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

Shorpy members who are Patreon contributors get an ad-free experience! (Mostly -- there's still an ad above the comments.) Sign up or learn more.

Downhill Racer: 1968

Downhill Racer: 1968

Diamond Bar, California, July 1968. My niece Mary having a good time, apparently. Neighbor has a nice early-60s Ford pickup. I shot this on 35mm Kodachrome. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Mopar Power

I wonder if that's a Chrysler 300 down the street.

"Yahoo! You're all clear, kid!"

I've been scouring this site for an archetypal example of an image that matches my fictional mental stereotype of Kodachrome, and this is right near the top - it's violently sunny and was shot in California and it has a huge truck and suburbia. The truck has white-walled tyres. The image even has a lady in a one-piece dress, although she's not blonde and isn't wearing plastic sunglasses.

But the date is a little advanced; when I think of the colours of 1968 I think of colours that film could not capture, that could only be generated within a human mind soaked in drugs and the spirit of rock and roll. And the colour of armoured personnel carriers and helicopters in Vietnam, and of "Disraeli Gears." And a lot of third-hand mental images of things that happened in other continents ten years before I was born.

It's also a good image on an unemotional level. The photographer was smart enough to put the camera down at child-level; he pressed the button at the right time, and the other kids in the background tell a little story. Right time, right place, right direction, right film, right weather conditions etc. And on an emotional level it's wonderful.


As I recall it, "braking" wasn't done with your heels; you simply let the board roll to a stop, or you rolled off the footpath onto the grass of the nearest front lawn.

Great photo, with great colours.

Young lady, put on your shoes!

Looks like she was having a blast! I wonder what happened when she dropped her heels down to stop though. I took many a chunk out of my feet when I just caught them on the ground for a second. I'm from the East Coast though, so it wasn't skateboards but pedal cars and stripped grocery carts.

Looks like just a hint of 1966-67 Dodge Charger poking out behind the pickup.

Tonka truck!

The hairstyles! The blue of that truck! Looks like my Tonka toy camper blue-green! I was 13 and in Louisiana in '68, but can TOTALLY connect with this moment that the kids are experiencing-- thanks for the post!

Butt boarding!

I can hear her laughing!

Like my Childhood

Wow, this is beautiful! It's amazing to see my hometown in such a nostalgic light, since most people who live here only know it as it is now. It's also kind of fun to see kids then doing the same activities as kids do now, here. (I witnessed 3 kids going down my street today in the very same fashion, albeit on more modern boards)


My favorite picture on this site. It captures the care free days of my youth in the 60's perfectly. Thanks for posting that.

Skateboard wheels

Those are clay wheels, an improvement (?) over steel wheels. State-of-the-art in the 60s. Then urethane came along...

Unbridled JOY

One of the most wonderful images I have seen in a long, long time. You managed to capture perfectly the moment of pure joy from a simple pleasure - that most of us remember from our youth.

Personally I love your mix of the old with the new.

Thank you for all the work you do with this site.

Joy from MA

Alternative Skateboard Techniques

That's how my friend & I rode the old steel-wheeled skateboards (not that sissy urethane!) that belonged to my much older brother and sister. Or laying down on our stomachs, which is how I put a hole in my favorite shirt (purple paisley short-sleeve button-down) when it got stuck under one wheel.

What I Noticed...

The Blue Blue Sky! Not any more! Not in Diamond Bar anyway! Great stuff.


Or is that car a DeSoto -- nothing else had taillights like it (except the Belchfire 88!).

Steve Miller
Someplace near the crossroads of America

Ford interiors aren't what they once were.

The most amazing thing about that old '64 Ford was the interior.

It had a thin pad across the edge of the dash but otherwise the interior (except for the bench seat and vinyl floormat, obviously) was nearly all painted or chromed metal. The steering wheel had a glorious chrome horn ring.

I challenge you to find even one small bit of exposed steel on a modern automobile or truck, let alone nearly the whole interior.


The Ford pickup is a 1964, 65 or 66. They used different bed styling in '63 and everything changed (for the worse) in 1967.

I had a 1964 Ford 3/4 ton camper special. I sold it around 1980 and I still regret that bonehead move. I should have kept it. They REALLY don't make 'em like that anymore.

Diamond Bar!

I grew up right next to here in be-yootiful Walnut... but not until the late 70's, I'm afraid. Still, it's nice to see the San Gabriel Valley on Shorpy for once!

California Roll

Great perspective here. The girl's taller than the house and twice as big as the truck.


I was going to say, the look on that sweet little girl's face is pure joy. Or pure terror. Either way, it looked fun and it put a smile on my face. Thanks again, I am enjoying your pictures.

Total Bliss!

Those kiddos are having an absolute blast! What a difference from working in a coal mine or putting together fake flowers in a tenement house. Thanks Lewis Hine!

And what an awesome truck. I'd love to tool around in it today.

Downhill racer

Nope, not glass, but white quartz rocks left over from the roofing job on the yellow house. I think the neighbors that lived there had 2 or 3 boys, but the rocks on the wall were just decorative. Or maybe to keep their own kids from climbing on them and falling off.

Notice the Dichondra lawn. All the latest in suburban Southern Calif living in 1968.

--Mother of the skateboard girl.

P.S. I sewed her dress. Did lots of clothesmaking in those days in suburbia.

Over the wall

And on the other side of that cinderblock wall, a car I wish I'd gotten a close-up of. '58 Chrysler is my guess. Already a classic only 10 years later.

I'm also reliably informed that the stuff on the wall isn't glass, but white rocks about the size of golf balls, like the kind used on roofs at this time, and in fact you can see on the house the wall belongs to.

You kids get offa my lawn!

Looks like broken glass on the top of the cinderblock wall behind the pickup truck. That'll keep them damn kids offa the lawn!

There's one in every neighborhood - a cranky old man. In my semi-rural East Texas childhood neighborhood Mr. T (name withheld to protect the innocent) and his yappy dachshund Socrates ruled the block with a yard rake and bark alarm. We kids devised a bicycle-tire innertube mortar to launch magnolia cones and sweetgum seedpods into his yard from our tree fort - forcing him out there to pick them up, grumbling all the while "I'm a-goin' ta GIT them kids!"

Ahhh, suburbia.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2021 Shorpy Inc.