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History So Cal back in the day...

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 1stGrumpy, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. I have read many questions and/or arguments about what the cars looked like in Southern California in the fifties and sixties. Contrary to popular belief, not all looked like what Watson, Barris and Roth were putting out. There were basically 3 styles that were popular... gassers, surfers and low riders. I wasn't into gassers that much and I didn't surf so I prefered the low riders/back yard customs style. Now, I'm not talking about the bouncing small tire trick paint type, that didn't come along until the next decade. I'm referring to the late fifties/early to mid sixties, average guy & occasional gal type of car.
    Now, the reason that I'm digging this up again is that my daughter dug up some old pictures of a couple of my rides and sent them to me. So, since I had 'em I thought I'd share 'em....
    What were you driving back in the day? Post pictures if ya got them.
    My '55 Chevy Handyman, sometime in '66 and my '55 Buick Special a year or two later.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  2. What city did you live in? I remember the primer spots...seems like every one had them.....
     
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  3. Yeah, primer spots. Looked like "you were workin' on it".....:D
    .....and, white wheel wells.....
    .....and old school lowriders, some of the cleanest cars around Redlands and San Bernardino.
    Sorry, only pic I found of anything I owned back then. '56 Olds 88 with factory 3 on the tree.

    My 56 Olds01-7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
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  4. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,066

    Mike VV
    Member

    1969 (JUST makes it into your 60's timeframe !), my first car -
    56 Chevy, 210, bought with original plumb and white paint, shortly changed to "ruddy brown" primer, Corvette 8" wheels (no caps or rings, too much money !), lowered about 2", original 265 with the cast iron powerglide.
    Eventually installed a 327 with a Man-a-Fre intake, home made air cleaner that covered all four carburetors, Hooker headers. Eventually installed a Muncie 4 speed with a Hurst vertical Gate shifter. Even later a Pontiac rear end went in with 3.90 gears and a posi. The primer color changed a few times until eventually I had it painted black.
    Many changes over the 13 years owning that car.

    Mike
     
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  5. I lived in Covina, the eastern end of the San Gabriel Valley.
     
  6. peawee
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7

    peawee
    Member
    from California

    Late 1964 - early 1967
    Torrance California
    This Chevy was Watson painted and pinstriped (sorry) after this photo and is pretty typical of the cars you would have seen in the early to mid 60's in SoCal.
    I lowered the car all the way around cutting the coils and adding 3" blocks CCC-larry-watson-57-chevy-03.jpg in the ass end shortly after this photo was taken.
    Later mods included a complete black 63 Impala SS bucket seat interior and the addition of a 60 Olds steering wheel.
    I sold the car in 67 to my next door neighbor to buy a 56 Nomad . He wrecked it and after the fix painted the car flat black.
    I grew up on 177th St. in Torrance and spent pretty much every Friday and Saturday night cruising Hawthorne Blvd. Heading up to the A&W in Hawthorne and then to the Wichstand in Inglewood with an occasional trip to Harvey's Broiler in Downey looking for parties and potential female passengers.
     
  7. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    1968 W/396 Sandiego traded 2 chrome wheels for the car with NO engine.... 396-1968.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  8. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    1966 san diego wagon 150.00 6cyl stick, hard top 327/4speed
    burned oil like a rolling coal truck 75.00 ya ya the proverbial
    vette engine ...:cool:
    oh ya ya painted the wagon front end flat black as if it was a fiberglass tilt...
    :cool: red75bucksTan150.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  9. Did everybody drive a Tri-five in SoCal back in the day.:D
     
  10. Nope! I drove Oldsmobile 88s.
     
  11. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    no there were lots of cars ... like 1st grump said...
    i even had a 49 buick ... well as a kid working in a junk yard
    made parts EASY...:cool:
     
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  12. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,276

    toml24
    Member

    I grew up on 177th St. in Torrance and spent pretty much every Friday and Saturday night cruising Hawthorne Blvd. Heading up to the A&W in Hawthorne and then to the Wichstand in Inglewood with an occasional trip to Harvey's Broiler in Downey looking for parties and potential female passengers.[/QUOTE]

    Do you remember "Clancy's Hamburgers" on Manhattan Beach Blvd., just West of Hawthorne BLVD?
     
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  13. joe clotfelter
    Joined: Apr 8, 2016
    Posts: 59

    joe clotfelter

    WELL YA
     
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  14. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,273

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nope, mine was a '47 Ford standard coupe with an Olds and a Hydro. Prior to that ('66-67) it was a '40 Deluxe coupe gray primer with a flathead, a Marina blue '60 Pontiac, and a bone stock but lowered '58 Ford Fairlane.
    The '47 was factory black with primer spots here and there - especially around the radiused fender wells for the Inglewood slicks. The GF and I cruised Hawthorne Blvd, A&W, Foster's Freeze and the 'Wich stand. I lived in Westchester with my folks back then.
    Some of the guys at Westchester High did the primered front end trick, only one actually had a f-glas front end.
     
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  15. oh man.... the memories of earlier days in socal (and nights...)

    i had a 56 bel air 4dht, 56 2dht and a 56 vette. purchase price for all together was less than $600. all had good pinks and two of them ran good. purchased in the covina, la habra and anaheim areas.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  16. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,858

    unkledaddy
    Member

    How old did you have to be to legally drive in Covina?
    You look awfully young standing in front of the Buick.

    Sano looking rides.............both of 'em.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  17. peawee
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7

    peawee
    Member
    from California

    Do you remember "Clancy's Hamburgers" on Manhattan Beach Blvd., just West of Hawthorne BLVD?[/QUOTE]
    I think so Tom. There was also one on Artesia and Crenshaw as I recall. It converted to a McDuck's at some point as I remember. 19 cent burgers were on the menu.
     
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  18. It's that party headgear that's throwing you off!!! Actually it's one of my nephews, my guess is that it was his birthday.
     
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  19. The Tri-5 Chevys were popular in the '60's in Compton.....I was too young to drive but gawked at every one I saw......A friend bought a nice finished '57 for 900.00 in '73.....Cars were cheap then it seemed....
     
  20. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,159

    arkiehotrods
    Member

    Jim, you had good taste back then and you still do, knowing what looks good on a car

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  21. Thank you, Duncan.
     
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 19,788

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    of course - don't forget Hot Rods with side exhaust cut outs, reversed rear shackles & enough front spring spacers so that the frontend was firm as a rock
     
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  23. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    and the white for the under color....
    ah yep satin flat black the whole car
    140MPH.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  24. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    and the gasser look on the street... needs jacked up.JPG
     
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  25. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    Off to Carlsbad Drag Strip...
    what a sick tow car...lol... carlsbad drags here we come.JPG
     
  26. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    or 1967 just on the STREET.... wheelies.JPG
     
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  27. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,858

    unkledaddy
    Member

    Of course...................with scavengers.
    scavengers.gif
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  28. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,922

    jimmy six
    Member

    Every used car lot on Hawthorne Blvd had an orange 55-57 Chev post for sale. They would find them somewhere and all of them were orange. I remember light to light racing and the count down from 3 on the double way red light waiting on your green. I cut a lot of good lights because of "visitors" who didn't know.
     
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  29. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,728

    51 mercules
    Member

    Phil Sauers cruised this 51 Merc around in the mid 50's in So-Cal. He was a surfer and had a custom surfboard rack that fit in the trunk. He later owned Inland Surfboards and supplied surfboards for Ride The Wild Surf, Gidget , Monkees and many more movies and television shows. Paint and body was done by Dean Jeffries. I own the car.
     

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  30. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,273

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ooohh, scavengers............... I loved those things back then! Coaxed my Dad into putting them on his '56 Plymouth with glasspacks, sounded great.
    My neighbor down the street (Gene Brown) had a red '56 210 that I occasionally got to ride in (I was like 13), I'm recreating that car now. And Larry across the street had a '57 Ford 2dr sedan that was sky blue with primer spots. He wasn't really a car guy, he always had the back seat out so he could put his surf board in the car.
    Straight, sun bleached blonde hair, sun tans and surf knots on their feet and knees - the look for all the surfers in our town.
     

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