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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 246

Today’s lead image is an example of the post-war economic expansion, which with a few exceptions, continued from 1946 to the 1973 to ’75 recession. To many, a house in the suburbs and a new car meant that they had attained the American dream. To some owning a Cadillac was a status symbol that represented the fact that they “had made it.”

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 clothes, the sports car, the buildings in the background, and the license plates suggest this photo may have been taken on a collage campus in the Northeast?

  • We figured out what is going on in this picture, although why was the man in the bathtub?

  • An interesting street scene and no whitewall tires.

64 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 246

  1. lead photo: a 1962 Cadillac, in the background a 1960 Pontiac and across the street I think a 1962 Chevy.
    2nd pic an immediate post war MG, in the background a 1955 Mercury next to another Fomoco product (maybe a 1957 Ford) and a 1951 Ford Fordor
    3rd pic behind the man in the bath: is that a Fiat convertible?
    4th pic: a rare 1941 Cadillac convertible sedan which is exact 10 years older than the Chevy behind it, still good looking… Passing by seems to be a 1939-1940 Cadillac in military outfit?

      • The MG is circa 52 TD model, based on painted headlamp buckets, RH mounted wiper motor and 2 bow hood ( top to us yanks) The paint is non standard as is the hood color. The corner of the license plate seems to indicate ‘57?

    • The red Cadillac in the foreground is a 1961 model, not 1962. The difference, in the photo, is difficult to tell as the two years look quite similar… especially in this tightly cropped photo. The 1961 model has a slightly taller fin, and the character line (or crease) running the length of the side sheet metal is considerably less obvious on the 1962 models.

  2. In the 4th picture, following the four-door 1941 CADILLAC model 62 Convertible Sedan, is a two-tone green 1951 CHEVROLET Styleline DeLuxe Sport Coupé.

  3. Seen the first photo before; two dapper brothers riding in Mom’s `61 DeVille cvt. The last photo I find interesting. Probably shot around 1951, yet the family managed to retain their pre-WWII `41 Cadillac 4dr. convertible! The last year for that model, even rides on blackwalls & dog dish hubcaps. With the Korean war on at that time, whitewalls once again became somewhat scarce, until early `53 anyway.

    • That 41 Cadillac was a true luxury car, well built and well engineered, offered to folks with discriminating taste and plenty of money. It was truly one of the standards of the world, as well as the best selling example. By 1961, Cadillac was on its way to becoming a caricature of itself, leading ultimately to its being a car for the white belt, white shoe, gold chain crowd and to abominations such as the Cimmaron and other underpowered, underwhelming late 20th Century Cadillacs. Cadillac slowly lost market share to its overseas competitors, and, despite recent improvements in style, imagination and engineering, has never regained it.

  4. In the last picture it looks like the chrome-bedecked Cadillac is being passed by a military car that has had considerable use.

  5. 1st, I thought there was damage on the rear quarter, but just the leaves. Yeah, and lucky was the person that had a home in Pressboard Estates AND a Caddy. There’s a reason Caddy’s commanded respect. It was quite an accomplishment to have one, you see the neighbors have Chevy’s and Pontiacs. When my old man got his 1st Caddy, a ’72 deVille, I think, on our way to grandma’s, he pulls out the drive, puts the window down and shouts for all the neighbors to hear, “Look you bunch of *&%$#@, Jerry Arbiture is driving a Cadillac”, as we sunk down in our seats.2nd, if it’s not a school, Archie comics lied to us. Junior’s MG was the talk of the school. 3rd pic, clearly a southern locale, the fire fighters are showing the new foam truck, a ’65 (?) Ford F100. I think it’s a publicity stunt, but I’m not sure the tub connection. What is that right hand drive sports car? Last, California, going for a ride in the Caddy, who knows who that could have been?

  6. In the Lead Photo a ’61 Cadillac Series 62 convertible.

    In Item 1 of 3, a ’50-53 MG TD beside what I thought might be a ’40 Chevy Master 85 sedan, but the gas filler is in the wrong side. A ’55 Mercury Monterey coupe, likely a ’57 Ford Custom or Custom 300 2-door sedan (wider B-pillar than Fairlanes) and a ’51 Ford Custom Tudor Sedan towards the back

    In Item 2 of 3, maybe a ’68 F-series on the left ahead of a ’67 Ford Ranch Wagon and a ’65 or ’66 Mustang. I have no idea what the handsome pink car is. On the far right is maybe an early ‘70s Continental sedan with optional wing windows.

    In Item 3 of 3, up front a ’41 Cadillac Series ’62 Convertible Sedan followed by a ’51 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. In the distance possibly a ’41 Buick at the curb with maybe a ’39 Chevy passing.

    • +1!
      Speaking of Nash, the car parked to the left of the MG TD is a 1948 Nash 600 or Ambassador Trunk Sedan.

      The young man is right to smile, having a 1961 Cadillac 62 convertible to drive then showed your family had made it.
      The 1960 Pontiac Catalina ‘flat-top’ and the 1962 Chevrolet Impala owner were no doubt still a bit envious.

      The folks a decade earlier in their 1941 Cadillac 62 convertible sedan riding in one of the rarer, most desirable cars of those immediate pre-war years. It was the last model year for the Cadillac four door convertible sedan. It looks well maintain even after ten years. The car speeding by strikes me as a 1938 Pontiac.

    • Hi Chris, Ha! Good one. I’d say it looks like a Porsche, but the 356 fanatics will scream bloody murder. It was ok to make fun of a Nash or Packard though.

    • Is that a used car salesman riding in the bathtub? Any stunt to get people to pay attention – Marketing 102

  7. 1960 Cadillac with 1960 Pontiac on the street. MGTD driver pointing out something but his buds are looking at the camera. I’ll bite – what is going on at 8:30 am in the service department? Firemen washing down a gas spill? Usually didn’t worry much about that in mid-sixties. 1965 Mustang with a ’56 Chevy behind the firemen; is that a Lancia between them?
    Good looking Cadillac in last picture. 1951 Chevy parked behind it. Different plates on the cars. The car at speed is interesting — is it a war surplus car with military markings painted over?

  8. In the 2nd picture [1st expandable photograph], the 1951 FORD Custom DeLuxe Tudor Sedan in the background has a Pennsylvania plate. The MG in the foreground has what looks like a 1957 Massachusetts plate.

    • Yes, that could be a Pennsylvania license plate rather than a New York one which is what I thought. Hard to tell though what state it is.

    • Yep, that’s a Mass Plate. I went to College in Ohio for two years with a Morris Minor wearing Mass plates similar to the plates on the MG TD. It was a rugged commute on the NY Thruway!

  9. A close look at the MG shows a 57 on the licence plate. The first MG TDs had solid disc wheels. The wheels with portholes were a running change after 1950. They claim the TD was a better car than the previous TC, but lacks the looks of the previous model. The owner? in the white shirt is in good shape ; doesn’t need a belt.

  10. In the second photograph, that is a black ’57 Mass license plate on that circa 1950 MG Midget. Behind it however is a late 50’s yellow New York License plate on the 1951 Ford. My guess is that the two guys in front drove up to a New York college like Columbia and the third guy holding the book had come over to meet them. Perhaps someone can identity precisely where the photograph was taken and maybe what the guy in the white shirt is pointing at. In the fourth photograph, that looks like a 1937 Oldsmobile passing by that black 1941 Cadillac convertible, not sure though.

    • After WWII, my father and some of his brothers and sisters, now adults, but young and still impoverished, took several pictures of themselves posing with automobiles that were well out of their price range, as if the cars belonged to them. So, I’m thinking maybe these students said to themselves, here’s a cool car, and posed next to an MG that none of them owned. Then again, of course, maybe they were just rich kids. . . .

      • I have seen photos such as you described, working men with lunch buckets posing next to new Cadillacs and such ! Living the dream

    • That is actually a PA tag on the Ford (note shape of the state formed into the plate). I believe the MG-TD (prob 1952 or 53) has a 1957 Rhode Island tag.

  11. The lead photo is a Pompeian Red 1961 Cadillac convertible. The tail fins are taller than a ’62 and flattened where the chrome strip is, toward the ends. 62’s are straight to the point with no angle, but shorter. The grille is out of view so its not as easy to tell.

  12. Wow! There are three different guesses as to what that drab colored sedan passing by the Cadillac convertible in the fourth photo is: ’37 Olds, ’38 Hudson, and ’39 Chevy. So I did a little bit of research on the internet and I could not get any one of those three makes and dates to comport with that car. Perhaps an identifier expert out there on late 1930’s American autos can give a definitive answer as to its correct year and make. I hope so!

    • There have been two additional guess as to the make of that car. A ’39-’40 Cadillac (which I overlooked) and a 1938 Pontiac by the “Old Pro”. And I do believe that a ’38 Pontiac is a very likely possibility as to its correct year and make, although the blurriness of the photo makes it impossible to say for certain what make it actually is.

        • Yes, it does bear a close resemblance to a ’38 Hupmobile but the grille on that car is not as wide. It is also one that is extremely rare with less than a thousand produced that year. I’m pretty sure that it is a ’38 Pontiac that probably was used in the war as a military vehicle of some sorts given its color.

      • At first glance the car name that jumped out at me was Chrysler Imperial. My brother owned a 2 door coupe Imp. Just guessing though!

  13. Somehow a British roadster doesnt look good in anything but British racing green,but that doesn’t apply to those cheesy reproduction ones from the 70s that came with fiberglass bodies
    And look, it’s the Kingston Trio!Or are they the Crew Cuts?Or maybe The Lettermen?The Four Lads?Folk music was big back then. No

  14. The look of the buildings in the second photo and the Mass plate on the MG lead me to suspect the location is MIT in Cambridge, MA. I love the ’41 Caddy with blackwalls in the fourth photo — looks like a well-preserved family heirloom, only driven on special occasions.

    • The guy with the white shirt is the owner, a “cool guy”. The other two are his nerdy friends or frat brothers, “Toad” (L) and “Lumpy” (R). 🙂

  15. The fire department vehicle looks like a quick response rig used at smaller airports or raceways. The ford pickup has a tall dry chemical container on the left behind the driver, and a cylinder of nitrogen on the other side to charge and propel the chemical. The foam they are making is the old “protein “ foam, which was high expansion. As to the purpose of the stunt, who knows but it looks hilarious!

    • Are you all too old to recognize the man in the bathtub is Han Solo, being thawed out after being frozen by Jabba the Hutt? 🙂

    • Just maybe they were going to be in a parade and for the man in the tow behind the tub the foam was going the make us all believe he was taking a bath. We did some crazy things for parades in the 60s and 70s for a laugh.

  16. The 2nd pic is probably a Postwar MG, most likely type TD, produced from 1949 until 1953 to be recognized by the frontwing curves, that differ from earlier versions.
    My first British car was a MG Magnette ZB, 1959; produced in 1958.

  17. I am having a hard time remembering MG TD’s of that color. Neither have I found any pictures with it .
    Self-painted grill slats were also uncommon.
    It seems too soon in the roadster’s life to have a new or custom paint job, so I am stumped.

  18. The little convertible is a Honda 600. Not sure of the year but check the right hand drive!

    Likely a returning Vet as they were not sold here. Guy was lucky to get back just before the Vietnam “conflict”

  19. Don’t know what in the Word happened to Chevy’s styling by ’51. The dowdy little two-tone behind the ’41 Cadillac is anything but “sporty and de luxe”. As opposed to the 1941 Chevrolet lineup which took some very obvious styling queues from Cadillacs of that year. Just for verification, take a look at photos showing the similarities between the ’41 Chevrolet De Luxe Cabriolet and the ’41 Cadillac “62” series convertible coupe as well as other Cad/Chev body styles of 1941.

  20. I’m pretty sure the Red RHD car behind the fire truck/foamer is a 1964 Humber Hawk (rare anywhere in the Sates)

  21. The T series MG picture was actually taken in the early sixties at Faber College. The 3 boys Pinto, Flounder and Hardbar, along with the rest of Delta House, had just been put on “Double Secret Probation” by Dean Wormer.

  22. The final photo with the ‘51 Chevy coupe, the ‘41 Cadillac 62-Series four door ragtop, and the ‘38! GM military-appearing “tan flash” looks to me to have (possibly) been captured near/in The Presidio, or San Francisco.

    • I think it’s likely San Francisco; and I think the “tan flash” isn’t tan but a Navy gray government surplus WW II staff car now in civilian use. The primer-like smudges on the hood are probably where the military identification numbers and letters have been covered or removed. This looks the most like a ’38 Cadillac and was probably originally for the use of a high ranking official and assigned to the pool of vehicles at Treasure Island Naval Base at “Frisco”.

  23. I typically look at the Friday offering a week late so that I always have one available when I need it. This week is no exception. I’ll look at last Friday’s photos this weekend. I really want to thank David. In times like this when most of us are trying to stay home as much as possible, this web site is one more resource we can use to distract ourselves from the current circumstances and plan for the future when we can all get our cars out on the road again. Thank you David!

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