Vintage autos and their owners from times gone by

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This was a challenge

I put posting this off for a while because to identify the car, I thought, would take me weeks. But I studied it for only a few minutes and my first guess was a 1950 Plymouth (I knew it was not a GM product).

Then became the task to PROVE it’s a 1950 Plymouth and, with the help of the internet, quickly discovered it not to be. Turns out we’re looking at a 1951 Dodge Coronet — not far from my original guess I’m proud to say. Precious little to go on, but there was still enough and I was close!

The B-pillar was distinctive, as was the corner of the dash. Then there was the stainless fender molding (front fender) and its relative position on the fender and of course you must consider the rectangular side-view mirror (see accompanying photos and click on color images to enlarge). Yes! It is precisely a 1951 Dodge Coronet.

Now, let’s I.D. the driver. His suit tells me salesman. His shoes tell me Sears. His hairline tells me 40-ish and his expression tells me he can’t bend his knees. Add it all up, and his name is Raleigh Latouche.

The backside of a ’37 Packie

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I must have had more than one photo of the same person with his/her car — it happens from time to time. Something about this shot was familiar, I’ve seen this guy before, and recently!. Just a couple of posts ago, if you look, I featured a man by the name of “Sir Smokealot” (click here to see that post) and his 1937 Packard.

Seems this guy really enjoys scraping his shoe on his 1937 Packard and he’s not impartial to any one bumper — front, back, it’s all the same to him. Of course, since I don’t know this guy I’m only guessing that this is his expensive boot scrape. He’s posed the same in both shots… could be that his right leg is just permanently bent like this and the height of Packard bumpers that year is ideal for a man of his size. It keeps him from falling over……. which explains the smile. Sure would like to know what he keeps in his left pocket — must be really important.

 

 

The Hudson

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I don’t believe I’ve seen a happier group of people in any of my dozens of Attic Autos blog posts. Don’t they look as if they are having a blast? We should all have friends, and times, and memories such as this. Yes? Hard to do when we have to be strapped in with lap and shoulder belts like we do nowadays. And you can’t even pretend to be having this much fun in a vehicle when the car you’re in is a Pontiac Aztek, Dodge Dart or, god forbid, a Chevy Traverse. Ugh.

The car is a very cool 1949 Hudson Super Six, most likely Dad’s ’49 Hudson Super Six.

Oh, those grilles

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For styling, when viewed from their sides, cars from the 1930s were all within degrees of each other (with the exception of the super luxuries). It wasn’t until you looked at their grilles could you more easily distinguish them apart.

Have to hand it to the designers at Packard who changed their beautiful full-car designs through the years but always kept that signature shape to the top of their grille. Because of it, you could spot a Packard (Packie) from great distances.

packard-grillesFor those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, look at the shape of their grill, above, the top portion in particular. This grill is on a 1937 model, Now look at the shot of two other Packard grilles (left), one from the 40s and one from the 50s. The top shape of that grille is the same. THAT’S branding!

Now, if we could only convince Sir Smokealot to keep his dirty shoe off the bumper…..

Keith AA35

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“Over 50,000 youngsters must be right — Every summer, in more than 250 cities, over 50,000 boys enter the Soap Box Derby and find fulfilment in the challenge of building a gravity racer”, or so said Mason Bell, General Manager, All-American Soap Box Derby, Inc. back in 1966.

As a kid, I always wanted to do this. I never made the time or had the tools — out catching frogs or teasing any one of my five sisters, most likely.

Pictured here is a long-time friend of mine, Keith, standing in his older brother Mark’s racer, on the lawn of their 13 Mile Rd. Royal Oak, MI residence. Shot in 1955 or ’56. Not certain how he finished in his race(s) but the real fun in the Soap Box Derby of years past was the time you spent building your first car.

Keith was kind enough to grant me permission to use this photograph here, and as an added bonus tossed in these two others. Enjoy this look back to a day when there were no cell phones, apps or wifi, just kids having fun being kids (click the image to enlarge). Thanks, Keith!

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