By on August 31, 2011

Many years ago, I bought a yard-sale box of old 35mm slides in order to score the reusable glass slide-mounts. A few of the original images were interesting, so I hung onto them. With all the scanning of old slides and negatives I’ve been doing for the ’65 Impala Hell Project series, I’ve also been searching for interesting automotive images among the rest of my collection. This photograph from 1964 Pasadena (as in “The Little Old Lady From”, which was a hit song in ’64) contains quite a few interesting vehicles. I’m going to follow up my 1973 San Francisco Car ID Challenge with the 1964 Pasadena Car ID Challenge: what vehicles do you see in this photograph?
The slide is dated 1964 and the Tournament of Roses banners nailed the street down as Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena (yes, the very same Colorado Boulevard terrorized by the Little Old Lady in her Super Stock Dodge), so it was a simple matter of searching business names to find the exact intersection. Patti’s Grill is gone, as is Jack Shannon’s and Bill and Corky’s, but the 35er is still in full effect; this photograph was shot looking west from the intersection of West Colorado Boulevard and North Fair Oaks Avenue.
The front row of cars at the stoplight should be pretty easy, but there’s some fascinating stuff behind them. What’s that lil’ red devil behind the Beetle? And is that a huge hood scoop on the car behind the mean-looking lowered Olds? You’ll be able to see larger version of the images by clicking on the gallery thumbnails below (and waiting patiently— very patiently— for the image to load).

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29 Comments on “Down On The Pasadena Street, 1964 Edition: How Many Cars Can You Identify?...”


  • avatar
    dvp cars

    well, that F-85 crising by might be the most interesing of all, especially if it’s the world’s first production turbo (with water injection to boot, as I recall)……………the 54 Olds is more likely sagging than lowered……the “red devil” is nothing more than another old boring Super90, and the mystery car behind the Olds is either a last gasp Packard/Studie variant, or a Nash with the world’s first plexiglass bug deflector!

  • avatar

    Yeah, it looks like the Olds has a full load of people, so I doubt it’s lowered intentionally.

  • avatar

    At the curb on the left, behind the ’63 Chevy is a ’55 or ’56 Chevy. Is that a Lark over on the right by the 25mph sign?

    I think DVP is on to something with the car behind the Olds. I think it’s a Nash. You can almost make out the funny shaped C pillars.

    Way in the back I think there’s a Pontiac. There are chrome strips on the hood.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    The black car behind the Olds could be a 1957-58 Plymouth.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      I agree, that Black car behind the Olds looks like the Black ’57 Plymouth Savoy 4dr sed I owned while in college in the 60s. Man what an oil burner about a quart/200 miles and the hugh white clouds of smoke. Bought it from my friends Dad for $100.00 drove it for a year and sold it for $50.00.

      I was also thinking Porsche for the car behind the VW, but it could also be another VW, a Karmann Ghia.

      How about the car angling in behind the ’62 Chevys L/R quarter? I’m thinking ’50-’51 Chevy.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    yeah, I’ve had a rethink……the car behind the Olds may be a 57/58 Chrysler (check out the unique mini windshield cowl), maybe even a 300C/D, one of which I recently sold……grille looks different, though.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      No, the car behind the Olds is a ’57 Plymouth – it’s got the bumper with the raised center section and you can see the vertical slots below which marks it as a ’57.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Nary a Bott Dot in sight.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    as an afterthought, the potential ensuing drag race looks like a cinch for that sagging Super 88, unless, of course, that (probably turning right) Chev is a dreaded 409.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    2nd afterthought…..that 25 mph sign doesn’t sound promising for a streetrace, even in 1964.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Being a big fan of old cars I love to see pictures like these. Thanks for sharing.

  • avatar

    The road quality looks a lot better than the current Colorado Blvd. I can almost imagine that intersection in my head. What a gorgeous photo of cars. I wonder if people will look back 50 years at a current photo and admire the same shot as we are now. My guess is that you’d see a bunch of Camcords, and maybe a really sad looking Jetta.

    Thanks for the photos!

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Now that others have spoken,

    I agree, the 2 blue Chevy’s, the one near the 25mph sign and the one facing the photographer are possibly 55 Chevy’s, the one in front I think is indeed a 62, or perhaps a 61 as I think that general body style came about around 1960 unless I’m mistaken. The rounded dogleg windshield was eliminated by ’63.

    I think I see a Pontiac Tempest zooming past the intersection in a blur.

    The Beetle is I think a ’57 due to the lower turn signals. You can just make out the right one in the blow up. I agree, the red car behind the Beetle is perhaps the Porsche Boxter of 1957-59. I can’t make out the truck, perhaps a GM/Chevy? it’s partly obscured by the compact Pontiac in the intersection.

  • avatar

    That’s a beetle behind the beetle… well at least Ferdinand’s 356 variant thereof.

  • avatar
    cfclark

    I know this intersection well–if you’re seeing the 35er, you’re looking east at Fair Oaks and Colorado, not west.

    You will occasionally see some very nice restored cars of this vintage at this intersection, particularly on a weekend evening!

    • 0 avatar
      Vance Torino

      Agreed! This photo is looking east.

      I don’t know the intersection… but I know that in the northern hemisphere, in the winter (given the Rose Bowl signage), the sun is to the south, forming shadows to the north – which is to the left of the oncoming cars.
      Hence… looking east.

      The only real question: Are we in December 1964, before the Michigan Wolverines (those bastards!) defeated Oregon State 34-7 on 1/1/1965, or are we in January 1964 after the Washington Huskies fell to the Fighting Illini 17-1?

      Any thoughts?
      In any case, just more Big Ten dominance!

      • 0 avatar
        cfclark

        Just to point out how homogenized Pasadena has become–if you were standing on that spot today, you’d be right at the corner of the J. Crew store, Pottery Barn would be right across Fair Oaks, Cheesecake Factory is on your right across Colorado, and the Taco Shop is a Louise’s Trattoria. You’re a quick walk from the Apple store, Tiffany and Kenneth Cole. The 35er is one of the few holdouts from the original photo.

        (I have a graduate degree from Wisconsin–wish we could have upheld the Big Ten tradition this past January.)

  • avatar
    TR4

    The pickup is most likely a ’54/early ’55 Chevrolet judging from the one piece curved windshield.

  • avatar
    EricD14

    We used to call the 35’er the “dirty diver.” I drove floats in the Rose Parade three times and directed the construction of an award winning float. Building a float might be the ultimate Hell Project.

    I also have to put in a vote for the black Plymouth. That bumper has “Christine” written all over it.

  • avatar

    without looking at anyone else’s responses, I see a ’57 plymouth behind the 55 olds, and a 55 chevy behind the ’62 chevy on the left. Behind the ’62 Chevy on the right is a ’52 Pontiac. That red thing behind the beetle, though–it looks familiar, but I can’t remember what it is. I think I saw one of those either at one of the last concours d’elegance at Castle Hill (north of Boston for those not in the know) and/or at Paul Russell’s shop in Essex. It may be a Ferrari, but do’nt ask me the model.

    And driving in front of those cars, a ’61 F85.


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