SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content

Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

The Case of the Battered Buick

The Case of the Battered Buick

Oakland, Calif., circa 1958, and yet another fender-bender. Let's move along, folks. Nothing to see here! 4x5 acetate negative from the News Archive. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Educated Guess # 237

The accident turned the Buick and it was able to 'wobble' over to where it came to rest; note that the RF wheel is atop the curb so it [the wheel] would not have touched the pavement during this brief journey. Think the Mercury fared worse.

1957 210

The car in question across the street is a mid price range 1957 210 Chevy. We owned one and it was a smooth and easy shifting standard shift.

Plates not an issue?

@ tterrace:

Why would an undercover / unmarked car have exempt plates? Kind of defeats the purpose. But I do like the idea it might be the photographer's car.

[There's a difference between unmarked and undercover police cars. -tterrace]

Herzog & Alcatraz

The houses on the corners match up.


Looks to be a 1951 Buick Roadmaster Rivera sedan. Having owned one I can attest to its very quiet, comfortable ride and powerful straight 8 OHV engine.

re: Three Police Cars

Mounting a whip antenna on an unmarked car would somewhat defeat the purpose. It's odd that the marked cars do not appear to have antennas.

My guess was that the photographer drove the Chevy and had a police radio to get him the accident reports.

Or, he could simply have one of those new-fangled radios for the Class D Citizen Band that was created in 1958 and used it to stay in touch with someone monitoring the police calls. Both would operate in the range of 27-30 Mc and the antennas would look virtually identical.

[The car doesn't have an exempt license plate, so it's not a police or other government-owned vehicle. -tterrace]

The unmarked police car theory would necessitate plain plates anyway.

Looks like someone ran the stop sign but... did the Buick get way over there? That right front wheel looks too damaged for it to have driven over there. at least not without leaving some skid marks I would think.

Jethro's Truck

With Jethro's truck parked right in front of the barely adequate stop sign, it is no wonder there are so many Buick and Oldsmobile casualties in Oakland. I'm beginning to wonder if the Superintendent of Traffic Safety owns a few body shops in town? His brother-in-law probably runs the only ambulance service in town, too!

Three Police Cars

With the antenna mounted on the Chevy across the street from the Ford cruiser I believe it's an unmarked car. Looks like something Dan Mathews would drive when he wanted to be inconspicuous.

SHORPY OLD 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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.