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History Found: 18 x 12 Long Beach Hot Rod History

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,809

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    Found: 18 x 12 Long Beach Hot Rod History


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. That 28/29 is perfect. That last photo you can see the Villa Rivera building on the far right. What a great group of photos!
    flyin-t and jnaki like this.
  3. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 17,185

    from KCMO

    Oh man those are neat!
  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 9,362



    Nice find on the large photo from an old Long Beach estate. The city has its long history and there are plenty of estates from a long time ago. Heck, our high school started in 1898 and moved to the current location in 1911. It is still standing with its rich history, having gobs of athletics and current students. Ocean Boulevard is/was one of our hot rod cruising streets that leads to Belmont Shore and once connected to Seal Beach (in the OC) beyond the city limits.

    IM is correct in that tall building with the spire sticking up (on the far right, oceanside) is the Villa Riviera Hotel/Apartment building. It is going through some changes these days, as is the Ocean Boulevard heading East. The location from the photographer is near the Pine Avenue entrance to "The Pike" below the Ocean Boulevard street, next to the ocean.

    As far as that car race that started in front of the Old State Theater building, here is a link for the article posted on the HAMB.

    If that 18x 12 photo was an original made from a giant 4x5 press camera, it is valuable. Back in those days, the heavy cameras had to have tripods for clear shots. The local newspaper photographers had the "press camera" set ups for the photos.
    "104 E. Ocean Blvd… A 1934 view while the State Theater is running "Dark Hazard" with Edward G. Robinson. Thanks to Stephen Russo. Ford sponsored a race through the streets of Long Beach. They had a Model A factory on Henry Ford Avenue in Long Beach." (near the Terminal Island Drawbridge)

    It would have been fun watching that race as it would have been a true "through the streets" race. No freeways back then, and a pontoon bridge across the Terminal Island channel would have prevented the race that way. Ocean Blvd. to wide, Pacific Avenue, to Anaheim Street West to the Henry Ford Avenue South, that leads to the Ford Factory on the water channel.


    Once a local Long Beach Eastside/Westside resident from 1946 to 1998... But, "you can't go home again..." (except on the Peninsula or Naples Island on the Alamitos Bay waterfront.)
    pitman, Budget36, 41 GMC K-18 and 5 others like this.

  5. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,544

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Neat pix!----Remember this club? BARON's old car club Long Beach.jpg
    41 GMC K-18, kidcampbell71 and Deuces like this.
  6. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 5,008


    Well as you know all you have to do is ask @Jimmy B .
    Nice find Joey!
    HEMI32 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  7. I believe the scalloped roadster is Bert Letner's Elco Twin car.

  8. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 6,951


    I would bet that whoever stepped up big to restore the '50's GM "FutureLiner" would just love to find that "Parade of Progress" GM van.
    41 GMC K-18 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  9. flyin-t
    Joined: Dec 29, 2004
    Posts: 1,421


    During WWII my grandma worked in the Villa as a switchboard operator. She was actually a school teacher but that was, for some reason, her war time job. There was also a short wave radio in there to communicate with Catalina Island.

    The State theater was on Ocean Blvd and in the 60s when I was a kid it was still in operation along with the Crest over on Atlantic blvd. It was a BIG deal for us to go out to the movies there, I can remember dad wearing a tie when we went to see 'How the West Was Won' at the Crest in the early 60s.

    Little better view of Villa. My BIL and his wife lived there for a few years and had one of the few units with a balcony. They were on the beach side so they had a fantastic view of the homeless and drug dealers.

    Pretty cool inside though. The elevators still have the old pointers above that sweep showing what floor it's on. Reminded me of a Buster Keaton silent film where he takes the needle and moves it so the elevator comes back to the ground floor. Keaton's ex SIL, Norma Talmadge, actually owned the Villa in the 30s along with her husband, Joseph Schenck. The man who who convinced Keaton to forgo his independent film company and sign with MGM. The move ruined his career. (I'm a big Keaton fan, my son's name is Keaton)

    63fdsnr, pitman, Budget36 and 9 others like this.
  10. I worked across the street at a 76 station. Its a 7-11/Shell gas station now. What a great city!
    41 GMC K-18, jnaki and flyin-t like this.

  11. Haha no pressure! ;)

    I do believe this to be an early version of Ron Williams A roadster, better known as the Williams bros. roadster.

    Yes that is Bert Letner's T
    Budget36, 41 GMC K-18, HEMI32 and 5 others like this.
  12. BlacktopScraper
    Joined: Sep 10, 2005
    Posts: 148


    Those are great! I hope a hot rodder scored on those. Long Beach...what great history.
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  13. Copies of these photographs have been floating around swap meets for a while. I have the Ron Williams roadster photo framed at home together with a bunch of other early dry lakes pictures I found around 10 years ago at the Grand National Roadster Show.

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