Friday Photos: Stars And Their Cars

Here’s a perfect illustration of the iconography of American freedom. Marilyn Monroe displays a picture of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, in a sleek convertible with the open road beckoning.

Automobiles represent freedom. You climb into a car and go, go, go, whenever and wherever you want.

The car is modern man’s most potent symbol of, and path to liberty.

Contrast cars with trains.

Trains and subways are an expression of the collective. Individual identity is erased. You are at the mercy of a state run system that turns  the citizen into a small cog manipulated by unmotivated, inefficient government bureaucrats.

That’s why progressive/liberal/leftists are obsessed with high-speed rail. The freedom of the road is repellent to big government statists. The ruling elite seek to regulate and control tobacco, food, calories, soda size, education, light bulbs, toilets, health care, reproduction — your very geography. In short: liberty is constricted by any and every means, all in the name of: “We know what’s good for you because you’re too stupid to make your own choices.”

Nazis just adored trains. And hey, the Italians boasted that Mussolini made the trains run on time, though Italian trains were about as effective and efficient as the Italian army. Which is to say, not so much.

At a certain point, one must acknowledge the convergent philosophies of post-modern liberals and iron-fist fascists. Both ideologies assert the power of the state as the final arbiter of human affairs. Hence, the government replaces G-d and family as the center of man’s universe. It’s no surprise that the formal title of the Nazi party was “The National Socialist German Workers’ Party.”


Hollywood produced great stars who proudly posed with their autos, symbols of glamour, affluence, and freedom.

Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry, AKA Stepin Fetchit, with his Cadillac Phaeton. Fetchit was the very first black actor to receive feature billing in Hollywood and the first black actor to become a millionaire.


William Powell admires Gary Cooper’s Duesenberg.


Cowboy star Buck Jones poses with his 1933 Packard Special.


Al Jolson, star of “The Jazz Singer,” and his Mercedes.


Comic genius Harold Lloyd and his wife Mildred Davis with their Buick.


Danish prizefighter, singer and actor Carl Brisson, star of two silent Hitchcock movies, behind the wheel of his 1934 Isotta Fraschini.


Jean Harlow with her Cadillac.


The original flapper, Colleen Moore on location for “Synthetic Sin,” (1929) with an electric car.

Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and inspirational Shabbat.

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  1. Posted October 27, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    That car Marilyn is posing in looks to me like a 1953 Buick Skylark. I had one that I bought used from a friend about 1959. It was a great car and only built that year. The style changed the next year. The doors had a curved top to accommodate the driver or passenger’s arm. Mine was “mandarin red”, a Buick color and had 23 coats of lacquer. It had a radio with a remote control station seeker. You pushed a button on the floor and the radio would change to the next station. Leather upholstery and all the bells and whistles. I sure wish I had it now.

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  2. Bill Brandt
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Most of those cars were, to the middle class, strictly unobtainable. The saying, “It’s a Duesie” came to symbolize something superlative – could not be improved.
    Indeed, other than metallurgy and electronics nothing about that car would seem “antique” today – a straight 8 engine, 4 valves per cylinder, DOHC, and if was an SJ – supercharged. 
    The customer would order the chassis in Indiana, and then commission a body maker. Every chassis, before release from the factory, was tested at the Indianapolis Speedway – and guaranteed to cruise at 100 mph. 
    I think most Duesies were $15-$20,000 – when a good Ford V8 was $600. 
    Then there was the Bugatti Royale – made 6 of them – at $50,000…in 1933. I think even that would force a Cooper or Gable to ask for the payment plan 😉

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  3. David Foster
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Historically, a member of the upper classes could be identified via his ownership of a horse, or better still, a multi-horse carriage with a paid professional driver. What’s the fun in being upper class when the peasantry are also allowed to own horses?

    Note also that the “progressives” have no interest at all in freight rail….which, unlike passenger rail, is an absolutely vital part of our infrastructure, and without which we would all soon be starving in the dark (freezing too, in many places.)

    A very courageous Chinese railroad expert recently chastised the Chinese government for spending too much money on the glamorous passenger-rail projects at the expense of vital freight-rail projects. (I believe he actually used the phrase “playing with train sets.”) 

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  4. Larry
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Mentioning Colleen Moore as “The Original Flapper” reminded me of her role in making the hair bob popular, which got me thinking. Irene Castle made her bob famous and I thought she did it before Colleen Moore. Watched “The Vernon And Irene Castle Story” last weekend. Looking it up shows that Castle did make it popular in the US first while Moore brought it to a much wider audience about nine years later.

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  5. Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    A 1929 electric car driven by a Hollywood star… times don’t change much! 🙂

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    • Johnny
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Obama just saw that picture and ordered the Pentagon to buy them for all personnel. Humvees use too much gas and gosh darn we will just have to use less when we fight wars. What good is it to free the world from despots if the planet will warm 1 degree in the next two centuries?

      Priorities people, priorities!

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