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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hybrid Power: 1939

Hybrid Power: 1939

June 1939. "Pushing a car belonging to agricultural day laborer to start it, near Muskogee, Oklahoma." 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The "hybrid" car

It's a 1931 Chevrolet Roadster.

The headlight could be a custom one, apart from that every detail is matching.

Maybe Not

The car looks quite a bit like a Jordan Little Custom, but there are enough differences to suggest that this is some other brand. Note the differences in the louvers, slope of the rear deck and position of the door handle (singular, since the car is apparently missing the door on the driver's side).

Somewhere West Of Laramie

The car pictured is a Jordan "Little Custom" produced in 1927 and 1928 and was an ill fated attempt at a small luxury car.

I've done it

As Snakeriver observes, not too many folks around who can lay claim to such a start. Did it many times with my '51 Ford...jam in the clutch, gear in first, get a shove, and let that clutch pop out. Worked wonderfully!

Well, usually.

Magneto Marelli no-starti

I had a series of Fiats with their notoriously questionable alternators, so I developed starting with a dead battery to a finely-honed skill, to the point where I could start the things in less than two car lengths on any slight slope. Not too kind to the clutch, though.

Plenty of Room

To answer RMP100, the pushers can climb into the rumble seat using the step-pad on top of the rear fender. The seat is apparently closed in this photo.

Push-start rules

It's important to keep the rubber on the powered axle!

I remember doing this (push starting a car) quite a bit as a kid, or parking on a hill in the winter so you could still compression start your weak-batteried car the next morning. But I wonder how many of the younger folk (in the US) have ever done this? Pretty tough to do it with an automatic transmission, not to mention a plastic-paneled body.

If he only knew

what that beauty would be worth today.

Two seater?

I wonder which two of three pushers get to ride on the running boards?

Tires? Tires?

I don't need no stinkin' tires.

Super Hybrid

Not only do they save on gas, big savings on tires too. Very Eco-friendly!

Front tire

Is that a runflat?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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