Sunday, November 01, 2020

Autopia in Black and White, August 1960

As a rule, I am a fan of any and all vintage photos of the Disneyland Autopias. Even if the photo is a black and white photo print. If the photos are blurry, however, all bets are off! I'm fickle that way.

All three of today's pix are from August, 1960, and all were taken as vehicles returned to the load/unload area, where there was always an inevitable mini-traffic jam. In this first one dad (or gramps?) rides shotgun while his son Skeeter drives with an intensity usually only seen when transporting nitroglycerine.

Skeeter's plastic Keppy Kap not only looks good, it keeps out unwanted microwaves that are broadcast from nefarious sources. No more need for tinfoil linings, so Keppy Kaps are "doctory-recomended, and mom-approved". 

Fooled ya! This one is actually in focus, for the most part. A pretty girl and her brother (?) have gently nudged the car in front of them - the universal signal to "move it, already"! Lulu Bell held her paper souvenir hat so that it didn't blow off during their brisk journey around Tomorrowland, while Jebediah enjoyed radio silence in his brain.

In spite of this being August (or maybe even July or June), just look at all those vehicles that are sitting unused. It must not have been very crowded that day.

I have more black and white snapshots for you, coming soon.


Nanook said...


There does seem to be a great deal of intense concentration in these images. (If only that same degree of focus transferred-over to the real highways and byways of America).

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, you were daring to post your comment so soon! Remember what the Major did to us, last night!

JC Shannon said...

Normally, black and white shots give us that film noire Hitchcockian look. These however, are a bit different. You can tell it's a bright sunny day. That being said, if Lou had taken these, they would be in color, and in focus. What can I say, Lou and Sue have spoiled us rotten. Now I am going to put on my plastic Carmen Miranda fruit hat. Eat your heart out Skeeter. Thanks Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Great shots of the Davis family! It's a good thing they weren't transporting nitroglycerine, otherwise one good bump from another car and it could've been The End Of The World.

Chuck said...

Interesting to see several of the cars parked with their speed brakes deployed.

Budblade said...

I was going to comment that all those colorful pictures that we’ve seen the past week used up all the colors.

But then I had a thought. Major, you’ve shown us color photos that had turned red or pink or blue. Do black and white photos have a similar problem? Do they turn grey or black or just fade to nothingness?

Melissa said...

“Dad, stop doing your Bing Crosby impersonation! You’re embarrassing me!”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen s young person with one of those paper souvenir bonnets before. I would’ve snapped one up if they’d been available!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I like to eat a cheeseburger and look at my phone while driving 85 mph down the 101. Multitasking!

Lou and Sue, I have to keep you on your toes, or you will get complacent.

Jonathan, if only Hitchcock had filmed a movie at Disneyland! Maybe there could have been a thrilling chase on the Autopia (with Bernard Herrmann’s music to accompany it). Perhaps Jimmy Stewart would be accused of a murder he didn’t do (though he did do several others that he wasn’t accused of)! I don’t understand why your Carmen Miranda hat isn’t worn EVERY day.

TokyoMagic!, well, clearly you are referencing something that I am not picking up on!

Chuck, those speed brakes slow the Autopia cars down from 5 mph to 4 mph.

Budblade, interesting question! Black and white Polaroids can change to a strange yellow/brown, presumably if they’ve been stored improperly - I’ve seen some that are so faint that it’s hard to tell what the subject is. And I’ve seen very old sepia photos that look faded; maybe they were just overexposed. But I think that as a rule, traditional black and white is generally pretty archival.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, you do keep me on my toes. Btw, I love your narrative today!

JC Shannon, you can be the president of my dad’s fan club. ;) (The Major truly plays a big part in making the pictures look good.)

Thanks, Major!

Omnispace said...

That look on the face of the drivers is more like taking a driving test. Did I forget to signal? Bumper contact is definitely being made in the third photo!

I always liked the Tomorrowland Autopia back in the day. It allowed a kid to feel grown up, and the route was fun to take. They must have doubled the cloverleaf when they changed to the center rail system since I remember 4 lanes going through that underpass.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I guess I was making a pretty obscure reference. You mentioned transporting nitroglycerine, and you kept calling the kid "Skeeter," so I was referencing a Skeeter Davis song, "The End of the World." Yep, pretty obscure!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I think I’ve seen photos of Der Bingle at Disneyland, I’ll bet he loved the Autopia.

Lou and Sue, I will be Treasurer of your dad’s fan club. Now if only I had some money to keep track of…

Omnispace, I know I always wanted to avoid hitting the car in front of me, though that didn’t seem to be an issue for most people who were behind me. And since there were no brakes, the handling was not exactly precise. Big sis seems amused at her brother’s collision! The Tomorrowland Autopia underwent several upgrades, I’m sure you’re right about the 4 lanes from your memory.

TokyoMagic!, “Skeeter Davis”?! Jeez! Not a name that I know!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a Hitchcock film made in Disneyland. Tippi Hedren and Cary Grant climb the Matterhorn and escape via Autopia and the Monorail.

Oddly, I cannot recall any childhood memories of Autopia until the high school trips, and we always had the center rail.