on the ’66.

    • Richard, the ’65 had only one straight piece of side trim just under the top lip of the side indentation and on the Sport Fury, the red, white and blue hash marks were on the front fender. In ’66 the chrome side trim encircled the side indentation on top, front and bottom and the red, white and blue hash marks were on the lead edge of the door.

  8. Just past the Phillips 66 station, a dark possible ’68 Toronado…it seems to have that year’s sloped tail vs a ’69, but new-for-‘68 and, to me, oh-so-garish wraparound grille. The arrival of that grille made me stop paying much attention to the Toronado.…to my eye, it ranks up there with the ’58 Ford, Olds and Buick for most unfortunate restyling efforts.

    • I prefer the 58 Ford over either the 57 or 59, personal preference I guess.
      57s always gave me the impression they were being developed with quad headlights and had an oops moment and had to stay with singles on each side.

    • David,

      Looking at the color of the leaves [maybe oak] and grass, it might be an unusually warm Winter day or a Spring day before the trees started to bud. Best to keep the snow-tires on as it may snow.


      • I think it was in the fall because of the leaves on the tree. It maybe an Oak tree and the tenacious leaf stems, at least around always have blown or fallen off during the winter.

        • David, some species of oak trees (there are said to be about 90 in the US) are marcescent, which don’t drop their dead leaves until spring.

    • I know people who went looking for Black Jack Ketchum’s hidden loot in the area of Mt. Capulin. Black Jack met a sticky end and people have been looking for it for some time.

      • Ist pic ..are you sure its facing the right way?our local signeage here in Sussex is a little eccentric ..

  9. Research shows, the 1st pic, is indeed a Dept. of the Interior plate, and this was taken on Route 66 in 1939. The car has no trunk. 2nd pic, she wants the 442, he looks more like a Starfire man. 3rd pic, I say, it’s the 1st nice day after winter. This car probably has the 272 Y block. Last pic, it’s the early 70’s alright, gas, 34.9 /gallon for self serve, 2 cents more for full serve. Seems like full serve was worth the 2 cents. I hope that black blotch isn’t the guys dog flying out the back of the Datsun pickup. “You ok back there, Scruffy?,,Scruffy?”

    • The trunkless Chevy is a 1937 or ’38 Master or Master Deluxe two-door Coach. Priced lower than the two-door Town Sedan, which had the more popular built-in “bustle” trunk, they may have been purchased by the US Government on a fleet contract.

  10. I don’t think I saw an id for the header photo in the other comments. I reckon 1937 Chevrolet sedan – probably the base model Master. Going by the figures quoted in The Standard Catalog the flat back sedan was not a big seller – only 2755 of these compared with other body styles that sold in the tens, and hundreds, of thousands.

    Note the dent in the rear bumper.

  11. As none has comented on the marque of car in the first photo:1936 Chevrolet as the single rear light resembles that of it’s european relative Opel Kadett. And speaking of single rear light it must be a Standard Sedan

  12. The first photo appears to be a ’37/’38 flat back Chevrolet – probably a two door sedan. The left rear tire has very little tread left on it….

  13. First photo is a 1937 or 1938 Chevrolet tudor sedan. Not certain of the model name for those with outside spare & no trunk.

  14. Contrary to what seems to be a consensus , I say that Gasoline Alley photo (Intersection of US 64 & State Hwy 51 is in Sand Spring/Tulsa , OK

  15. That Red ’55 Ford Convertible in photo3 reminds me of the Red ’53 Ford Convertible that I was driving in the early 1960s. Living in Northern Ohio, there were many late Fall and Early Spring days that I would put the top down – turn the heater up to full blast – and cruise!! Great memories.

    • In the days of this ’55 Ford, snow tires went on only your “drive wheels” usually the rear. And tires typically lasted only 10, 000 to 20,000 miles.
      Now tires easily last two or three times as long, but you “need” four snow tires, not two.

      • Hi, John G.

        Guy was living up North when front wheel drive cars became more common told me guys who put snow tires only on front axle wiped out real easy on snowy/icy roads. That’s why people put snows tires on both axles now. Maybe Mr. G. knows about this, living in VT.

  16. The New Mexican photo was probably shot before the war or just after, on the very slow Kodachrome film. Note the shallow depth of field (background out of focus). Even in bright sunlight the photographer had to use a wide aperture (maybe f5.6 or so), causing that effect with a normal lens on a 35mm camera. The image is so sharp that it may well have been shot with a 4×5 camera, which would have a 127-150mm lens, shortening depth of field even more.

    The mountain in the background makes me wonder if this is Raton Pass, into southern Colorado. And who does Fido belong to?

    • I’m voting for 4″x5″, even f5.6 wouldn’t give quite that effect on 35.
      And judging by the character of the out-of-focus areas, a Tessar type lens, say a Zeiss or Bausch&Lomb f4.5 Tessar 1c
      or one of the Eastman Anastigmat f4.5s.

    • The window was likely not up due to aesthetics, but due to US Code 15 § 1232 passed on July 7, 1958.

      When the Congress apparently went back to “work” less than 1-week-to-10 days after a holiday.

      The times and the interpretation of the laws do change.

      “Every manufacturer of new automobiles distributed in commerce shall, prior to the delivery of any new automobile to any dealer, or at or prior to the introduction date of any new models delivered to a dealer prior to such introduction date, securely affix to the windshield, or side window of such automobile a label on which such manufacturer shall endorse clearly, distinctly and legibly true and correct entries disclosing the following information concerning such automobile:
      (a) the make, model, and serial or identification number or numbers;
      (b) the final assembly point;
      (c) the name, and the location of the place of business, of the dealer to whom it is to be delivered;
      (d) the name of the city or town at which it is to be delivered to such dealer;
      (e) the method of transportation used in making delivery of such automobile, if driven or towed from final assembly point to place of delivery;
      (f) the following information:
      (1) the retail price of such automobile suggested by the manufacturer;
      (2) the retail delivered price suggested by the manufacturer for each accessory or item of optional equipment, physically attached to such automobile at the time of its delivery to such dealer, which is not included within the price of such automobile as stated pursuant to (f) (1);
      (3) the amount charged, if any, to such dealer for the transportation of such automobile to the location at which it is delivered to such dealer; and
      (4) the total of the amounts specified pursuant to paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).”

      Back when Monroney stickers were affixed at the factory (often with either gorilla-strength or telltale-marking adhesives; it was said that a similar glue was later used to attach tiles to Space Shuttles!) and could not be easily reprinted by high-def/high-res in-car-store printers, the labels were commonly placed on left rear side windows. Fewer were placed on windshields then, so, to keep them from being shredded or illegible or illegal, window was left up. Which did not flatter pillar-less hardtops and/or convertibles. Unlike the “Do not remove under penalty of law” tags on mattresses.

      Monroney enforcement seem more “casual” today, as is the enforcement of many “laws” now.

      Stickers on windshields are more normal now, especially on more “sporty” or “expensive” cars.

      And parallel to that “relaxation” is today’s approach to bumper “standards.” Forward-leaning grilles (which look great on concept cars) and leading-edge hoods (which look great on Aston Martin DB11s) and prominent carbon-fiber chin aero splitters (which look great on every $200,000-plus car that now must wear them) may not look so great on Mazda CXs or Kia Soul X-Lines or even Cadillac CT6s after a few miles on the “reality” roads. And after a few “bumps” to the front of 2020 Hyundai Sonata (which looks great with Audi- and Lambo-inspired “Sensuous Sportiness” style), its forward-leaning, leading edge hood (which looks like an Aston Martin but has no “sacrifice” filler panel like a Ford Mondeo/Fusion which also looks like an Aston Martin) will look like an accordian-pleated lampshade more than like a concept.

      And its low-level full-width cupped-chrome “splitter” (less a “bumperette” than a horizontal homage to Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, who believed that lower-body trim should reflect light “up” to the eyes of the beholders) will do nothing to take up the, er, uh, slack. But it all looks great while it is still wearing its Mononey sticker.

      So we see chrome-plated plastic on polymer skins in front of polystyrene blocks.

      The bumpers of a ’93 Nissan Skyline GT looks like battering rams in contrast.

      But yet it is not one bit less of a “sensuous” and “sporty” and STYLISH car.

  17. The last photo is the intersection of 31st and Yale in Tulsa oklahoma, facing south!
    Newest car[s] i can tell for sure are 69 models, so that sorta dates it. The Phillips 66, tho changed in appearance, is still there I believe.

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