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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 248

This two-seater is parked on a county road in the fall of 1961 while the driver and passenger were out enjoying a scenic fall foliage drive. It appears to be wearing an odd shade of green, possibly indicating a repaint. What can the experts tell us about this car and color?

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 scene on the far left of a well-known exposition juxtaposed with this exit ramp almost looks like a before and after photo. 

  • It appears this was a GM city or town.

  • American icon is located at this small sea side community.

78 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 248

  1. Hi!

    I’d like to ask a question of this august group.

    The Thunderbird is a 56. The quick ID is the wing windows. This is also the year of the passenger compartment vents located in the front fenders.

    Several years ago I was at a car show and a 56 Thunderbird was parked next to a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. The vents looked the same as the T-Bird. Were they? Thanks!

    • Mike, I assume the vents functioned in the same way. What I can say about them is that Studebaker had them continuously at least as far back as 1941.
      By the way, another quick ID from the front of a T-bird is the ’56s had a broad Thunderbird emblem above the grille while the ‘55s had crossed flags.

        • My question here is because I remember Studebaker as the only manufacturer that used those vents. When I saw the 56 T-Bird and GT Hawk beside each other, the vents looked very similar. It would have been likely that Ford used the same supplier as Studebaker. Does anyone know? Thanks

  2. The 4th picture [3rd expandable photograph], at Plymouth, Massachusetts with the MAYFLOWER II docked in the background.

    On the far right is a monotone 1957 RAMBLER Custom Cross Country.

  3. In the 2nd picture [1st expandable photograph], in the “slow lane” near the base of the traffic sign, is what maybe a 1957 STUDEBAKER Golden Hawk.

    • I believe it is a 1957 Studebaker SILVER Hawk, for a couple of reasons. First, it looks to me like a sedan (post car) not a hardtop. All Golden Hawks were hardtops. Second, 57 and 58 Golden Hawks had a fiberglass dome on the hood to cover the hole necessitated by the Golden Hawk’s supercharger, which did not clear a standard, uncut hood. This power dome did not have the chromed pot metal dummy scoop at its front that all other 56-61 Hawks had, included the one pictured. (It’s not a 58 Silver Hawk, either; while very similar to the 57, the 58 grille medallion is at the lower middle of the grille, not the upper left.)

      • Curtis, thanks for your correction. I made the same mistake as AML…a bit further down in the comments. I have no good excuse for overlooking those differences since a neighbor across the street had a yellow ’58 Silver Hawk and the neighbor across the alley had bought a ’57 Golden Hawk the year before (in bronze and ivory) and I spent more than a little time examining that beautiful car.

      • It gives me joy to see these fine insights about Studebaker cars. I am Chilean, 75 years old. I have had at least 15 Studebaker cars. Among them a Golden Hawk series 400 year 1957, hardtop, automatic. I also had a 1957 Silver Hawk, hardtop, made in Canada. The discussion on the location of the badge is correct, but I understand that only the Canadian Silver Hawks were without pillars. The Americans had pillars. I still have the 1957 and 1958 catalogs, and it doesn’t look like a Silver Hawk without pillars.

  4. In the 2nd picture [1st expandable photograph], following the tan 1958 CHEVROLET beach-wagon in the central lane, is a white over blue 1957 DeSOTO, either a Firedome or Fireflite.

  5. Your eyesight is bad , Dave , both people are sitting in the ‘Bird .

    The fourth scene is Plymouth Rock in the 50s .

  6. Last photo,faithful reproduction of the S.S. Mayflower in Plymouth ,Mass. made just in time for the anniversary of the Landing.

  7. In the second photo I notice all the trash blown up to the fence along side the roadway. Not much civic pride in what appears a first impression for all those people in their cars passing by on the roadway. We were certainly looking the other way when it came to littering and more serious environmental abuse back in the day. Now that I’ve said that, it is interesting to see the protective guard rail for the light pole. It doesn’t appear that it would make occupants of a car safer should a car run into it, but might minimize or even prevent the light pole from being damaged should a car hit it. Different priorities for sure.

  8. 1. T-bird with a metalflake paint job? Does nothing for the looks of the car in my opinion.
    2. Somewhere in Pennsylvania maybe, I like the Olds Starfire.
    3.Homecoming queen and her court somewhere in NJ in 1963-64. 3 to 1 Chevy to Ford.
    4. Plymouth MA with a replica of the Mayflower, newest car looks like a 57 Ford wagon.

  9. In the 3rd picture [2nd expandable photograph], the “queen” with the black dress and white hand muffler is ridding in a blue 1963 FORD Galaxie 500 Convertible.

    • I’d suggest that’s a ‘62 Ford. No fin on the rear fender. Not a grill expert, but it doesn’t look quite right for a ‘63.

        • Definitely a 63. For comparison, there’s a 64 in the first expandable picture, just in front of the Studebaker Hawk in (our) left lane, and a 62 wagon, sixth car back same lane, just behind the 65 Chevy and just in front of the 62 Pontiac.

  10. Except for the last photo, not a single gray, black or silver car in sight. My how things have changed and not for the better IMHO.

  11. Anyone have any idea what the little cream colored car is, behind the red Tempest/GTO in the fast lane? I’m completely stumped.

  12. 1st pic is not a factory color. I read, “Thunderbird Green”, a lighter shade was the only green available. This guys dad probably worked for the forestry dept. 2nd pic, not sure about the building, but looks an awful lot like the Windy City, although, no front plate, maybe not. Nice ’62 Starfire. 3rd pic, looks like the girls are a bit chilly. I think the plate is NJ, and local dealers were proud to show off their cars. What better place, a football game. Been to Mass. several times, parents had friends there. Never saw this, however. Sure is a spiffy Rambler Cross Country, and probably literally did so to get there.

  13. In the Lead Photo, a ’56 T-bird.

    In Item 1 of 3, left lane, a ’56 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan, a ’64 Ford Galaxie 500 Coupe, a ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk, a ’63 Rambler Classic 660 Sedan, a ’65 Impala Sport Sedan, a ’62 Ford Country Sedan, a ’62 Pontiac Vista (appears to have Bonneville side trim), a ’65 Ford Country Sedan, maybe a ’58-’60 Rambler American (too wide for a Dauphine), a black and white ’56 Mercury, probably a ’57 Plymouth, and a white ’60 Olds.
    Middle lane: a 2nd-gen Corvair Coupe, a ’65 Mercury 4-door ht, likely a Monterey, a ’62 Olds Starfire Coupe, a ’59 Mercury 4-door Hardtop Cruiser, a ’58 Chevy wagon, a ’57 Desoto (single headlight), a ’60 Plymouth, a ’57 Ford (the canted fins suggest a Fairlane of some sort).
    Right lane: a ’64 Pontiac LeMans Hardtop, perhaps a ’60 or later Fiat 1100, a ’65 Ford Galaxie 500 (grille emblem), a ’65 Plymouth Fury, a ’60 Pontiac, a ’64 Olds 88/Super 88 Holiday Sedan and a VW Kombi with maybe a ’59 Plymouth convertible 2 cars behind it.

    In Item 2 of 3, two ’62s and a ’63 Impala convertible, and ’63 Galaxie 500 convertible. Clearly, the town’s furrier was a high school booster.

    In Item 3 of 3, in a gathering of black cars, a black ’57 Rambler Cross Country wagon entering past a likely ’55 Studebaker President Sedan with a white over blue ’55 Buick Special 2-door sedan behind a ’56 Ford Fairlane Fordor on the left. Seen up ahead, a ’54 Buick Special or Century 4-door sedan, a ’52-’54 Nash, likely a Statesman, a ’49 Cadillac Series 62 convertible and a ’50 Chevy Bel Air. Seen to the left another two-tone ’56 Fairlane, a ’50 Chevy Fleetline Deluxe Sedan, a ’57 Ford Country Sedan and a black ’46-’48 Plymouth sedan

  14. I believe the second photo is of the off-ramp next to the Belgian Village display at the 1964 World’s Fair. You can see a bit of the sign to the far left.

  15. In the second photo featuring the cars coming off the freeway, the orange car in the middle lane is a 1959 Mercury. There is another Mercury several cars back in the left lane that looks like it could be a two-toned black and white 1956 Montclair. The date of the photograph? I would guess right around 1965.

    • MP, I agree that black and white Mercury is a ’56…and it’s certainly a hardtop, evidenced by the broad chrome windshield header, but I believe the distinctive feature of a Montclair, the accent-color panel under the side windows, is hardly visible in the photo. Hardtops (both 2 and 4-door) were available in both the Custom and Monterey versions but surprisingly, the premium Montclair hardtops nearly outsold the two cheaper models combined. So by sheer numbers sold, it is more likely a Montclair!

  16. 2nd photo could be Freedom Land amusement park, Bronx NY. Bruckener blvd/I-95. Co-op City on the horizon.
    Can’t see if they have NY plates.

  17. Quite a surprise to see, in the second pic, a P211 Series Datsun 1200 behind the red Pontiac Tempest on the right. The only other “import” I can see is a VW split window Bus 4 cars behind the Datsun. To the left of the Pontiac I see what looks like the back end of a second phase Corvair Monza with it’s gorgeous swansong styling.

  18. Second photo look like it might be the 64-65 New York World’s Fair set in Flushing Meadow Park on the same site as the 38-9 Fair. The roadway tangle looks like where Long Island Expressway and Van Wyke Parkway interchange. Not a whole lot to go on but that’s my guess. I was a young kid got the 64-5 fair, grew up near there and did a lot of bike riding in the park after the fair as torn down… so if I have mis-identified the picture, it at least served the purpose of stirring up a lot of those memories for me! Have not been back that was for 40+ years…

    • Given this was after the 1965 models were on the market, the number of six-nine year old cars such as the ’56 Cadillac, ’57 Studebaker Hawk, ’59 Mercury and ’58 Chevrolet still on the road is surprising. NYC area roads must have been kinder in terms of rust than they were upstate.

  19. The owner to whom the T-Bird was registered had a surname beginning with A or B. (1962 CT expirations were the first to be staggered through the year. A and B were May, C in June and various combinations in the following months.)

  20. Second photo is indeed the NY Worlds Fair. ’64-’65. Went there at least once a week as we only lived a few miles away. We loved those very popular $1.00 Belgiam Waffles.

  21. 1956 Ford Thunderbird in Thunderbird Green (paint code Z)
    Tech/processing problem with photograph. Splotched green areas on grille
    and other areas i.e. fenders vent windows etc.

    • I googled 1956 Thunderbird colors and paint code Z is Sage green. I suggest this car is Sage Green. The matching steering wheel suggests this is a correct color for this car.

  22. The beige small car in the first expandable photo is not a Datsun 1200 as it lacks the slanted grille sides, rounded windscreen corners and double-wide area on top of the grill surround of the Datsun. It is most likely a ‘57 – ‘61 Fiat 1200 Grandluce that has had its looks altered by rear-ending another car whose rear bumper overrode the Fiat’s and crunched its lower front end, including the grille. That grille normally had a horizontal chrome bar across the middle and in Europe those cars had a contrasting colour roof.

    • Agree. The pronounced rolled edge (I want to say flares but, well, not really) to the front wheel arches and the extremely squared corners of the windshield just have to be Fiat. An 1100D would be a possibility as well.

      • This being an east coast picture tends to make a European (v. Japanese) import more likely as well. At least for that period.

  23. I don’t know why they had to tear down the fair.I think they could have gotten a little extra milage out of it if they had left it up a little longer,but I guess it wouldn’t have been a fair then if they did
    Does anyone remember that crazy rumor that spread thru the city like wildfire that summer?
    I ll give you a hint.That newspaper The Realist and 64 to 65 World’s Fair.

  24. The last photograph is of Plymouth, MA where I have resided since 1975. Plymouth is America’s Hometown, and we will be celebrating our 400th anniversary later this year!

  25. In the World’s Fair picture, right hand lane is a two-tone grey VW bus. At the time I was working within a couple of miles from there nd driving a similar vehicle. Is it me-doubtful, but memories persist.

  26. We are full of comments on this one. Homecoming photo is a 63 Impala and 63 Galaxie in line and both are 62 Impalas on each side.

    I also believe the freeway ramp photo to be a very early Datsun, not sure of the model or year. East Coast likely not any newer than 60+/-. Looks a little rough being the newest ride I see are 65 Chevy and Fords.

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