SUPER “88” HOLIDAY SEDAN
The car with the power personality! Powerfully safe with the Rocket T-350 Engine…powerfully smooth with the new Jetaway Hydra-Matic Drive. It’s exclusively Oldsmobile for 1956.
This postcard, mailed in 1909, shows just how a couple would have dressed for an automobile trip in the earliest years of motoring. I’ve always been a huge car and motorcycle enthusiast, and it’s driving me crazy that I can’t identify the make of this particular vehicle. It seems to have a front mounted v-twin engine, and the air-cooled power-plant appears to have a small fan to assist cooling. The fan makes gives this auto a distinctive look, but I’ve not found a picture of a similar design. Can anyone identify this?
I just acquired a fascinating set of real photo postcards that I’ll be sharing in the coming days. There are almost 300 postcards, presumably all sourced from a particular family in Nebraska, and having looked over them briefly I’ve definitely noticed that certain individuals appear repeatedly. This card, mailed to Minnie Rohlmeier in Du Bois, Nebraska on June 27, 1909, was the first in the stack. Judging from the logo on the back of the card this staged photo must have been taken at Chicago’s Forest Park Amusement Park, a facility that was in operation from 1907 until it was destroyed by fire in 1922. Below is the message, with some spelling and punctuation fixes:
I will drop you this postal. The guy with me is H. Wolf. I also received your postal. Was very glad to hear from you. Where are you going to spend the fourth? I don’t know where I will spend it yet.
This real photo postcard shows the Chandelier Tree, a 315-foot drive-thru redwood tree in Leggett, California. The hole was carved in the 1930s, and the car’s license plate reveals this view to be from 1941. The automobile is a 1937 Nash LaFayette 400. The LaFayette 400 was the most affordable Nash that year, with a base price of $595. That sounds cheap to be sure, but the average annual salary in ’37 was only $1,700! You can see a really large scan of the postcard here.
A hugely popular child actor of the silent era, Jackie Coogan later sued his mother and stepfather for squandering his earnings, resulting in the establishment of “The Coogan Act” to provide legal protection for child performers. For those unfamiliar with his exploits on the silent screen, you might remember Coogan for his role (many years later) as Uncle Fester on The Addams Family. The nifty vehicle piloted by Jackie is a “Custer Car”, a battery-powered auto that was often found at carnivals and amusement parks.