We are back with the fourth installment of Carspotting in the Past!

Part four! The first can be found here, the second here, and the third here.

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. It is unlikely that they renewed the copyright this long out of print, since color photography needs no introduction; I don’t think they would mind me sharing a few partial images online after 50 years has elapsed. Please tell me if you have any information regarding this. Enjoy.

I previously overlooked this colorful parking lot containing many interesting things. There appear to be two identical white Fiat 600s with red interior flanking the bright red Fiat 500 and the Beetle. The cream colored car above them appears to be a Renault 10, also with a red interior.


Finally, an American scene! I am not particularly proficient in this era of Detroit iron, but I know many of you are. Let me know. Is that a Buick to the right of the brightly painted SanFran Trolley? I would guess this photo was taken some time before the publication date of 1972.

Update: The hood striped car is a ‘56 Pontiac Chieftain. The black car on the left is a ‘57 Lincoln Premier. And the Buick is also a ‘56. Looks like we know the year now, with this being a well to do area that would have many new cars. Than you, Fintail, AwesomeAustin, and the others who helped!


And finally, we have what appears to be a cathedral parking lot. The tailfin W110 Mercedes and the early small taillight Beetle convertible are obvious, but the identity of that white car eludes me. Is that plaque with a “B” engraved on it some sort of government emblem or just a garden variety personal touch?


Update: Looks like the white car is a Vauxhall Velox with a B for Brussells. The car behind it is an upscale Fiat Peugeot 403 family sedan, possibly a 2100. Thank you, Oppos! Your input is what makes these fun to make.

Let me know if you can spot anything in these fascinating vintage photos!

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