Staged versions of this event turn up on line and in publications. A recent one showed one of the Fords up ended by the other Ford.
On some of the photos you can detect where a jack held the up-ended Ford, with the jack washed out of the print.
I have dissected several auto-polo "action shots". Some of them, you can clearly see that they are staged if you look closely. Some are more difficult to tell, but can be proven as staged. A lot of them, including this one, can be tough to tell for certain. But I would suspect that it is staged. The first thing I always look at in photos like this is the wheel spokes. Photographic films at that time tended to be very slow acting. Real action shots usually will have parts of the picture that are blurred, usually badly. If this was a true, live action, shot? Not all, but some of the wheels should be turning fast enough to have blurred the spokes.
There actually is one often seen Auto-polo photo that has been discussed at length, where one propped-up wheel appears to be spinning as if someone grabbed it and spun it for the photo. In that picture, blocks of wood and what appears to be a 2X4 can be spotted holding the cars suspended in their posed positions.
In this picture, I haven't yet found any blocking. But the front of the one car could easily be just sitting on the back of the other. Nothing else is suspended, except the ball over its shadow. It could have been tossed out just for the photo? Or maybe I can see a couple short sticks supporting it?
If it is a live action shot? It is a good one, and faster films were around and occasionally used, but rare.
Another thing I wonder about. If this was a staged shot, what about all the people in the background? Did they come special for the staging? Or did they stay after an actual Auto-polo game just to watch the fun of photo taking?
Another observation. Those white sidewalls seem to stand out more than usual for pictures of the era. I wonder if they were cleaned up? Or painted for effect for the game?
And another. Both drivers appear to be wearing their sport caps on backwards. Nothing new I guess. A couple of the hats appear to be "Big Apples" also.
Great photo! Thank you Jay!!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
The ball appears to be in the air. Judging from the tire tracks it looks like the front car may have come to a quick stop. I don't see where people have walked in the tire tracks of the two cars which almost certainly would have happened if this was staged. I don't see anyone getting ready to leave, would have had to been a very patient group of spectators if this photo was set up, but who knows.
Wayne what are "Big Apple" hats?
John P S, A bit over a week ago, I shared a photo of me (an accidental double exposure) and made a comment about my hat, a Big Apple.
Dennis P replied with a link to a place that now sells them. Now I have to save up my nickels and dimes to buy a couple.
With my pointed head, the common newsies and sport caps pull up too tight on the sides of my head. And I like wearing them.
Another place you have probably seen them, is the old "OILZUM" signs. The signs have been reproduced from originals and are fairly common, and the fellow in them is wearing a Big Apple.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2