Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Three Men and a Car

This was the other roll of vintage exposed film I was talking about. You'll notice there are two definite and different themes going on. Let's take a look:

I'm assuming these men are privates, or maybe even just got outfitted? I mean, they don't even have a single stripe on their right shoulder. Do you start in the army with nary a stripe, even at buck private?

I'm noticing the detached chimney in the right hand side of this photo. I'm wondering if this isn't the gas chamber building. No, not that kind of a gas chamber, but the tear gas exercise room (I'm not sure what it's officially called) where they put you in this enclosed space and you run around in a circle and alternately affix or remove a gas mask upon orders. I'm told it ends up being a teary, vomity, mess.

Just a simple two-shot here. I'm guessing from the leafless trees this shot was taken sometime between fall and spring (wow, I'm such a deductive reasoner!). They're in long sleeves but they're not wearing jackets, overcoats, or any kind of garments that would suggest it was really cold out that day.

This is Weales, as best as I can make out his name. I wonder if he was the one who owned the camera.

Thus ends our photos of army men. Now begins phase two of this roll:

All of the rest of the photos on this roll are of this car. And while it's clearly recognizable as a Chevrolet, I can't figure out exactly what model it is.

Now it's obvious that there was some custom work done on this vehicle. Please to be noticing the exhaust pipe right behind the front wheel, which is also visible in this shot:

Instead of just wondering what model Chevy this was, I did peruse vintage brochures online. It appears to be an Impala coupe, yet I've yet to find any with the side chrome accent that only goes from the front of the car to halfway through the door, and I've yet to see any with that patterned grill, which I don't think is very becoming if you ask me.

In this profile shot you can see what looks like a nameplate on the rear side of the car. But when I've looked at this closeup, I can't make it out, and it doesn't seem to say "Impala." Actually, here it is, cropped at 100%:

Does that look like "Impala" to you?

And our head-on view:

No front license plate, so where it's from is a mystery (if it would have even been legible). For all the pictures guy took of his car (assuming it was a guy), he didn't take any of the rear.

As you can see, we're now making our way across the international time date line to the other side of the car, which is surprisingly symmetrical to the side we were just looking at.

And here's the right hemisphere of the car (they're called "hemispheres" in the auto world, right?). You can see there's a nameplate on this side too, and trust me, it's just as illegible as the other photo.

Now these last two shots are almost identical, so I'll post them in tandem:

And thus ends our roll. I really am a fan of those exhaust pipes, coming straight out of the engine block sans muffler (I don't think there's be room for a muffler under there, and I'm also thinking the kind of person who'd put those pipes on their car wouldn't want a muffler). The thing must have sounded like a beast. But I have greater questions about this roll about what model Chevrolet this is (and if there are any gearheads or car hounds out there I'd love your input. I'm sure someone out there knows what this is).

Looking at this roll, I began to wonder about its history. I wonder why the photographer, who obviously was so proud of this vehicle, never got around to developing his film. I know this question can be asked of any vintage roll of film, but for some reason this one piqued my interest a bit more than usual. I don't have any insight into what could be the answer. This roll of film didn't come with a camera I purchased. I got it loose, as part of a lot (that's a "lot" not "a lot") of vintage, exposed film.

I also realize that I could have just as easily posted one or two pictures of the men and likewise with the car, and I did consider this, but I concluded I wanted to put the whole roll up. I wanted to share what this person's vision was. I don't think that's very hard really, he took some pictures of some friends and wanted to get a nice shot of his car. But I wanted to share the whole experience, to see if you could look into the psychology of the person by seeing what he committed to film for the whole roll, not just me showing you snippets of it.

I'm not sor sure about that last sentence. I've been working on this post, from scanning the images to working them in photoshop (very little work done, by the way) to saving them for upload (which are still pretty big files), then uploading them to my flickr page to saving to my desktop much smaller file sized versions of the photos to uploading them here and writing all these paragraphs and sentences culminating with the words I'm hammering out right now.

I think it was worth it.


  1. Great, a fascinating glimpse into the past. If any of the people are still alive, these photos would be a treasure. Thanks for sharing.

  2. The headlights and front blinkers are total 1959 Impala, but I can't find that grillwork anywhere else. Maybe it was a custom job, though I disagree with the choice.

  3. Also, the accent on the side of the car doesn't extend for the whole length of the body.

  4. NEWSFLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's not an Impala, it's a Biscayne! Now it all makes sense!