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Good and Bad: 1941

Good and Bad: 1941

March 1941. "Bedford, Virginia." Would you buy a used DeSoto from these men? Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


Our slogan

"Oh. Guess you got a bad one."

Bad used cars

Sometimes, bad is good.

My first car was a 20 year old VW Beetle, rusty, bad engine, worse brakes. I spent way too much money and time working on that thing, but it taught me two things: I learned a lot about how a car is put together and how the various systems work, and I learned how to deal with a "less than perfect" car when my brake job failed (emergency brake and downshifting saved me then, as it did forty years later in a friend's car).

I later sold it for what I'd originally paid for it. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw it two years later, apparently none the worse for the wear, parked at my state college.

In the market?

Never buy a used car from a rakish hat.

While the cars may be good and bad.

At one time, the sugar wash moonshine was best in county.

Looks like fun

Maybe I wouldn't buy a car, but I'd definitely have beer with them. Or two.
But guess who would pay!

The Good, the Bad and the Not so Bad

Sometime around 1970 or so, there was a used car dealer in Houston styled Mediocre Motors, the signage rendered in a most appealing font. It was my intent to pay them a visit at some point, as my motor vehicle at the time could only aspire to mediocrity. Alas, they slipped away Bobby McGee-like and I was left with that wistful longing for "what might have been". Next time, I pledged to be quicker to pounce.

Good Versus Bad

Who makes the call? Looks like the boys are ready to flip on it.

Truth in Advertising

1941 Style! The guy in the long coat is undoubtedly carrying a tommy gun under that coat and his partner next time surely has a snub nose .38 in a should holster under that suit coat.

Cars and Stripes

Well, surely the bad salesman is the one clearly guilty of the criminal act of wearing a striped tie with a striped suit. Incidentally, it's worth wondering whether there was an available salesman who was GOOD enough to unload that ugly-duckling Airflow lurking in the garage.

Honesty is the best policy

Glad to see these guys are upfront with potential customers.

A town that sacrificed greatly in WWII.

Bedford was a town of about 6,000 residents in 1944. On June 6, D-Day, the invasion of France at Normandy, 20 young soldiers from Bedford were killed on the beaches. This was one of the highest loss rates of any town in America during the war. Three more soldiers from Bedford were killed before WWII ended. Today Bedford is the home of the National D-Day Memorial.

Which is which?

I think the BAD user car salesman is the guy on the left.

Lost tradition

It's been years since a used car dealer was that honest.

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