Anyone who has been to Los Angeles is well aware that traffic can be a bit hectic. It’s been like that for a long time and this video proves it. Recently released by the NASS YouTube channel, it offers a look at the freeways of LA in the 1950s and early 1960s. Who’s up for some vintage American car spotting?
The old footage has been remastered, colorized and of course digitized for uploading to YouTube. Artificial sound has also been added to give it a more authentic vibe, but the sound doesn’t reflect what’s actually happening. If that were the case, we suspect more car horns would sound, as traffic is pretty much intermittent for the first half of the clip. Additionally, we see some rather aggressive driving as motorists change lanes, cutting other drivers short while meandering through congestion. Some things never change.
But the cars have changed a lot! The first half of the video appears to be from the early to mid 1950s, judging by the majority of the vehicles we see. Chevrolets and Buicks are plentiful here – we catch several big Buick Roadmasters, easily identified by their tall, wide chrome grilles with prominent vertical bars. At least one is a large convertible, with styling cues pointing to 70-series cars from 1949 to 1953. Boxy Chevrolet sedans of the early 1950s also stand out, and we don’t see large finned cars that defined Detroit’s style later in the decade.
The second half of the video takes us several years forward. This time we do see quite a few finned cars, including late 1950s Cadillacs, although we also get a quick glimpse of a 1961 Cadillac with its large fins up top and smaller fins down below. We also see a second generation Ford Thunderbird, produced from 1958 to 1960. A sighting of Ford Falcons and numerous Chevy Apache trucks confirm that this clip is from the early 1960s. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see gems like a bus Volkswagen Type II and a vintage Citroën DS.
If you find any other cool classics, let us know in the comments. And for the latest news on new Chevy trucks (and much more), jump in ride on cars podcast, available below.