Vintage autos and their owners from times gone by


Nothing like the 50s


Don’t know if this was actually taken in 1957 or not, but the car, the hair and clothing styles, even the rolled-up pant legs are vintage American 50s. I don’t think they were heading to church, probably on their way to the drive-in burger joint.

The car is a 1957 Chevy, arguably the hallmark symbol of american 50s classic iron.

From this photo, I can’t be certain if this car is a Bel Air or a 210 Series. The rear quarter panel is usually a dead giveaway (Bel Airs had an insert between the two strips of stainless trim on the back fin). The Bel-Air insert had horizontal lines or ribs along its length. Since the photo can’t clearly show those lines (if they’re there at all), and 210 Series models of that year could have that insert area painted, this car could be either. Same with the wheel covers, most likely on Bel Airs but 210 owners could get them as an option. One thing for sure, cars like these were why we had such a baby boom.

The Sweezers


Pictured here is a beautiful, 4-year old, two-tone 1955 Buick Special. Blocking most all of the driver’s side of this beauty are Mr. and Mrs. Arden Sweezer of Dibble, OK.

I don’t believe this is their car. Buick owners generally parked in driveways, not fairways, and wore pants — either some at all (Bunny Sweezer) or, at least the kind that fit properly (Arden Sweezer).

The five-dollar contortionist



Doretta Plog recalls the day she brought her new 1951 Pontiac home from the dealer: “I was standing in my yard, admiring my lovely new Pontiac, when I heard knocking coming from the glove box. I pushed the latch and when the door swung down I found a folded up young man neatly tucked inside! Alive!” “Thanks lady,” he said, as he began to emerge. “That was a long drive. You must live in the Boonies.”

As it turned out, Rupert Werber, an employee at Schnetzer Pontiac, and also a practicing contortionist, had a bet with a co-worker to see if he could squeeze into a glovebox of a Pontiac. He not only did it, he won five bucks! “But my back still ain’t right”, exclaimed Mr. Werber.

Pictured here is Rupert himself, as he was pulling the last of his body (left arm, not in picture) out of that glovebox.

South Carolina, 1952


Not sure exactly why but when people were told to pose for pictures with their cars, they almost always put one foot on a bumper. Where it started, and why, is anybody’s guess, but this foot-on-bumper thing was practiced all the way up until cars had no bumpers.

Probably had a lot to do with an instinctual behavior of man over beast. That’s my guess.

So, this is a photo of Wallace Knibbs while on a South Carolina safari in 1952. Wallace bagged a much-desired 1948 Chrysler rhino that day. “I was sitting at a bus stop reading the Daily Planet, when this angry thing emerged from a parking garage and charged toward me with all the power and reckless determination of a runaway locomotive . I had only one shot”.


What’s in his hand?


I wish this fantastic photo from the 50s had just a bit more detail because it kills me not to know exactly what’s in this young man’s right hand. Knowing, would complete this untold story for sure.

Say he was holding a bottle of scotch — then we could justifiably guess that this hood had skipped school to go down to the lake and get himself trashed. Now picture him holding a bottle of hair tonic and you could easily see how the story could be completely different.

Well, I don’t think he’s holding a bottle of scotch… or hair tonic. I think what he has there is a bottle of Amway LOC (Liquid Organic Cleaning Concentrate) and he uses this stuff exclusively on his socks.

One of my favorite cars from the side (not fond of the grille that year — it’s a personal thing) the Oldsmobile 88 for 1956.

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