(Found In) Lower Bottoms (West Oakland) – 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Club Victoria 2 Door Hardtop

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Only in 1959 would this be considered the most conservative mainstream automotive choice. But in a field that offered the last of the Suddenly, It’s 1960! Plymouths and the Batwing Chevrolet, the Full sized Fords found themselves in a similar position to the 1957 Chevrolet.

They came to the market upright, with most of the teething problems from previous seasons mostly filtered out. In the year reeling from a decade of even more debaucherous vehicular access (some of them still in the Ford Extended Family showrooms), the 1959 Ford was an automotive Alka-seltzer that would wind up walking away with the ultimate sales prize by the end of the year.

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(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe and 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk

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There can be an amazing price paid for beauty. Studebaker found out far too well when it decided to put a stunning coupe on the market in 1953. Giving the general buying public access to a international flavored fantasy at a fraction of bespoke prices lead to many a headache. Unfortunately, Studebaker didn’t have any expectation of overwhelming success for their new star.

What we behold here are perhaps the most fatal beauties in the history of the American Automotive Industry. In that failure, however, they created an automotive segment that would come to dominate the American Automotive landscape in just over a generation.

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(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1958 Buick Century Riviera Hardtop Coupe

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There’s plenty that can be said about the 1958 Buick models. This is a given, given how much actual car each 1958 Buick actually is. The massive visual presence of these cars signify the last hurrah of the visual weight that was common with General Motors styling under the leadership of Harley Earl.

Bemoaned for their bric-a-brac at the time, they serve as perfect portraits into the late 1950’s zeitgeist of flash and flamboyance today. No shrinking violet (and how could they truly be?) for better or worse, they’re perfect totems to rampant corporate confidence and the hubris that often brings. Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1958 Buick Century Riviera Hardtop Coupe”

(Found In) Visitacion Valley (San Francisco) – 1954 Cadillac Series 62 4 Door Sedan

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Perhaps a Solid Gold Cadillac is a bit of a cliché. But by 1954, Cadillac was pretty much the solid gold standard in American Luxury cars. Their value outweighed and outlasted previous prestige players. Lincoln had migrated into being the darling of road races and Ed Sullivan but no necessarily showroom sales.

Packard found itself in a marriage of desperation to Studebaker and the desired feast for more finned beasts that soon would eventually take their Clippers and other confections to an untimely grave. All the while, Imperials were still technically top rung Chryslers, more image aligned with Buick Roadmasters and Limiteds than Cadillacs.
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