Carole Lombard may not have driven this vintage Renault when she posed with it on the Paramount lot in 1931 while filming "Up Pops the Devil," but by now she knew how to drive. We have proof through this California driver's license Lombard was issued in 1937, after she reported her pervious license was stolen. (Yes, even back in those pre-TMZ days, some unscrupulous members of the public attempted to take advantage of celebrities.)
Thankfully, we have close-up versions of each page, giving up more detailed information on how Carole filled up these pages (in black ink -- the green ink she used for autographs and such wasn't going to pass muster with the folks in Sacramento). First, the front:
Lombard listed her "residence" as 5451 Marathon in Hollywood, address of the Paramount lot, and apparently was first issued a license in 1929. (Does this mean that she hadn't legally been issued one when she was shown driving in the 1928 Mack Sennett shoart "The Campus Vamp"?)
She gave her height as 5-foot-5 1/2, which to many of us would appear "stretching" the truth a bit (her measurement in heels, perhaps?). As for her weight of 112 pounds...well, by now, I've learned never to dispute a woman's weight.
At least give Carole credit for admitting she was born on Oct. 6, 1908 and not falling for the studio publicity claiming it actually was in 1909. Her vision and hearing were said to be "excellent," which probably is accurate from her knowledge of cinematography and dialogue.
Now to the back page:
I'm sure all the information Carole supplied on this side was accurate.
But just in case you're not entirely convinced this is the real deal, here's a certificate of authenticity:
Now for the kicker -- this 78-year-old Lombard license may cost more than the vehicle you're now driving. (I haven't driven a car since 2010 due to problems with peripheral vision; what's he doing in California, you ask?) Specifically, you can purchase this straight up for $11,500, or make a minimum bid of $8,500; the auction is set to end at 11:49 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday night, and according to the seller, it won't be relisted.
More about the item: it's in "fine condition for being more than 78 years old," something I won't argue with, and it's "probably one-of-a-kind" (won't dispute that, either). If you want it -- and can afford it -- then 1) visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Signed-Drivers-License-Application-/121800448534?hash=item1c5bdf5a16:g:x-8AAOSwI-BWMXp7, and 2) I'm trying to sell a romantic comedy screenplay I've just written, and chances are you probably can afford that, too.
At least we now have proof of Lombard's late '30s De Soto ad: