Let's go Car Spotting in the Past!

The dust jacket of the book
The dust jacket of the book

This is a repost, since I accidentally had it go live on a very non peak hour a few days ago.

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This remarkable vintage book* was picked up at a library sale by a sibling, and is now my favorite picture book. Why? It is a guide to the brave new world of color photography, using examples taken by a team of professional photographers on a continental (and American) adventure. Better yet, it is set in the colorful, colorful world of 1972!

*All images are copyright 1972 by Hamyln House and taken by Van Phillips and Owen Thomas. I do not own the right to reproduce these photos. The publisher still exists, but I can find no mention of this book online. I don’t think they would mind me sharing a few partial images online after 50 years has elapsed; it is unlikely that they renewed the copyright this long out of print, since color photography needs no introduction. Please tell me if you have any information regarding this. Enjoy.

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I wish American infrastructure was this picturesque
I wish American infrastructure was this picturesque

Let’s jump right into it with a riviera scene adjacent to a highway. What do you spy here?

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There are a plethora of classic VWs and Fiats in the foreground, but the commercial vehicles are interesting as well. Look at that streetcar!

Illustration for article titled Lets go Car Spotting in ithe Past!/i
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Is that a BMW 600, the big brother of the Isetta, in the bottom left corner?

Illustration for article titled Lets go Car Spotting in ithe Past!/i
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Ooh, this is a good one. Underneath the Eiffel Tower lies quite an assortment. Front and center is a Citroën HY Van used for mobile vending. Then, you notice the Morris Traveler (Mini Woody Wagon) off to the left. The other Mini between them seems perfectly normal here. I could not capture the whole picture, but this is quite a shot.

Illustration for article titled Lets go Car Spotting in ithe Past!/i
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According to the authors, a line of parked cars is one of the last things they would like to photograph, but this riverfront scene is quite intriguing to our modern eyes. Only about one in 10 photos contains any sort of transport, and photos worthy of carspotting are far fewer; They followed through on their word.

But let’s examine the cars shown here. That Citroën DS really stands out in that beautiful creamy shade of yellow. And just a few cars over is a white FIAT 1300 (thanks Rallydarkstrike!). Two Beetles and two Minis round out this rather pedestrian scene.

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Illustration for article titled Lets go Car Spotting in ithe Past!/i

Other than the Volvo Amazon coupe and the Citroën 2CV van in the foreground, I cannot identify any non-Beetles in this photo. What is that strange little tailfinned white machine? Edit: It’s a FIAT Millecento, an upscale Italian family car! Thank you again, Rallydarkstrike!

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I decided to do this in multiple parts, because Kinja and pictures. Please let me know any cars you can identify, with zoomed in photos if possible. I will update as we progress!

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