Los Angeles Transit Lines “Candy Cane Cars & Buses”

By Ralph Cantos

Starting in November of 1948, The Downtown Business Men’s Association sponsored 2 Los Angeles Transit Lines Candy Cane streetcars, PCC no. 3010 and H-4 no. 1257 to stimulate shopping in Downtown Los Angeles. — the only proviso being that both cars would pass through Downtown along either Broadway or 7th Street no matter what lines they operated on.

The “Candy Cane Car” promotion proved to be an unexpected success. The telephone switch board at LATL headquarters located at 1060 South Broadway was besieged with 50 to 100 phone calls daily from children wanting to know what lines the Candy Cane Cars were operating on, so they could ride them.

So popular was the Candy Cane Car promotion, that 1949 saw five candy cane vehicles on the streets of LA, four streetcars and one diesel bus.. The Candy Cane Bus was driven over to the Paramount lot in East Hollywood where Bing Crosby sang White Christmas on the front steps of the coach.

Christmas 1950 would prove to be the high point of the Candy Cane fleet with an assortment of 15 cars and buses being painted as Candy Cane vehicles. After Christmas in 1950, the number of Candy Cane vehicles diminished until the practice ended at Christmas 1954. It was fun while it lasted.

Ralph Cantos Collection

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  • Brian G

    As a child I recal Santa Monica bus lines doing something similar with a few of their buses. They dubbed them ‘ The Candycain Express.” I do’t know how many were painted like this. But there was more than one and the paint jobs were permanint because they were beautyful. Fine graphics airbrushed detail just first rate work. I think these buses were kept in storage most of the time and only brought out during the holliday season.

  • Orlando Rei

    What types of cars have been painted after 1948?

    Anyway few decades ago a naples peter witt was painted with a christmas livery, (you can see it here http://www.clamfer.it/10_Tram/TramNatale/TramNatale.htm)

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LARy cars on Broadway at 7th in 1941LARY no. 3029 at 7th & Grand, 1940