My grandfather, Joseph Saur had a passion for photography. He never went anywhere without his camera, always keeping it in the glove compartment of his car. He loved taking pictures of just about anything and everything that interested him – I guess you could called him an early Instagramer. Recently, I came across this photo he took at Surf Drive Beach in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. The date developed on the back says “OCT 73”, though it was presumably taken that summer. 1973 was around the time my grandparents were building their second home on Cape Cod.
Befitting of the beach location, a woody 1973 Ford Gran Torino Squire is square in the foreground. At first glance I thought it was the big LTD Country Squire, but no, that huge wagon was a mid-size car by 1973 standards. Behind that is a more manageably-sized green Datsun 610 wagon. Yes, Japanese imports were already prevalent in Massachusetts by then. It’s hard to see, but through the Gran Torino’s rear window you can just barely make out a ’73 Plymouth Fury Sport Suburban wagon. 1973 full-size Plymouths received a significant restyle for their last year of the fuselage styling.
I’m really glad I found this. I feel like my grandfather took this knowing how much I would enjoy it 40 years later. Hopefully you enjoy it too!
Great picture Brendan, thank you for sharing it. It’s so cool to see these period pictures to remind us of everyday life back in the day. Do you have more shots like this from your grandfather?
I have found several more. I’m in the process of looking through boxes of old photos for more. I’m sure some more will turn up.
I have fond memories of learning to swim at Surf Drive beach in the spring of ’75 or ’76.
We had probably the only Toyota Corona station wagon in Falmouth at that time, boy that takes me back….
More pictures please:)
What a great shot that contains small, medium and large versions of station wagons. My college roommate had a 72 Dodge Polara wagon for awhile, and on my experience with that one, I think that the big Plymouth would be my pick of the bunch here.
I agree that random pictures like these are fascinating to look at. The older I get, I find it all the more interesting how things can change so much from one decade to the next, until at some point, a location is barely recognizable, if at all.
’73 was the last year the big Fury sold in significant numbers.
The ‘Bluesmobile’ generation C body Dodge/Plymouths tanked, and were fleet queens. Plymouth was never again a major selling brand.
Looks like somebody took their new Gran Torino Squire to the beach!
1973 – My father bought a Torino just like that, with a 429 V-8, brand new in the spring of ’73. Just think about the earlier piece on the oil crisis, which hit a few months later!
It was a horrible car, needing countless expensive repairs, including 2 transmissions, until it was traded for a new ’76 Volare, and that’s a whole ‘nother story!
Suffice to say, 9 mpg was not that car’s only problem!
Oh, and we always said it was called a mid-size because it was huge outside and had no useful space inside. Therefore, mid-size was an average.
Backing it, especially uphill, helped me understand how a letter feels once it has been dropped into the collection box!
Why are all my memories of the 70’s tinted like this?
That’s what color the 70s were.
Yup. I guess we all wore rose colored glasses back then.
What’s not to like about a Ford woody?
Very nice picture – I like to imagine that the town fathers were noting that cars were going to be getting smaller and thus painted shorter lines between the parking spots – why waste the paint!
I looked at the photo and did some digital color correction on it. Now it looks more “correct” and technically, it is. But the original, reddish tones give the first version a feeling of “oldness.” I guess it depends on just how “old” you want to feel as you remember back to this time, and perhaps to your own memories of those years.
Love that picture and story. The Ford wagon is awesome. Great proportions! I have actually been to that very spot in Falmouth. It is beautiful!
“Surf Drive Beach” sounds like the title of the perfect surfing song
In the spring of 1972 my Parent’s bought a house that is just beyond the hill in the background of this photo. I was 13 at the time and I’ve ridden my bike and later driven by Surf Drive beach many, many times.
Let me tell you, there is no surf at Surf Drive Beach. The position of the island Martha’s Vineyard just off-shore and the water contained in Buzzards Bay just west of this beach makes sure there a few, small waves and very little tidal movent as well.
Falmouth Heights, that’s prime real estate. Regardless of what the actual house was like, I’m sure those were some great summers. Is it still in the family today?
I like how there’s oil stains in each parking spot, something that I get a little self-conscious of with my daily driver ’65. Back then cars weren’t so “perfect” and I’d bet you saw that everywhere you went.
Thanks for posting this! We were always at that beach in ’73