Chosen randomly from the correct entries of those who identified all four cars was Larry Heath, of Evans, who told us:
“These are all cars I grew up with during the 1950s. During this era each car was different from one year to the next and could be easily identified. Modern cars require going to the ID number to determine the year. Thanks for the memories.”
Heath wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Here are the other readers who guessed all four photos correctly:
AIKEN: Raymond Richards
AUGUSTA: Norman Lewis wrote: “Friday’s What Is It? brought back fond memories of cars gone by and years past. … My favorite car of this era is the ’55 Chevy Bel Air that my father owned and I drove.”
Dr. Dalton E. Brannen pointed out that he owns a 1954 Chevrolet.
Walker Mobley Jr. wrote: “As I have said before in responding to What Is It? puzzles, keep up the good work!”
Andrew W. Bell said that he knew the vehicles because he has owned some old cars, including a 1934 Ford and 1949, 1951 and 1953 Mercurys: “I wish I still had the 1949 Mercury today.”
Also, Charles Durand, Jim Price and John Hayes
BELVEDERE: Marlin R. Clevenger said: “Try a little harder; these are too easy!”
CANTON, GA.: David Anderson had comments on each of the vehicles. Of the 1956 Chevrolet, he said: “This is the middle child of the famed Tri-Five Chevys, the 1955, ’56 and ’57; not as adored as the oldest original and not as respected as the last of the series. A lot of folks do not get the attraction of these cars, and among those who do, there is still bewilderment as to why the ’56 has not garnered the same amount of respect as its older and younger siblings.”
Of the 1954 Chevrolet: “I have developed a soft spot in my heart, for the old station wagons. I even recently fed this mild obsession by trading my ’96 Suburban SUV for a 2010 Cadillac CTS SportWagon simply because it still affords me some carrying capacity and on any given day you are not likely to see even one other one on the road. This ’54 Chevy wagon would certainly be a one-of-a-kind at any car meet!”
Of the 1959 Chevys: “Dubbed the bat-wing Chevys for obvious reasons, it is rumored that the back end of these cars would actually start to rise up, reducing traction, at highway speeds. My grandmother had a 1960 Chevy, which is not much more than a face-lifted 1959 Chevy, but I have not heard any family tales of my wild-child aunt trying to prove that reduced traction rumor.”
And of the 1955 Ford: “Being a mostly refreshed, carried-over design from 1954 and earlier, the 1955 and ’56 Fords have never garnered the admiration, following and, most important, astronomical auction prices as those previously mentioned Tri-Five Chevys. When I do encounter one of these at a car show I will linger around and look at it longer, simply because in this area they are not that common.”
EVANS: Wayne Wilke got them all and said: “The only real personal experience that I have had with any of the above cars is with a ’56 Chevy Bel Air. In the middle ’60s, I had a daily commute to college and rode in a car pool, always in the back seat, in a ’56 Chevy Bel Air convertible.
“It was silver-and-white and had the PowerPak option (225 horsepower V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts). In today’s lingo, it was a very sweet ride.
“P.S.: The ’54 Chevy wagon sure was the toughie in the group. At first I thought it was one of those big Chrysler Corp (like a DeSoto) sedans from the late ’40s/early ’50s. Then I saw the Chevy grille and figured out it was a station wagon.”
Bill Harding wrote: “You must have been in Pierce, Neb., at last month’s Ray P. and Mildred Lambrecht Chevrolet auction, which brought in over $2.5 million. ‘It will pay to see Ray’ was the dealership’s slogan. Ray is now 95, and wife, Mildred, is 92. They closed the dealership in 1996 after 50 years but never unloaded the huge inventory (500) of never-titled, never-driven, brand-new cars from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. There were also large numbers of low- and moderate-mileage trade-ins which were never sold. Why the Lambrechts held on to these vehicles is a mystery.”
HEPHZIBAH: Leo Bennett
KEYSVILLE, GA.: Glenn Widner wrote: “In my opinion, the 1955 Ford Crown Victoria was the most beautiful car Ford ever built. The 1959 Chevrolet was a radical design with huge fins and cat-eye taillights. The 1954 Chevrolet was a good car, but a V-8 was still a year away.
“My first car was a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop with PowerPak 265-
cubic-inch engine and Powerglide transmission. I sold it and bought another 1956 Bel Air, with a three-speed straight drive. This had a Corvette 327-cubic-inch engine with 365 horsepower, solid lifters, poor idling, with way too much go and not enough whoa. Cars like these should be mandatory reading for high school students.”
MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski wrote: “Of this group, I have personally owned only one of the four models, the 1956 Chevrolet, of which I have had three and currently still own one, a Nomad.”
Also, Christopher C. March Sr.
NORTH AUGUSTA: Ted Wasserlein got them all and said: “Thanks. Great fun!”
Peggy Jones said she was able to get them all because she knows old cars and, in fact, owns a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair.
SHAWANO, WIS.: Karen McKenna
In addition, these readers missed one or more of the vehicles:
AUGUSTA: Lowell Fritsche cited the auto auction and said that a 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier pickup sold for $150,000 at the auction: “That was the one thing I wanted and I didn’t go out because I thought I couldn’t afford it.”
Also, Rucker Vaiden, Willie Thomas, Tom Wall, Louise Sharp, Gerald Byrd, Craig Kerins and Dale Robertson
EVANS: PJ Rodgers
GROVETOWN: Wayne Haynes
HEPHZIBAH: Eddie Cleaves
LINCOLNTON, GA.: Russell Leese
NORTH AUGUSTA: Ken Urban
THOMSON: Al Lamar
WATKINSVILLE, GA.: Joe Arp, who said the 1956 Chevy “is a member model of the ‘Tri-Fives’ – the 1955-56-57 Chevrolets (the greatest, most popular models in Chevrolet history) – and it is the 1956 Chevrolet. What beautiful cars!”
NO CITY LISTED: Ted Shelton, Daryl Riley and Clark Bemis