The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 1stGrumpy, Apr 30, 2016.
The old pictures are great. Keep them coming.
I'm trying, Norm. He'll probably stay a "lurker!"
He bought it in 1962 and it was already hot-rodded with a 265, Cad-LaSalle box and columbia two speed rear. It was maroon, unchopped and he thinks he saw it for sale in Drag News. Drove it home and started making changes right away. As far as cars go, he really didn't have it for very long. Maybe 1-1/2 to 2 years. He needed an open car to get into the L.A. Roadsters and that's why he traded it.
Here's a couple more pics. Two car shows in 1963. Possibly the Great Western Exhibit Center and Tridents show in Long Beach where he actually made the trade.
Since this is a "SoCal back in the Day" thread and not a "Doyle Gammell Coupe" thread, here's a pic of my dad in 1968 in his '31 roadster. 354" blown hemi, beret and no shoes!
Ed Lenarth later built and drove a Jeep funny car Holy Toledo as I recall
As a famous diner/restaurant chain in So Cal, it is sad to hear of the permanent closure of the Hof's Hut, Bixby Knolls structure. Bixby Knolls was known the center of the hot rod, car culture in the 50's/60's with close proximity to Lions Dragstrip and the rise of famous drivers/ builders/hot rod shops. The city also used to close the main drag to have the yearly "Cackle Fests." But, as things go in today's world, an icon has closed. Google Search still had the satellite images of the restaurant with the chain link fence surrounding the whole property. We all know those satellite images are not up to today's date and could be from 2015.
Hof's Hut had a fire in 2015 and were in negotiations to rebuild this iconic structure and restaurant grounds. (See the Reflections thread) Some of the restaurants in the chain have already closed, but one is still open in Torrance. There is still hope, but the latest news from the local paper says it is going to be gone, permanently. There were many stories associated with this restaurant chain, but the two in Long Beach had the following that just would not quit. The Belmont Shore people flocked to the Marina restaurant for years. A staple on the menu was "Those Potatoes" a side dish served with any breakfast or lunch.
So, we will all have to head to Torrance in the South Bay area of LA basin or let the memories linger in our brains...
Sorry to see it go...
Discover LA photo
v. nak photo
v. nak photo
What destination on the coast line allows you to drive out on a pier to park and see the sights? There are two that I know of in So Cal. In Los Angeles County, the Santa Monica Pier allows cars to drive out onto the pier.
There are designated parking places and it is weird driving over the wide planks to get to the area for parking. The drive is slow, but if your car is just a Chevy or Ford, the looks are usually out to the ocean and beach. If your car is a 40 Ford Sedan Delivery painted a bright orange, you get looks like no other. In 1972, we drove out to the end of the allowed area for cars in the delivery and it was very cool. We saw a T bucket roadster go out there and the looks they got seemed like the President of the USA was going out on the pier.
The other spot to be able to drive out on the pier is in Santa Barbara. The Stearns Wharf allows cars out there and park in designated places. There are a couple of places to eat there and the view is right over the water. In the 60’s we would park and go in for a breakfast or lunch and watch the surfers out on the sandbar catching some interesting waves. Since the boat harbor is right there, you also have a ringside seat for watching the sailboats go out for a day sail or for destinations unknown.
But, cars do make the places look much better. The Stearns Wharf is a great place for photo shoots, but unless you get there at a certain time of day, it is a working pier and there are always people milling about.
In Santa Monica, it is hard to get a lonely place for photos, but the idea of a ferris wheel in the background of a car photo is a good idea, there are places to shoot there. Also, people in the backgrounds sometimes makes the shoots come alive. You can always use a Bokeh technique of Tilt Shift to create an unsual photo.
If you go to Stearns Wharf at a certain time of the year, you are rewarded with this view. (background of the above photo)
Surfer Mag photo
The huge waves have started to drop off, but the ocean is still very active…stay safe. Just to be on the safe side, stay out of the water for a few days…let it clean itself up from the recent pollution. Brown water…definitely stay out…blue water, at least 72 hours after a rainfall and drainage.
Like to see us go back to the white socks and black loafers er maybe NOT!
vintage San Diego photo + cal beaches photo
After these past week’s worth of wind and rain, we drove down to San Diego Harbor for a short visit. On the way back, we tried to accomplish two things. One, we wanted to find a cool gathering spot for our extended family to celebrate the annual summer get-together. The second, enjoy the longer drive up the Coast Highway and by pass the I-5 north. On a good day and time, the drive north on I-5 only takes an hour to get back to the OC. But we have always liked coming back up the Coast Highway through each of the small communities to check out the shops and views. We happened to stop in Mission Beach and saw the old Crystal Pier where we once stayed with my family, when I was a little kid. My dad was an avid fisherman and wanted to try fishing off of the pier and also do some surf fishing on the nearby beaches. He loved deep sea fishing, but grew up fishing from the rocks, jetties and docks in San Pedro/Terminal Island.
So, while driving to this old, refurbished pier and surroundings, I remembered my post from a while back about driving on piers in So Cal. I forgot to include this pier, as it is a short drive to your own cottage on a pier. The Crystal Pier at Mission Beach, San Diego (oceanfront near Mission Bay) has been around for decades and since being refurbished, is a drawing spot for visitors from all over. There are cottages on both sides of the pier and the drive is short, parking in front of your rental. So, technically, you cannot drive out to the end and cruise around like the other two piers mentioned in the previous post. But, you can drive ON a pier. (Also remember we are not talking about “Woody Days” on a pier for beach community festivals)
But, this pier has tons of history and you do get your chosen cottage and private parking location. This may be the spot for our family gathering this summer.
Since 67 the Queen Mary has been docked in Long Beach. I still love going down to have a drink in the Observation Bar. The Art Deco decor is beautiful!
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Nice photos. I was in Long Beach a couple of weeks ago and went to Joes Jost but from there I went to San Pedro and I hadn't been down Ocean Blvd in years and I remember how I could drive on Ocean Blvd and see the Queen Mary and the ocean. This time, I couldn't even see the Queen Mary. All those buildings block the view of the ship and the ocean. The place looked like downtown L.A. That is why I prefer the beaches of the Central Coast now days, less "citified"
Nice photos of your sedan in front of the QM. The scene looks like it was just after WW2, with a unexpected U-Boat popping up behind… actually, it is a Russian sub. (regardless of whether your car is a 41 or 46) We haven’t been to the QM since our 20th reunion for our LB Poly HS class. But, between graduation and the reunion, I was able to use the QM for a backdrop for photo shoots. Since I was a local, it was the first time that someone had used the QM for car backdrops in the mags.
This is Larry Cerny’s 34 3 window coupe. It had an SBC with a cool looking Hilborn Injector system. The exhaust pipes made a loud, but cool sound. It looked like a race car for pure street use with the M&H rear tires.
The Los Angeles Times, June 11, 1968.
I once had the privilege of seeing the New Jersey at the naval shipyard here in Washington state. Mighty fine ship indeed.
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Love it up there too....my daughter is studying architecture at Cal Poly SLO....great excuse to take a ride up the coast!
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That is rad! Great pic!
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Thanks for the nice comments... The red coupe actually reminded me of a drag racer, with the M&H tires and the Hilborn Injectors. But, the coupe started fine, ran well and sounded great. So, he must have had mechanical skills to make the Hilborns work for street driving. There were very few, if any, cars running Hilborn Injectors on the street, they were just too finicky. As far as the Model shot (cool bell bottoms, high stacked, ratted, flowing hair, etc.) that was a standard for the times, we just had to have something interesting in the background...hence the Queen Mary. The streets around the QM were perfect for action shots.
(If I can recall correctly, Hilborn Injector Co. used to have a big shop on Crown Valley and Cabot in Laguna Niguel ... the OC, just off the I-5 exit ramp. Now, there is a huge apartment complex on that same corner)
We all know about the Seal Beach Main St. Car Show that is coming up in April of every year. They block off the Main St. and the cars are parked on both sides of the street. The annual show is getting larger and some of the side streets have been utilized for more car show display space. The short oceanfront street at the pier is part of this huge display of cars. It is a spectacle in this small beach town in north OC. This town has a ton of history, activities to offer, and there are a lot of cool restaurants to drop in for a quick meal.
This is one of those stories from back in 1961-64. After we surfed the Seal Beach “Ray Bay” and the pier in the Summer, 13th St in the Winter, we would always stop in for lunch at the old (Swedish Smorgasbord) Little Sweden Restaurant on Main St. We even came down here for dinner as we knew a giant meal awaited us. The key word was “Smorgasbord.” A fancy name for “all you can eat.” (actually, "a variety of sorts"…) Out in front of the restaurant, the street looked like a car show with cool vehicles that had surfboards on top, in the back and some tied down on the sides. There was almost every make and model of family cruisers, surf wagons, and vans.
The Long Beach Restaurant had the same food, but the atmosphere was not the same crowd as in Seal Beach. A lot of older folks, not happy, fun teenage surfers.
When a 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery full of teenage surfers came into the restaurant, the cooks just looked away. We were always dressed nicely as the restaurants require… shirts and Levis. As growth spurts go, this place took care of the starving teenagers with "robusto." There were so many choices to eat, that going back for seconds and thirds was the standard of the day.
The main meal section took a hit when we arrived. But, the dessert section also took a larger hit at the end. It did not cost very much and was affordable for the low-buck, teenage surfers. Once we got onto this low-buck eating place, we began to look for similar places in the beach towns.
Ta ta… we found a very similar restaurant in Huntington Beach, just a couple of miles down the coast. It was easy to find as it was on the same street that dead ended at the famous Huntington Beach Pier. (Main St.) This place was called Villa Sweden. Those Swedes knew how to cook and present food in a very tasty way. Of course, one of the favorites was the “Swedish Meatball.” But, as simple as it sounds, our plates were usually loaded with Strawberry Jello. We had Jello at home like all 50’s-60’s families did back then, but the idea of it being in a restaurant with other food, just became an obsession.
Of course, like all good things, they both closed and are now a Thai restaurant and an Italian restaurant. But, they can never compare to the old Smorgasbord style restaurants that live on in our memories. They had great food at reasonable prices for us cash-strapped, teenage, hot rodder / surfers in So Cal.
Just last week, we drove our granddaughter past this place in Huntington Beach on the way to a dance concert / presentation. The building is still there and it was just a couple of blocks towards the beach from the local high school.
Main St. Huntington Beach 1964
Cool photos. I had the good fortune to cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary with my mother and sister in 1956. I've never been on it since it's been in Long Beach. I should correct that before I tip over.
That Seal Beach Car Show used to be on Main St. and Electric Avenue, but now the whole Main Street is closed to traffic from 5 am to 4 pm. Last year, the show had expanded to include the street in front of the pier parking lots, too.
The massive amounts of restaurants in town can fill up fast. If you are caught in a bind, "go West young man..." to the Long Beach Marina, Alamitos Bay, just down the way. Take any street to the far western area where 1st Street will take you away from the ocean to meet Marina Drive. A left turn brings you right into the marina. There, you will find another batch of great places to eat, from craft beer places to high end dining all along the marina. There are always plenty of parking spaces in the open marina parking lots.
Most of the harbor restaurants have water views. The Schooner or Later Restaurant has outdoor dining overlooking the marina and water. (A great atmosphere for lunch.)
The hard core Long Beach diners that know about 2nd Street in Belmont Shore will keep going west to their favorite hang outs.
Here are a few shots of my old three window that is now in the hands of Ron Anderson of Edgewood Washington.
The first two shots are of when Rick Strange got it in 1975 while it was still blue.
The second three are what he painted and built it to look likein 1975
The last shot is the interior, which was unchanged from the first pictures.
When I met Rick, he said he traded it to a guy from Long Beach, or Seal Beach for a '32 Tudor, and said it had been featured in a magazine at some point in it's life, though he did not specify whether it was before or after he painted it.
My dad grew up half a block from the water on 11th street in Seal Beach in the 50's and 60's. He tells stories of cars, surfing, and skateboarding to The Pike as a kid, and I envy him often for that.
With the coming weeks in So Cal and elsewhere, a million college kids and a ton of HS kids will be hitting all sorts of places for their annual Spring Break. So Cal still has a bunch of places to go and be seen. In 1960-65, cruising down Coast Highway to Newport Beach and Balboa was fun and adventurous. It was away from our normal local hangouts in Long Beach. Not too many people ventured as far as Fort Lauderdale in Florida, or the beaches of Mexico. But, each So Cal coastal town had their own places and gathering spots that drew crowds from all over, during the weeks in March or April. It was called “Easter Vacation” way back then, but to be politically correct and not to offend anyone, it was changed to “Spring Break,” in the later years.
But, somehow it always centered on Easter Sunday being the beginning or end of the week long vacation from school. Colleges are starting as early as a month away from the actual Easter Sunday. This year, one So Cal school district has moved Spring Break a couple of weeks away from the actual Easter Sunday to be more “politically correct.” They’re hoping to ease the religious ties to this annual break for deserving students from all over and remain friendly to all religions. It was originally just a break from school, but to others, it was a rest before the last weeks of preparations for the grueling final exam weeks in June. For us, it was fun, fun, fun...and daddy never got his hands on the TB...
Rendevous Ballroom across from the Fun Zone in Balboa? Merle’s Drive-in Corona Del Mar, P.O.P. and Santa Monica Pier in the South Bay? San Diego’s Mission Beach Boardwalk? The best and strangest was one trip to Rosarito Beach and Ensenada’s famous Hussong’s Cantina, just south of the border. (a flying upside down Jag, great surf, and outstanding, street tacos) The cruising/long car trips were worth it, but for us, there were always the places and parties in Belmont Shore’s 2nd Street and the rocking out, Peninsula in our local Long Beach hotspots.
We did survive those fun times and places a long time ago. The Spring Break scene is still going on for many and the hot spots have changed over the years, so…be careful out there...
San Miguel, Baja Mexico
"Start of a bottom turn" photo by James Nak 1962 Pentax SLR 135mm 2.8 lens
The Long Beach Crew @ 3M's Baja Mexico
photo by L. Hetzel 1963
To this day, I go into some rank public restroom and come out saying, "that smells worst than Hussong's".
In the early days, too many of the "worms" made it smell in the back of the establishment. Those were the days. I cannot imagine that all of these years later that it would smell better. So many days, months, people, and years would make it just awful.
Haven't been back since 1967. The funny thing is that my wife liked this place with all of it good stuff, activity, and history. She even got caught with the serving tray trick on the door. Everyone got a big laugh out of that one. She actually said that it did not smell that bad where we were sitting, just a musty beer, liquor smell, like most bars and dives.
Spring Break has arrived in So Cal as the beaches from Seal Beach to Corona Del Mar were packed with visitors. Huntington Beach was a zoo and it is only the end of March. The weather was a warm 77 in Long Beach to 71 in Newport Beach. We took a drive to Long Beach to see a "Frank Brothers Retrospect Display" at the Long Beach State College Art Museum. http://web.csulb.edu/org/uam/EXHIBITIONScurrent.html
It closes April 9th 2017.
See HAMB "Reflections" thread post 67 for info on the Frank Bros store:
JNAKI, DEC 10, 2016 EDIT DELETE! REPORT!
SHARE POST#67+ QUOTE
It was a fun drive down the coast from the LBSC campus back home. We stopped at all of the local spots from back in the 60's. A history cruise starting with the Frank Bros. display at the university and a fabulous lunch at Tantalum in the harbor water's edge.
On Highway 1 back down the coast, we saw a 1960 Olds hardtop, a Model A SBC coupe, a light blue 55-56 F100, a 56 chevy and a kind of a ratty pickup, the make hard to tell but looked like a 28-29 Ford cab. That was unusual for a Thursday, but the warm, sunny weather brings them out.
Phil Sauers is still going. He's my cousins wife's cousin. Making a movie about his life including being lost at sea for 71 days.
Much has been mentioned about the abundance of concerts in the early 60’s. But, the local high schools in Long Beach had their own gathering places, just for their own students. LB Poly: The Hutch, LB Wilson: The Den, etc. The parking lots for these places looked like weekly car shows. Hot rods, customs, trucks, and even a ton of family vehicles borrowed for the night.
They were the gathering spots before and after the “Friday Night Lights” games that included weekly dances until 11pm. Those places had a snack bar, pool tables, ping pong tables and a stage set up for bands. At our place, The Hutch, one band actually made great music and became famous all over So Cal. The band was “The Pyramids.” The leaders of the band were athletes at LB Poly. Their hit song was an instrumental, “Penetration.” Since the leader of the band was a good HS gymnast, (yes, boys gymnastics was big during this time period.) his famous performances had a backwards flip off of the stage at concerts.
He was in one of those HS social clubs that got banned in 1961 and the name, “Pyramids,” was related to his club name.
There was another place on Coast Highway 1 where groups made their sounds in concert. The Pyramids played at the famous giant quonset hut on the border of the OC and Long Beach, along the San Gabriel River. It was a nightclub with a varied history, and in the early 60’s started playing to teenage crowds with the advent of local rock bands, then later on the big names arrived for their time in the spotlight.
Early shots of the Airport Club, which became the Marina Palace in the mid-60's. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Press- Telegram.
The Airport Club opened in 1950, and attracted gamblers to the bingo and draw poker tables. At that time, bingo was legal in California and draw poker, which was a city issue, was OK in Seal Beach. This was the first place that gave the Cinnamon Cinder Club (a dance club) at the Long Beach Traffic Circle direct competition. Later on in the 60’s this club became the Marina Palace, the legendary rock and roll hot spot located in the two Quonset huts. At first, the cars in the lot were “old folks” cars, but as the new owner started bringing in the younger crowd for the concerts, the audience showed up in hot rods, customs and of course, the daily cruiser cars.
Throughout the mid-to-late 1960s and early 1970s, the Marina Palace hosted: Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Seeds, Alice Cooper and Van Morrison to name a few headliners. (and almost every local band trying to get a break) The club closed in 1974, and for a variety of reasons, ranging from juvenile delinquency at the site , to widening the water channel that led to the ocean next door and the nearby city’s idea of entertainment.
American Bandstand 1964: The Pyramids from Long Beach Poly HS
Even many SoCal natives don't realize that the Santa Monica Pier is the western most terminus of Route 66. If you followed Route 66 starting in Chicago, to the end of the highway in the west, you would be going down this ramp onto the Santa Monica pier...
Janki, thanks for the pics of the Airport Club/Marina Palace. Every time I head into Seal I think how cool it'd be if that club still stood there.
Here's a recent shot of Will Glover, rhythm guitarist of the Pyramids, with the Airport Club foundations in the back ground.
Hello, (since Easter is upon us...)
In our neck of the woods in Long Beach, there were a lot of car clubs, but for us teenagers, it did not work out unless your dad was a member. So, since high school was important for all of us, we drove our cars to school, the drive- in restaurant, the movies, and cruised the avenues for fun times. We did not belong to a car club, but our high school clubs were gathering points for the teenagers, boys and girls in their own clubs. They were the social focus at the time. One of the clubs had been in Long Beach since 1909 and had prominent local, businessmen as former members.
When ever these clubs went to the local teenage hangouts, it was a car show in the parking lot. Afterwards, the local drive in restaurant lots were the places to be seen. Once in a while cruises to other drive in restaurants in our cars was like a caravan of cars. Finally, on Easter Vacation, (Spring Break, today) it was the longer drive to Newport Beach and Balboa for the annual cruise around.
One spring, we put on over 300+ miles going from the Los Angeles/Hollywood hot spots down the Coast, through the LA County beach areas, through our own cruise spots in Long Beach, and finally, down to Balboa for “Bal Week,” as the nickname surfaced.
Back in those high school days it was Easter Vacation because Easter Sunday was at the beginning or end of the school holiday break. Then, as being politically correct came into being, the breaks moved away from the actual Easter Sunday. Colleges started early in March and continued on until the end of April. In recent times, spring break for high school districts has also distanced themselves from the religious connection to Easter Sunday. To each his own…
These clubs were the old high school clubs with the most hot rod cars. So, in 1961, all Long Beach high schools banned those clubs from recognition on campus. They could still gather on campus, but no insignias, jackets, sweatshirts, etc. was to be worn on campus. This applied to boys as well as girl’s clubs. Now, they were called “off campus social clubs.” The “on campus” clubs remained associated with the schools and were mentioned in the newspaper publicity writings. It was hard to showcase a hot rod in the school newspaper without mentioning your club, but, from 1961 on, no mention of those clubs was allowed.
The local drive-in restaurants always had boys and girls wearing their club insignia T-shirts/sweatshirts imprinted with the club name on the back. Their were all colors shown as each club wanted to stand out from the rest. It was a tradition for the hot rodders to “look cool,” driving around with their sweatshirts in their cars everywhere they went.
The odd thing was, the older you got and moved on with your life, a new generation of hot rod enthusiasts from the local high schools arrived with their club sweatshirts and associations. Pretty soon, that drive-in plus your own sweatshirts were distant memories of good times for all.
Separate names with a comma.