Hollywood Cars in Portland, Oregon

PE 674 rolls along San Vicente Blvd. near Redondo Blvd, fresh from its 1939-40 “Modernization” rebuild. She was a beautiful sight. 

By Ralph Cantos

In late 1952, the Portland Traction Co. was in desperate need for additional rolling stock. A deal was made with the Pacific Electric for 8 surplus Hollywood cars then stored at West Hollywood yard.

The future of about 65  unneeded  Hollywood cars was bleak at best in 1953. The 8 “lucky cars” were run through the Torrance paint shop and emerged in a sparkling Portland Traction scheme. The 8 cars were loaded at Torrance Shops onto flat cars and whisked away to Portland where the “new” cars were met with civic fanfare and positive  media coverage.

Unfortunately, the 8 cars that had been the “Pride of Portland Traction” had fallen from grace and were retired and scrapped after just 5 years of service. One car, Portland Traction #4022 (PE #680-#5069) escaped the scrappers torch, and now awaits restoration at the Seashore Trolley Museum.

The former PE #674 – PTC #4019 seem to be the “bad luck car” of the bunch. It was involved in at least 2 crossing accidents; the last one with a loaded logging truck was the final end to this once beautiful car.

The 674 heads up a 2 car train on the Venice Short Line in this 1948 view.
The 674 heads up a 2 car train on the Venice Short Line in this 1948 view.
In 1949 , the Hollywood cars were once again "modernized" to operate with a one man crew. Some of these rebuilds known as "5050s" saw less than 2 years of service before being "retired" and placed in dead storage at West Hollywood yard.
In 1949 , the Hollywood cars were once again "modernized" to operate with a one man crew. Some of these rebuilds known as "5050s" saw less than 2 years of service before being "retired" and placed in dead storage at West Hollywood yard.
This photo taken by master photographer Alan K. Weeks shows just some of the unneeded DOOMED Hollywood cars stored at West Hollywood yard, never to operate in revenue service again. What a waste.
This photo taken by master photographer Alan K. Weeks shows just some of the unneeded DOOMED Hollywood cars stored at West Hollywood yard, never to operate in revenue service again. What a waste.
Former PE 671, now PTC 4020, is "locked and loaded" aboard an SP flat car ready for its "new life" in Portland OR. The photo was taken at the Torrance Shops.
Former PE 671, now PTC 4020, is "locked and loaded" aboard an SP flat car ready for its "new life" in Portland OR. The photo was taken at the Torrance Shops.
PTC 4017 ( PE 650-5099) is seen here in early 1957, looking a little worse for wear. The PTC closed off the center doors and installed bus seats there.
PTC 4017 ( PE 650-5099) is seen here in early 1957, looking a little worse for wear. The PTC closed off the center doors and installed bus seats there.
In early 1957, the 4019 (PE 674-5075) had a run-in with a new 1957 Mercury Colony Park station wagon. Of note to car guys, most all 1957 Mercury cars were equipped with the new "Quadra Beam" headlights. However, some states did not allow the 4 headlight set up, Oregon was among them. This Merc has the single headlights.
In early 1957, the 4019 (PE 674-5075) had a run-in with a new 1957 Mercury Colony Park station wagon. Of note to car guys, most all 1957 Mercury cars were equipped with the new "Quadra Beam" headlights. However, some states did not allow the 4 headlight set up, Oregon was among them. This Merc has the single headlights.
Later in 1957, the 4019 collided with a fully loaded log truck driven by a moron who pulled his rig right in front of the speeding 4019. The motorman was killed and the 4019 was finished for good.
Later in 1957, the 4019 collided with a fully loaded log truck driven by a moron who pulled his rig right in front of the speeding 4019. The motorman was killed and the 4019 was finished for good.
The end of the line. PTC 4021 (PE 673-5076) and other cars await the scrapper's torch after total abandonment of PTC passenger service in late 1958.
The end of the line. PTC 4021 (PE 673-5076) and other cars await the scrapper's torch after total abandonment of PTC passenger service in late 1958.
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Showing 2 comments
  • Joe
    Reply

    Topmost photo is in front of 5152 and 5160 San Vicente Blvd., at So. Sycamore Ave.

  • Joe
    Reply

    Topmost photo is in front of 5152 and 5160 San Vicente Blvd., at So. Sycamore Ave.

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LAMTA #3075 PE #302 H-3's on S line - 8th & San Pedro Sts