An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Mid-1960s: Slip Sliding Away in Rochester, New York

Long time commenter Roadmaster sent us this image taken in the mid-1960s in Rochester, New York. The weather the area was experiencing then is much like what all of us have have recently this winter in the northern portion of the US.

The vast majority of the automobiles in the photo of rush hour in Rochester date to the 1960s, although at least two of the vehicles date to the 1950s. Please share with us what you find of interest in this scene and tell us about your memorable wintertime commutes back in this period.

12 responses to “Mid-1960s: Slip Sliding Away in Rochester, New York

  1. Up front a ’60 Rambler Super, a ’66 Pontiac 4-door HT, maybe a ’64 Falcon, a ’56 Pontiac convertible and a ’62 Chevy, The second ‘50s car seems to be a ’59 Ford wagon seen over the top of the ’56 Pontiac.
    In the lane to the right a ’66 LTD, a ’63 Chevy 4-door sedan, either a ’62 or a ’64 Nova Sport Coupe, a ’66 Mustang, a VW, a ’65 Chevelle sedan and a ’65 Dodge Dart wagon.

    Going the other way I se a ’64 F-85 Cutlass Holiday Coupe, a ’63 Ford Country Sedan, a ’62 Plymouth Savoy sedan, a 1st-gen Corvair Monza Coupe and a ’65 Cadillac Calais or de Ville 4-door ht. behind a ’63 Ford Galaxie sedan which might be beside a likely ’57 Chevy sedan…the roof alone says mid-50s Chevy.
    Two cars beyond the ’63 Galaxie looks like a ’59 Olds Holiday SportSedan.

  2. As for a memorable wintertime commute, on April 2 of 1975, a coworker and I walked a block to a café for lunch at 18th and Michigan in Chicago, I left my sandwich and plastic bottle of milk in the office fridge. On the way back, it began to drizzle and freeze so we held onto each other to avoid falling.
    As usual around 3:30, Barbara in the office tuned in her radio to check on weather conditions and El train service before leaving at 4. Our office had clerestory windows high up on the wall so all we could see was the sky. Her radio reception was poor but she thought she heard them say the Dan Ryan Expwy was closing or about to close! Puzzled, she wandered over to the glass front door and was amazed to see that snow had drifted up on the door over a foot. She told the bosses who promptly told everyone to stop working and go home.
    I’m not real sure why I grabbed my sandwich and milk bottle, but I did, got in my ’70 Torino GT convertible and headed two blocks to fill up the tank on Cermak Road, figuring the extra weight can’t hurt. I got on Lake Shore Drive at McCormick Place (about 2200 south) just after 4pm.
    For the next hour, driving past the Loop and the S-curves at the River cars were buffeted by 50 mph-winds off the lake and blinding snow. Just past the Gold Coast area, the raise-able curbs and cones gave evening northbound traffic two of the southbound lanes, but there appeared to be no traffic headed south on the Drive…many drivers took over all the lanes. Cresting the bridge at North Ave, the lane-borrowers were met by 4 lanes of southbound traffic, bringing everything to a halt as many attempted to maneuver down entry and exit ramps. Some brave drivers thought they’d drive across the park through the snow…and got maybe a couple hundred feet when deep drifts plunged their cars into window-sill-deep snow.
    Adding to the fun, a great number of diesel Mercedes and GM cars and CTA busses had stalled. The drivers had simply abandoned their cars and busses and trudged through the park to escape the blizzard. Others were walking among the barely-creeping cars and I summoned a number of them to get in my Torino for a break from the blizzard as it rocked from side to side in the terrific winds…they were most appreciative!
    After a couple hours of this, I remembered my sandwich and bottle of milk…it became my dinner, An hour or so later, my empty milk bottle served another obvious purpose for me.
    I finally reached Belmont Ave (3200 north) at about 10pm and trudged up the Inner Drive to Buena Ave (4200 north)., I headed west about a block and plowed the Torino into a windswept parking lot of a highrise apartment and walked the last block to my apartment. It was just after 11 pm.
    Needless to say, Chicago was mostly closed the next day….at least anything near the lake was.

  3. My grandfather had a Rambler like that, only a ’61. It had 41,000 miles, looked perfect, but the front trunnions had rusted clear, and nobody would fix it. He junked the car. I can only assume, this Rambler being at least 6 years old in the slop, the same is happening with this car.

    • Hah! The only car seats in the ’50s were the little ones that hung on the seat back with a tiny steering wheel! My brother and I often took turns standing between my parents in the front seat. From about 10 years old my Dad would sometimes scooch over against the door and let me drive! It was a different world.

      I know your comment was tongue-in-cheek, but really, no one knew any better.

      I can also remember driving many miles in those conditions in the ’60s & ’70s!

  4. Ahh,the distant whine an engine and trans make as its car is rocked back and forth trying to escape its snow trap late at night,sometimes youd hear 2 or 3 simultaneously whining away in the night.And people would try anything to put in front of the rear wheels for traction.A guy grabbed 2 steel garbage can lids from a house and tried that and shot one lid back at the house.The owners had him arrested.

  5. Its a safe bet that most all those cars when they reached five-six years old, after years of salty Rochester winter roads, where either on the back line of a used car lot or already in the junk yards. Western New York winters were notoriously hard on cars back then, I recall seeing many nice, desirable, even expensive cars ruined by heavy road salt application.

Leave a Reply

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