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Free Car Pics!

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“Spindle,” a sculpture by Dustin Shuler, towered over a parking lot in Berwyn, Ill., from 1989 to 2008. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith. Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division.

Cars cars cars and CARS.

It’s the latest installment of our Free to Use and Reuse photo sets, and this month we’re featuring some of the Library’s copyright-free automobile images that you can download and use any way you’d like.

We lead off with the much-missed Berwyn Car Spindle, which stood 50 feet high (and just as proud) in Berwyn, Ill., from 1989 to 2008. Eight cars on a spindle in the middle of America — is this not peak Pop Art? We were always shocked that sculptor Dustin Shuler came up with this, instead of film director David Lynch. It was, alas, not so popular with the resident population, and we are sad to say, photographs and memories are all that remain.

The 1938 Maserati 8.C.T.F., aka the Boyle Special. Photo: Historic American Engineering Record. Prints and Photographs Division.

Second, we want this car. It is officially the 1938 “Maserati 8.C.T.F. chassis no. 3032,” informally known as the Boyle Special. It is part of the Historic American Engineering Record, in no small part because it dominated the Indianapolis 500 in its day and looked fabulous doing it. Top speed? 180 mph. In 1938.

Auto Accident,” 1922. National Photo Company. Prints and Photographs Division.

Lastly, we’ll close with this black-and-white beauty of a 1922 car wreck in Washington, D.C. It’s just such a perfect metaphor for traffic in the city, then and now. Nearly one hundred years later, we get a little misty eyed just looking at it.

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Comments (4)

  1. Good post, but I haven’t landed on one….expecting

  2. I love these first cars

  3. It is great seeing these pics with the evolution of early vehicles especially.

    These photos also highlight how much modern vehicles have become safer to survive car accidents, along with today’s legislation to protect InjuryLawRights for auto collision victims when crashes occur.

  4. This is such an incredible work of art. It certainly took some serious effort and skill to achieve getting all those vehicles in that position.

    The image probably could even be used as a symbolic safety reminder to people not to drive reckless or risk having to fightDUIcharges by operating an automobile while impaired.

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