Category: Motor vehicles

Dept. of Motor Vehicles


If it was time to renew your drivers license, you would probably be studying this.


Then you might have to stand in a line like this (although this is a 1940 photo of people waiting to purchase a license plate before the annual deadline). The photo does not indicate the location apart from being in Los Angeles.

Image: Los Angeles Daily News photo from Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library via,1940.jpg .


Fooey Face

Be sure to scroll down and watch the video of the Fooey Face in action.


Although not a southern California business, Johnson Smith & Co. offered zillions of novelties via mail order so at least some of them were sure to be seen here.

Click on the “play” button above. Just in case you don’t know what “razz” or “raspberry” means, it’s the funny sound made when you stick out your tongue and blow — it indicates that you don’t agree with what was just said or done by someone else. The Fooey Face operates when the driver pushes a button.

Thanks Blake84 from Los Angeles for OKing my re-posting this from his post on the tradional hot rod and custom forum at .

Ontario gas station


Image: undated but appears to be circa 1939 based on the motor vehicles; courtesy Ovitt Community Library Model Colony Room, Ontario, California

“[Conrad] Stroh — “Connie” to everyone who knew him — operated one of the smaller gasoline stations anywhere at the northwest corner of Euclid Avenue and Transit Street from 1931 to 1947. He had two pumps, did oil changes, and had a small one-man building, probably to keep him dry or out of the hot sun.”

“The tiny station was a short block below Holt Avenue (then A Street) and the popular Ford Lunch. Folks driving from Los Angeles to Palm Springs filled up at the restaurant and Stroh’s station.”

Excerpts from Joe Blackstone Daily Bulletin history column at .



Dodge 25th anniversary


Coin issued by Chrysler Corporation commemorating 25 years since the Dodge automobile was produced. Chrysler acquired the brand ten years later in 1924.

The Dodge brothers, John and Horace, became successful by manufacturing components for automobiles in the early twentieth century. In 1914 they built their own car which quickly earned a reputation for being dependable. In 1920, both died relatively young leaving a vast fortune that was largely squandered by their heirs. The company continued on for a few years until being sold in 1924.

Learn more about the company history at . Read about the disciplined, yet wild, brothers and their heirs in Dodge Dynasty: The Car and the Family by Caroline Latham with David Agresta (review at


Brochure cover.

Buick Y-job


“[General Motors Corporation head of styling Harley] Earl felt compelled to design and build a statement car… The resulting design – penned by former Oldsmobile studio head George Snyder and Joe Shemansky then modeled in clay by Jock Park – came about in the first half of 1938. …The Y-Job – so called because Y represented “one step beyond” the X-prefixed cars that GM had previously worked on, according to [fabricator Vince Kaptur Sr.] – debuted in December 1939 as ‘The Car of the Future’…”

Excerpts from .

In 2016 the Y-Job was the first vehicle documented in the National Historic Vehicle Register of the Historic Vehicle Association: .

“In the late-teens after finishing his college education, Harley J. Earl joined the family business [in Los Angeles], which by that time was well along in being established as one of the finest coachbuilders in the west.”

Excerpt and more information about him at . See also .

Image of Harley Earl in the Y-Job: General Motors Corporation.