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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The cars of Marilyn Monroe, 60 years after her death

Marilyn Monroe is such a colossal cultural and entertainment icon that she remains popular today, six decades after her death. We know Marilyn's movies, her famous "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" performance for John F. Kennedy, and all those iconic black and white photos-particularly the image of her standing on a ventilation grate in New York City while the wind blows up her dress.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/the-cars-of-marilyn-monroe-60-years-after-her-death/
27 REPLIES 27
MustangJim
Technician

That was interesting. I did not know about all of her cars but most interesting was the reason for the nude calendar photos. I never would have thought it was to get a car back.
JohninNC
Instructor

Just stopped in to say, "She was drop dead gorgeous...".
MATTMERICA
Technician

What does this tell you:
It strikes me a a great deal that somebody bought her '56 T Bird for just under $500k. I f that rig was on BaT today it would probably go for at least double that

She had a nice collection of convertibles. I would have preferred the coupe versions but some gentlemen prefer blondes. :^)
Autocar
Intermediate Driver

Nice pictures of Marilyn and the cars. But at the end of the nice article, what do we see. Some Waldo in plaid pants standing next to a ratty AMC. You did that on purpose.
AndyG109
New Driver

Love the Cadillacs.
27340
Intermediate Driver

Why did Marilyn prefer convertibles? Easy - all her men liked it top down.
Smokeyjoe
New Driver

Interesting, and enjoyable article.
One small correction. Marilyn’s iconic photo of the subway elevating her skirt was from a film titled “Seven Year Itch.” Billy Wilder directed both this film and “Some Like It Hot,” and was credited with the idea of of the action shot for the film.
Gene_M
Detailer

I seem to remember a quoted exchange between MM and JD:
MM- "When I go on stage men stand up and cheer"
JD- "They do that for me, too"
Not sure if that ever took place, always thought it could have been.
Inline8OD
Technician

MM was a supremely gifted, multifaceted performer,  if we're allowed to remember she was also an intelligent, thoughtful woman who had fun with the  image she liked to retreat from now and then.

RG440
Technician

What a beautiful color photograph of Marilyn with two of her cars in the background ! Loved the video of her and Jack Benny. I would have ALSO given her a car  for that skit… interesting, that every vehicle she owned was a gift. Thanks for the great article!

jimliberty
Intermediate Driver

I've been in love with her since I was a teenager. Still am. ...............Jim.
LIBERTY MOTORSPORTS
RG440
Technician

Surely a reader can identify the green convertible Marilyn is sitting in the picture. Through color options, body lines, interior colors? After researching there is no mention of her or Joe ever owning a green convertible in this article or others? Just curious….

Snailish
Engineer

I'm guessing circa 1953 Cadillac based on the shape of the armrest. Google 1953 Cadillac arm rest and some images pop up that maybe match?

 

Note the two Caddies in the background of the photo too.

RG440
Technician

I’m still not convinced what car this is but surmise it belongs to the famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine and this was a photo shoot of Marilyn in May ‘53.  After watching this video I could care less what car it is…what a beautiful woman with the body lines of an automobile…. Enjoy the video   https://youtu.be/Lt1SH3fBwVY

Snailish
Engineer

The video pulls back just enough. 1953 Ford matches the door panel, chrome piece at the front of the rear fender bump.

plank
Detailer

Interesting and informative article. Thank you.....love the cars.....damn she was special.
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

Here I sit every day at the computer and I have this gray tone crochet image of Marylyn watching me. A gift from a most wonderful lady in life. Inna's creation. A lady who has the sexiness of Marylin with the body and looks of an Aubrey Hepburn. Got to love those 50 vintage deluxe convertibles. I have a Shelby GT500 convertible now, I have had a life of love for convertibles and motorcycles.
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

One more thought about Marylin's convertibles. Big comfy cars like my next door neighbor that had the bright red 1957 El Dorado. What a fun car for all the kids to pile into with the top down. Then there was my first top down car. Red 1959 Porsche 356 Super Convertible D. Too much fun!
Petryks
New Driver

Marilyn also posed with early 1950 Pontiacs
13eagle
Intermediate Driver

The license on the '62 Chrysler 300 is either a dealer or manufacturer plate, so the car would have been loaned out by a dealer or directly from Chrysler Corporation.
hunternicholas
Advanced Driver

For anyone that enjoyed the video above, Jack Benny virtually did the same skit ten years later with gorgeous Jayne Mansfield. It had acting just as well done and it's just as funny. This is the link for the 1963 version with Jayne-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfpIl300z_s
hunternicholas
Advanced Driver

I can't say why I took my comment in a direction so off-track. But I posted it in case something I've written might help someone.

This is the first I've heard that the reason for the nude calendar photo was so Marilyn could get her car back from repossession, though the reason had been known as due to financial hardship.
I can say that you have to have a car in LA because the extended area is big and using city transit buses can take hours dependent upon where you need to go. The cost can add up too.
In 1978, I was twenty-one and had moved to Hollywood. I wasn't looking for acting jobs, I just always wanted to live there. I had come from anywhere in the rural USA. I was alone and worked two jobs keeping myself fed and clean in a dumpy one-room apartment. I was fortunate enough to eventually buy a mechanically excellent car from a little dealership that offered schmuck financing. It was a '69 Chrysler Newport Custom, two-door. Yes, I did pay it off.
When you're young, broke and alone it's frightening not having much money. And partly because of my experience, I understand why people have to do things that they otherwise wouldn't, like pose for photos. In a situation like that, you have to use what you have and what you can do, even if you know that it will lead to feeling indignant. I know that for one of my jobs (as a valet) I was hired because I was handsome. It's not the same as posing for nude photos but it was made clear to me why I was hired. What is the same was a result in knowing that I wasn't thought of as a person, since I was a piece of meaty eye candy.
For anyone that hasn't seen the film "Sunset Boulevard" the movie starts out with the leading man being chased by two men trying to repossess his car. The remainder of the film is about the things he has to do to survive financially.
lavapirate
Intermediate Driver

Marilyn's performance in the JB skit proves her comedic timing chops and acting ability. I could see a few times where she was just starting to crack up a little but kept right on going. I wonder how many times they rehearsed the skit before going live. Compare her performance to any multitude of guests on a show like SNL and you will agree.
She even slipped in a funny blonde comment in the conversation at the end. Jack didn't even seem to catch it. "cinnamon scope"
65sportfury
Intermediate Driver

Sometime after MM passed away I saw a picture somewhere that showed that someone had purchased her powder blue 1961 Dodge convertible. I can still recall that picture to this day.
Dobrhi
New Driver

Interesting how the stars gravitated to the black T-Birds. I have a friend that owns Buster Crabbe’s black “55 T-Bird . He has provenance and registration to prove authenticity. Just needs a Buster Crabbe fan to sell it to! Buster was an Olympic star as well as an accomplished actor. If you are unfamiliar with his laurels Google him and you’ll see a was a HUGE deal back in the day.
Zephyr
Technician

She might have been married 3 times, but as one friend of hers said "Marilyn only had one true love, and that was the camera."