An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 232

Today’s mid-196os lead image contains a colorful view of a parking lot in a major US city. Sharp-eyed readers should be able to identify the location by the buildings in the background and the body of water on the far right. Share with us were the steps in the foreground lead to.

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.

  • The small number of imported automobiles in this photo may be a clue used to identify the location. 

  • One times two.

  • Frosty the Snowman and a whole lot of  portholes.

  • How to scratch an itchy nose when your hands a dirty.

38 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 232

  1. In the 3rd picture, in the foreground, is a green1949 BUICK “Snowman” Super convertible; Behind which is a black four-door 1950 BUICK Special Jetback Deluxe.

  2. In the lead photograph, in 1st row facing the camera & 4th car from the left, is a red 1958 FORD beach-wagon, unable to ascertain the model.

    • I was wondering what kind of car that was. I figured that it was some kind of a Canadian model as the two men in the picture do not look like the sort of folks who would have any desire to modify their cars. I noticed that it has been placed on blocks for some reason.

    • I suspect the “DeSoto” trim is aftermarket. The top molding is standard Merc. The lower one doesn’t quite match the contour of either 1955 or 1956 DeSoto. Note that the rear quarter panel bulge has been modified, too.

      • Kit, you presented a challenge, so I set down a clear protractor on the images of the lower side trim of a ’55 Desoto Fireflite and this custom ’54 Mercury. To be clear, that’s the angle between the forward 2/3 of the lower side trim and the portion that angles down to the rocker panel. Both are within a degree of two of a 125-degree angle.
        Visually they don’t appear the same, but I believe that’s because on the Mercury, the trim was mounted at a greater sloping angle.
        When the Mercury photo is enlarged 300% (thanks for that feature Google Chrome!) at the very lead edge of that trim, where it meets the original Mercury trim, there’s a bit of a wedge-shaped gap…further suggesting the lower trim was mounted at a greater angle than on its original source.
        Of course, just because the two angels agree is no proof that it’s DeSoto trim, but I’d say there’s a very good chance it is.
        As to your other point that the rear fender bulge was modified, I agree…it appears to retain just the smallest portion of the lead edge of the Mercury’s original three “teeth,” and the bulge was extended forward over the teeth, forming a slim, forward-angled scoop …and eliminated the original chrome splash guard.

  3. 1st pic, pretty sure is the “Windy City”, Lake Shore Drive? Quite a doin’s going on. Pat W. should have a field day with this. 2nd pic, I thought Suzanne Somers drove this car? From a time when fenders could support pretty girls. 3rd pic, is clearly a Buick dealer, again, today, a snowman on the hood would leave a dent or a crack. That looks like one fancy Buick. Last, dad looks on while Junior puts the finishing touches on that cool ’54(?) Merc. Supported like that, would indicate some driveline repair. Tires show it has fresh paint.

  4. Chicago’s Prudential building is clearly visible to the left side of the photograph. Lake Michigan is to the right. This was taken from the north side of the Field Museum. I remember those railings from my childhood (see bottom left, they are still there looking at google street view) as well as the parking lot. LSD of course no longer splits around the museum. The parking lot was removed.

    I was able to line up a similar shot via user uploaded images to google maps streetview.

    • I agree with BrentP that this is north of the Field Museum in Chicago. It’s a little hard to tell, but South Lake Shore Drive is coming straight at you in the picture and will curve around the parking lot to the left. If you could look to the right you would see the Shedd Aquarium and at hard right, the Adler Planetarium. Directly behind the Museum to the south is Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. Based upon the cars and the skyline, especially the white Ford lower center foreground, it has to be 1965 or 66.

  5. The second image I’d guess to have been shot around `62, with the `56 Bird having narrow whitewalls already. Nice `58 Bird behind it. Third image–a `50 Buick Super Sedanette next to a nice `49 Super cvt. Last photo, a trendy mild custom paint job on a `54 Mercury Monterey. They removed the trim behind the door on the quarter panel, and have a sweep in front alot like `56 DeSotos used.

    • THe door handles have also been removed for a cleaner look. A modification that I understand is illegal in California.

  6. In the Lead Photo…a view north from the steps of the Field Museum in Chicago showing the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive joining in from the right while the southbound lanes are diverging around the Field Museum to the west side. Joined together, LSD passes by Grant Park on the left.
    Seen to the left in the distance, one of Chicago’s tallest buildings at the time, the 1955 Prudential Bldg.

    In Item 2 of 4, I see a ’56 T-bird (T-bird emblem vs ‘55’s crossed flags) and a ’58 T-bird (honeycomb grille mesh vs ‘59’s horizontal bars vs ‘60’s bold 3-toothed bar over crosshatch mesh).

    In Item 3 of 4, a ’49 Buick Super convertible next to a ’50 Buick Special 4-door Jetback Sedan… apparently a Deluxe, which had chrome sidetrim we see peeking out beyond the ‘49’s headlight.

    In Item 4 of 4, a customized ’54 Mercury Monterey (round emblem on front fender vs Custom models) with the rear quarter panel’s teeth and chrome mud guard removed, hood “nosed” and trunklid “decked” and possibly borrowing somewhat altered lower sidetrim from a ’55 or ’56 DeSoto Fireflite.

    • ’56 Bird has porthole in hardtop and fresh air vent in fender just ahead of the door too as further confirmation of the year.

      • Here’s a question for everyone; I was once at a car show and a 56 Thunderbird was parked next to a 62 Gran Turismo Hawk. Both cars had the fender vents open. They sure looked to be the same. Any one know, were they?

  7. Of interest in the Lead Photo, a ’59 Rambler sedan 2 cars behind the black Mustang 2+2 on the right with the taillights of a ’61 or ’62 Tempest wagon peeking in from just beyond the VW. Toward the center I see a pale blue ’60 T-bird over the trunk lid of a white over blue ’59 Olds, either 98 or Super 88 Holiday Coupe (either has rear bumpers extended forward vs a Dynamic 88). Seen a couple rows back of that T-bird, a black Vauxhall Victor sedan.
    I haven’t spotted any ’66 models…yet.

  8. Today’s guesses are:

    Chicago for the city in the first pic.

    Mr. Nose-wiper is either doing a manual brake adjustment or working on the Merc’s universal joints in the last pic. No indications that he intends to take off the wheels.
    those are some real timbers he’s
    using for blocks.

    • I see a tin of grease sitting between the two men, greasy hands, plenty of rags and a creeper. At the back of the car, is that a drain pan for the rear axle?

      The background sure looks like it might be a motel parking lot.

      • The car seems is in the center of a parking lot ,I think it has a broken rear end (ring gear-pinion gears… or gear box) And stucked there and they would´t be able to move it .

  9. I’m going with 1966 since I see the black Mustang fastback. It’s definitely from the Field Museum parking lot of L.S.D. with Lake Michigan on the right and the Prudential building in the background. Since the Prudential building still lacks the channel 7 on it’s antennae. The building on the right might be Lak Point Tower since construction was started in 1965. I also see a 1965 Chevy Impala and another 1965 Mustang convertible with black top. This so reminds me of my childhood as we went downtown Chicago at least once a month.

  10. Two women sitting on the front fenders of two adjacent Thunderbirds…
    There has to be a story there.

    Not a parade…they both have tops.. (the cars, I mean).

  11. The line, “The small number of imported automobiles in this photo may be a clue used to identify the location.” led me to believe that this might be Detroit, but I’m sure that I’ve seen that photo before and I think that it’s Chicago, as others have mentioned with more confidence than I have.

    Isn’t the Field Museum the last remaining structure from the 1893 World’s Fair?

    • That honor would go to the Museum of Science and Industry which is housed in what was the Palace of Fine Arts at the Columbia Exposition and the only building there constructed more substantially than just plaster over timber. Most of the expo buildings were expected to be just temporary. The Field started out (under a different name) as a museum of natural history at the expo but moved to its current location nearer the Loop sometime around 1920-30.

  12. To the right of and behind the VW Van appears to be a white Pontiac product.
    If you follow your eye to the right of that car, I think I see a 64 Chrysler product and to the right of that is a Comet.
    I see a white 65 Impala fastback.

  13. Ah…The Top of the Rock at the top of the Prudential Building. It was a Fred Harvey Restaurant surrounded on all four sides by an observation deck. The night view was stunning. Just around the corner (ground level) was the London House on Wacker and Michigan, a great jazz venue that never turned me away because of tender age. Oscar Peterson (p)played the room often with Herb Ellis (g), Ed Thigpen (d) and Ray Brown (b). Chicago was and remains a great place. I even saw a man dancing with his wife there on one occasion.

  14. Nothing special going on here. You’re looking north and the long shadows suggest a late afternoon setting, commonly called “rush hour”. Before the interstate system, Dan Ryan, Kennedy, Bishop Ford and all the rest. These folks did this every day. …twice.

  15. It is Chi-town alright. I would have to believe there is a Bears game on a Sunday afternoon at Soldiers Field. It could be October or November(no leaves on the trees and no snow ,yet).
    Da’ Bears rarely had a good offensive game , but beware of their mighty defenses.

  16. Thanks so much for the weekly pictures.
    The 1st picture today of Chicago has so many cars that I can the recognize maker and year — in contrast to that picture taken today I would be unlikely to identify almost any car they are so homogeneous.

  17. After crawling around like a lizard under way too many cars I made a solemn oath to never again work on the underside of a car unless it was up on a lift.
    As Quick Draw McGraw once said”Im too old for this —-“

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *