The photographer has now traded in his ’41 Mercury coupe for a ’53 Ford wagon, and we see it here in a variety of settings including the giant sequoia in California, as well as a trip into Mexico.
More great pics of a simpler time. Thanks!
This really, really tugs at my heart, Paul. With 1953 being birth year, Ford’s 50-year anniversary, my father joining Ford about this time, I start getting irrational thoughts—–like buying this one (posted on November 27th), pouring tens of thousands of dollars into it, and fooling myself into think I could reclaim my youth, etc.
Meanwhile, is it at all possible that this car is still sitting in some AZ boneyard? A guy can dream….
“I was just chillin, grazing on some grass when this guy in a 53 Ford comes out of nowhere and shoots me! I mean what the heck, all of a sudden I’m dinner!
The man did like his blue Ford products. And I see that V8 emblem on the fender, which was a mighty familiar piece of hardware by 1953.
And wow, that last picture would have been something to experience. I wonder who was first with the brave idea to ferry a car this way.
Dad was in the US Public Health Service, drafted (that is another story)…and due to his rank, was allowed use of an agency vehicle during vacation leave. From central Oregon in 1954, we visited Yellowstone National Park, among other places. What was odd is that I remembered the car as a green Ford station wagon, a Di-Noc woodie with a small US Government sticker on the woodgrain front doors. But I dismissed that as a faulty memory.
Other living family members were no help, they were either younger or had not been born yet.
A few years ago, my Mom came across some old photos and one showed the Ford, as I remembered it, with me in the photo!
So my strange memory was true!
What I can’t be sure of from a B&W photo is the color of that Ford, but I recall it as the same or similar green as the low-series Ford featured here.
Beautiful shots! It looks like that desert-dry climate has helped perfectly preserve Castelon, Texas for the past 65+ years. I once made a very similar journey in a ’06 Hyundai–better climate control but much less style.
Castelon location hasn’t changed much (from Google street view)
A Google-earther right after my own heart! I couldn’t figure out the other sites, except for White Sands, which also looks exactly the same even down to those cool little picnic tables.
These are fantastic photos! The combination of clear photography, beautiful nature views and the car not being the least bit bashful about being in the foreground makes for some great shots.
Kodachrome is just awesome. Love the colors.
But it also means they were a good photographer as it was not a forgiving film – it was very easy to make your pictures too dark or too light. Plus it was slow film (probably ASA 25 and definitely not faster than 64) so they had a very steady hand – the shutter speed would be slow except in bright direct sunlight like White Sands.
It looks like the buildings were destroyed by a fire in 2019.
On May 22, 2019, a fire started a day earlier in Mexico jumped the Rio Grande. Due to strong winds, temperatures around 110°F, and low humidity, the fire spread rapidly.
A sudden wind direction change with strong gusts “showered embers across the Castolon Historic District, igniting the latrine building and barracks (which housed the La Harmonia Store and Visitor Center)”. This resulted in widespread damage to both buildings.
That’s a shame! I was marveling at how the buildings had changed so little in 60+ years. Even the outbuildings were little changed.
A super-detailed writeup of the fire with photos, including why fire supression systems (structures) didn’t do their jobs—just keep scrolling down–down—down…..
Those shade tables in photo 6 are really neat. Any idea as to their origin?
White Sands, NM.
Still providing shade, at least as of 2018 when I visited.
These have a mid-century modern vibe to them.
Surprised the design hasn’t picked up at other national parks.
Thank you all. The originals have integrated benches and free standing tables. Looks like the rehabbed them and gave ‘em a new life.
Just think how easy it was to cross the Mexican border back then. No sniff dogs, no proof of ID or citizenship other than a driver’s license, no search of the vehicle.
How the world has changed!!
No GPS, no cell phone, no A/C, no Holiday Inns, no interstates. Maybe a AM radio signal after the vacuum tubes warm up and a random motor court hotel along the federal highway system.
Just a Sinclair or Esso highway map on the seat next to you, and a sense of direction developed during your Scouting youth. The only other resource was a AAA guide book.
Perhaps the most comfortable tank with flair and luxury to cross the vast desert built by Ford Motor Company.
Imagine yourself cruising down the desert with a large fuel tank, only some maps, a compass, a sextant in case of being totally lost, perhaps the earliest of the CB radios and that AM radio playing some kind of slow jazz or 1930s classics. Only you and your femme at your side, with a nice casual outfit and not caring about people at home.
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