Under The Hood

A few ‘Editor Photos’ plus a mystery car

Every week, we feature a reader photo in Old Cars Weekly. This “Reader Photo” space is strictly for the vintage photos from readers’ family albums, or other interesting photos readers have stumbled upon while digging through swap meets, antique stores or wherever else images from our automotive past hide. For this blog post, I thought I’d turn the table and provide some “Editor Photos” that feature interesting cars from my family’s album.

The line of Van Bogarts from which I hail have lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, for as long as I am aware. However, around World War II, my great-grandparents moved to California. Some of their children moved back to St. Paul following the war (including my grandfather) while others stayed in California.

These photos come from my great-uncle Thomas Jerome Van Bogart, who passed away in Cupertino, Calif., in 2010. My grandmother found these photos in Thomas’ belongings and shared them with me, so I thought I’d share them here. The cars were photographed in California, probably after Thomas returned from World War II where he served as a Marine, but no specific dates were given. The information regarding the locations and individuals in the photographs was provided by my grandmother.

Hope you enjoy the photos:

Ford Motor Company wasn't the only builder of Mercury automobiles - Chevrolet built them, too. Here's an example from the first year of Chevrolet's Mercury, the relatively rare 1933 Chevrolet Mercury coupe. The new model was for the thrifty, Depression-era customer, and although few had money, even fewer bought the Mercury coupe. Just 8,909 were built without a rumble seat and 1,903 were built with it. Pictured is an unidentified friend of my great-uncle, Thomas.

In a profile view, the family resemblance between Chevrolet and Pontiac during 1939 is especially clear. This is a 1939 Pontiac two-door touring sedan, shown with unknown friend of Thomas behind the wheel.

This 1940 Chevrolet is the only image in the lot that shows one of Thomas' own vehicles, a 1940 Chevrolet coupe. It's pictured in Elmonte, Calif. That looks like a ca.-1940 Studebaker coupe poking out of the garage and a parked 1935 Ford coupe in the background.

This 1941 Buick is accompanied by Thomas' older brother, Jim. This picture was also taken in Elmonte, Calif.

Neither the big touring car or its passengers are known to me, but one thing's for sure -- it's a grand old car. Also notice the rare 1936 Ford convertible sedan next to it.

2 thoughts on “A few ‘Editor Photos’ plus a mystery car

  1. Maurice R. Clark

    The bottom photo is likely a late ‘teens Buc, or possibly Hudson, judging fro the radiatir sheel. It definitely is aq middle, or lower high end vehicle because it sports Buffalo Wire Wheels. Buffalo’s were a pretty racey option on mid-line cars, and standard on few luxury vehicles.


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