(click picture for larger view)
(for those of you not around back when it was first posted in 2012, this is an exceptional parking lot shot) CC Reader fastback sent me the link to this recent addition to Shorpy’s ever-growing files of vintage high-resolution scans. This one is from about 1958, and reflects the eclectic mix of American and import cars already common in California at the time. If you want to see the picture in its original full size, here’s the link. Interestingly, no one at Shorpy took a stab at the pink wagon just entering the picture on the lower right corner. It’s quite obvious what it is too.
Electic is certainly the word. Imagine catching a ’58 Wixom Lincoln, a ’51 Nash Airflyte and a D-series Citroen in the same frame. The pink wagon just entering the frame – might that be a ’55 Pontiac Safari?
Is the little green sedan behind the Studebaker an English Ford? I thought it was a 50 Ford, but its too small. Also a Dauphine and Karman Ghia lurk in the background.
Wonder how that ended up in CA.
British Fords were imported for decades, starting right after the war. The Anglia and Cortina Mk I and II were reasonably popular.
The Capri, which was once the #2 selling import, was built in both GB, Germany and Belgium.
Ouch! Somebody smacked that Nash in the choppers, busted out a couple of teeth!
Is that a little white Crosley in front of the Citroen?
Back row left between the oval window VW and the Pontiac, is that a Morris Minor convertible?
I though that was the Citroen, I didn’t see the DS infront of it.
Heh, I was just looking at that last night on Shorpy, my *other* favorite site. (Shorpy and CC are both distinguished not only by their content, but also by the Internet’s best commentariat, if I do say so.)
If you click on the full-size photo that Paul linked to, you’ll see comments revealing that the green sedan is a Ford Zephyr, and even identifying a movie star who owned a yacht that’s shown in the picture!
I’m in love with the Studebaker!
If 1958, late ’58 as I clearly see a ’59 Lincoln, a ’59 Rambler (plainer Deluxe Rambler with single headlights – probably from Larry Brink in nearby Mill Valley), and a ’59 Chevy. Did notice the ’51 Nash . . . . and the Ford Consul (or, I’d better look again to see if it’s a larger Zephyr) behind the Studebaker. Also, a ’57-’58 Imperial is parked next to the Lincoln. A little tiny car is on the far right of the frame. I have to look at it carefully to determine what it is. A Lloyd?? Growing up in the Bay Area I saw this eclectic mix of cars from ’round the world as an everyday occurance. Even in my own (San Rafael – Dominican) neighborhood! From Renaults to Rolls; Mercuries to Mercedes; Chevies to Citroens . . . . Borgwards . . . Bentlies . . .saw ’em all! In San Rafael, between 1950-1980, you could buy any make of car sold in the U.S. except for Bentley, Rolls and Citroen.
Yes, I saw that car, and spaced out on the headline typing…let’s call it 1959.
What’s fascinating is not only the eclectic mix of vehicles but two other things: the dominance of GM, especially Chevy, and the fact that all of the vehicles save one Ford pickup and one SUV prototype (the Jeep wagon) are CARS.
Looks like the view from my house. Sausalito – that picture could be from today were it not for the old cars.
Chevy Nomad in lower right!
Nice photo, I’d like to see more. One thing I’ve noticed about these old photos is the cars look prematurely aged–like they all need a wax job. Thank goodness for modern paints and clear coats.
And indeed they needed, every several months to look nice. But I actually like this aged, matte look, sort of. So classic, IMO.
If we look at the Shorpy blow up, I’ll see if I can spot the ’59 registration sticker. If ’59, it would be a reflective off-white. (’57 – red, ’58 – green, ’60-black, ’61 – red with black lettering, ’62 – silver/white with green lettering). Initially, the ’56-’62 Cal plate had holes punched in the “56” part of the plate as Sacramento was initially going to issue metal tabs, much like the ’45 through ’51 series plates; that was changed to the sticker for ’57. I believe plates issued after ’57 or ’58 were sans the tab holes . . .
The ’57 Chevy 210 behind the black ’59 Lincoln is a six . . . (sans the “V” under the Chevrolet) and I see a lady getting out of a ’58 Mercury Station Wagon. I think it’s a toss up between the black over red Karmann-Ghia, the oval window VW bug or the Studebaker!
My suspicion is that the little angular white thing is a Crosley station wagon. Just the thing to commute from the mansion on the hill to the boat.
I like the juxtaposition of the Lincoln and the Imperial too. Such a contrast in their lines…definitely two different ideas of what a luxury car should look like.
The one car that seems to be puzzling everyone is the European-looking green convertible with the black top in the rear centre.
Can we get the CC expertise on to it?
Someone on Shorpy said Volvo (but that would have to be a complete custom) or something coachbuilt and English. Looks like a German padded top to me. I’m wondering Mercedes Benz 190 or 220 Cabriolet ???
MikePDX guessed Morris Minor but I think it is much too wide and I don’t think they had a rear window quite that shape.
My impression was it might be a Riley but ruled out due to the lack of the curve at the bottom of the trunk – I think that is the key to identifying the car as most contemporary cars don’t have this feature (eg Jaguar Mk V), but M-B sounds a good possibility. Perhaps a W187 220S cabriolet A?
Its MKv size not Minor size theres a 2.5L MK V drop top round here one of the 18 made but its not handy for a comparo.
Just noticed this on BringaTrailer today. 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster. Closest thing I found…..
Paul, this shows lots more auto-diversity than the 1954 Smoky Mountains Park photo (posted 1/21/17). I keep having to remind myself that the imports are all still from far across the *Atlantic* (before West Coast ports started seeing Japanese cars in quantity).
Doubtless there’s someone on CC who can date all the VW’s–not my specialty.
The pink wagon, with the distinctive B pillar, sure looks like a Nomad. With assistance from Google, the central hood ornament seems to make it a 1955 or ’56.
So many great car choices one could make!
Let’s see: I’ll take the Jeep wagon, the Studebaker and that green thing behind it, whatever it is, as I have no clue.
I’d also have to do a closer inspection of all the tri-five Chevys, too, of course – Nomad included (unless it’s a Safari)!
Several years ago Wifey and I had lunch at the marina at Paradise Bay restaurant. That’s where I discovered the delightful taste of Boont Amber Ale! The food was good, too.
Slow getting here, and am surprised that nobody got specific on that black Studebaker up front. I peg it as a 1955 President hardtop (but probably not a Speedster). I think the full length chrome strip eliminates it from being a 1953-54, and I have never seen a single tone Speedster. All 55 Speedsters were Presidents, but not all Presidents were Speedsters.