LARY S car at 3rd & New Hampshire: How the hell did this guy get a drivers license?

By Ralph Cantos

This amusing photo, taken about 1935 at 3rd Street and New Hampshire, shows an eastbound Los Angeles Railway S Line car stopped by an “obstruction” on the tracks ahead.  

The moron of a driver is sitting behind the wheel of what appears to be a 1928 Essex Super 6 sedan.

There was storm drain construction going on along the south side of 3rd Street at the time. Along comes this jerk driving south on New Hampshire, and in spite of warning barricades and a flag man, drove right across 3rd Street and into the ditch blocking the S Line tracks.

With hands on their hips, and scratching heads, and a blocked S car, all anyone could do at the time is wait for a tow truck. Meanwhile, the S car is going nowhere.

Ralph Cantos Collection

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Showing 4 comments
  • Bob Davis

    My dad worked in an auto wrecking yard in East Pasadena in the 1930s. He took the body from a 1927 or 28 Essex Super Six with a blown engine, and transplanted it onto a 1929 Chevy chassis that had body damage. The front axle from the Essex became the foundation for a home-made trailer. In those days, the Essex had a gutless engine but a well-made body, while the Chevy had the “stovebolt six”, which with periodic upgrades last into the 1950s, but a second rate body.

  • Ralph Cantos

    During the 1920’s and until 1931, the ESSEX car brand was the third best selling car in America just behind Ford and Chevrolet. About 1934, it became known as the ESSEX-TERRAPLANE, then just TERRAPLANE. Then the quality of the car began to slip. Soon, the TERRAPLANE known by many as the TERRIBLEPLANE. The brand went out of production at the end of 1938. Also notice in the photo, that just about everyone has a nice hat of one sort or another. Notice also, the conspicuous absence of walking shorts and tank-tops..

    • Yorkman Lowe

      Was the climate in the 30s different — maybe cooler & less humid? How did LA people survive without wearing shorts?

  • Al Donnelly

    Drunks! Can’t live with ’em…can’t get a proper gin & tonic without them!!

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