Friday, February 13, 2009

Cars of the stars.

Ok, so we've all seen it at some time or other, that old jalopy rusting away in the undergrowth. But have you ever stopped to think about the history that could be attached to that sorry looking hulk? Well for me any old car from the 1930's through to the 1950's must have some stories to tell, if only they could talk!
I have said before that I consider that period to be the 'Golden age' of automotive design and I got to thinking that if, back in those days I happened to be rich and famous and therefore able to drive whatever I liked what would it be?

Well here's one answer from movie Rita Hayworth. Back in 1941, she chose to drive this superb Lincoln Continental in powder blue. There are a couple of shots around of her posing with the car, but the one below in colour shows how amazing that car looked back then...not to mention Ms. Hayworth!

Below we see Joan Crawford in her 1938 Lincoln model K, quite a site to see and a sure traffic stopper!

This next photo (above) shows Marlena Dietrich with Gary Cooper, the cars shown here weren't their own though as this is a movie still from 1936. Below is the 35 Cadillac that was personally owned by Dietrich at that time.

One must assume that the fabulously rich and famous inhabitants of Hollywood in it's heyday were just as apt to seek out the 'latest thing' as their modern day counterparts. This might mean that they changed their cars quite frequently, or possibly that they owned several different models at the same time. Whichever it was, given a thirty year period, the law of averages says that some of those rusting hulks out there were once owned by Movie stars!

Below, Gary Cooper with his beautiful 1950 Mercury, is this car a 'leadsled' perhaps today?

Now while the first photo of this post might have had the guys of the 1940's wolf whistling at Rita Haywarth, here's a couple of pic's of a guy that had the ladies swooning all over the world - Clark Gable.
In the photo above he is pictured in what I believe is a '35 Deusenberg, while below he poses with his 1933 ford V8 'Speedster'.

Another 'leading man', this time Cary Grant in what looks to be a 1930's Cord...where is it now I wonder!

Can anyone guess who the guy above is? The photo shows Johnny Weismuller with his 1932 Chevrolet. Younger readers might not recall that Weismuller was the original 'Tarzan', and if you've ever heard the 'Tarzan call' then this is the gentleman that originated that!

Finally, perhaps the most famous of the Hollywood lotharios, here's Errol Flynn aboard his beautiful '35 Auburn speedster.
Now you have to ask yourself this, did all those cars go to museums? - Not really likely, so they are (or were) out there somewhere. And it isn't just the exotic Cords and Deusenbergs that that we might happen across (if we were very lucky) because as the photo of Gary Cooper's Merc shows, 'ordinary' cars had famous owners too.

So next time you see an old or abandoned wreck from those far off days, just pause a little and picture the scene - the car is brand new, factory fresh and gleaming in the early evening sun, the driver in his natty suit and hat reaches in his pocket for the keys, and in the passenger seat may well have travelled a Hollywood starlet!

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