329 and Jeeps
Pacific Electric interurban no. 329 (decorated during wartime for the United States Maritime Commission) pauses to let an Army officer disembark in North Long Beach, probably in 1946. Note the “Jeeps for Civilian Use” billboard in the background – “place your order now!”
Jack Finn Collection
Craig Rasmussen Collection
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329 still sports USMC on the letter boards and has the familar “gates” on the steps.
It wasn’t until after I joined OERM (OETM in those days) in 1963 that I learned that the big “Owl face” cars were called “Blimps”. In our household (in Monrovia), they were “missions”–short for Maritime Commission. To an ex-PE motorman I knew in the 1960s, they were “Bombers”.
When they first showed up in LGB my family called them the owl face cars. Was so bummed on the first Saturday we got off the Long Beach Motor Bus line 1 bus at PCH and waited at the curb for the Freeway Flyer to take us to LA. Bus was 5504 and the driver couldn’t double clutch to save his life. Sad trip.