It is spring 1929 and Mrs. Van Norman, a wealthy East coast
 investor in the Tonopah Mining Co. has made the arduous
trip by rail from Philadelphia to Tonopah, Nevada to see
first hand the pit she has been throwing her money into.

La Salle with Silver Top Mine 1

She is relieved after arriving in this uncivilized place to
see a sparkling late model La Salle Sedan Brougham
with driver waiting for her.  It is just a short trip from the
Tonopah & Goldfield RR station to the property.  The car is
so elegant and comfortable she almost wishes it were longer.

La Salle with Silver Top Mine 2

Upon arrival she gets her first view of the ground that will
ultimately undo her.  Alas the price of silver has been
locked far too long at a number impossible to make a profit
with modern inflation.  What she does not realize on this
fine spring day is that she is months away from the stock market
crash, and the mines she has invested in will never turn a profit
again.  Mrs. Van Norman gathers her children around her and
survives  the great depression but she dies penniless in 1955.

La Salle with Mizpah Mine 1

Nicolas Walker is steward of this and several other beautiful
antique cars.  He works with me.  When he learned that the
La Salle had actually belonged to the Tonopah Mining Co.
before the present owner bought and restored it, he wanted to
bring it to Tonopah and photograph it in it's original environment.
It was used for exactly what our little tale indicates, to make
a good impression when investors visited the property.  The
mines that comprised the Tonopah Mining Co. are part of the
Tonopah Historic Mining Park now.

La Salle with Mizpah Mine 2

This 1927 La Salle was the first car styled by Harley Earl's
new Art and Color Division of General Motors.  GM was
first to understand the connection between style,
advertising, and women.

Karen Epperly as Mrs. Van Norman

I used a Rochester Optical Co. 15 1/2" Rapid Symmetrical for
the 8X10 shots and then switched to the 18" Wolly Verito on
7X11.  That combination seems to me to be incredible.

Nicolas Walker

Nicolas Walker II

1927 La Salle!