LARY-LATL-LAMTA 3001: Destined for Immortality
By Ralph Cantos
Of the 165 PCCs that roamed the streets of Los Angeles, almost all of them served LA’s transit system in obscurity.
But nine of the PCCs do stand out for one reason or another.
Car no. 3001, the first PCC delivered to the LARY, is pictured here in the fall of 1962 at Georgia Street. The thunder of the 3001 was stolen by no. 3002 by having Shirley Temple pose with it for the grand unveiling of the new streamliners. The 3002 would go on to fame as the “Crying PCC” decorated with crying eyes on it front dasher “GOODBYE OLD SWEET HEARTS and PALS!” plastered on it flanks as the end of LA’s PCC era came to an end.
PCC no. 3035, the only LA PCC to be scrapped after a “run in” with a Santa Fe Diesel switcher outside Vernon Yard.
Car no. 3062, the so called “Guinea Pig P,” was used to test various alterations to the standard LARY/LATL PCC design, most notably a single row of seats on the right hand side of the car’s interior forward of the center door.
Car no. 3075 was the first PCC to be painted in LAMTA’s two-tone green.
Car no. 3096 was the first of 30 “War Babies” to go into service in November of 1942. (The LARY wanted more than 30 PCCs, but because of war restrictions, was lucky to get the 30 P-2 class cars.)
All-Electric no. 3126 got all the press coverage upon its arrival in LA in September of 1948.
Car no. 3148 was the only LATL/LAMTA PCC to operate on the former Pacific Electric Long Beach Line using borrowed San Francisco Muni Standard gauge PCC trucks. (In my humble opinion, the experiment by the LAMTA using the 3148 was a total fraud, a white wash, by a corrupt management that did not give a DAMN about rail transit in LA.)
And last but not least, the no. 3165, the last new PCC delivered to the City of Angels.
The 3001 lives on today in all its splendor at OERM to the delight of thousands of visitors that ride aboard this legendary PCC for all eternity.
Of special interest: notice that both the 3001 and the 3063 display advertising cards for the “Ice Follies” at the historic Pan Pacific Auditorium. The Pan Pacific Auditorium would outlast LA’s PCC system by about 9 years, closing its doors in 1972 with the opening of the LA Convention Center complex, ironically on the very site of this photo. The Pan Pacific burned to the ground about 1988.
Ralph Cantos Collection
And let’s not forget that 3165 is also preserved at OERM, providing an “alpha and omega” of PCC cars in LA. Also in the collection is LARY-LATL-LAMTA 3100, one of the “war babies”; it has the distinction of sharing a number with Southern Pacific 3100, a GE U-25B diesel, that bears a builder’s date of March 1963–the same month the PCCs were retired. Also, both 3100s have GE traction motors and control systems.