Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Car, Three Brothers, and the Family Outing

In my previous post I highlighed a photograph of a car with three men, two sitting on a running board and one leaning on the wheel well. I asked if anyone had an idea what make and year the car might be since that information would help me determine whether the man seat with the hat is Alonzo or Alfonzo.

Patty F. from Stories, Yarns & Tales of Olde said she thought the car looked like a 1941 Chevrolet Business Coupe and sent me the link to photographs at Classic Cars. After examining both cars in as much detail as possible, I believe they are the same make, model, and year of car.

Twins Alonzo J. Gerner and Alfonzo F. Gerner (Lon and Fon for short) were born on July 25, 1874. From what others have said, they were as identical as identical twins could be. Looking at photographs, no one seemed to be able to tell them apart even when standing together. When apart, how could anyone guess which twin was which! Except that Alonzo died on October 21, 1940, and Alfonzo lived until January 29, 1952.

If this car is a 1941 model, as I believe it is, Alfonzo is the man seated with the hat in the photo above.

The photograph to the right was taken at the same gathering as the photo of the three brothers, above. In this photo you can see several cars in the background. But most importantly, you can see the three brothers' mother, Elvira (Bartley) Gerner, seated with some of her children and their spouses surrounding her. Elvira died on February 3, 1943.

If the year of the car is accurate, these two photos were taken sometime between late spring 1941 (at the earliest) and early fall 1942, and the man in question is Alfonzo Gerner.

Thank you, Patty F., for helping me solve a small mystery. Fellow bloggers are wonderful for the cumulative knowledge they possess and so willingly share.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

After some thought, I've come back to this post to add: What do you think about the two cars? The same or not?


  1. Wow, great detective work! I had a question about a car in an old family photo and a coworker tried to help me out, but even he (who knows quite a bit about old cars) could not identify it. Maybe I'll try reposting the picture.

  2. Yes, Nancy, they look the same to me! Good detective work. Vintage car enthusiasts are just that, enthusiastic, and will often go out of their way to help identify old cars in photographs.

    In a previous Photo-Sleuth article several readers and members of the Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society have tried to identify an old car from the 1920s from a family photo, thus far not definitively.

    Thanks for sharing this image and your story.

    Regards, Brett


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...