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Vintage Women with Automobiles, Airplanes and Motorcycles

Women have made a large contribution to the manufacture, design, marketing and competition of vehicles over the last 100-plus years. We have been posting a feature titled Vintage Women and the Automobile every six months or so, and it has been close to 10-months since the last edition so here is Number III.  A few motorcycles and airplanes have been added this time around – included are images taken here in the US, the UK, and Europe. The photos date from perhaps 1908 on up to 1955.

Some information is with the images, but we ask our readers to tell us anything about the women you may see here and identify any of the vehicles that you can. You can also view well over one-hundred other posts showing women’s involvement with the automobile here. Many of the photos in this post originate from Vintage Women.

  • The lead photos shows three women and a 1955 Packard Caribbean. We wonder if this may have been part of a traveling Packard promotion to help dealers or if it was just for a local parade?

Irene Dare

  • Wall of Death rider Marjorie Dare (Doris Smith) in 1938 at Southend, Essex, England.

Model with 1940s Car

  • This model is demonstrating controls on a late 1930s or 1940s automobile dashboard.

Women and Driver with Landaulet

  • “The Chauffeur’s Dream” an early postcard with an automobile and five attractive women.

Ann Sheridan Riverside Tire Sprint Car

  • Actor Ann Sheridan posing with a Riverside Tire Special.

European Iightweight Racing

  • This, woman riding mechanic (without googles) is serving as an effective counter balance to help this three-wheeler during cornering in a competition event in a foreign land.  

Models and Hudson Sedan

  • A pair of models at an auto show are demonstrating a cut away “Step Down”Hudson sedan.

H-D Cross Country

Amelia Earhart

  • Amelia Earhart posing with one of her aircraft.

Models with 1950 Nash

  • Two models posing with an interesting 1950 “Bathtub” Nash.

Woman Working on Motorcycle

  • This photo shows a woman adjusting her motorcycle engine in France?

Flyer Corinne Griffith

  • Silent screen star Corrine Griffith during some sort of a Grand Central Air Terminal promotion.

Marlene Dietrich

  • Marlene Dietrich with her  1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Transformal Phaeton with Coachwork by Hibbard & Darrin (Paris). This car has survived.

20 responses to “Vintage Women with Automobiles, Airplanes and Motorcycles

  1. The dash in the 2nd pic, looks like a late ’30’s, early ’40’s Packard 120. I recognized the square foot pedals ( like on my ’50) That woman in the sidecar, while acting as a counter balance, is also pushing a plunger, that, I believe, lubricated the top end. And the open top Nash, are clearly Lois Lane wannabe’s.

    • The hat and clothing of the woman in picture 2 are very early Forties.

      Ann Sheridan – before my time, but a remarkable actress not much remembered today. Very versatile in many roles.

  2. I believe Grand Central airport was in Glendale, CA., alongside San Fernando Rd near the confluence of where the Golden State freeway and the 134 freeway.

  3. The lady mechanic is leaning out of a 3 wheel Morgan. That sliding pillar front suspension is, I believe, unique to Morgan and still used on the Plus 8.

    • Might have been in France, in which case this could be a Morgan-licensed Darmont. The number plate is not carrying a contemporary UK registration number. At this date, these all started with two (or one) letter ahead of the numbers.

  4. It appears in the “leaning woman” photo there is more lean than motion, based on the sharpness of the wheel spokes…..
    I agree with Howard on the Packard photo. There may have been others, but I can recall only Packard and Hudson using speedometers minus the zero digit. Hudson favored chrome over wood on their dashes many of the years. In the bathtub Nash photo, the woman outside the car has that period hairdo “forward flip” (whatever they called it) on the left side. Finally, I would guess the Hudson cutaway photo as 1952, as I believe that was the first year for Twin H-Power.

    • Hi Mr. P, from what I found, this must be a ’39 (or newer), as they moved the shifter from the floor to the column in ’39. It may be the radio she’s tuning, but images I’ve found, most have a big speaker under the dash. (which might be out of view)

      • Howard – I seem to recall this from a brochure for the 1942 Clipper (which I’m not sure ever entered production). If the wreckage of my memory serves, this was the radio control, w/the vol/tuning knobs inboard to the rotating frequency display; and the brochure bragged about “full theater sound”, w/the speaker located above the electric heater. It’s been so many years, though, I can’t be sure of it….in fact, I seem to recall the same square foot pedals on my ’41 Mercury touring sedan (which I owned in the late 1970’s – a story-and-a-half behind that!)

      • Howard – I now surrender…you were totally correct. This is a Packard (and I was totally wrong about model & year). It is a 1939 Super 8 dash. I bow to you, sir!

  5. Howard – my old-timer’s syndrome is affecting me. I found this exact dash on the aaca site, under the Sept 2013 post called “What is your favorite dashboard”. I searched (under G’gle) ” packard auto dashboard image”….sonuvagun, it was the 7th of the first nine images (& in color!). I’m off to my P.T. torture session, so I can’t delve further right now, but it’s clear AACA’s site has the answer to this…best, Bobby Symmes

  6. Corrine Griffith (no relation to D.W., of “Birth of a Nation” fame – or infamy) was an early silent film star, who signed w/First National well after Chaplin left that studio, yet received a lot of (silent) film training from him. She signed w/ the studio in 1928 or 1929…

    This is clearly a studio promotional using her hit (First National film “The Divine Lady”); as her career declined, she re-signed w/Vitagraph (who wasn’t above exploiting her former hits in their promotions) Thus, this still was taken between 1930-1931 (I could be off a year one way and/or the other).

    Though I cannot give specific examples, I believe she became successful after her film career as an author (and a screen writer). I don’t know when she died, but she would be over 110 years of age.

  7. Grand Central Air Terminal: ONE of my “watching” places , first by large wheeled tricycle and later, an older bicycle . I have been chased away by Railroad Detectives (Taylor Yard Roundhouse), SPRR , Airport Police , (Grand Central ‘s CROSS road, near Burbank /Glendale border) , and The Forest Lawn Cemetery Maintenance Foreman , while I was using one of thier marble benches, for re-surfacing the top of my Whizzer Bike Motor block & cylinder head, near where all the babies are buried. I used water soluble compound to NOT leave a mess and leave a CLEAN marble bench that had green algae on its top. Several visits were required, and right at the end, — I got caught: He was mad, at first — but he recognized a budding young Mechanic (who was leaving the “surface plate” in BETTER shape ! SO: He told me: “Finish your work and don’t DO that again! After I was done, I showed him my work and I asked him if he would “straight edge ” my work : He checked my work for flatness, which was OK, and I got a FREE TOUR OF THIER shops WITH THE FOREMAN . THAT WAS THE Atwater/ Glendale/Burbank area, the same place where assembled WW-2 Bombers would fly out of Lockheed and Atwater was “in for a treat” for us boys — because all of the “fleet'”of airplanes “flew through the GAP” by the Grand Central Aircraft Beacon , while still “synchronizing their engines”, so I got to learn how to count big numbers and listen to the ROAR of hundreds of war birds as they began thier flight over the city (L.A.) to promote WAR bond sales , and show off their new airplanes before combat! Edwin. – 30 –

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