In journalism, it is taught when compiling a story, to always get the “Five W’s” — who, what, when, where and why. By doing so, you are guaranteed to get all the crucial information within your article, thus leaving your readers fully engrossed and satisfied. Let’s try it here.
First, the “who.” Based on the writing on the back of this photo, our subject’s name is Gene Brown. In full, the writing reads: “July 1956 Gene Brown.” Simple, with one inscription, we now have two “W”s (the when and the who).
To round out the five W’s, we’ll still need the “what” the “where” and the “why.” Let’s start with the “what.” It’s a 1954 Chevrolet — easy I.D. because I had one, so I know it well. Now for the “where” — can’t help ya. Let’s say, some city, somewhere (can’t be wrong with that).
Now for the “Why.” Why would Mr. Brown stand there, hands in pockets, and his foot on the bumper? Only Gene can explain the hands in the pockets, but the foot on the bumper? That’s easy, I’ve seen it a zillion times. The photographer, having originally cropped out both of Gene’s feet, insisted on still showing Gene’s handsome, freshly-polished wingtips. At first, he had Gene stand on the bumper but that didn’t work well (his head got cropped off), and since standing on the bumper with both feet showing, then squatting down, just didn’t look at all right. This pose was the only real acceptable solution. I suppose Mr. Photographer-man could have just backed up a little, or just tipped his camera down a smidge, but he obviously wasn’t thinking clearly.
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.
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.
Here is a proud mother with her two kids standing by the family’s car. She loved her kids, but more likely, her 1941 Chevy Special Deluxe. Why? Because she stood outside her car to have that smoke. Can’t risk a hole in the mohair now can we?
I’m betting that dad took the photo on a family vacation. This particular year, they didn’t go to Mammouth Cave or Rock City, like years past. No. Dad wanted to surprise them with their first-ever Durden Family Arborvitae Tour, c. 1942. After 1,100 miles and just as many stops to see all sorts of shrubs, it was also not surprisingly the last Durden Family Arborvitae Tour.
This is Attic Autos 201st post!
Thanks for following, reading and sharing. I will keep this going for as long as my photo collection holds out.
Keep loving those old cars!
Meet the Whippleson’s, Mel and Gert. They live in a small house 30 minutes outside of Green Bay, WI. Mel is in sales. He sells unsightly clothing, mostly women’s, to department stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Gert, here, is wearing one of Mel’s favorite unsightly dress lines “The Domestic Camo.” Mel likes this particular unsightly dress line the most because it can camouflage his hands (he likes to touch Gert a lot). Look closely, Mel’s right hand just disappears into Gert’s right hip. This makes both Mel, and Gert, very happy.
The Whippleson’s car is a 1940 Chevy Master Deluxe. Chevrolet’s last model year for running boards and also the last for using wood in the bodies of their cars! 1941 was their first all metal body.
P.S. That’s not Gert’s hair all pointy on top. It’s just a bad tangent with a shrub in the background by the house.