On the back of this photo someone wrote, simply: “My better half.” I’m no genius, but I think it would be safe to assume that the person who wrote that was this man’s wife. It’s either that, or this man wrote it referring to the “better half” as his 1952 Willys Aero Wing. People loved their cars back then, so who knows?
As far as the car goes, this one stumped me. Completely. I could come within a year or two of its model date but that was all. I had to check in with a friend who knows old cars much better than I. Thank you Jerry! Jerry’s helped me on several occasions before and never disappoints. After he told me what he thought it was (1951 Willys), I snooped around the internet and believe this car to be a 1951 or 1952 Willys Aero Wing and not the Aero Lark. Although similar, the “Aero Wing” had its radio antenna on the driver’s side. The “Aero Lark” on its passenger side. Go figure.
A long-time friend of mine was kind enough to permit me to use this great old photo of his dad (Perry) on this blog. Thank you, Keith!
If you’re a follower or regular reader of mine you’ll know that I try to I.D. every car I post and, where/when appropriate comment on something about the people in the pictures.
You can probably bet that Perry didn’t get all dressed up like this, and sit on the hood of his car (1936 Pontiac), just to be featured on Attic Autos someday, but crazy things can happen!
NOTE: This site began, and continues to this day, on the basic theme of showcasing people and their cars (we Americans seem to have quite the love affair with our automobiles). This photo is the epitome of that original theme. Again, many thanks to you, Keith, for sharing.
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 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.
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.