Vintage autos and their owners from times gone by


The Hudson


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


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


“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!


Laundro Matt


I’ve had some favorites of mine on this site in the past, and you can put this one right up there with the best of them. I wish I had its negative. Such an interesting photo.

Artistically, it’s got all the qualities I look for in old car photos — balanced light and shadow, composition, etc. Most importantly, it’s got some sort of story in there, somewhere — there’s hanging laundry, a garbage can. a 1948 Chevrolet, and an old gentleman perched comfortably between two of its bumper guards. A candid moment yet clearly posed. A slice of American life, forever frozen in time. I hope I find more that are this good.

What a car!


Few cars from the 40s and 50s can turn my head as much or more than Cadillacs from 1949.The convertible (pictured here) is impeccably designed, and the fastback Sedanette is, far and away the first vintage car on my wish list (after my first multi-million dollar Megaball lottery win).


click to enlarge

If you’re not too familiar with the 1949 Cadillacs you won’t get too much of an idea with this black and white picture at top. Perhaps clouds and pavement were more important to the photographer than fitting the entire car into his or her viewfinder, so I’ve included two modern-day, color shots of restored ’49 Caddys (one convertible and one Sedanette) for you to admire. Just click this small, color image and you might begin to see why I tout Cadillac’s ’49 designs so much.


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