Traction and the Enemy
By Ralph Cantos
Pacific Electric car no. 5144 sparkles in the mid-day sun on this very sad day, May 31, 1953. This is the last day of rail service along Santa Monica Blvd. east of Fairfax Ave.
As evident by the billboard on the corner of Santa Monica and La Cienega Blvds. touting the 1953 Plymouth with NEW HY-DRIVE transmission, and the 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible racing no. 5144, times for traction lines all over America are only going to get worse, and it did!
Soon after the the Santa Monica Bl line abandonment, the #5144 would operate on the Hollywood Blvd, line for about another year. By the end of 1954, no. 5144 was in “dead storage” at Torrance Shops. By 1956, this beautiful Hollywood car, with years of productive service life left in its car body, would find its way to Terminal Island and be stacked like fire wood with almost 100 other sister Hollywood cars.
Ralph Cantos Collection