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

Anyone who has visited Los Angeles knows that traffic can be a nightmare. That has been the case for a long time, as evidenced by this video. It was recently posted on the NASS YouTube channel and provides a look at LA highways in the 1950s and early 1960s. Who’s up for some classic American car hunting?

The old footage has been remastered, colorized, and, of course, digitized for YouTube. Artificial sound has also been added to create a more authentic atmosphere, but the sound does not accurately reflect what is happening. If it did, we suspect more car horns would be blaring because traffic is virtually non-existent for the first half of the video. Moreover, we see some rather aggressive driving as motorists swap lanes, cutting other drivers short while winding through the congestion. Some things never change.

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But the cars have certainly evolved! The majority of the vehicles in the first half of the video appear to date from the early to mid 1950s. Chevrolets and Buicks abound here; we spot several large Buick Roadmasters, which are easily identified by their large, wide chrome grilles with prominent vertical bars. At least one is a large convertible with styling cues reminiscent of the Series 70 cars produced from 1949 to 1953. Boxy Chevrolet sedans from the early 1950s stand out as well, and no big fin cars that defined Detroit styling later in the decade are present.

The second half of the video jumps ahead a few years. This time, we see a lot of fin cars, mostly late 1950s Cadillacs, but we also catch a quick glimpse of a 1961 Cadillac with large fins up high and smaller fins down low. We also see a second-generation Ford Thunderbird, which was manufactured from 1958 to 1960. A Ford Falcon and a slew of Chevy Apache trucks confirm that this clip is from the early 1960s. Keep your eyes peeled for hidden treasures such as a Volkwagen Type II bus and a vintage Citroen DS.

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