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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • RAPALLO, ITALY: 1947
 

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Cold Stop: 1961

Cold Stop: 1961

The car: 1956 Lincoln Capri coupe. The slide: 35mm Kodachrome dated February 1961. The place: 31 miles from Reno. The photographer: Don Cox. View full size.

 

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Reverse Engineering?

The back-up (reverse) lights for the 1956 Lincoln were unusual and a one-year-only feature. The lights were hidden just below the edge of the trunk lid and directed downward. The idea was to reflect the light off the chrome bumper and illuminate the area behind the car without adding another set of lights to the rear end. Road dirt and snow (as illustrated here) made this idea entirely ineffective.

Suddenly the Perspective Changes

I post my earlier comment, then go back to take another look at the Google image, and suddenly the view is different, with more vehicles and a change of perspective that looks more like that of the view Dave posts. I'm flummoxed, and embarrassed by my earlier observation.

Reconciling the Landscape

I'm scratching my head over the perspective of the older photo with that of the more recent view from Google. Now I know the mapping cameras are focally very different from the normal lens of a mid century camera, but I'm mostly wondering where the hill in the distance went to. Did it get dynamited and leveled to provide fill for the newer road bed? The older photo seems to show a road on a downhill grade toward a more appealing horizon than the Google image shows.

Four Years Later?

That red renewal sticker on the 1956 California base license plate was issued for 1957. Did they wait four years to develop the slides or had the slides all the time & wrote the date in February 1961 four years after the fact? Maybe procrastination is in play here ignoring the DMV renewal notices? Late fee's fees were pretty cheap back in the day, so why bother?

[You're off by four years and two shades of red. - Dave]

Mileage

It didn't change.

Location

U.S. 40, now Interstate 80, heading east out of Truckee, California. Nowadays they don't get quite as much snow there, but lots more traffic!

They don't build them like they used to

... and that's not necessarily a bad thing. While having beautiful 1950s lines, at five years old and traveling those roads, that car has about two years to go before finding its way to the scrapyard. Likely to be melted down and reappear in the form a late '60s or early '70s shapeless Japanese import.

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