Curbside Comix

How droll.

I belong to a social media group that posts panels from comic books out of context for funny or weird effect. I enjoy searching early comic books (now in the public domain) because they are often inherently strange. (Seriously, there is an early hero named The Eye who is just a disembodied floating eye who’s power is to creep people out).

Along the way, I notice cars. It’s kind of like curbside car-spotting from the comfort of home. Usually, the artists depict a non-specific vehicle that doesn’t actually exist. Like this:

That’s a lotta grille.

Or this:

And you thought the current Camaro had a slim greenhouse.

But every once in a while the artist draws and actual car, and when they do it really stands out. The first one I noticed was this Tucker:

Sometimes the resolution on these old comic scans isn’t that great.

I saved the picture, and after that I just kept collecting them until I had enough for a post. So here they are, starting with this ill-fated 1952 Plymouth:

Good thing she has amnesia or Plymouth would be in for a lawsuit.

A 1951 Plymouth convertible:

At least Larry has a swell car.

A 1946-49 Plymouth:


A 1942 Plymouth. ((What’s with all the Plymouth love? Were they easier to draw?):

Ready for anything.

Maybe not a specific Packard, but definitely a Packard:

Ask the doctor who owns one.

His high-powered custom-built sports car is a 1951 Nash-Healey:

Maybe check why your exhaust is pink.

A fair approximation of a 1940 Nash:

That looks dangerous.

A 1940 International cab-over truck. It’s not an exact illustration, but the style of the grille and headlight placement are too specific for it to be unintentional:

Just spraying gasoline from inside the cab. Great plan.

A 1950 Ford and a 1957 Dodge in a race. This was from a comic named Speed Demons. Despite the number of racing stories there were fewer illustrations of actual cars than you’d expect:

I think Bud’s dad is going to win this one.

Another 1949-1950 Ford:

Are you sure about that?

And another. The propeller-nose Fords were pretty popular among illustrators, although some were less successful than others:

This is why you use reference photos.

A 1941 Dodge. It’s not a detailed picture but it’s instantly recognizable:

And after yuh bring me the dough, I’m gonna bake you a pie.

A 1949 Chevy:

Romance comics often featured cars prominently.

A 1951 Buick:

Suddenly… Eeek!

This one is a mystery to me. The silver steaks and other details imply that this is supposed to be a 1937 Pontiac. But the grille is wrong and they didn’t have headlights in the fenders until a few years later. Pontiac inspired, maybe? Or a Pontiac combined with the grille from something else?

I don’t think he thought this whole plan through.