It is admittedly an odd thing to find one's photographs of one's childhood turn up on the far corners of the Internet. When I tracked him down to find out what was going on here, the owner of this awesome photo had no idea it was on the old VW messageboard where DT reader DT recently found it.
So I must thank Didier, a bioengineer who is, it turns out, not just the owner of this photo, but the subject, for his willingness to share its story:
My father received a Fulbright fellowship to work at Washington University in Saint Louis in the mid-60's. We left Europe when I was 3 months of age on the ocean liner France with our own car.
My father was at Wash U. for 6 months, and at the end of his tenure there, we went back to New York to catch the boat back to Europe via a months-long trip all over the US.
The picture here is at Death Valley, we had stopped to eat and to let the car cool down. As I had pylorospasms, I had to be kept sitting upright for a while after each meal, or I would throw up. Hence my position on the door, where I could sit, and where I would not make a mess if I did throw up.
One thing I particularly like about the picture is that you can see a hammock hanging inside the car. When I had to take a nap, my parents would just put me in the hammock and keep on driving... a far cry from today's super-safe car seats!
The car is a Saab 96 (3 cyl, 2-stroke engine). The picture was taken with my dad's pride and joy, a Leica M3. At this point, you know as much about the picture as I do!