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Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and New York City Street Scenes

Today’s four images are courtesy of Michael Ryerson; the lead photo appears like it may be a shot taken of opening night at Stan’s drive-in restaurant located in Fresno, California. This early fifties eatery appears to be a slightly modified version of a pair of this type of designed by Wayne McAllister and opened by the Simons brothers in Los Angeles in 1935.  Note the double parked cars and the car hop on the sign.


  • The clean and polished Pierce-Arrow touring car in this scene taken in 1927, at 8th and Broadway in New York City stands out in contrast to the other low and medium-priced cars in this view.


  • This Bakersfield, California, street scene was taken in the early fifties and includes a number of average everyday vehicles and a large Packard sedan parked on the street corner. 


  • This gritty view was taken in Inglewood, California, of Inglewood Auto Repair located on North La Brea Avenue in the early 1950s; the movie Que Vadis, playing at the La Tijera was released in  1951.

16 responses to “Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and New York City Street Scenes

  1. 1 st pic: the white sedan (I think it’s a Pontiac) features narrow white whall tyres, must be one of the first? I thought they came in vogue in the late 50s…
    3rd pic: Packard is model year 1948-49; a 1948 Chevy coupe and a 1949 Plymouth stand next to it. Behind the Dodge truck we see some all new postwar designed cars: a 1949 Ford and a 1950 Studebaker.

  2. In the 3rd photograph, parked on the left, is a 1949 or’50 PACKARD DeLuxe Eight [23rd Series] with a nice hood ornament.

    In the same photograph, driving in the upper right, is a 1950 STUDEBAKER Champion Starlight Coupé.

      • Russell.

        Thanks for the question. I’m not a truck person, but believe the truck you refer to is a 1939 to ’47 DODGE. It looks like a wooden plank was added above the bumper. There should be others who may be able to pin-point the year better.


  3. Ah yes, a bit of nostalgia! Fresno, Bakersfield, Inglewood! We first drove up the Grapevine fighting overheating in our 48 Chevy with a full load of family and a teardrop trailer! On to Bakersfield for a bit of relief before heading off to Sequoia and another session of overheating getting up to the park. Fresno was usually on our way back. Upgraded to a 56 Chevy (still with an economical stove-bolt) and a better highway for similar trips. Same stops. Then up to a 63 Impala though the trailer was long gone and the family minus two older brothers. A bit more comfort. And then there is Inglewood, with the location about two blocks from where my mom lives. Long gone shop, but there are several in that general area that have been there for ages. BTW, dad never let us in to drive-ins. Too expensive for our big family, so we would just look longingly at them as we drove past!

  4. Stan’s Drive-in’s! I can’t remember if the Car Hop’s were on roller skates or not. There were over 25 Stan’s in CA. alone! Stan’s was a big deal . You could get cocktail at Stan’s as well as fountain drinks. They even had a Radio Program that you could call in for dedications. Their theme song went something like this.

    “Let’s eat, I’m hungry. Now please don’t think I’m rude.
    You’re sweet and lovely, but I’m in the mood for food.
    Your kiss is thrilling, but please don’t think it’s crude,
    But it’s not filling, when I’m in the mood for food.

    You’ve made me know what bliss is, so don’t think I’m a dummy,
    But I can’t go for kisses – on an empty tummy!

    Let’s eat, I’m starvin’! Our love can be renewed.
    Right now, my Darlin’, I’m in the mood for food!

    Don’t forget the Butterscotch Milk Shakes!

  5. 1st pic, “Where were you in ’62”? Looks a lot like Mel’s. 2nd pic, organized confusion. 3rd, I think the Packard is a 1950. My ’50 had the radio antenna on the left fender. ( not above the windshield) The stroller new mom is fussing with, looks like a “Folda Rolla”. Very popular in the ’50’s. The Dodge truck, as AML suggests, is a WC half ton, hard to tell the year, but not many 1941’s were made, so surely a post-war truck, they changed little.. Last photo, I can smell the gear lube from here.

  6. 2nd photo L to R GM taxi, Olds? phaeton, Chevrolet 4 dr in back of the Pierce, Studebaker sedan rear , Packard pulling out from the curb. Sorry, run out of suggestions.

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