An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

The Corner of Hollywood and Vine in Tinseltown

Hollywood’s roots go all the way back to about 1850, and by the 1870s the settlement had become a working agricultural center. In 1903 it officially became a town and later in 1910 a part of the City of Los Angeles.

Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street became well-known in the twenties due to a large number of silent film related businesses that had settled in the neighborhood. Its claim to fame for the future arrived in the fifties when over fifteen-hundred charcoal and pink colored terrazzo and brass Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars honoring noted actors, musicians, and others involved in the film industry were installed in the sidewalks of the area.

Today’s feature photo is a circa 1947 postcard image of the intersection courtesy of contributor Benjamin Ames with a variety of pre and postwar vehicles in the view. Because of the angle and distortion of the camera lens, the 1946-’47 Cadillac coupe on the far-left in the enlargeable image below appears to be even lower and longer than in reality. Tell us all about the Chrysler Products convertible in the center of the photograph and and the Cadillac.

Hollywood and Vine Ave Hollywood CA circa 1948

19 responses to “The Corner of Hollywood and Vine in Tinseltown

  1. Fabulous picture. Imagine people from small towns or other countries trying to reciver from the effects of WWII seeing that – it would be like something from another planet.

  2. The Chrysler ragtop appears to be a super rare ’37-’38 model. Even if it’s the low-priced, six cylinder Royal, production numbers were well under 1,000 each year. If it’s the eight cylinder Imperial, which I think it is, numbers were even lower: 351 in 1937 and only 189 in 1938! Very spiffy looking with the fender skirts, too.

  3. Looks like a 37 Chrysler C-16 convertible coupe. Notice the James F. Waters converted DeSoto S-11 taxi across the street.

    • That looks like one of those mailboxes which were used for storage by mailmen. You couldn’t mail a letter in one rather they were used by mailmen who delivered by foot. They were painted olive green with big locks on them and they were scattered along the mailman’s route. (I suppose there were women who delivered the mail too but I never heard the term “mailwomen”. Of course, now they are more accurately called postal workers.)

      • They took the mailbox away from my neighborhood in CT back in 2004, because “it [was] a security risk.” Relay boxes disappeared about that time, but can still be bought (but for what, I don’t know).

  4. The Caddy is a ’47, indicated by the script “Cadillac”on the lower front fender. In ’46 the name appeared in block letters.

  5. Official groundbreaking for the Hollywood Walk of Fame was in Feb. 1960, though the discussion about the project started around 1953. Initial batch of ‘official’ stars were installed from then until 1961, but as Hollywood was becoming a bit seedy at that time it took another 8 years to restart the project. Hollywood Blvd was a cruising destination in my youth around then, though Sunset Blvd. was most popular. We did 8 guys in a Mini-Cooper S one time, none of us midgets, and ended up racing a Lotus Elan along the nether reaches of Sunset….bizarreness (sic) fitting of the times.

  6. I don’t know, but the guy leaning up against the mailbox surely has the look of “Man that Caddy is badass!”. It just looks too clean and too shiny to be part of the photo. Then again, If I had that Caddy it would always be too clean and too shiny all the time.

  7. Or perhaps that Caddy is one of the hand-built styling department “specials” that actually were “longer, lower, wider” to be used in advertising illustrations of the era? How it escaped the factory confines is anyone’s guess, maybe we could ask the gent getting in.

    But seriously, that’s the legendary Hollywood and Vine? Looks like it could have been pretty much Anycity, Anywhere at the time. I mean: “When we vacationed in California we toured Hollywood and Vine. We ate at the Cafeteria and then stopped and got some Liquor. Cain’t do thet here….” Maybe expectations were lower then.

    • Not a concept car, I remember cars like this as a child post WW II I think the style was called torpedo as in the submarine weapon.

  8. The Knickerbocker Hotel had an African American doorman from 1945-1962. He recently died. But he wrote a book about his life, meeting all the stars coming and going from the Knickerbocker. And the pictures to prove it. He’ll tell you who was genuinely nice, and who wasn’t. He was a fine gentleman. He served in WWII, but couldn’t get served a sandwich upon his release from the Navy. He never got over that, and I don’t blame him. I have not read his book, but have heard him interviewed many, many times.
    Book title: Earl the Pearl Watson: Doorman To The Stars–Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel 1945-1962.

  9. The year this photo was taken, my father worked part time at Brooks men’s store on Hollywood Blvd, in the background. We would watch the Hollywood Christmas Parade from the second floor windows. In the afternoons, my mother and I would park in front to wait for my father. It was never boring, counting the unusual cars passing by.

  10. Imagine, if you will –being a little fellow; B: 2-1-39, I was at Hollywood & Vine celebrating “V-E Day” NO CARS, WALL TO WALL people, a very Happy event !!! The Christmas holidays to follow — brought back the famous metal Christmas trees LIGHTS!!! mounted on the street light fixtures. One of the FIRST signs of the (Hollywood part of) the Post War World in the USA returning to normal! (NO MORE BLACKOUTS and/or AIR RAID warning drills!!! “Cruising Hollywood Blvd” was a typical 1956 – ’57 Saturday night event for our old Ford V-8’s as our “Marshall High school” was located in East Hollywood (within sight of the original Disney Studios On Hyperion Street). After Cruising the GLITZY portion of Hollywood , we would drop down to Sunset Blvd, and drive out to Stan’s Drive In Restaurant – at Sunset & La Brea Avenue for the usual TEEN junk-food , (which we thought was a real treat!). Another fun place to visit was the Griffith Park Observatory Parking lot on Saturday mornings with our (older) British Motorcycles. One of the “where are we gonna ride to —today?” favorites —(without benefit of Interstate freeways!) —was a ride up to Mount Wilson to Have Chili-Beans , Crackers & Coffee at the Cafeteria of the Mount Wilson Hotel (at 5,200 feet altitude), a great place to say hello to our neighbor who hand – built KTLA’s T.V. Transmitter!!! Edwin W.

  11. I have the porcelain enamel HOLLYWOOD and VINE signs that sat on that semaphore till 1942. The BLVD is the same large font On my signs and is an easy way to date the pic, pre or post 42.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *