Artist David Dent: "depicts US Navy servicemen from the carrier USS Coral Sea. You know it's the late 40s because Dior's New Look is starting to kick in. The Shore Patrol Harvey Davidson and the Chevrolet Stylemaster are 1948 and 1947 respectively. You know also its not a wartime image because of the Navy jets. They are Grumman F9F Panthers and they were on the carrier around this time. Neil Armstrong incidentally flew these. He conducted 78 missions during the Korean War. So this is the kind of post war spirit of fun before dramatic changes of the jet age, Korean war around the corner, and civil rights changes (which I have hinted at by the black American Shore Patrol MP and his sidecar passenger a female officer, showing access being gained to authority positions. Joy Bright Hancock was among the first US naval officers in 1948 and so I based that character on her).
So I guess the inspiration was obviously seeing the car at Kings Cross vintage boot fair; but also I guess the movie On The Town and the Spirit of the Age that my favourite TV show as a kid early 60s epitomised which was Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. We still ain't got a flying sub though. I think the lady likely to turn down the proposal from the seaman....I'd say she'd have her eyes set on a Captain Crane rather than a Kowalski .
I've set it in Cannes where the Coral Sea visited on times around then. And if you look in the hubcaps you will see the reflection of the sea front buildings sky and palms."