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Restored Video Shows LA Traffic Was Still Terrible In The 1950s

motor1.com logo motor1.com 9/30/2022 Christopher Smith

Los Angeles Traffic 1950s © Motor1.com Los Angeles Traffic 1950s

The colorized traffic footage shows sedans galore, without a single SUV in sight.

Anyone who's been to Los Angeles is well aware that traffic can be a tad hectic. It's been that way for a long time, and this video proves it. Recently posted by the NASS YouTube channel, it offers a glimpse into LA highways during the 1950s and early 1960s. Who's up for some vintage American car spotting?

The old footage has been remastered, colorized, and obviously digitized for uploading on YouTube. Artificial sound has also been added to give it a more authentic ambiance, but the sound doesn't reflect what's actually happening. If it did, we suspect more car horns would be blaring because traffic is pretty much stop-and-go for the first half of the clip. Moreover, we see some rather aggressive driving as motorists swap lanes, cutting other drivers short while winding through the congestion. Some things never change.

But the cars sure have changed! The first half of the video appears to come from the early-to-mid 1950s, judging by the majority of vehicles we see. Chevrolets and Buicks are plentiful here – we catch several big Buick Roadmasters, easily identifiable by their large, wide chrome grilles with prominent vertical bars. At least one is a big convertible, with styling cues pointing to the Series 70 cars from 1949 through 1953. Boxy Chevrolet sedans from the early 1950s also stand out, and we don't see any big fin cars that defined Detroit styling later in the decade.

The second half of the video moves us forward several years. This time we do see quite a few fin cars, notably late 1950s Cadillacs though we also catch a quick glimpse of a 1961 Cadillac with its large fins up high, and smaller fins down low. We also see a second-generation Ford Thunderbird, produced from 1958 through 1960. A Ford Falcon sighting and numerous Chevy Apache trucks further confirm this clip comes from the early 1960s. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll see some gems like a Volkwagen Type II bus and a vintage Citroen DS.

Time Travel Through Old Video:

If you find any other cool classics, let us know in the comments. And for the latest on new Chevy trucks (and much more), jump into the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.

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Source: NASS via YouTube

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