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Highway Mania – Special LA Traffic Footage and Stunt Driving

A first glance “Highway Mania,” filmed in the greater Los Angeles area in 1946 appeared to be just another dated 1940s safety film. But, for our benefit the production is filled with a series of excellent traffic scenes in the City and out on the open road; a small portion of it is stock footage from the early-1930s.

At the very beginning, bandleader and radio personality “Kay” Kyser is seen on busy Wilshire Boulevard trying to jaywalk across it; he will be seen at the end of the film sitting on the curb after failing to cross the busy thoroughfare. Following this is a very interesting show of bad and impatience driving practices in the City and out on the open road.

Keep our eyes open for a pair of dark colored mid-1930s coupes, a light colored Plymouth sedan and a 1941 Oldsmobile coupe all driven by stunt drivers who will put on an excellent show of their own as they demonstrate some of the poor driving habits used by the general driving public. Tell us what you find of interest after viewing this film.

1940s footage of cars 1



11 responses to “Highway Mania – Special LA Traffic Footage and Stunt Driving

  1. I noticed the Cord parked on the left side of the street about 10:52 into the film. It really did look different from the other cars.

  2. Kind of the “Reefer Madness” of driving. I see little has changed. We had some of those 3 lane highways in Wisconsin, and some states still have them (UP of Michigan, for one) Dangerous as heck.

  3. Another fantastic post David many thanks! Great views from and of the 1920’s Ahrens-Fox fire engine dodging traffic, what a hand full on those city streets. Notice the low after market wind break mounted on the dash ahead of the driver.

  4. I heard the narrator mention getting out of a parked car on the wrong side of the car. That might explain why our 1914 sedan has no driver’s door on the left side of the car (left hand drive).

    • Interesting about no door in 1914. In much more modern times there have been ’60’s Suburbans, full-size vans and even ’90’s mini-vans that had a rear door only on the passenger side.

  5. The message is as timely today as it was 70 years ago. Great footage. That ’41 Olds coupe did double or triple duty in several scenes appearing both dirty and clean, and the ’41 Chrysler Windsor convertible appeared two or three times. BTW, it’s Kay Kyser (not Kaiser). Thanks for posting the film.

  6. Early on, great shots of L.A. Receiving Hospital system “G-6”, and Hollywood Receiving Hospital, across the courtyard from LAPD’s Hollywood station! Thanks for posting!

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