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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 231

For today’s lead image we chose what appears to be a Sinclair Oil Corporation publicity photo taken in the early-to-mid 1960s. The well-kept filling station is set up to sell products and services and quite a bit of signage is in place to help that happen without a sales pitch. Note the yellow Anco windshield blade cabinet and other products and signs visible to the customer located at the fuel pump island. Over on the right-hand side of the service bay is a sign for sixteen-dollar brake jobs and others are visible hanging inside on the office wall.

As is the usual 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 of interest in the photos. You can look back on all the earlier parts of this series here. The photos are via This Was Americar.

  • This trio having lunch at a ski area parking lot defiantly brought along enough wine to wash down the sandwiches.

  • This pair of well-equipped two-door hardtops on a roadside pull-off were obviously owned by car enthusiasts.

  • The race is over and replaced by another one to get out of the parking lot.

40 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 231

    • The white ’62 OLDSMOBILE F-85 is a Cutlass Coupé [not a Club Coupé] as stated by Pat W below. The emblem on the C column so indicates it so.

  1. In the 2nd picture [1st expandable photograph], looking through the windshield of the CHEVROLET Corvair, is a 1951 or ’52 DeSOTO.

    • AML, the `60 Ford in the stall appears to be a Fairlane Custom sedan. Rear panel between the taillights is body colored, and apparently the buyer didn’t opt for any reverse lights either. To the left of the white `63 Impala cvt. over on the side, I think I see a pair of stacked headlamps that might be a `63-`64 Pontiac? This Sinclair station, if it were here in Omaha would be a twin to the one we had on 69th & Dodge St.

  2. The third photo was taken in a military base…note the 40s…or more likely early 50s (Korean War era) architecture, and the empty paved parade ground or marshalling area in the background.
    On top of that, note the DoD entry decal on the Pontiac’s left front bumper.

    I grew up in Air bases in the 60s and know that scene well. 🙂
    Young guys who were single had a fair amount of disposable income and nice cars were common. The higher the rank, the nicer the cars.
    If course that usually changed when they got married.

    • That red Pontiac has a Texas license plate with an odd two-letter/two-number, but military members often registered their cars in their home state. The sticker on the front bumper is Air Force; its blue border means commissioned officer.

      • Yes, that’s what my dad, and later I, had.I

        Those days are over,now you have to show Your ID Card to get on any base.

        Your comment about registering cars in their home state is true…to a point.
        If the state they were stationed in had low license fees, they would register it there. My cars all had Idaho or Texas plates at one point, but never Washington or Maryland.

      • The two-letter/two-number format on the 1963 Texas license plate was a standard passenger plate format. Since there are so many more 1963 Texas passenger plates with the two-letter/four-number format (e.g. WS 6649) and the two-letter/three-number format (e.g. ET 383) available, we just don’t see many of the shorter format plates as seen on the Pontiac.

    • Agree with your assessment of a military base location.
      Those Pontiac aluminum wheels are still the best looking specialty wheels ever (although 65-66 Mustang is close).

  3. Nice white ’63 Impala convertible (maybe a SS?) parked next to the Sinclair station building. As a kid I loved the Sinclair dinosaur on their signs and product packages. It wasn’t until years later that I made the connection they were suggesting.

    • Hi Greg, that’s pretty funny, I too, as a kid, never made the connection, and for good reason. Burning decomposed dinosaurs, oh the horror!

  4. Although the 1st pic looks like something out of a Life magazine ad, this is really how I remember many stations. Most were owned by local folks that took a lot of pride in their business. And cool cars always hung around gas stations at night. The ’63 GP(?), the ’63 Chevy, maybe the boss’s, or the evening mechanic that had a good day job, the ’60 Ford in the service bay and without a doubt, the “night” pump jocky’s ’57 Chevy. Those, my friends, were great times, if it wasn’t for that certain war in Asia flaring up. 2nd, sorry, David, that looks a bit stronger than wine. I’d say a nip( or chug) of courage before hitting the slopes. The cleanliness of the cars suggests California, and can’t mistake that ’52(?) DeSoto behind the Corvair. 3rd pic, the plate on the ’62 Grand Prix is’63 Texas, top of the line car, my favorite Ponco, and the Fairlane is no slouch either. I think it is a ’63 Sports Coupe and last, brave soul in the Toyota Corona, a Dodge A100 van with a roof mounted cooler, possibly a food delivery, IH pickup way back, is that the back of a hearse going in? The plate on the ’57 Ford looks like PA. And being an old trucker, I bet I know why the camper stopped there,,,

  5. In the Lead Photo a ’63 Impala convertible and as AML identified, a ’60 Ford Fairlane or Fairlane 500 sedan in the stall. To the right of the station I detect the rear of a ’57 Chevy and to the left of the Impala, possibly a ’64 Pontiac?

    In Item 1 of 3, a tiny bit of a ’58 Chevy on the right, then a ’63 Corvair coupe, a ’62 F-85 Cutlass Coupe and a blue ’62 Pontiac Catalina sedan. Of some interest, the ’51 DeSoto AML also identified. To the rear, perhaps a ’60 Dodge pickup towards the left and maybe a white ’57 Lincoln 4-door hardtop to the right…noting its vertical A-pillar.

    In Item 2 of 3, a Texas-plated introductory’62 Grand Prix (fully equipped with two mirrors, a chrome gas lid protector and even a driver’s-side curb feeler…should the driver park on any one-way streets with curbs) and a ’63 Fairlane 500 hardtop. In the distance to the left, possibly a tan and white ’56 Ford Customline while to the right, a wild guess…a white over dark red ’53 Chevy One-fifty sedan

    In Item 3 of 3, possibly a ’72 Toyota Corona, a ’65 Tempest Safari wagon, a Dodge A100 van with a ’57 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner to the left

  6. I recall that midway through the ’62 model year, sometime in the Spring, Pontiac made available a number of very bright colors on the Grand Prix that were apparently unavailable on the other models. I remember this orange as well as some brilliant pastel shades. I walked past a Pontiac dealership on the way home from grade school and they often had several of them parked out front.
    Sadly, today I’m also reminded of another Friday, November 22nd.

  7. 2nd photo:I bet you cant openly imbibe at ski resorts anymore
    I can also wager you can get a DWI on skis these days
    After all ,you can get one on a bicycle

    • Indeed it does look like Watkins Glen. The color of the license plate on the Ford convertible is correct for NY State 1966 – 1973, and plates followed the plate owner, not the car. I had one set on 5 different cars. Have not been in NY for 25 years or Watkins Glen since 1980 so my memory isn’t clear enough to confirm this location.

      • I’d like to agree with you guys on race event for image 4, but there doesn’t seem to be enough Watkins Glen fall season mud on the cars and the people. Maybe this was a summer race, which would make that between July 3-5, all other days being rainy season. Or snow…

        Remember camping in the infield? The mud! The parties! The booze! What blissful memories…

    • Yes, Watkins Glen. The last photo is outside the Turn 8 bridge (Heel of the boot), with a view of turn 9 in the center left. The the boot was added in 1971.

  8. I thought for sure someone would come up with the name of the race track in the last picture.

    I’ll hazard a guess it’s Watkins Glen. I say that because it looks vaguely familiar and WG is the only race I’ve ever been to. :^)

    A friend of mine and I drove my new 73 Chevy Impala to the race with the intentions of sleeping out under the stars the night before the race. Fall in upstate New York is a LOT colder than fall in Indiana. We ended up sleeping in the car.

    • I’d guess Watkins Glen, too, mainly because of the blue Armco barriers. In the late 1960s we used to go for the F1, Six-Hours, and Can-Am races as well as the Trans-Am events. We’d drive my ’65 Porsche 912 (still have it) or my buddy Jerry’s gigantic green Toronado, keeping well away from The Bog.

  9. It hasn’t happened yet, but when I saw the Sinclair station (which I think is a photo used to recruit new Sinclair dealers, the station is so clean and modern) that someone would post “Oh, things were so much better in the old days! They’d check your oil and clean your windshield! They never do anything like that anymore. So sad.”

    The stacks of cans of oil and the wiper blades should tell you why they checked your oil and cleaned your windshield. Getting under the hood gave them a chance to sell you a quart of oil. And, as most cars used a quart every other tank checking was a good idea. It also gave them a look at the belts and hoses. And, cleaning the windshield gave them a chance to ask you about your wiper blades.

    It wasn’t being “nice”. It was just good business.

  10. Mike Canfield is spot on and yes, that was my first thought. And yes, it was about being “nice”.
    A “service” station where you did get service and at 29.9 cents a gallon. The station was open late and the chances back then of being robbed are slim to none. Life was simpler and at times more rewarding. Now we have to have instant everything, can’t wait, one day delivery, apple pay, every convenience(?), hurry, hurry, hurry and still there seems to be no time left at the end of the day. People are angry so much of the time and lying left and right. Imagine someone stabbing another to death over cutting in line for a chicken sandwich or shooting someone for taking a parking spot.
    What has happened to us?
    Yes, these pictures transport us back to a kinder, gentler time and I miss that more than one can know.
    Thank you for the temporary escapes.
    On a final note……Be kind to your fellow man.

  11. The ski area parking lot photo seems unusual in that (1) all of the cars seem amazingly clean; (2) there is no snow on the tires or roofs; and (3) there are no splash marks behind the wheel wells. There does not even seem to be tire tracks from when the Pontiac and Corvair pulled into their parking spaces.

    It’s hard to tell, but at most only one vehicle has a ski rack mounted on the roof. There is a tire at the far left in front of the log that, based on the size of the log and the amount of snow on the ground, is either buried or incomplete. The position of the outside rear view mirror on the blue Pontiac is really far forward compared to other GM cars of the same year. Many of the vehicles have a ticket or slip of paper under their windshield wipers.

  12. I still remember seeing the first year ’62 Pontiac Grand Prix on the delivery truck where I worked at Whipple Pontiac in Hempstead N.Y. Maroon with a white interior and a rare 4 speed manuel transmission. It turned out my high school friend took delivery of it a couple days later. As a $75.00 a week employee, a car like that was way beyond my means.

  13. The ski parking lot looks like it may be Dodge Ridge, near Sonora, CA. It looks like Spring skiing, with a lot of sun, little snow on the ground, light jackets, and no slush to make the cars dirty.

  14. Regarding Sinclair: I was at a retro-themed restaurant where there were a number of oil company signs on display and there was one, perhaps a reproduction but authentic in appearance, featuring the dinosaur and saying ” Sinclair — Pennsylvania Motor Oil — Mellowed A Hundred Million Years “.

  15. I picked up an ermine white 63SS basket case over the summer like the car beside Sinclair, great body or it would be parted, hope to stash it and collect parts.
    My mom drove a baby blue Corona like the one in picture two in mid 80’s.

  16. Jim I have to respectfully disagree with you on the Pontiac wheels. I believe to this day the Buick wheels circa early/mid 70’s are truly unequaled.

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