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Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 253

The Goodyear airship moored in this field served as the perfect backdrop for the photo of the blimp and this Chevrolet convertible. The location where the image was shot is unknown, although the waterway or lake and the buildings in the background should serve as useful clues to determine the setting. View earlier posts here on the website covering the Goodyear Blimp.

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 images are via This Was American.

  • “It’s got a cop motor. It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks.”

  • A roadside “tourist trap” providing visitors with the 1960s form of vacation retail therapy. 

  • Members of the military posing with models while on shore leave.


90 responses to “Four Fun Friday Kodachrome Car Photographs No. 253

    • I think the first episode (the pilot film) had a different car than the rest of the first sradon…a ’67 Plymouth like this car.I
      The rest of the season used the familiar (and iconic really, every time I see one I think of Adam -12) ’68 design.

      One article said the ’67 was a real LAPD unit borrowed by the producers.
      Back in the day I recall an article that said whenever LAPD changed police cars, they ordered an extra one for the series, the producers would then reimburse the city.I
      Don’t know if that’s true.

      • We shut our Chrysler-Pymouth dealership in 1967. My great aunt, who was the dealer, took a blue ’67 Belvedere II sedan as her last new car. I always liked that car. Like the Alfa Guilia, it looked like a brick, but was surprisingly slippery, as Richard Petty amply proved on the NASCAR circuit. Ironically, the sleeker looking ’68 proved to be an aerodynamic dud, leading to the Superbird.

      • As I recall, the pilot episode for ADAM-12 was filmed in 1967. Hence the use of the ’67 Belvedere II. From the second episode on, for the run of Season One, a 1968 Plymouth was the filming car.
        By the way, that particular photo was a still from PRESCRIPTION: MURDER, the 1968 movie introducing Peter Falk as Lt. Columbia, LAPD Robbery Homicide.

    • The faces don’t look like Marty and Kent. Maybe standins for a promotional shot. TVs in those days had such poor picture quality, no one would have noticed.

  1. In the 3rd picture [2nd expandable photograph], on the far right, is the tail-end of a 1958 DeSOTO Firesweep.

      • Will,

        Good catch with the two-door PLYMOUTH beach-wagon !! Enlarging the picture, the side molding looks like the PLYMOUTH is a 1958 Custom Suburban; both profiles are almost identical. If the vehicle is a ’58 it would be more rare than a ’57.

        PLYMOUTH produced 726,009 vehicles in 1957 and 443,799 in ’58 [a recession year].

        Again good catch !!


  2. In the lead picture, the CHEVROLET is a nice mono-tone 1956 Bel Air Convertible, with the rear passenger side window up.

    • I like the hubcaps. I didn’t think that they were original as they looked too fancy for a ’56 Chevrolet but apparently they came with the purchase of the car.

    • Very unusual to see monotone paint and black wall tires. Two tones were very popular. Chrysler Corp,, American Motors, and Packard offered tri-tones. White wall tires were growing in popularity.

    • “V” emblem on the trunk, combined with the single exhaust says this 56 Chevy has the standard two-barrel, 170 horsepower V8. As far as the wheel covers are concerned, they are definitely OEM 56 Chevy. Although I generally prefer two-tone paint jobs and wide whitewall tires on mid-fifties cars, I have to say this one looks really good with blackwalls and monotone paint.

  3. 2nd picture looks like a Schwinn Pea Picker on the sidewalk. Police car is a 67 Plymouth, looks like the Adam 12 TV Show.

      • Certain the blimp photo was taken in Miami, where I grew up. Taken at he Watson Island blimp base and ticket office. I rode in the Goodyear Mayflower several times in the late 50s, early 60s ($3.50 kid’s price, 30-minute ride over Miami Beach). Watson Island is on the MacArthur Causeway, just across from downtown Miami (thus all the Biscayne Bay water). The Miami skyline is visible in the background, right, (beyond the palms that don’t grow in Ohio). Sharing the small island was Chalk’s Seaplanes ( world’s oldest airline, founded 1919) and SunLine Helicopters ($10 kid’s ticket for 10-minute ride above Miami Beach, at the opposite end of the causeway).

        • Chalk had started flying as Red Arrow in 1917, but shut down during the American entry into World War I due to Pappy Chalk serving in the Army Air Service. It ceased operations for good in 2007, making KLM the current world’s oldest operational airline (it was founded later in 1919).

  4. In the Lead Photo a ’56 Bel Air V-8 convertible

    In Item 1 of 3, a ’66 Belvedere I sedan, a ’71 LTD Country Squire, a late -50’s Jaguar Mark VII-IX, probably a ’56 Cadillac and to the rear of that line a Checker Airport Limo. To the back a white ’64 Wildcat. On the right, ahead of the ’68 or later VW, a ’62-’65 Chevy II wagon

    In Item 2 of 3, a blue ’61 Ford Fairlane Sedan, a ’58 Chevy Biscayne 2-dr sedan(2 strips of chrome trim towards the front vs a Delray), a ’62 Valiant V200 sedan, a ’59 Ford Custom 300 Fordor, a ’62 Catalina coupe, a ’58 Plymouth 2-door Suburban, a ’59 Bel Air 4-door sedan, not sure about the white one, a ’61 Mercury Colony Park, probably a light turquoise ’62 Pontiac…the length of the rear deck suggests a Star Chief, a white ’61 or ’62 Tempest wagon, a ’61 Dodge Dart sedan, a Pontiac Star Chief 2-door Catalina, a ’55 if the chrome aft of the wheel is smooth with 4 stars or a ’56 if it’s horizontally ribbed and a white over bronze ’60 Chevy Parkwood or Kingswood. Oh, and peeking in from the right a ’58 DeSoto Firesweep and passing by, a pale blue Chevy Two-Ten, perhaps a ‘53

    Finally, in Item 3 of 3, a ’51 Cadillac, either a Coupe or a Sedan, though probably the Coupe with its slimmer roof…and only a Coupe deVille if you can somehow detect the emblem on its C-pillar. The solid-color grey cloth interior suggests it’s a Series 61 Coupe

  5. The tourist trap has a nice two tone 1962 Catalina 2 door with fender skirts.
    In the first photo, looks like a Jaguar with a sun roof siting behind the Red Country Squire.

  6. Car 54 where are you? It’s Toody and Muldoon in a mid 1960’s Plymouth that looks like it needed a front end alignment a while ago. On the left is a Ford Country Squire wood grain wagon. I see a Checker back there, a white Buick, Mustang convertible, VW Beetle and a banana seat bicycle.

    • That would be a 1967 Belvedere, and a 1971-1972 Country Squire Wagon. Also a pickup off to the left but can’t make out model.

  7. The roadside tourist trap is in Cherokee, NC. Monte Young was still there in 1979 when a list of “Potential Outlets for Native American Artists and Craftsmen” was compiled for oversight hearings of the Indian Economic Development Programs.

  8. There’s a Goodyear blimp hangarIn Pompano Beach.
    The high-rise buildings In the background lead me to
    guess that this was the early days of the blimp in Florida.

  9. The blimp is the Goodyear “Ranger” N1A. It was an exNavy L18.
    First flight May 28 1946. Wrecked at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 26, 1958.

    • I thought it looked like a wartime Navy blimp.
      For those of you who might be interested, There are a couple of well illustrated books on blimps in WWII.

      And those of you who aren’t aeronautically minded, remember Goodyear made their blimps back then.

    • Possibly not the SAME ship. Goodyear reused the fleet names and FAA “N-number” registrations.

      They did refurbish the cabins (or gondola) and the envelopes were replaced due to age/wear/deterioration.

      • The next N1A after Ranger was Mayflower, a GZ-19A first flown in 1968 that reused Ranger’s gondola (gondola numbers generally persisted across class changes). Confusingly for people that track just the names, it replaced the GZ-19A Mayflower N4A that used the gondola from the GZ-19 Mayflower N4A, which was the same gondola from Mayflower (ex-Navy L-14).

        Mayflower N1A was replaced in 1979 by the GZ-20A Enterprise N1A. The current N1A is the Zeppelin-built semi-rigid airship NT07-101 Wingfoot One N1A.

        I’ve seen the postcard with Ranger N1A dated to 1960, but I’m not convinced it’s dated properly, since records suggest Ranger N1A was a total loss in 1958 and the gondola was in storage until construction started on Mayflower N1A in the 60s.

  10. In the third photograph I thought that it may have been taken up in Alaska somewhere, but there is a sign that says “Monte Young Indian Trader” and that person was listed as being located at the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is a long way from Alaska. I never knew that there were any Indian Reservations on the East Coast only out west, but the Indian Reservation is still there. The town though is now called Cherokee, it comprises 56,000 acres, and Route 19 runs through it which must be the road shown in the photo. In the fourth photograph it looks like three sailors along with two ladies are happily standing around a circa 1951 Cadillac. Those two aloha ladies may or may not be Hawaiian but they definitely wore much longer skirts back then!

    • I wonder where the girls/sailors/ Cadillac shot was taken?
      The women seem to be wearing the traditional Hawaiian flower garland.

      The sailors no doubt are hoping to get Lei-ed as well. 🙂

    • There is a sign on the middle building on the wall under the porch that says Cherokee’s Oldest Trading Post and that gave it away to me. Only went through there once, briefly.

    • If you want to drive through the Smoky Mountain National Park from the south, you have to drive through Cherokee. Been there numerous times. Total tourist trap, have seldom stopped, just drove through.

  11. 3rd Picture – Tourist Trap

    I think this must be Cherokee NC though I couldn’t find any of the buildings on Google Earth. If that’s the right location, it’s still a tourist trap with a lot of Indian related items for sale.

    One question – What’s an Indian Trader and what kind of trades to they make?

  12. First photo, Akron, Ohio. Second photo, somewhere in L.A., note the Sting Ray “Pea Picker” green bike on the sidewalk on the right. Third photo, Cherokee, North Carolina, and the last one must be somewhere in Hawaii.

  13. At the tourist trap there is a nice two tone 1962 Pontiac Catalina with fender skirts. Behind Adam 12, and the red Country Squire looks like a Jaguar with a sun roof.

  14. I see…a lime green Schwinn with an ivory banana seat. Mine was similar but I had a baseball card held onto the fender bracket with a clothespin.

  15. Not having white wall tires on that top of the line ’56 Chevrolet convertible was a rare sight back then. Even though an inexpensive option when ordering, this photo illustrates how important they were.

  16. I believe this was in Miami FL. I visited this site in the summer of ’56, but was unable to get a ride at that time. Can’t remember the cost, but another of those things I never did !

  17. David I had to laugh at the caption under the police car. I have not thought about that movie in a long time. Thanks for the laugh, and the enjoyment everyone gets from these old photos. Everyday the first thing when I get home from work is look what new pics you have posted. Keep up the good work its much appreciated.

  18. 1st pic, “oh, the humanity”,, amazing people even trusted blimps after that. 2nd pic, “1-Adam12, 211 in progress, handle code 3”, seen them all, many times. They only used the ’67 Plymouth Belevdere, like this, for the pilot show. They did actual “ride alongs” with the LA police for months, and was as accurate as you could get. Jack Webb must have had a lot of sway back then. I like the Schwinn “Pea Picker” Stingray on the right. Someone in a Bentley waiting in line. It looks like a one way with cars parked on the wrong side. 3rd, I read, “United Indian Traders Association”, was in Gallup, NM. Nothing on Monte Young. Why would there be a Confederate flag in Indian country? The Mercury wagon near the end looks a bit tired. And last, some top brass with a car like that. By the way the girls are dressed, I think it could be Hawaii after the war. THAT must have been some tough duty, although, we paid dearly for that island.

    • Howard..
      Your comment, “We paid dearly for that island..” seems to imply we invaded the island at some pount. Unlike dozens of other Pacific islands, we never militarily “paid” for the island because it was airways ours and we never lost it.

      True, we lost thousands during the Dec. 7, 1941 attacks, but the purpose of those attacks was to destroy the U.S. Fleet, not invade the island.I

      And the “top brass” you see aren’t brass….they guys in white are enlisted sailors, and the guy in tan with the peaked “service dress” cap is a Petty Officer or Chief….not a commissioned officer.
      I think it’s fair to say, you would not have had Officers and NCOs or enlisted sailors driving around together.

      • Thanks John, I appreciate your knowledge, but I don’t think we have to be that picky. Most folks knew what I meant. This is for fun.

        • “….don’t have to be pucky”, this coming from the guy who can tell the difference between obscure 75 year old trucks! 🙂 🙂 🙂

          This site is all about being picky…woe to the poor guy who calls a ’55 a ’56, or mistakes a trim level.

    • “Oh, the humanity.” Remember, Germany’s ill-fated Hindenberg was filled with hydrogen. Later airships switched to nonflammable helium. More expensive, but so much safer. I rode the Goodyear blimp Mayflower out of Miami numerous times as a kid growing up there.

      • And to get REALLY into the weeds of obscure but important details…

        The Hindenberg (and the other Zepplins…the name of the designer and builder) was a rigid airships (with metal framework to give it’s shape), “blimps” on the other hand, are non-rigid (like a tire innertube or rubber baloon).

        In other words, a Goodyear blimp has little in common, structure wise, with the Hindenberg…even after taking the hydrogen/helium lifting gas difference into account.

        All Zepplins (or blimps) are airships.
        But not all airships are Zepplins (or blimps).

        • Ironically, Goodyear blimps are Zeppelins – the company that built the blimps was the joint venture Goodyear Zeppelin (formed in September 1923).

      • The Hindenburg wasn’t originally supposed to use hydrogen. The Zeppelin company actually scrapped the LZ 128 (which was designed to use hydrogen) to build the helium-based LZ 129 Hindenburg instead.

        It was US export controls that led to the Hindenburg using hydrogen – the 1927 Helium Control Act forbade all exports of helium by the United States (who was the only major producer of helium at the time). When the Munitions Control Board refused to make an exception for Hindenburg, it was hastily redesigned to use hydrogen instead.

  19. I had a pea picker and that isn’t one in the 2nd photo because Schwinn seats were different than that though it’s always possible someone put a non Schwinn seat on it.Schwinn seats didn’t rise up that far in the rear.
    Adam-12 officers never wore their hats inside their squad cars like these did.

  20. Did anyone spot the open gas cap (rear tail light) hanging open on the ’56 Bel Air in the lead photograph? One explanation is that perhaps the photo is one of a series of promo shots and another photo of the open gas cap was taken to illustrate that feature.

    • I think it is just an optical illusion created by the sun’s reflection. If it were open, the red tail light would be pointing almost straight down. The Old Cars Brochures website has an excellent illustration of the open tail light in the 1956 brochure titled Engineering -Features

    • It looks to me what you are seeing is part of the V on the trunk lid. not an open tail lamp. Notice the both red lenses are in the same position on both lamps.

    • I believe what you are seeing is part of the V on the trunk lid, not an open left tail lamp. Notice both red lenses are in the same position .

    • I think it is an optical illusion. If the filler door was open, the red tail light would be facing almost straight down.

  21. Picture of ’67 Belevdere looks a lot like a scene from “Car 54 Where Are You?” Tootie and Muldoon doing patrol on the streets of New York. But that show only went from 1961 to 1963.

    • Thanks for the information Ed. I did not know that there were any tribal lands east of the Mississippi with the exception of the Seminole Indians of Florida given the propensity of white settlers to take away any of the lands that the Indians had freely roamed about in.

      • MP,

        There are also 15 or so such reservations in New England.

        There was one partly in the city I grew up in. It was established in the late 17th century after the King Philip War for those not sold into slavery in Bermuda, etc. It was unusual as it was not based on any singular tribe or nation.


      • There are two in Virginia – the Pamunkey and Mattaponi both have reservations on the York River that stem from 17th-century treaties. The Mattaponi still provide one deer to the Governor of Virginia each year as stipulated by the treaty.

  22. The second photo of the police car… the pilot for Adam-12 had a 1967 Belvedere, BUT this photo also includes a 1971 Country Squire. So, this can’t be from Adam-12. After much searching I found that it’s from a 1971 episode of Columbo: Dead Weight.

  23. I’m thinking that “Jag” is actually a Facel Vega – and that would be appropriate to the neighborhood.

    • Palmer, apart from Facel Vega styling looking very little like the car in the photo, it stood 54.3” high and later FV II’s were 50.3”, the red Ford Country Squire is 56.8” high, and the car behind is considerably taller than the Ford. As many identified it, a Jaguar Mark IX was 63” in height.

  24. I believe the rear the lights on the roof of the police cruiser flashed alternately while the front part remained solid when they were turned on.

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