Category Archives: Auto photos 1946 – 1965

Finishing Touches on the GM Le Sabre Show Car and a Harley Earl Demonstration

Today we have a pair of short news film clips showing the 1951 Le Sabre show car. It was perhaps the most visionary post-war creation from the GM Art and Colour group guided by Harley Earl, who was assisted by a very talented group of designers. A clay version of the Le Sabre first appeared in the fall of 1950 and the actual car was constructed, finished and shown to the public by July of 1951. The video above showing the finishing touches being applied to the car is courtesy of GM Heritage. 

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  • Le Sabre promotional photo courtesy of GM Heritage 

This concept car was one of the first post-war automobiles to introduce aircraft design elements such as the wrap-around windshield and the taller and more pronounced tail fins that were incorporated into the car. The Le Sabre pioneered new features such as a dual gasoline and alcohol fuel system, and the use of lightweight materials. In the short film clip below courtesy of British Pathe, you can see Earl activating the moisture sensor which would raise the convertible top if it began raining when the car was unattended.

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Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965, video | Tagged , , , |

The Sunday Edition No. VI – The Wall of Death – A 1940s Dodge and Plymouth Showroom – The 1922 Velie

This is a documentary of the Ken Kox Troupe by Benedict Cambell showing the lives of a family that travel the British Isles and Europe with a Wall of Death thrill show, a hold- over from earlier times. The Troupe still uses a pair of Indian Scout motorcycles which were the machine of choice for the shows back in the period.

Ken Fox, who has been riding on the Wall for close to forty years, bought the show which had been in one place in an amusement park for twenty years and put it on the road in 1982. You can learn more at the Ken Fox Troupe, and at Sideshow World.

  • wall of deathThe Alevans Wall of Death, a British Stunt Show photo via Sideshow World

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Reader Frank James sent along the photo above of Dodge and Plymouth agency by the name of L Motors that was photographed at some point in time between the years of 1946 and 1948. He is interested in finding out if anyone knows where this very up-to-date dealership was located.

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The Velie was a well-made mid-priced car that was manufactured in Moline, Illinois, between the years of 1909 and 1929. This pair of photos of both the Sport and Standard Touring 1923 Model 58 cars, was taken by reader Jerry McDermott’s father who was a professional photographer.

Automotive Industries magazine must have thought highly of the new model and its o.h.v. six-cylinder engine as we were able to find a two-page article below all about the new engine. You can learn all about the manufacturer at the Velie Motor Cars.

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The Sunday Edition is for reader contributions, please join in and share with other vintage car enthusiasts from all around the world. If you have a great photo, know of an excellent video, a mystery or story, contact us here and include your full name so we can credit your submission. If you have a photo to submit, we will send you an email address you can forward it to.

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Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Motorcycle photos, video | Tagged , , , , , , |

The Three-Wheeled Bond Minicar – Low Cost Post-War Transportation

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  • A Bond Mark A Minicar in New Zealand in 1950

Three-wheeled mini cars are often built for economic reasons and low initial and operating costs. Because the pint-sized cars in many countries are often classified as motorcycles, this often results in lower registration and tax fees. The image above shows a Bond Mark A that was built between 1949 and 1951. The photograph was taken in 1950 and it appeared in the Evening Post newspaper that was based in Wellington, New Zealand. The photo is courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.

Watch the video above as a French enthusiast Jean – Mare Navarro puts his 1960 Bond Mark F Minicar through its paces. Being a simple two-stroke without a reverse gear, at 2:15 he demonstrates how the engine is shut off and started up in the reverse direction for backing up; the early models were not equipped for reversing and had to be pushed or manhandled.

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  • Detail photos of a Mark C Bond Minicar courtesy of the Bond Owners Club

The first Bond Minicar was designed by Lawrence Bond, who had a background in aircraft design and component manufacture. The manufacturing of the new car started in 1949 and was handled by Sharp’s Commercials Limited in Preston, Lancashire, England. The inexpensive car soon became popular in the trying post-war economy and this model continued on until the Mark G ceased production in December 1966. More information can be found at the Bond Owners Club.

The postcard photo below is via Retronaut and shows a Mark C that was built at some point between October of 1952 and May of 1956. This model featured a steerable tubular mounting for the 197cc engine and three-speed transmission, which drove the swing-arm mounted front wheel by a roller chain.

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Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Out Of The Box, video | Tagged , , , , |