Well, I do not own a bowler hat, but I have driven an open car during the cold New Hampshire winter.
Considering their light clothing; I suspect that they were not out for long, not going far and possibly not going to drive fast enough to blow their hats off.
My two cents worth, possibly over valued. Bill
New London, NH; about a 95 mile round trip from my home in Keene.
The photo makes the bowler look a bit precarious perched high atop the fellows heads. About 20 years ago my daughter passed her bowler down to me. It is a Saks 5th. Ave. hat with a hard shell. Costume hats are felt only... I remember seeing Stan Laurel fold his in half ("the Music Box" I think)... but the good quality hats are stiff.
My hat was too loose on me and did not sit up high like in your photo. At 45 mph in my roadster pick-up it would blow off. So I worked some dental impression silicone putty (I am a dentist) under the leather inside adjustable band and positioned the hat on my head. It now fits and is comfortable. I have found that even in a 60 mph wind the hat stays put. It also offers a surprising amount of warmth, but not for your ears.
I really like the bowler when the car top is up. Getting into a model T sometimes results in a painful "biff" of head against top bow. When bowler is in place that becomes a pain free annoyance, not a bloody experience.
On snowy days here the Bowler is not my go to hat, but it is a heck of a lot better than a bare, nearly bald, pate.
The original hard bowlers came in both numerical hat sizes and shapes. For example, you could buy a size 7-1/2 in either oval or round depending on the shape of your head. Since they were rigid they would not form to the shape of your head and that is why they were made that way. Doesn't look like the boys in the picture got the right size or shape!
I've found that wearing a bowler works just fine. Even up to about 40 mph. The fit has to be good. The shape is really pretty aerodynamic compared to other hats. The brim is relatively small. Stiff cross winds seem to be the most likely to cause "lift off".
It's the only style hat I wear when driving our '14 T.
Probly just took the car out for a pose in back of the house. ;)
Bill I gotta hand it to ya...you're braver and heartier than I am! I don't even plow the driveway "open" anymore..got me a good tractor with a cab!
Bill is "one of a kind" up here...M U C H braver than most of us in this neck of the woods. He has gone places and at times with his T where & when many of us fear to tread! (or roll).
You can wear any hat you like as long as you use a "hat lanyard."
They're available from the Horseless Carriage Club of America's website at:
Snow on the ground no tracks any where. Not tire or foot. Car & passengers whistle clean except for that RF tire.
Wish I had one of those when my hat a gift from a friend blew off and I could not go back get it, it was from the H. Ford.
I have worn Bowler/Derby hats only a few times in open antique autos. I often wear straw Boater/skimmer hats though. I have made more than a few U-turns to go back and get them, but usually don't have a problem unless I am doing more than 40 mph. Most of the time, I wear a newsboy/sportcap in open cars. I even lost those a couple times at speedster speeds.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2