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Sausalito: 1958

Sausalito: 1958

The yacht harbor in Sausalito, California, shot on Anscochrome circa 1958. I believe this is on Richardson Bay, with Belvedere Point in the background. There are some pretty interesting cars in in this shot, including the mysterious little European-looking thing on the far right. View full size.

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Today’s Top 5

Sterling Hayden's address

Some are saying that Hayden lived in Sausalito. He had a magnificent old house on the very top of Belvedere Island south, a block away from my parents' after 1958. I remember our dogs didn't get along with his, not that he noticed.

Luxury

I love seeing the front of the Lincoln Continental and the rear of the Imperial. Both cars are showing off their most distinctive features.

Volvo Convertible

As a long time Volvo owner, not sure if Volvo ever sold a convertible in the US back then; the P1900 was built during this time period [67 built], but it was more of an experiment to test market reaction, it led to the P1800 of 1962. And a Volvo dealer, Volvoville on Long Island, NY, later converted a few P1800 coupes into convertibles, but without Factory blessing. That PV-544 might be a PV-444; if it's the car I think it is, you can't tell if the windshield is two piece [444] or one piece [544]. Great picture and interesting info about Hayden.

Another European beauty

I'm pretty sure the rightmost car on the third row is a Citroen DS.

The UK Ford...

...is in fact a 'Zephyr', the 6 cylinder big brother to the Consul. The Zephyr has a different front grill and hood and, unlike the Consul, has the chrome hood ornament that can just be seen in the photo. Also evident is the small chrome trim on the side fender just above the front wheel that was also not fitted to the Consul. I spent many an hour back in the day under the various products from Mr Ford, including these models. Thanks again Shorpy for my daily 'fix'!

Not an Anglia?

Not sure if its an Anglia looks more like this a 1952 Consul

Punch Bug, Light Blue

Punch Bug, Light Blue!

or is that Slug Bug? I never remember.

love the cars!

I see a Willys-Overland Jeep Station Sedan!

Sausalito Today

I decided to take a quick ride down to Sausalito and see if I could replicate the image from 1958. I think I got pretty close, and the changes can be seen.

First girlfriend's car

That Chevrolet in the third row on the right side looks like the 53 model that my older woman (17) girlfriend picked me up in.

Bob Bourke Masterpiece

Although the pictured Studebaker design came out of the Raymond Loewy studio, it was created by Bob Bourke, with help from several other guys. Loewy normally gets the credit for this landmark Studie, but the design was not his.

Regarding Babushka Lady, does anyone else see a hint of 58 Mercury in the image? Notice that the wing configuration fits a full panoramic windshield, something none of the Chrysler products ever had.

The bodywork on the humble 51 Nash is definitely not the work of George Barris.

Impala, Schmimpala

Dustyrider said: "Super Sport Chevrolets until 1961."

Ummm, no. The Impala was introduced, as the top of the line Chevrolet, in 1958.

[Confusion arises because he split his sentence between the title and the body of the comment. He was attempting to say "There were no Impala Super Sport Chevrolets until 1961." - tterrace]

Many, many more boats

A contemporary view of the same parking lot (courtesy of Google Earth) reveals the 1958 photo was taken at approximately 517 Bridgeway in Sausalito.

Landscaping has softened the edges of the dirt parking lot (originally a train yard for Northwestern Pacific Railroad) and the number of pleasure craft has exploded, but the small sheds lining the pier have remained pretty much unchanged.

Re: Babushka

So did my Mom's side, all first or second generation California-Italian, despite "Babushka" being Grandmother in Russian...

DaveB

Babushka

All the females in my household called the scarf the lady is wearing as she is getting in/out of the Dodge Wagon a babushka.

There were no Impala

Super Sport Chevrolets until 1961.

Miles and Miles of Memories Here

There are lots of childhood memories amid that parking lot. When my dad tired of waiting six weeks for penny ante parts from Coventry, England for our Jaguar Mark VII, he bought a '55 Studebaker coupe in two-tone blue. He loved it. I preferred the Jaguar and called our new main driver the "Stupidbaker". But looking at the one here, I can see why my father remained forever fond of it. And why he was annoyed when at age four, I let the air out of all the tires.

We also had a '57 Chevy coupe and a '59 Impala station wagon that was our favorite family vacation car for many years, so much so that we bought another, identical in every detail and had two for many years.

Our neighbor on one side had a Rambler like the one in the front row, but in metallic kelly green, and another neighbor had a Citreon, in white. Rode in them often enough.

Interesting story about Hayden. I'd like to read that book. Thank you for mentioning it.

Hayden the Wanderer

Carl H's identification of Sterling Hayden's yacht has to earn the noticing prize for July, even among the Shorpy eagle eyes.

Hayden's unhappiness circa 1958 had another source: in 1951 he "named names" before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Ever after he expressed "contempt for myself since the day I did that." Tahiti turned out not to be far enough away.

Happily, over the last quarter century of his life, he regularly allowed himself to be lured out of "retirement" to make movies. This gave us General Jack Ripper in "Dr. Strangelove" and the crooked Captain McCluskey in "The Godfather."

The English Ford was truly a California car

My Dad was a Ford employee for years, so when I began to drive in the early 1960's he bought me a used Ford Anglia for a few hundred dollars. When I started college in 1965, I purchased a used Anglia station wagon with real wood trim. They were great little cars as long as the temperature was above 28 degrees. Unfortunately Michigan gets much colder in the winter. The starting system didn't have the snap at lower temperatures to start the engine. AAA finally cut me off from road service on the car because of too many push starts. Push it up to 10 mph and pop the clutch and it would start no matter what the temperature. Both had manifold vacuum operated windshield wipers which slowed down when you went up a hill or did a hard acceleration. Both also had the old vacuum tube radios which used a vibrator power supply to boost the 12 volts to the necessary higher voltages. The radio took about 25 seconds to warm up. I still can remember the buzz the vibrator made. I still wonder today what possessed me to buy the second Anglia.

So many cars!

Thanks to Shorpy viewers, the only three vehicles I couldn't make out were identified (the Crosley Van, English Ford, and the Volvo convertible). I was proud to be able to name all of the rest of them, but I won't bore everyone with a recitation of their makes here, unless someone wants to twist my arm!

More cars

A red '53(?) Ford F100 in the row nearest the camera, behind it a '58 or '59 Lincoln, to the left is a '58 Chrysler Imperial. In the row near the water, on the right, a '53 Buick Roadmaster parked at an angle. One row closer and a bit left, a '56 Plymouth. Now my eyes are tired.

Re Hayden, Studebakers, and Precious Bodily Fluids

Sterling Hayden had an exceedingly interesting life (actor, author, sailor, model, Marine, OSS agent) and I urge everyone to read the Wiki on him. As General Jack Ripper in "Dr. Strangelove", his character's concern for precious bodily fluids helped set the tone for that film's zany atmosphere.

Regarding Studebakers, I sure can relate to the one in this photo because half a century ago the one below (a '54 Starliner) was mine, properly dechromed, lowered and with the anemic stock engine replaced with a Chevy V-8. I was only two years old, of course, so reaching the pedals was a chore.

Bound for Tahiti

All this talk of cars overlooks a much more significant element to this photo. The large, two-masted schooner at the outermost dock is Sterling Hayden's Wanderer.

Hayden was a major Hollywood heartthrob at the time, but in 1958 he got fed up with the system and walked out on it all. In violation of studio contracts and a court-ordered divorce decree, he sailed off to Tahiti with his four kids on Wanderer. The voyage formed the central thread of the autobiography he published five years later, titled "Wanderer." This photo must have been taken very shortly before he left.

He was not some impulsive pleasure boater though. Hayden had been a sea captain for a long time before falling into Hollywood in the first place. He was frequently canonized as an independent man who didn't care what anybody else thought of him and did not get along with the Hollywood system. But his autobiography paints a much deeper, somewhat sadder picture of a man who never seemed to quite find what he was looking for.

He continued to live in Sausalito for a long time later in life. It's quite likely one of the cars in the foreground of the photo was his, but I don't know what he drove.

Little European things

Quite a few of 'em, actually. Above the Crosley is a Citroen; right in the middle (above the1955 Studebaker Commander Coupe with its, ahem,"European Styling") is a Renault Dauphine; to the left is a black VW Beetle, and above it a black-over-red VW Karmann Ghia. There's also some convertible in the middle of the far row that look vaguely English next to another Bug and to its left, something I'd almost swear was a Volvo PV544. Yep, there's also a '59 Chevy, but it's no Impala.

P.S. I'm told the translation for Reanault Dauphine is, "I rust."

It's a Crosley

A Crosley Panel Truck

Summer nights?

Hot summer night in Sausalito
Can't stand the heat another mile
Let's drop a quarter in the meter
And hit the sidewalk for a while

--"Sausalito Summer Night"
Diesel, c. 1981

Hey! Look for me in the Bay area, 1958

I'll be in the VW Bus, California tag #PVD 799.

Negative flipped

No one has mentioned that the negative has been flipped here. Notice all the steering wheels are on the wrong side. I want that black Studebaker!

[Wow, extreme blushes from a Marin County native here! It's been fixed, thanks! - tterrace]

Changing face of the US auto market

In addition to that green Ford Consul and yellow Crosley, I see a blue-green Renault Dauphine next to a Cadillac in the second row, and a VW Beetle and Karmann Ghia in the back row, facing away from the viewer. Still a number of US independents to be seen, in the form of Nash/Ramblers and that lovely black '55 Studebaker hardtop in front of the Consul.

English Ford

I recognized the green import center front as an English Ford. I remember seeing them back when my mother drove me around in our black 1959 Chevy Impala Super Sport.

Sausalito

I believe the "European-looking thing" is an American-made Crosley van. The near ridge is indeed Belvedere Island; beyond that, Tiburon Peninsula. I looked for our 1956 Rambler wagon, but no such luck. [Edited to reflect correction of reversed image.]

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