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Southern Comforts: 1939

Southern Comforts: 1939

April 1939. "Miami Beach, Florida. Home in a wealthy residential section." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Garage Size

I wonder if that garage is deep enough to allow the Buick to go in far enough for the garage door to close.

As kid I lived in a 1941 vintage house and a previous owner had moved the back wall to increase the depth of the garage.

Illinois license plates

Black Buick limo, Illinois (Chicago) plates.... probably someone you didn't want to mess with.

I assume

that the owner of such a nice home was not the chauffeur, but the "chauffee".

Garage-Door Mystery

In my experience, garage doors are usually left open or closed. So, why would these doors be left half-open?

[Ventilation and/or saggy springs. - Dave]


1938 Buick Series 90 Limited. Produced between 1936 and 1942. 141 hp straight 8.

Definitely a GM product

The wheel covers put it in the Buick family. My guess is a 1938 Buick Century. The fender mounted spares always give it a richer look. I will leave it up to others as to whether or not it's a limo.

[The photo shows a retractable division glass partway up between the front and back seats, which tells us that's it's either the eight-passenger Model 90-L Limited Series 90 Limousine or the six-passenger Model 81-F Roadmaster Series 80 Formal Sedan. The squared-off windows and back-seat vent wing identify it as the longer Series 90 Limited. - Dave]

Buick, not Packard

It's definitely a 1938 Buick Limited limousine or 7 passenger tourer. Note the headlight and parking light.

1938 Buick Limited Limousine

One of only 674 Series 90 Limited Limousines built in 1938. Taillights, rear bumper, rear wing-windows, headlights and front markers help identify it.

Limited Edition

1938 Buick Limited Series 90.

[Correct! - Dave]

Wild Guess

38 Cadillac Series 65.

[Not a Cadillac. - Dave]

Ringing in

It looks like a 1938 Packard Twelve. If so, it was rare - there were fewer than 600 made that year.

[Not a Packard. - Dave]

Hey, Teacher!

The numbers you're looking for on that Buick Roadmaster limo (evidenced by the division window and apparently black dash) are 219.5" (about 18.29 feet) length and 4568 pounds curb weight. Base price (not including fender-mounted spare tires and covers) was $4653 at a time when a new Ford sedan could be had for about $700. NOW can I use the restroom?

[Sit down. Not a Buick Roadmaster, which was 213 inches long. - Dave]

Weighing in at over 2 tons

... at nearly 18 feet in length. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you . . . the 1938 Buick Roadmaster Sedan!

[You're getting warm. But this car is bigger than that. Class? - Dave]

4737 North Bay Road

We’re still on the same street as yesterday with the Villa Carlesia at 5030. They’ve tamed the vegetation and replaced the casement windows and closed the garage doors, but it’s still there.

Doesn't look so small today

But the car is huge!

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