Edward Quinn, Photographer

The Edward Quinn Archive

Stars and Cars: car identification

Many experts, members of vintage car clubs, members of staff at museums and car
manufacturers have helped with the identification of the brands and models of the
cars for Stars and Cars of the ‘50s. At this point: a sincere thanks to all.
Exact identification was not always so easy and in some cases – due to a much too
small image detail – it proved to be impossible. If a reader has suggestions or ideas
for more exact identification, or finds any mistakes, corrigenda and addenda he is kindly asked to send them to archive@edwardquinn.com and we will gladly publicize these comments here.
Wolfgang Frei

Corrigenda and Addenda:

John Clinard, Irvine, California, wrote:

Dear Mr. Frei,
I recently was given a copy of Stars and Cars of the '50s and I love it! What a fantastic book! Congratulations and thank you for making this treasure available to the public!

You invited corrections for identification of the cars, and I would like to submit three. The first photo in the book, page 5, depicting Roger Vadim and Catherine Deneuve states that the car is a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT. It is a 1960-63 Ferrari 250 Spyder California. The car is definitely a Spyder California (often incorrectly called a California Spyder or California Spider -- neither of these names appeared in factory-published literature). The long wheelbase version of the Spyder California produced 1958-60 featured the hood scoop fitted "on top" of the hood (bonnet). The short wheelbase versions featured an indent in the bonnet that led into the scoop. This indent shows on the Vadim car and it thus would be the short wheelbase version produced in 1960 or later. 

On further research, one Ferrari registry states the following: 2175GT was a 250 GT SWB California Spyder, completed January 1961, it was a covered headlight steel version, with velocity stacks it was delivered to Roger Vadim for his wife Brigitte Bardot. 

And, since the photo on page 117 was taken in 1961, that would further confirm that the car can be identified as a 1961 model, which agrees with the production date of serial number 2175GT, assuming Roger Vadim is in the same car as it appears to be.  Thus, I think you are safe in identifying the car as 
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Spyder California serial number 2175GT.

The two captions on page 114 would be 1960-63 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California, as this car also has the indent in the bonnet (as well as other "short wheelbase" features, especially the instrument layout).

Thank you for inviting these observations, and thank you for producing such a fabulous book!


Richard Sunderland, Baltimore, Maryland,

Page 65
The Chevrolet Impala is a 1960 and not a 1959 model.
Many thanks to Richard Sunderland, Baltimore, Maryland 

Page 69
The Cadillac mentioned is definitely a 1953 model.


Klaus Rossfeldt, D-58239 Schwerte, Germany, wrote:

Page 154
The car is not a long-wheelbase Rolls Royce 1957 Silver Cloud, it is from a series with standard wheelbase.

Page 161
This Rolls Royce Silver Dawn 1950 is not a long-wheelbase variant, Rolls Royce never made any Silver Dawn with long wheelbase.


Page 117
The chassis number of Ferrari 250GT California Spider is 2175GT and not 10FY74

Nick Garnett http://nickgarnettnovelist.com/ wrote:

Page  67.   
Unknown car.  I think it is a Delage.

Page  82.   
That does NOT look like Lee J. Cobb.

Page 132.   
Background includes a Morgan. 

Page 136 and Page 196.   
Use of word "limousine". In German, I think, means "saloon".   In English, it means stretched car with extra window.   The 220a Mercedes is a standard
saloon/sedan in English.

Page 141.   
Hillman Minx.   Similar (same ?) car appears in background on page 182.  Similar (same ?)car, with same white soft top, used in Italian film "L'Avventura",  directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

Page 142.   
In background is a Vauxhall Velox/Wyvern.   A similar (same?) Vauxhall appears on page 126 (behind the policeman).

Page 144.   
That does NOT look like Edmund Purdom.

Page 151.   
Background includes a Standard Eight drophead (black,right-hand drive).

Page 189.   
Far distance - a Rover.

Page 205.   
Looks like the German Chancellor's official Mercedes-Benz 300.   The 300 model is now known as "an Adenauer".

Page 212.  
It is NOT a Daimler in the background on right. It is a Sunbeam Talbot drophead (same model, though one pictured is right-hand drive,used by Grace Kelly in Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief").

Page 246.   
Some of the more unusual cars visible here - a Hansa by Borgward, a Jowett Javelin, a Rover, a Daimler Conquest Century, Mercedes 170 and a Jensen Interceptor.

Paul Alting van Geusau wrote:

Auf Seite 206 hat sich ein Fehler eingeschlichen. Der auf den Foto abgebildete  Sarkis Nubar Gulbenkian war nicht "Mr Five percent". Das war sein in Juli 1955 verstorbene Vater Calouste.

Header photo: Steve McQueen,
GP Monaco 1965