Thursday, July 21, 2011

My First New Car a '57 Ford

'57 Ford with my hand painted flames on the side and my Auto show trophy

I bought my FIRST NEW CAR, a black and white 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 hard top. I paid $3200 dollars for the car. A lot of money at the time. I special ordered the car so it took several weeks be built and to come in to the dealer. It was a good thing because I had a lot of trouble finding an insurance company that would insure me in my new car because of my previous bad driving record. My drivers license was always under suspension or near to it. And of course the car dealer couldn't release the car to me without insurance. I finally got some insurance the very day of delivery and drove out of the dealer with my brand NEW car, my first. I was so happy.  As I was driving along looking at my reflection in the store front windows minutes later only a few blocks from the car dealer, admiring my new car and how cool I looked driving it...... When B-A-M. I hit the car in front of me that had stopped for traffic. My car wasn't hurt much, but I had climbed right-up his trunk. I sure didn't want to have an insurance claim for the other guys car turned in already, so the only thing to do was pay for accident out of my own pocket. Unfortunately, the guy I hit had a customized Kaiser with a leaded-in trunk. So the cost to me out of pocket was extra high. Go figure?

I only made it a few blocks before I had an accident on the day I got my very first new car.

 Joy & the '57 Ford

The accident was soon forgotten. I loved that car, my NEW '57 Ford.  It was super fast and a really cool looking ride. I had broken the car in by driving it to California at over 90 mphm less than a week after I had gotten it. Against all the manufactures directions. I think that must have helped in making the car run faster then normal, being loose as a Goose, so to speak. LOL  It was a very fast 312 cubic inch Ford with a 3 speed shift on the column standard transmission. It was one of the fastest cars of any make in town in those days and that car too had proved it time and time again, from my old street drag-racing days.   Even to Tex Johnson and his '55 OHV chevy. It was great Chick magnate too, I used it as an excuse for many a picture.

More Joy & the '57 Ford

<funny story> The day I photographed my FIRST NUDE ........In 1958

I ran a classified ad in the Des Moines Register & Tribune for a nude model to photograph. The best looking, most agreeable model that replied to my add was named Joy (maybe the only one),-- as seen getting out of my '57 below. We made arrangements to meet for the shooting day. We met and went to the secluded waterworks park reservoir southeast of town. An isolated spot that I used for photographs quite often. As high schoolers my friends and I had discovered the spot and used it for beer parties or to Make Out. For privacy concerns it seemed like the most appropriate place for us to go. Anyway this girl and I shot pictures there for 3 or 4 hours making pretty pictures and expanding my photography expertise.

She finally said to me "Aren't you going to have me take my clothes off"? I realized I hadn't taken ANY NUDES at all that day as I had advertised for in the newspaper and she expected. I had used almost all my film that I had rolled. I only had a few unexposed rolls left in my camera bag. I was rather shy, this being my first time and all, so I just had her disrobe and lie down in a mud puddle naked. It was the only water available at the time. The picture (as shown below) came out looking as if she were artistically reclining in inviting fresh water.

And I was the guy that would go on to be an award winning PLAYBOY magazine photographer . LOL

My Lady of the Lake, DM. Iowa. 1958

That hooked me on glamour Photography

'57 with Miss Joy posing getting out.

  '57 with Miss Cool Cal. My Illustrious Decal company

I was constantly venturing in some great money-making scheme or other. Onetime I actually had my own auto decal company that advertised nationally in Hot Rod magazine. Auto decals were very popular back then, so I had drawn up what I thought was some pretty unique looking decals and had them printed up.  I promoted my decals, as well as picking up the orders at the Post Office box and filling them all myself. I even had a booth at the Iowa State Fair to sell my Cool Cals, the name I came up with for my decals.  It was an unusual shaped booth with a slanted front & roof, I designed and built it myself. I also ran an ad in the local newspaper for a Miss Cool Cal.  I interviewed and test photographed all the girls that I found suitable. ;-^)> ....and with my car of course.

Eventually the decal business dried up without making me a fortune. LOL But it sure was a valuable experience.

While I was in California I had torn out the transmission speed shifting into second gear during a street drag-race late one night. With that and other unexpenses snowballing I became desperate for money and I called home. I told my Dad if all else failed in trying to raise me some money to send, for him to give my chopped, channeled '40 Ford coupe temporally to my garage-mate Roger C. as collateral for a few dollars and to send that money to me. I'd pay Rodger back when I got home. Seems like maybe only $200 at the time.

I was disappointed to learn on my return that my buddy Roger, had rolled the '40 Ford over on it's chopped top ruining it and took off the new brakes I had just put on it, to put on his car a full-race model T Ford roadster. Some friend?

I guess sadly the '40 Ford chopped channeled coupe must have ended up to the junk yard again. But this time for good.

But I had my new car, my new life, new job and I was young. I got married and fathered a couple of kids, got engrossed in my new commercial Art director job, the Iowa Air National Guard and soon became fascinated with learning all about my new hobby of photography. I soon forgot that transaction, but I did find a new best friend.

Looking back through the photo files I find pictures of almost every girl I ever photographed was made with a nice looking car. It was either with my car, because I am a pretty visual person and my cars usually looked pretty unique to me, but it could be with someone else's exotic automobile. But it's always girls with cars.  Combining nice looking girls with great looking cars has always been my obsession. You might say: It has been my driving force in life (no pun intended) LOL. I perfected the art of photographing beautiful women while photographing them with exciting looking cars.

More Joy & the '57 Ford

As my local photography reputation expanded from first being the Junior Chamber of Commerce Photographer of the "Miss Des Moines Pageant", to the next year actually being Director of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. I was the head honcho over of all the Miss Des Moines contest as well as the Miss Iowa Pageant, organizing the very first ever televised Miss Iowa Pageant. That achievement got me a letter of praise from the Chairman of the National Committee of the Miss America pageant.

Later I was selected to be the chairman of the local March Of Dimes and the photographer for the Miss March Of Dimes Beauty Pageant.

Volunteering for the photography of local beauty pageants and doing model agencies photography of young aspiring models, along with always having attractive girl friends myself, kept a steady flow of beautiful subjects for me to photograph while I was gaining a lot of knowledge and experience in the ART of glamour photography.They spell it different these days but it still means the same.

Until I discovered the much Greener-Pastures of Las Vegas.

In my photography beginnings back in Iowa, I had two business cards printed up. Being the art director of a printing company always made any printing cheaper and easier to do. Both cards were impressively steel die engraved with raised letters not the cheap kind of today.  One card said Commercial Photographer and one card said Glamour Photographer, both in gold script letters. Otherwise they looked just the same, name, address, phone number, etc. You had to be very cautious when giving out the Glamour Photographer business cards so as not to offend anyone that had the mid-western morals of that day.

The word GLAMOUR was evil by Iowa standards........

Getting back to Des Moines, about the same time I had become rather widely known around town for my artistic hand-striping talent, expert painting of flames and Arty illustrations on cars, award wining in all the Auto shows.

'57 Ford with "Auto Show" trophy

So I hand-striped my '57 Ford all over even the hub-caps and painted flames on the side of it appearing to be coming out of the Laker pipes and I entered the '57 in the Auto show just as an advertisement.  Much to my great surprise--It won first place! ....(notice the model)

After an accident that was not my fault, I took the opportunity to have the '57 Ford painted completely black and fitted with a '59 Ford grill, as my grill was trashed from the accident. I don't recall much about the 6 rows of louvres in the hood, but I do know it still had the bubble tail light lenses and they were hand-stripped too.

'57 Ford Painted Black with '59 Grill

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