Friday, August 12, 2011

More Scooters, Another Singer

Updated 08/22/11
Updated 03/06/12: Second picture down added.

Since I posted Katharine on a scooter and in a Singer, here’s Debbie Reynolds on a scooter and, um, next to a Singer. While Kate cruised on a Vespa, Debbie went with two different Lambrettas. I am told that the first - on the cover of the February, 1958 issue of Picturegoer Magazine - is a 150 Mk11 Id:
Debbie Reynolds on a Lambretta 150 Mk11 Id on the cover of the February, 1958 issue of Picturegoer Magazine. From Picturegoer Online.

Another view from the Picturegoer cover photo shoot. Personally, I think that this is a better choice than the one that made it on the cover. From jeanjeanie61's website fookdamorph.

While the one from the 1966 movie The Singing Nun is a light blue Innocenti Lambretta Li 125:
Debbie Reynolds on a Lambretta Li 125 in the 1966 movie The Singing Nun. From

Not that I can tell the difference. Lambretta experts feel free to comment.

Then there is the The Singing Nun medium gray Lambretta 150 LI Special that was on display in the now-defunct Buena Park, California Movieland Wax Museum collection:
A waxen Debbie Reynolds on a Lambretta 150 LI Special from the defunct California Movieland Wax Museum. From jamesandtim.

After spending much time there with a wax nun on board, it sold for $1,050, sans engine and Debbie, at their liquidation auction in 2006.
A derelict Lambretta 150 LI Special at the California Movieland Wax Museum auction. From

The engineless Lambretta as sold at the California Movieland Wax Museum auction. From

It was rumored to be in the Phoenix, Arizona Hard Rock Hotel collection, but a couple of scooter enthusiasts bought it, so I doubt that since it’s not on the Hard Rock's searchable memorabilia list.

I’ve read that Jeanine Deckers (aka Sister Luc Gabriel , aka Sister Smile, aka Luc Dominique), the real Singing Nun, didn’t really drive a scooter. I remember being taught the English version of the song Dominique in school. That sure wouldn't happen today.

Now the Singer roadster. This photograph was taken by Frank Worth on, I believe, the same day that the April, 1953 cover photo shoot above was taken at the same 20th Century Fox Studios parking lot:
A frilly Debbie Reynolds leaps for joy in front of Donald O’Connor and a Singer SM 1500 Roadster. Frank Worth photograph taken circa April, 1953 in the 20th Century Fox Studio parking lot. From the Divine Marilyn Monroe blog.

I’m not sure whether this is O’Connor’s or Reynolds’ car - the whitewalls tilted me towards Debbie at first – but then, the striped two-tone paint job and that racing helmet in Donald’s hand has me leaning the other way. The latest O’Connor and Reynolds film, MGM’s I Love Melvin, had just been released in March. (Interesting bit of trivia on that film from Lileks.) Reynolds would go on to make two more MGM musicals that year. I couldn’t find a picture of Donald O’Connor on a scooter.

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