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.
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.
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.”
This was either photographed in Texas (license plate) or this young Texas native and his parents went on a trip somewhere in their 1951 Oldsmobile 98 and felt a pose was in order. It could even be possible that this car isn’t his or his parents at all, just a backdrop for a kid in his knickers who has a fondness for sign posts. It’s all a mystery isn’t it. I liked this picture because of the car, obviously, but also for the Chevrolet billboard pictured across the street. Cars were king back then. Good times.
Not sure about you, but I’d rather be around people who like to enjoy themselves than just about anything else. These two ladies look to me to be doing just that. I’m guessing you could not have walked up to them then and not soon found yourself smiling. Throw in a 1951 Mercury Eight Convertible and a vacation to a cabin in the woods and I would have sworn I had died and gone to heaven.