The Tale of the 1058
By Ralph Cantos
Pacific Electric no. 1058 poses for the camera at its Terminal Island “Car Barn” in this undated photo by Willis “Dutch” Hendrick, donated to the collection by his son Bruce Hendrick.
The 1058 was created from the body of Pacific Electric car no. 983 which, after retirement in 1950, was used as storage shed within eyesight of the Long Beach Line just behind the Compton Station.
Richard Fellows would “play” with the 1058 on Terminal Island to the astonishment of motorists that would encounter it. I personally was on one of those “motoring fan trips” with the 1058 and the looks on passing motorists’ faces was priceless to say the least.
Richard had to get special permits to take the 1058 off the Island. The #1058 participated in at least one Hollywood Christmas Parade, and was at the opening of the Blue Line at the Del Amo Station.
Some time after this photo was taken, Richard re-painted the sides of the 1058 red along the lower portion of the car . He had incorrectly carried the black paint all the way around the lower parts of the car.
Willis “Dutch” Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection
I forget who or where I heard it from, but there was a tale of taking it out on Alameda Street one night and giving an S.P. crew quite a shock, shining its P.E. headlamp down the line and blowing the air whistle. Just the thought gives me a huge grin! 😀
Back in the 1960s, there was a fantrip, sponsored by either ERHA or Orange Empire, which had an English double-deck bus going down (as I recall) Alameda St. to Terminal Island, where we could ride and photograph 1058. Fast forward to the 1980s, when many LA area towns were observing centennials. 1058 went to Monrovia and Sierra Madre, and I followed it on its way home to Vernon along the long-ago routes of the Sierra Madre and Oak Knoll lines. Going west on Colorado in Pasadena, the car was rolling along, and the driver of a southbound station wagon was trying to get a head start on the traffic signal at El Molino. Mr. Fellows blew a “grade crossing” on the air whistle, and the station wagon driver just froze. I also have a photo of it at the Huntington Library grounds. Of course, we just observed the 10th Anniversary of the San Pedro Waterfront Red Car line, and the conversion of 1058 back to a railway car. In its “rubber tired Red Car” days, it did have a California license plate–it was probably registered under the same section that applies to motor homes.
This car, of course, has since been re-converted for rail and is part of the San Pedro Waterfront Red Car Trolley fleet, though I last heard a few years ago it’s been in bad shape structurally and needed some repair or overhaul. Anyone know the latest on its status?
Actually, 1058 resides in an indoor facility for the San Pedro Waterfront trolley line, along with the two 500 class reproductions. It does have signs of age, but remember, it was built from two wrecked 950 class cars (about 80 years old). It is being taken care, of to an extent. And yes, 1058 still wears the “rubber tire duty” original VIN tag above the motorman seat. To see 1058 in action, click my link below.
Around 1960 the body of car 963 (714) was at a trash yard in Compton and rumored about to be scrapped. It was mostly stripped and covered with peeling white paint. I saved half a door found on the ground, a clerestory and a standee window, and an inlaid mahogany panel; all later donated to OERM to aid in restoration of car 993.
Riley – that’s such an awesome story – thanks for sharing! – Ed.