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Asleep at the Wheel: 1942

Asleep at the Wheel: 1942

July 1942. Washington, D.C. "Sunday in Rock Creek Park. Girl sleeping in a car." Medium format acetate negative by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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I'm not an expert on 1940s Buicks

but I can tell that it is a Roadmaster model, since you can read "master" just in front of the vents.

'40s Style Streaming

As noted previously, the Buick side vents seen here morphed in 1949 into the famous chrome Buick portholes (or "Ventiports" -- four for the Roadmaster vs. only three for the lesser models) -- a glitzy touch that brought numerous howls of protest from generally conservative Buick buyers. Presumably, none howled louder than a certain high school principal, owner of a new Roadmaster (whose rearmost porthole accessed the car's interior) into which several of his young scholars saw fit to urinate through its coveted fourth hole.

Sleeping Beauty!

I never even noticed the car!

1941 Buick Roadmaster Convertible Coupe

It is certainly a Buick but the year and model are guesses on my part. It may have been painted Sequoia Cream

No name plate necessary

Those vent louvers identify a 1941 Buick. I believe they were also a product of the ingenuity of "A car for every purse and purpose" Alfred P. Sloan, long time president, chairman and CEO of General Motors, who understood the power of small visual cues in differentiating brands which were using the same body across lines. Those vents would evolve into actual air ducts for one year only in 1949, four for the Roadmaster and three for the Super--the '49 Special used the '41 style body. Then for the rest of the 50's Buicks would be instantly associated with their application. Same for the Olds Rocket, Cadillac tailfins and Pontiac's silver streak.

Pop up air vent

My dad`s '53 Ford pickup had one of those air vents. Who needs air conditioning?

The car is a ?

Who knows the year and model of the car ?

Convertible Hair

Just like my wife had when we owned our Sebring Convertible.

This young one should have worn a hat at least

Her chin

I really like this photo for several reasons. It's full of real life and there's a pretty girl, which is always a plus for me, but I've got to wonder what's going on with her chin. I thought at first it was just shadow or flaw in the negative, but I don't think so. A burn maybe from working in the factory?

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