This is weird. Before I even looked at the cars, the billboards caught my eye and I thought the visible tail end of the car in the Standard Oil image looked a bit like a Dauphine. Then I looked at the cars on the road, not only a Dauphine but at least one ‘62 Ford.
I wonder if the photographer also noticed the double coincidence and decided to snap at that moment. The Dauphine is under the Dauphine, and the ’62 Ford is under the ’62 Ford.
Only one car in this picture isn’t instantly identifiable to my eyes. The wagon in front of the ’59 El Camino. Is it a ’55 Dodge or a Studie wagon?
That wouldn’t be a Dauphine in the Standard Oil ad- On a Dauphin you opened the engine cover to access the fuel filler. Although to be fair, the artist may have drawn in a fuel filler.
Yeah, I didn’t think it was intended to be an actual Dauphine; most oil company ad artists’ cars seem somewhat brand-vague. But I think the artist may have been at least influenced by the Renault.
I guess it’s the 1960s equivalent of this illustration, which appeared on fuel pump screens for years. Camaro fuel fillers weren’t on the car’s side, they were behind the license plate.
Yes, my Dad replaced his ’59 Beetle with a new ’68 Renault R10. Similar layout to the Dauphine, rear watercooled engine and rear drive.
He bought it in South Burlington, Vt but sold it after we moved to Va (we moved a lot in his younger days).
It got pretty good gas mileage, so the lack of external gas filler wasn’t that big a deal. The odd thing is that my Dad got rid of it right after the start of the 1st gas shortage, primarily because it was a standard, and he wanted my Mother to be able to drive his car some of the time he wasn’t using it, but she was never comfortable with a manual.
Probably seemed pretty odd at the time. Like the VW it had a front trunk but unlike the Beetle the spare tire was underneath the trunk (the access panel swung down between the front bumper) and it had 4 doors. But in ’62 he still had a 1 car family driving a ’61 Rambler Classic wagon.
I kind of forget (it’s been 49 years) but I think the fuel tank and filler were in the front where the trunk is…the 2 fillers shown in the Dauphine engine picture are for oil and coolant (it was water cooled). So not even the right end of the car (my Mom always thought the R10 had no style, looked like you could drive it backwards as it was symmetric front to back).
Overhead highway directional signs began to proliferate across North America in the late ’50s. Signage still simple. Bypass avoiding the city of North Bay, was the first overhead sign in Northern Ontario, in use on the Trans-Canada Highway. In the example below, the structure appears overbuilt. Probably, a trial structure for more rugged installations on say Highway 400 or 401.
I don’t miss the heavy use of oversized billboards, as a kid I generally found it added to the visual clutter in cities. Especially, with cutouts. Aiming to lend a 3D effect.
At some point these overhead signs changed from all capital letters to upper- and lower-case letters. That made a big difference in readability, in my opinion.
Absolutely. Ontario made the switch in the 1960s. Highway 401, in October 1968 below.
Remarkably in Ontario, the signage frame, typeface, and ‘crown’ icon style, appear identical to what was used 55 years ago. The arrowhead icons, being the most significant change.
Neat comparison – those 1960s frames must have been made pretty well!
One subtle change in US highway signs over the years is that the US Route Number shields were simplified somewhere along the way. In the Portland example here, US-26 is indicated as “OREGON U.S. 26″… in modern versions it’s just the federal US Highway shield, and the route number. No more extraneous information.
Makes sense, simplifying the background icon for easier quick reference, and cleanliness of design. While the original shields appear more detailed and attractive, the modern, simplified shield, better highlights the highway number. More functional and practical for motorists.
I’ve always liked UK road signage – in congested road networks they convey a lot of information in a clear and economical fashion.
I believe that traffic is in Portland, OR. Harbor Drive was the US 99 West passing through Portland on Harbor Drive and you could cross the Willamette River to get on UL 99 East as the other option to continue to Seattle. Note US 26 being the highway to the coast from Portland.
Also, you can see two towers of Portland’s Steel Bridge behind and just to the right of the Wise birds spread the word 62 Ford billboard.
Yup, that’s Portland. Note the radio station call letters on the background building…KPOJ.
That’s Portland radio…
Thanks for the info, the post has been updated.
My Dad was the proud owner of ‘57 Renault Dauphine. He absolutely loved it. A bit less expensive than a VW beetle and had fewer gears to shift. Sounded like a tin can closing the doors, but could push through 10-12 inches of snow without a problem. Even had the “Ferlac” (electric) clutch, so no clutch pedal on the floor. He drove it happily for 10 years, until it got t-boned and totaled on his commute to work.
Compare the back end of the ’59 Chevy on the left with the ’60 model on the right. To me, the ’60 Chevy was a much better looking car all around–front, back and sides.
Totally confused at first. Could not identify anything Seattle. Portland for sure and this I believe is before I-5 when 99 was the main drive north and south.
I drove behind a 1960 Chevy recently and was shocked at the narrow track and those skinny tires laboring under such a big, wide body. A very ungainly silhouette for cars that seem sleek overall. And such different proportions than anything on the road today.
Those Chevies were probably the worst offenders in that area. I looked up some stats: The 1959-60 Chevy is on the 1958 chassis but with wider tracks, but not as much wider as the body was by almost an inch on each side. The highly touted 1959 Normal Track Pontiac had about two less extra inches on each side between the tires and body as a Chevy.
I don’t know what they were thinking either. I assume you could still squeeze snow chains onto the Pontiac rear wheels.
I’m wracking my brain on the SUV-ish thing at the far left of the image. Could be an early Suburban, I think there was something similar from Dodge, or it could be something else entirely. Anyone?
It’s something about “13-15” years old when this pic was taken, I believe.
To me it looks like an early 1950s Chevy Suburban – here’s the image in the photo compared with a ’52 Suburban:
My guess having been a kid back then, it’s an early 1950s Chevrolet or GMC “carry all” or Suburban. I’m using the split windshield as a reference point and the large front fenders.
Also didn’t they have lane markings back then?
In general, everything in the “pic” appears quite clean. Our east coast city didn’t appear that way in then”1960’s”.
Big fat cars with shinny tires. It’s a wonder they even made enough smoke to see.
Only 2 VW Bugs? I’m guessing that there would be many more in just a few years.
Coastal cities were early adopters of foreign brands. Making headway in the heartland was the difficult part, especially in the Deep South.
I went to college near the Bible Belt where Chevys (throw in several Vegas) and Fords (many a Pinto) were king of the parking lot. My Corolla and a MB were the odd lot.
My problem is in the left side of the picture where I see only a right front fender. I’m guessing a Dodge but I need help. Anyone have an idea?
The Dauphine had 3 lug wheels.
très français Same as my LeCar and I never had any problems with the wheels.
So much automotive goodness here ! .
Looks like Portland has long had traffic problems. My wife has had to pass thru several times on the way to visit relatives and almost turns red in the face just talking about it.
But ID’ing cars. Man you guys are good. I’m pretty good, I’d guess top 5% if not better, but some of the people here will see a quarter of a taillight and go oh, there’s a 49 Plymouth with xyz option. More power to you, but I just shake my head.
Tip of my hat, no insult at all, I’m just dumbfounded at some of the, usually accurate, responses.
The Renault seems somehow just a wee bit out of place among the Lead Sleds. 😉
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