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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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London Lodge: 1959

London Lodge: 1959

Oakland circa 1959. "Crash at London Lodge." Somewhat to the west of Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Who can identify the diminutive foreigner? 4x5 negative from the News Archive. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Different Isabella Models

The red Isabella below is a later model 1958 Isabella TS and does not match the Shorpy photo.

Introduced in June 1954, the basic Isabella, like the one shown in the Shorpy photo, was made through at least the early part of the 1958 model year. These early models had the Borgward name closer to the door on the front fender. Later model years had the name moved closer to the headlights on the front fender. The broken off Borgward name near the door is clearly visible in the Shorpy photo.

The basic Isabella never had the trim and lights on top of the fenders. This trim combination only came with the Isabella TS and Isabella TS Deluxe models. A basic model Isabella is shown in the photo below.


Lt. Columbo drove a Borgward convertible throughout the life of the series.

[Columbo's car was a Peugeot 403 Cabriolet. -tterrace]


Why are the edges darkened like the shot was through a tube?

[You had the right word for it. -tterrace]


The Borgward cars were considered to be rather upscale cars in their time. I wish I had an Isabella myself, especially if it was a convertible.

Alas, the private Borgward company was the odd kid from outside and it was killed by a mix of undercapitalization and the reluctance of Big Finance and Local Buddy Politics to give them a chance. So they went into liquidation - and their financial woes had been such that after liquidation and settling of all debts, there was actually money left.

Or so the story goes.

Incidentially, they started to build Mercs on the old Borgward premises in Bremen afterwards. Go figure.

London Lodge

As usual, my fellow Shorpyites have identified the car. I'm continually impressed with the sharp eyes and knowledge. I on the other hand am familiar with the London Lodge. It was the government contracted motel for those joining the military. The MEPs station was right down the street. It was quite a rough area in the late 70s/early 80s.

Oakland, CA

Right across the street from the police station now.

Crash at London Lodge

Maybe it's named after Jack London.

[Well, Jack London Square is just five blocks down Broadway. -tterrace]

Those tiny "operable" panes in the windows are an early step towards the hermetically sealed lodgings of modern times. "Operable windows", as they are called, is a feature I value more than turn-down service with pillow mints or a coffee maker.


Is that you?


The vehicle is a Borgward Isabella. Not a bad car, tough, but, obviously, not tough enough. A rung up from VW at the time.

Borgward Isabella

The car looks very much like a 1958 Borgward Isabella. Made in Bremen, Germany. I remember seeing them as a kid in the San Francisco east bay and well into the late 1970s.

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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