Vintage Snapshots: Meet Barbara; Your Rambler, Chevy Sportvan and Renault Dauphine Kind Of Neighbor

I’ve shared a good number of vintage images at CC these past few months. After which a few readers have asked: Where do they come from? And I’ve answered in all non-specifity “From all over!” A true if unsatisfying reply.

The best I’ve gathered is that old image collectors seem to purchase them at state sales or eBay listings, color-correct them, and randomly upload them. Out of curiosity, I’ve checked a few eBay listings and I can see the logic behind the ‘random upload’ approach. Those who grew up in the age of film know what I’m talking about; out of a roll of 36, two or four really good pics, if that.

So, up the images go, out of order and out of context. Nice sunset! Nice car! Etc.

But today’s gallery is different, as these belonged to a fairly comprehensive upload providing a decent background on the images. No idea if the uploader was a relative, though there was no indication of that being the case.

So meet Barbara, a native of Pittsburgh, who graduated from the University of Maryland and worked as a librarian in Maryland, Ohio, Colorado and California. And while it looks like Barbara had a rather interesting life traveling extensively across the US and abroad –which is all fine– she and her family had a fondness for out-of-the-ordinary automobiles. In some ways, a natural byproduct of her background as a college-educated person.

Most of the images were taken at Biggs Ave., in Frederick, Maryland. And most of the ones with auto content were shot around the date of Barbara’s marriage. Or so is my theory.

In any case, Barbara and her family were none too concerned with brand loyalty, as the cars shifted wildly from one make to another. And as you’ll see, it’s a rather eclectic mix.

But before we go exotic, here is Barbara on what appears to have been her Dodge. Her car during her college years?

Looks like preparations for the wedding took place during the winter, and clearly, there was much excitement in the -cold- air. A couple of shots show Barbara’s father’s car, arriving with her wedding dress. Precious film, capturing the unfolding of a life-changing event.

A few images seem to have been labeled under ‘moving day’, with no indication of who’s moving what to where. Whatever the mechanics may have been, the moving took a few trips on different days to complete. Both the Dodge and Rambler got a good deal of use during that time.

Another image marked as ‘moving day’ shows the Chevy Sportvan for the first time, right next to the yellow Hertz truck. I’m pretty sure the Sportvan was Barbara’s husband’s ride.

With the wedding approaching, looks like Barbara’s father took the time to give his Rambler a good wash. Better go to the wedding looking tidy and neat!

More photos of wedding preparations. The weather is sunny, the skies are clear, and seems like the bridesmaids’ dresses have arrived.

Notice the Renault Dauphine in front of the Falcon, that at some point had become part of Barbara’s household.

Now, what’s the ideal car for a wedding? What better than a Chevy Sportvan? And the Rambler is seen again, even if only its tail fin appears in the lower right corner of the image.

I honestly never thought of a Sportwagon as a wedding car… but I’ll admit it makes for a jolly sight.

Barbara and her husband seem to be having a ball of a time. Is this after the wedding? I see some wedding gifts back there, enough clothing for a long trip, and the van has gotten the camper conversion at some point; with drapes on the windows and a bed on the floor. A Sportvan honeymoon?

The couple’s life seems to have continued on Biggs Ave. after the wedding, at least for a short while. A few additional photos feature the surrounding houses and quiet neighborhood. Plus another Rambler?

Oh, and the Dauphine, stuck in between the Pontiac wagon and the Falcon.

Now, it’s easy to see that Barbara was fond of the Dauphine. Here she is, happily posing with the little Frenchie.

We’ll close this brief tour of Barbara’s automotive adventures with this image of her by the library. I would think she went to own more varied automobilia, but looks like it wasn’t documented. Or not uploaded yet?

But even if a short tour, these images have given us a slice of Barbara’s life, plus some nice shots of uncommon vintage cars. I also have to say that Barbara seems the kind of neighbor I would have enjoyed having. After all, she was someone fond of new experiences and places. And well, lovely curious cars.