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Drive-In Service or Sit’n Eat at Carpenter’s Sandwiches Los Angeles

Carpenter’s Sandwich drive in restaurant located at 6285 West Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles, CA, certainly was a popular place back in time. The attention-getting-octagonal-shaped wood frame building is topped by a neon sign, with four levels of conventional signage below it. The ground level walls and counter are decorated with ceramic tile.

The six publicity images featured here shot in 1932 show the complete facility, staff, and the restrooms in a separate building on the far-left. Sandwiches varied in price from fifteen cents up to twenty-five cents for a “Sirloin Steak Sandwich.” A full line of beverages including “Ben-Hur” coffee was offered along with deserts. The sign on the far-left on the ground level of the building let patrons know that Carpenter’s also had a “Barbecue Pit” drive in located at Wilshire and Western Avenues in Los Angeles.

There is an interesting mix of mid-1920s through 1932 cars in the parking lot. On the far-left and behind Carpenter’s are two automotive service establishments. Share with us what you find of interest in the photos courtesy of the USC Libraries.

carpenters drive in 2

carpenters drive in 3

carpenters sandwich shop 4

carpenters sandwich shop

carpenters sandwich shop 6

24 responses to “Drive-In Service or Sit’n Eat at Carpenter’s Sandwiches Los Angeles

  1. In the bottom photo, just to the right of the facilities building, there’s a horizontal barrel – shaped thing. Is that a smoker?

  2. .90 brake adjustment? Less than the cost of four cheeseburgers?

    Yessir, the ONE thing you want repaired for the cheapest possible cost is brakes.

  3. It looks like each bay of the garage was a separate business. The service bay closest to the restaurant is for Hinton Bros. Brake Service. The owners were Herschel N. and Earl Hinton.

    The other bay is for Bachelder & Strong, but I can’t read the second line on the sign. The Los Angeles city directory lists them under automobile repair. The owners of this business were Milton M. Bachelder and Joseph O. Strong.

  4. ID suggestions: Couple getting coffee etc are in a Studebaker. In front of main building L-R Plymouth coupe (oval rear window) unknown, Hudson coupe (Hudson triangle built into luggage rack) Chrysler coupe (ribbon radiator shell). Disc wheel two tone sedan rear facing photographer is a Nash. Group in front of service building consists of two 1929-1930 six cylinder Chevrolets , a 1931 Model A sedan with deluxe luggage rack, a mostly hidden model A coupe and I suggest a Oldsmobile coach. Far left coupe with missing trunk lid is a 1926-1927 Ford.

  5. Photos are great. Sharp and clear. In the first enlargeable photo you can see best, behind the drive in, something hanging from poles, like netting. What is that? Those poles got to be close to 50 ft tall, maybe more.

  6. Ben Hur Coffee, Tea and Spice was based in LA with plants also in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. They had a good contract going with Lucky Markets as producer of their store brand.
    Six years after buying A. Schilling and Company of San Francisco, McCormick and Company then acquired Ben Hur Products, Inc in 1953. Schilling lived on in brand, but Ben Hur fell by the wayside

  7. Just a general comment. The recent use of highlighted text in bright blue against the grey background makes it very difficult to read for me, at least. Might I suggest some other color that would give a better contrast for reading?
    Thanks – love The Old Motor, it’s the highlight of my weekend, being a full fledged car nut!

  8. Some of the staff look like they are in Hollywood to get scouted and not to fine a career in schlepping burgers….LOL. Interesting that the staff photo includes a security officer. Probably a bit of road rage at times with that parking situation.

  9. Just curious, haven’t we seen this picture before? I seem to remember comments about the building to the left (bathrooms?) and what was being sold in the background, “5-10-15”,,Christmas trees maybe, and someone commented about the how something was torn down with all the debris. Not sure where else I would have seen it.

  10. In the film Double Indemnity, Fred Mac Murray stops at a similar drive-in in LA and has a beer.
    Did drive-ins normally serve beer?

  11. Good day ! I haven’t commented in quite a while and sometimes I have to look at several days postings at a time. So, my thought today is about the big coupes. These have always been my favorites; the two in question are on the rear right side, one of which I think is a Nash, but the one I’m most interested in, is the one under the 90 cent brake adjustment sign. Anyone know what make and model that is ?

  12. A few minor comments, none important.
    I had not seen the blue on grey here. I use Google Chrome. For whatever that is worth.
    I don’t recall where, but I have seen this one before. All fine, well worth seeing again. I remember looking at all the cars for awhile, and commenting on the Ford “special coupe” next to the 90 cents brake adjustment sign. For a bit over a year, most of the short 1928 production and about half of 1929, Ford offered several significant variations (not just sidemounts, cowl lamps and luggage racks) of coupes. The “special coupe” with the padded top was fairly rare. I found one in a wrecking yard about fifty years ago. It was in rough shape, but could have been restored (they wanted too much for it!). I have not seen a dozen of them in the fifty years since.
    The sport coupe, with the fixed soft top was different. In ’28/early ’29, Ford offered a business coupe which used the basic body platform as the sport coupe, but with a slightly different top and some had corner “windows” on the sides. Most of those that did survive have been “restored” as the more common, but also more desirable (at least to some people?) sport coupe.

    So many interesting cars in this photo! I wish I could remember what the roadster parked in the street was?

    While we are here, I would like a chocolate milkshake. Make that two, and can I get a donut with that? Gotta eat healthy you know!
    Thank you David G!

  13. They needed just one more sign: “Y’all just park any old how and c’mon in!” Back in the day, a crowd of cars in a street or lot was pretty much just the square, metal version of a jumble of people on a sidewalk. I’m amazed that there were any cars without at least two twisted fenders. I guess people were a lot more courteous then … they gave each other space. I love these old pics of everyday life!

  14. That flat top T coupe on the far left looks like real hot rod material. Those coups look great with a chop, mild or radical.

  15. To the far left of photo #5, past the 3 parked cars, there is a guy draped over a sign. Did he eat something that didn’t agree with his stomach?

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