Among other nameplates for the 1939 Oldsmobile lineup this was their business coupe offering. Anyone could buy a “business” coupe whether you were in business, owned a business, or not. It was an bare-bones model that often came with no back seat so salesmen could more easily transport their merchandise however large it may have been. Makes sense, no?
What business was this young man in? Good Humor Ice Cream? Local milk delivery? Both would be fantastic guesses except you would have to also have a white cap and a truck. This is an Oldsmobile, not a truck, and I see no cap anywhere.
So, based on his ultra-white clothes and his matching ultra-white shoes (and obvious lack of a cap and delivery truck), Bob Joeface, here, was a man who wouldn’t sleep until every housewife in America owned a box of Tide flakes.
The date printed on the border of this photo reads Feb. ’61. What people of this generation may not know is that those dates were printed at the time the roll of film was sent in for processing and had little or nothing to do with date referencing the content of the shot. If this person was like me, some rolls stayed in your camera for a long, long time. Then you’d likely store the exposed roll in a drawer until you had time to go to the store. It was fun sometimes to see that on one roll of film you could have photos from TWO Christmas holidays!
But because of the condition of this car, I believe the shot was taken close to the 1961 date because the 1951 PLYMOUTH looks every bit the decade old beast that it was. The young lady here had no problem posing, with a smile, by the never-washed car but her little cat perhaps mistook “say cheese” with “turn around and show the world your hind end.”
Because someone had the foresight to write the names of these two, fine americans on the back of this photo, I can tell you with 100% certainty that the woman pictured here is Alice and standing next to Alice is Ray.
Why they look pissed off is anyone’s guess but I’ll take a stab at it. Alice and Ray just robbed the general store. Alice is holding the bag of loot behind her back. The store’s owner is tied up and gagged in the trunk. Just then, the neighbor with the new camera shows up.
Three subjects pictured and I only know two — Alice and Ray. Their car (subject #3) is hidden too much for me to positively identify it. I’ll guess it to be a mid 30’s Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth product but that’s the best I can do since Bonnie and Clyde, here, insisted on blocking it out.
If you know the particulars on this car, leave me a comment. Thanks!