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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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Boys on a Buick: 1960

Boys on a Buick: 1960

The picture was taken by my mom with us on the roof of a 1942 Buick. It happened to be the tallest car around, so my pal Dennis and I (on the left) could feel the excitement (not sure that's quite the word) of seeing Richard Nixon in a campaign swing at the Eastland Shopping Center in West Covina, California. Unfortunately, the POV is on us, and the crowd (seen in my previous photo) is unseen. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Nixon snubbed us

I spoke to my mother yesterday and she remembers this event. She says she remembers seeing Richard Nixon only from a considerable distance, as the parking lot was very crowded. Thanks tterace, I read the speech and looked in vain for our names!

Buick Boys Date

According to this, it was October 14, 1960. How timely. It's a transcript of Nixon's remarks. He doesn't mention seeing Mvsman, Dennis or the Buick, however.

Car and school info

The Buick belonged to my grandfather and was a loaner from him to his daughter (my mother). My parents used it for several months while they saved the money for a second car. The TWA sticker is there because Granddad was an inspector for TWA. He signed off on the maintenance performed on the planes serviced at LAX.

My mother told me one time the car caught fire while we were driving. It was just Mom and me in the car, returning from shopping. She smelled smoke and pulled over quickly. Some guy in a pickup truck noticed the smoke, pulled out his fire extinguisher and took care of it. After that, I don't know what became of that car!

Billl: I attended Rowland Elementary, corner of Rowland and Lark Ellen. Kindergarten! Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.

Up on the Roof

One of my favorite summer games when I was first grade-age was to put a kitchen step-stool up against the family Edsel, and a running garden hose on the roof. The car became a water slide for me and my neighborhood friends. You climbed up the step stool, got on the roof, and slid down the (rather limited) flume across the huge back window and down the trunk. It worked because none of us at that age weighed very much. I still have that car and can certify that the roof is not in any way damaged.

As far as my parent's water bill? I suspect that was damaged. But since I don't think they saw me play water slide with the car, I doubt they figured that one out.

Re: Boy, those were the days

That roof could get flexed by small objects, easily. On my Shorpy profile is mentioned a car accident on 6th Avenue (Altoona, Pa.). My Dad's 1942 Buick Century fastback and I skidded on wet streetcar tracks and car and teen driver caroomed across a sidewalk and into a brick porch. A woman appeared from somewhere and said, "Oh, my goodness! Did you have a wreck?" as various just-loosened bricks continued to cascade onto the hood and roof. Says I, "I think I'm still wrecking."

Parking Permit?

Check out the TWA Parking Permit on the windshield. West Covina not all that close to LAX or ONT, so which airport would this be for?

Arsenal of Democracy

Throughout the the months of January and February, 1942, automakers shut down car production, warehoused their tools, and retooled to manufacture needed war materiel. According to the Buick Heritage Alliance, Buick's shutdown took place on February 2nd. Buick built aircraft engines, M18 Hellcat tank destroyers, and other military equipment.

'42 Buick

My dad had a '42 Buick Special coupe also. It was maroon in color and was a straight eight, I believe. He bought it second-hand in 1948. Like the previous message states, the car was probably manufactured in late 1941, before the auto plants retooled for the war effort.

Car Model Years

New cars are introduced in the fall of the year, so the 1942 models were in production, in the show rooms and on the road by December 7, 1941. Those models built after the war started had "blackout trim", which was painted bright work instead of chrome. Production of passenger vehicles for civilian use ceased in early 1942 and factories shifted over to war production.

1942 Buick?

I'm surprised there was a 1942 automobile given what happened on 12/07/1941. Must have been in inventory.


I was there on that day too, Mvsman! Mom took me out of school that day. Never did see Nixon. The crowd was too big. But I didn't have to go to school! So sorry Mr. McCloud (6th grade - Badillo Elementary) I wasn't really sick. Wow, I've finally cleared my conscience after 52 years!

Boy,those were the days

When you could sit or stand on the roof of a car and it wouldn't even flex let
alone cave in like today.

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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