Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Uncle Alec, Aunt Irene, and their Hog of the Road. "1949" is written on the back of the print. Uncle Alec was partial to the biggest, most powerful Oldsmobiles money could buy. He bought a new one every two years.
Although the year is 1949, I am pretty sure the model pictured here is a 1948 Olds 98 Club Coupe. If it is a 1948 it has the old 115 horsepower 257 cubic inch flathead straight eight, and not the cool new 135 horsepower 303 cubic inch overhead valve V8. The Olds Rocket, as the new V8 was called didn't come out until 1949. Don't fret, Unca Alec, as I always called him, would have a new Rocket V8 within a year.
As I mentioned, Alec liked the big Oldsmobiles. My favorite was his '63 Olds Starfire two door hardtop. It was electric blue with four bucket seats, a brushed chrome center console that ran down between the two rear buckets and on to the front and up into the dash. It had a 330 horsepower 394 cubic inch V8. I think it was the one that had a speedometer with a thermometer-style bar that would change from green to yellow to red as it traversed from left to right across the miles per hour numbers. It might have been his '57 that had that trick speedometer, but I remember he used to joke that after it turned red and passed the 125 miles per hour mark, the radio would come on and play "Nearer My God to Thee."
He finally gave up on Oldsmobiles and went to Chryslers in 1972. Kelly Motors, the local Sonora Olds dealer used to insist on placing big bumper stickers that had two green shamrocks and said "Buy Kelly Cars." on each car they serviced. As clever as that motto is, my uncle insisted on the service shop leaving his bumper unsullied by any such frivolous B.S.
Well, the fools at Kelly Motors either insisted on, or inadvertently put a set of matching "Buy Kelly Cars" stickers on the back bumper of his car. Not only that, John Kelly refused to have his slaveys remove them when Uncle Alec told him to.
So, Alec told John Kelly to go to hell and assured him that he'd seen the last of Alec Brady at his dealership. He peeled out of the driveway, now remember, Alec is 83 at this point, blasts up to the Opera Hall Garage and trades his year-old Olds in on a brand new Chrysler Newport two door hardtop. Later after the next meeting of the Lions Club, where Alec was known as "King Brady," he invited John Kelly out to the parking lot. No, not to fight, but to admire what Alec assured John was the first of what would be a whole line of Chryslers, purchased each and every even numbered year, instead of every odd year, as he had when he was an Oldsmobile man. View full size.