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History So Cal back in the day...

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

  1. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,222

    rd martin
    from indiana

    don't have any pics, sorry, but they had white house paint and 56 chevys in Indiana also, back in the 60s just sayin! :D:cool:
  2. 30panel
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 121


    Taking credit My Panel truck, 1962 LeRoy Grannis Hermosa Beach. Now in Ventura an running better then ever. Still living the life.
    No Hijack intended.
  3. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194


    The Long Beach Municipal Auditorium has been around for many years.

    “In 1932, the 8000 seat Municipal Auditorium, surrounded on three sides by a lagoon, was constructed on the beach. In order to protect the auditorium from storms and coastal erosion, a horseshoe (rainbow) shaped breakwater was constructed around it. The half-circular Rainbow Pier, arching from Pine Avenue to Linden Avenue, surrounded the auditorium and the lagoon. The light poles on the horseshoe pier were painted a variety of colors, making it a colorful area for walking and driving. In the late 1940’s because of the sand filtering in through the rocks making the bay unusable, the city filled in the water to make more land.”

    We grew up with my dad driving around the pier, going to the beach near the Linden Ave. end of the pier and watching the fireworks off of the Rainbow Pier for years. Before the long breakwater was built, my dad used to go to the western end of the pier for head high or taller consistent waves for body surfing as a teen. It was a fun thing to do back then. When we were teenagers, it was a romantic cruising spot, because it jutted out into the water, the lights on the pier and the Long Beach tall building skyline.

    Despite the building of the long breakwater, some swells at certain angles were able to sneak inside of the rock barrier and create ridable waves on the eastern end of the circular pier. All of this time, there was a big lagoon surrounding the municipal auditorium.


    When we were pre-teens and teenagers, the hot rod car shows started up inside of the Municipal Auditorium. The auditorium had been used for the local high school graduation ceremonies for years. Our high school was the only one that was contracted to use the auditorium for the ceremonies. All other high schools had large football stadiums for the services.

    But, as the years rolled by, the problems of the usage, the old building structure was slowly deteriorating. So, the new Sports Arena was proposed and built adjacent to the Municipal Auditorium. The car shows immediately jumped to the new larger arena and left the smaller venue empty most of its last remaining years, except for a few concerts and shows.


    Our high school graduating class in 1962 was the last class to graduate in the old auditorium. We were also the last class to have the graduation “All Night Party/Dance,” at the auditorium with the big, top forty, popular name bands playing all night.
    The rest of the high school classes, after our 1962 class, were able to graduate in the new Sports Arena and have their “grad night parties” until everyone started going to Disneyland.

    RIP: 1930-1975

    The Municipal Auditorium was demolished in 1975 to make way for the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. It is made up of the Exhibition Hall, the Arena, and the Performing Arts Center on the site of the old, Municipal Auditorium.
    Currently, the Sports Arena is home to boating shows, car shows, rock concerts and the background for the pit stop of the local Gran Prix races.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    LBCD, 63fdsnr, Ron Funkhouser and 2 others like this.
  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194



    It took us almost a year to stop at Original Mike’s Restaurant and Concert Venue for some food and entertainment.
    Every time we drove down Main St. in Santa Ana, we saw this fabulous looking place and that neat old, bright Yellow, Chevy Panel truck in the corner of the lot. Having stopped at the corner light many times, that Yellow Chevy panel truck sticks out like a sore thumb.

    During the last weekend in April, 2019, we (wife, granddaughter and I) were in that same neighborhood again. It was a Sunday, around lunch time and usually things are happening at Original Mike’s. Sunday in Santa Ana is a show in itself as families and sightseers are all over the place, especially near the 4th Street refurbished downtown area, just a couple of blocks North of this restaurant.

    As we finagled a parking spot in the huge lot, several “cruiser” cars were in the same lot for the restaurant. A band was playing in the outdoor venue with people enjoying the music while spending their lunch hour in a relaxed state. That was what we heard first as we walked into the area.

    This historic brick building has been refurbished at different times in its history. This last restoration has created a monster on this busy city center corner. As we walked into the dining area (hall) we were inundated with approximately 20 plus large screen monitors on all of the surrounding walls. In the middle was a circular screen hanging from the ceiling, with at least 8 more projections playing .

    We could still hear the music from the band, inside. The staff directed us to a different room with large booths. It was a nice respite for lunch. Someone opened the old windows and the booths were given the loudest music possible. They were right next to the large outdoor concert speakers blasting away.

    So, we moved back to the huge dining hall, that toned down the outside music by closing the entrance door. Now, lunch was ordered and the conversation was palatable, despite the muffled music coming from the outside area.


    The food was outstanding and the service was fast and efficient. That is how any restaurant should be. We discovered that the huge hall was the floor for the 2nd concert venue inside of the building. No one was playing at the time, so we were spared another loud, lunch time music.

    Finally, we all went to the restroom and what a surprise, right next to the restroom hallway was the third concert venue inside of the building. There was a huge party going on and a band was playing along for the party goers. Was that music overlapping the others? Despite being inside of the building and near the original outdoor venue, the music did not overlap if the windows/doors were closed.

    So, with the “cruiser” cars sitting in the outdoor parking lot, there were two out of three concert venues playing at the same time, while we were all eating fabulous food. This is a cool place to go, but bring your earplugs if you are sensitive to loud sounds. The conversation level was raised at least two levels from normal.

    Overall, the venue was pretty eye opening and that yellow 1962 Chevy Panel Truck with the faded flame paint job was sitting quietly in the corner spot of the huge parking lot. It was welcoming patrons of fine food and music to this place. Sundays are a busy time in Santa Ana! (The OC)

    It has been used for various hot rod/custom car shows over the years. The parking lot is perfect for any size show and festivities.

    Previous HAMB post:

    While driving around looking for the Santa Ana Courthouse Sheriff’s Center, we came across this 62 Chevy Panel Truck that has been the advertising display for Original Mike’s Restaurant and Concert Venue. For as long as we have been cruising around Santa Ana and the famous downtown area, this Chevy panel truck has been around. The paint is showing signs of daily outside weather wear, but the design on the flames around the license plate was pretty neat.
    The front fenders received fine line, pinstriping flames with a slight shading inside of the flames. The wheels are another story. At one time, this Chevy was probably the delivery truck for the restaurant. But, if anyone has been to this place for the hot rod events, they have probably seen this yellow truck sitting in the corner of the parking lot. Drivers can’t help but to have their eye sight see this bright yellow truck while cruising down 1st Street.


    It would take some time, but the truck is in need of an overhaul to make it as good as new, again. But, definitely needs some other wheels…Moon Discs perhaps? Or deep dish chrome rims with smoothie mini hubcaps? What about a lowered stance like this Chevy panel truck?
    “Original Mike’s Restaurant resides in what was Santa Ana’s first Buick, horseless carriage auto dealership built in 1919. 100 South Main St was and still is the heart and soul of downtown Santa Ana. It was renovated after being abandoned for over twenty years.”

    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  5. 396/425
    Joined: Jun 11, 2014
    Posts: 57


    I’ll probably get crucified on here for saying this...but all the pictures of the old dragsters?...I’m sorry but screw those...give me cars in the parking lot.
  6. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194



    “Round round get around, I get around, yeah
    (Get around round round I get around, ooh-ooh)
    I get around From town to town
    (Get around round round I get around)…”

    This red/white Ford "Skyliner" gets around the hot rod scene in So Cal. It has been seen in North Orange County, in the central part of the OC, down by the beach and the coastal areas, some times within weeks of each other. It does get driven. Last year, my wife noticed the convertible in the old home tour car show and thought I would like the hardtop convertible. Ford used the "Skyliner" name on many of its full-sized cars and convertibles through the 1950s and 1960s.


    “The Crown Victoria with its flashy chrome "basket handle" was no more, and the acrylic glass-roofed Crown Victoria Skyliner was replaced by a new model, THE RETRACTING-ROOF HARDTOP SKYLINER.”

    When we first saw this model in the Ford Dealer in downtown Long Beach, back in early 1957, my dad was looking for an upgrade from his 1953 4 door Buick sedan. It was 4 years of driving that big Buick sedan and for his idea, it was time for a new car. We were impressed with the mechanics of the hard top being folded down into the rear trunk area. My mom instantly liked the car as a convertible, my brother and I were amazed at the design and my dad said it was not a Buick.

    The Skyliner folding hardtop idea must have some holding power. Today, most convertibles on modern cars have the updated design of a folding hardtop…a good idea, Ford!

    So, all of these years later, up pops one of the cleanest, well kept Ford Skyliners in Orange County. This last month, I was able to shoot some photos of the intricate design and how it was finished.

    APRIL 28, 2019 So Cal Central Orange County 10AM-4PM

    Donut Derelicts HB May 18, 2019 5 AM

    65pacecar and 63fdsnr like this.

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