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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Custom Chassis: 1923

Custom Chassis: 1923

        What with one 1920s car looking pretty much like the next, the enterprising automotive photographer had to juice things up as best he could. Here, for instance, we have the rake of sunlight and mysterious background obelisk as points of interest, sparking an artsy three-quarters view. Oh, and big headlights.

The Bay Area in 1923. "Peerless touring car." Fully equipped with two spares. 6½ x 8½ inch glass negative from the Wyland Stanley collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Very nice

I wish the headlights were not so obstructed as to get a better view. Wonderful body lines on that car.


Miss Peerless may have the advantage on the eyes, but her sense of balance is not on a par with her bumper partner. The blur in her hands shows she was still trying to establish it as the photo was taken.

Upon further investigation

I just realized there is a person in the driver's seat.

What sleek lines.

I'll take one! Oh heck, I'll take them both and the car too.

Yes Indeed!

I too noticed the large and lovely headlights and I think I'll leave it at that.

Prepared for off-road use

Obviously getting ready for an extended cross-country jaunt over roadless terrain - why else would you have two wenches on the front bumper?

Rolled stockimgs

I can only say that my dear Grandma wore rolled stockings to the end. That was in the 70s and she cut off pantyhose (L'eggs) to wear what she did when she came of age. She was the best!

I have a preference

But I don't want to be unkind. Let's just say I like the Peerless one.

One flivver

and two flappers.


What was with the rolled down stockings back then? Were women not allowed to show their bare ankles or was it just the fashion?

Don't Forget

Your shoesies!

Corporate Evolution (continued)

Peerless was one of the Three Ps of luxury motoring (along with Packard and Pierce-Arrow), but by 1932, the Cleveland manufacturer was addressing a vanishing clientele ... or, at least, a reluctant one.

Ever resourceful, the company's directors switched to making the next best thing: Carling Black Label beer and Red Cap Ale.

Hey Babe, check out my ...

The Column of Progress in its original, less lonely context.

Mysterious obelisk

We're in what is now San Francisco's Marina District, on what had been the grounds of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The obelisk is the Column of Progress, which had stood in the Court of Abundance, at about what's now the intersection of Beach Street and Cervantes Boulevard. It was finally torn down sometime in the mid- to late-1920s. Another survivor from this World's Fair, the Palace of Fine Arts, is off frame to the left; it stood deteriorating until 1964, when it was demolished to be replaced by the present reconstruction.

[Court of Abundance, indeed. I just knew tterrace would know! -Dave]

Bonnie and Connie

And Clyde.

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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