Saturday, April 20, 2013

Vintage Cars

Who likes vintage cars? Everybody, that's who. Today we're going to look at a few.

In this first photo, a woman has turned on her cloaking device in order to become nearly invisible as she stands in front of that awesome red car. This is such an odd picture, possibly dating to the late 1940's or early 1950's. OK experts, what kind of car is that?

Now we are in Fayetteville, North Carolina; the slide is undated, but is certainly from the 1950's. In the background you can see the famous Market House, built in 1832. A bevy of awesome autos are parked along Gillespie Street. I think that blue beauty is a Pontiac Chieftain (though I wouldn't put money on it). And its torpedo-nosed neighbor must be a Studebaker?

And finally, from Los Angeles comes this slide, inscribed "Bob and Ann's New Plymouth". I looked up "Marshall & Clampett", and it was on South Figueroa just north of 18th Street. It's not the most amazing photo in the world, but I just love those cars! Look at the gas tank cover on that red number (and those fins!)... that little piece of metal has more character than most cars do today.


Nanook said...

These are wonderful shots. The Market House in the second picture is a real beauty.

I'm Gonna have to defer to the real experts as to the identity of the car in Pic 1. CoxPilot-??

In Pic 2, the first car is indeed a 1953 Pontiac Chieftan - perhaps a Chieftan DeLuxe, no less. A 1950 sage green Studebaker resides just up the street from the Pontiac.

And the last pic sports a pair of 1957 Plymouth Belvedere's. Hopefully Bob & Ann had many years of 'happy motoring'.

Chuck said...

If you're asking me to identify the kind of car in the first picture, I'd have to say it's a red one.

The second photo must have been taken right after Fozzie's uncle bought it.

Chuck said...

Bought the car, that is. he was obviously still alive and kicking (in his hibernating sleep) in 1979.

Nancy said...

very cool! dont know much about them but definitely like to look at them :D

I wish we saw better the woody in the background in picture number two, but I do say my fave is the red number in picture number three ;-)

K. Martinez said...

The first pic kinda reminds me of the movie Dick Tracy. Other than that I'm clueless when it comes to vintage cars. But I do like 'em.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

As Ricky Ricardo would sing-

Oh the lady in red
The fellas are crazy for the lady in red
She's a bit gaudy but lord what a pretty personality

Dan said...

All the pics are beautiful examples of when engineering art occupied the roads, rather than so many of the giant toys of today.

The placement of the woman's dress against the car's body in the first pic seems deliberately shot. You can't help but think of a Tex Avery cartoon kind of set up in which she stands there in a blue outfit as an automatic paint sprayer hits—leaving her garb red and a shapely silhouette on the side of the vehicle.

Anonymous said...

The Market House and Old LA. how cool is that.

The red model in photo 1 is a type called a "Business Coupe" I think. Might be a Chevy, but there were several makes, I defer to the experts.

Major, these are wonderful, here is a whole new focus for GDB.


Anonymous said...

These are great fun to look at for details!

I notice that the parking meters in Fayetteville are all expired - might have been a Sunday afternoon, as the clock tower says 2:15 or 3:15?

Bill in Denver

Nanook said...

Okay - I believe the red car in Pic #1 is a 1938 Buick Special Business Coupe.

Anonymous said...

The reason that red paint looks so shiny is the Dulux paint - high gloss, decent drying time, and was also used on refrigerators and washing machines (white only!).

Bill in Denver

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am sounding like a broken record, but OH how I wish I could have visited some of these places 50 years ago.

Chuck, I don't get the Fozzie reference! Not enough of a Muppet fan I guess.

Nancy, I have a great photo of a Woody wagon coming up!

K. Martinez, you are right, it IS like Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy. I don't recall liking that movie very much, but it had a look, anyway.

Alonzo, I can almost hear Desi warbling away!

Dan you might be right about that first shot, it hardly seems like it would have been a mistake. I have the feeling that there weren't many bright red cars back in those days, doesn't it seem like an unusual color?

JG, a "Business Coupe", wonder how it got that name. As for a whole new focus, I only wish I had tons of vintage car photos to share!

Bill, good catch, I didn't notice the meters. The town looks pretty sleepy, doesn't it?

Nanook, I'll have to look up the '38 Buick Special Business Coupe on Google Image Search, but you would know better than me.

Bill, I learn something new every day here on GDB! Dulux paint, huh? Paint technology was a big deal, especially for cars and appliances.

Chuck said...

I guess that WAS a little obscure. Every time I hear the word "Studebaker," I automatically think of "The Muppet Movie," and I sometimes forget that most other people don't live inside my head.

In that film, Fozzie drove a 1951 Studebaker Commander Coupe that he had inherited from his uncle, who was hibernating at the time. Although it's a sedan, the front-end of the car in the photo looks virtually identical to the car in the movie.

Max Power said...

I think the Plymouths in the last pick are 1958s. You can see the full lineup here:

Nanook said...

@Max Power-

They are very similar, to be sure, but the 1958's had the "V" emblem appended to the front grille. The 1957's had the Mayflower emblem, as can be seen on the white model.

CoxPilot said...

Nanook: I think your right about the '38 coupe. The side vents are sure a sign of Buick, but the hub caps tend to be a later version, maybe late 1938 to 1940. Earlier versions had smaller hub caps. I don't think it is a business coupe, but is a special. The red paint was more costly and probably was not good for business types.

ps: At an extra cost you could get a heater, a radio and an oil filter. Gone are the days, thank goodness.

Nanook said...


It's one hellava game trying to figure out the minutia on these vehicles, and what it all means. You're probably correct. I was using the shape/style of the famous Buick "side vents" as the determinant of the model year.

And as for those 'optional oil filters', it's amazing how long it remained "an option" on some makes.

CoxPilot said...


Almost all of the GM cars of the day had side vents, and one could I.D. the car by the shapes and sizes. Also, notice the small logo badge low, just in front of the door. That probably is an indicator of the "special". I also noticed the lack of an antenna, indicating the buyer didn't opt for the extra cost of a radio. The quality of speakers, and the noise of the engines, were good reasons why people just didn't go for it.


The "business coupe" was a short cab, a full size trunk, and no back seat. There was space behind the seats for cases and luggage, etc. They were design for the business types and traveling sales people. Most came only in black, grey or tan colors and also were used by many doctors of the day, just as a doctor's buggy was used in prior centuries. A kind of "smart car" of it's day. They were even adopted by some police departments for patrol cars.

My Dad had a 1947 dodge business couple (grey). They were cheep, and when we went on vacation I slept behind the seats on a blanket with pillows, and he would drive all night to yosemite. I was little.

Major Pepperidge said...

CoxPilot, thanks for the info! I love memories like yours regarding your dad driving all night while you slept in the car. Only awesome dads could do that!