SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content

Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Kids, Pontiacs, Kodachrome: 1953

Kids, Pontiacs, Kodachrome: 1953

My best friend and his sister with a 1953 Pontiac on a late afternoon in front of their home in Larkspur, California. Since their own family car was the 1941 Pontiac in the background, I'm assuming this shot was taken by the owner of the new one. The dealer, Bianco, was a long-time car dealership in Marin County up through the 2000s. At the time David and I were in the first grade together at Larkspur-Corte Madera School, just three blocks away. Earlier this year you saw us both at his sixth birthday party in this photo. He's no longer with us, but his sister has loaned me her family photos to peruse and has given me permission to post this scan I made of this particularly Kodachromalicious slide. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

I'll bet that new car got a lot of attention from neighbors

In the olden times, when a neighbor got a new car, it would attract considerable attention. I recall our neighbor in Walnut, California bought a 1965 Pontiac GTO. I think it was yellow. We kids ooohed and awed, and the other Dads muttered approving comments. I got to sit in it!

My Dad's was a '54 (I think)

And I suspect it started out the same Stardust Blue as the one in tterrace's slide, but years of southern sun had bleached it. The other car under the carport was--I believe--a '59 Olds.

In this slide, my dad, who was a commercial pilot, had his flight bag sitting on the fender with, as always, a thermos of coffee. Taken in Houma, Louisiana.

My dad loved that old car.

Mine was a '55

In 1963, as soon as I turned 18 (earliest driving age in NYC at the time), I bought my uncle's 1955 Pontiac sedan. Big old 4-door, two-tone blue if my memory serves. Automatic transmission, but no power steering or power brakes. Car lasted about a year.

Laurel Green

As I recall the 1953 Pontiac Catalina two-door hardtop (my first car) was only available in various combinations of that horrible "Laurel Green" and "Milano Ivory".

American Pride

What a great picture!! The spanking new Pontiac, resplendent in its elegant blue gray and deep, shiny, hexavalent chrome plating. Its 12-year-old big brother was a loved and pampered possession, as well, looking as new as the '53. I like to think that at least one of them survived.


My family had a 1952 2-door straight 8 sedan. It wasn't nearly as neat a color as this '53, being kind of a pea soup green. Until I was about 9, my parents always bought 2-door cars, the assumption being that the kids in the back seat would not fall out in an accident. I notice that the little girl's shoes have been removed to protect the new car finish.

RIP David

Sorry you had to leave so soon. Good shot, Tterrace, nice you have it.

We showed up for the new car shot, too. Dad would show it around saying "new car and the kids, growing like weeds". As my aunt grew in age and size she would pose movie star-type glamour sitting on the fender. Today's vehicles are too flimsy to sit even a small dog without worry of a dent. I haven't seen curb feelers since the 50s when city neighborhood streets were too small to park, and others to drive simultaneously. To this day if I hit the curb I remember dad admonishing me "you're going to have to clean those whitewalls!!" , which I haven't had in decades.

Cars were Cars and Kids were Kids.

Can you even sit on a front car fender these days? Chrome and colors and all the room one could desire in an automobile. There's nothing like these old cars and never will be, great picture thanks for sharing.

Real Colors

The rich-looking color on that '53 was called "Stardust Blue." In those days, auto buyers had not only their choice of an array of vibrant colors (instead of the limited, ubiquitous, and ho-hum metallics we're stuck with today), but there was also a little romance in the color names. How times do change!

Faulty equipment

Looks like the (then) mandatory "curb feelers" must have been broken that day!

[Narrow streets; that was the standard way to park in that neighborhood. -tterrace]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.