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Sunset Boulevard Series: Sunset and Vista and Sunset and Fairfax

In Part II of the Sunset Boulevard series, we begin with a view of the Sunset-Vista Market on the west side of Hollywood at 7415 Sunset and North Vista Street. The lead photo above shows a woman about to get out of a Cord 810 or 812 Westchester sedan and a 1934 Ford sedan is right behind her. The open air Market sold groceries and baked goods. The building has not survived, it was torn down and replaced with another structure in 1949.

A similar open air A&P grocery store is shown below that is in a multi-use building at the corner Sunset Boulevard and North Fairfax Avenue. To the left of the market is a Thrifty “Cut Rate” drug store and a small department store is located on the right. In the scene are a number of mid-to-late-1930s average automobiles and a refrigerated truck. It appears that the building has survived with a facelift, and today it is a Rite Aid Pharmacy.

Tell us what you find of interest in these photos. You can also look back to Part I in the Sunset Boulevard Series here.

20 responses to “Sunset Boulevard Series: Sunset and Vista and Sunset and Fairfax

  1. What I love about this pic is the ornamental iron work just above the awning.

    I hope that it is decorating some nice home now.

    • It’s my guess that the awning rolled up and the ironwork came down at night. Lots of room behind that false front for another four feet of grating.

  2. I agree the iron work is fantastic featuring what looks like a a rising sun in the pattern. In the same photo on the left you can just see the penny or? scale behind the phone pole. In the next great looking rear skirts on the Ritz ice cream delivery truck!

  3. The first photo has a Van de Kamp bakery windmill on the front of the market. Those of us who grew up on the West Coast are probably familiar with that mark as many supermarkets had one of those ‘Dutch’ bakeries. Playing on the reputation of all things Dutch, they came up with the motto, “Made Clean, Kept Clean, Sold Clean”. Some places had life sized blue windmills, the remaining one being turned into a Denny’s. They started in 1915 in LA, went bankrupt in 1990.

  4. Most impressive to me is the styling of that Cord. I’ve had many romances with pre-war cars to the point of being fickle. However that bodywork always makes me stop and think ‘I could be forever happy with that one forever and ever’!

  5. Three thoughts, please:

    1) The difference between the 34 Ford and 37 Studebaker shows how much automotive design advanced in a short period of time.

    2) If A&P stores all looked like that they might still be in business.

    3) Ben Hur Coffee? “You’ll run like you’re in a chariot race with every cup!” ???

    As always, thank you David!

    • Mike,

      Love your comments about the above pictures. Your second comment about A&P is a hoot. I know the focus is on old cars here at “The Old Motor”, but once in a whole we have to take notice of the scenes they are in. That old A&P, like the cars of that era, is a beautiful example of Art Deco design. Take the Cord with the dent in the right front fender, it screams the genre of the time.

  6. You can still get Thrifty brand ice cream at Rite Aids today (at least here in California). It is the one thing Rite Aid kept when they bought out Thriftys. As a kid, a single scoop was 5cents, a double 10cents, a triple 15cents. Except they weren’t round scoops, they were cylinder shaped portions, kinda wierd, but good! I remember Thriftys was always the only store open on Thanksgiving and Christmas when we forgot to buy film (which we usually did) for our box camera to document the holiday. Also about the last place I found that had a TV tube test machine and tubes for sale in the 1980s.

  7. And that would be a Cord Beverly; you can just make out the edge of the ‘bustle back’ trunk . It also sports the rare factory accessory ‘ all weather ventilating wings’ (add on vent wing windows). Perhaps the slightly upturned front bumper was acquired at the same time as the dent in the fender ?

  8. on the RHS of the picture— up high on the wall — is a “Dutch Windmill —indicating that the SUNSET -VISTA Market on Sunset Blvd. – sold Van De Kamp’s Bakery Products: The Main Bakery and Store Were at Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road, (HWY 99) on the edge of the Atwater District: The “Car” significance was: that a lot of the cars from our Marshall High School were there, – every Saturday night! – at the Van De Kamp’s Drive-in & Restaurant & Retail Bakery Store. These “Windmill signs'” were all over Los Angeles at larger markets on Boulevards , way before most “Freeways” came to pass. Many folks in our neighborhood worked at the Bakery. The market shown — as well as the “El Adobe” Market on Hollywood Blvd, catered to the “Old Hollywood” Crowd of: Producers, Directors, Actors, Film Makers , Studios and spacious homes on the private roads off of Los Feliz Blvd , near the “HOLLYWOOD” sign. The Hollywood “Technical side” is actually scattered all over Los Angeles County, including our Atwater District in Los Angeles.

  9. That is a 1937 Cord 812 Custom Beverly which is a long wheelbase model. There are subtle differences in the sheet metal between the “standard” Cord and the custom series. The custom series is both longer and taller than the standard cars. The most notable and recognizable
    difference is the taller stack of 8 louvers instead of the standard 7 louver stack. There is also a tag on the right side rocker panel which reads “Custom Built Cord”. We have a black Custom Beverly which looks like this car except ours has the external exhaust pipes.

  10. That Cord could also be a Berline which was another custom built Cord but had a divider between the driver and passenger compartments so you didn’t have to talk with your chauffeur unless you wanted to. Either way, whoever owned that car had a few bucks to spend on their automobile. I would think that body damage would have been taken care of soon after this photo was taken.

  11. Great photos and keen observation, you can learn more about these awesome Cords in Cord Complete, the History and people who built these futuristic machines that have become highly
    Collectable. See our website or contact Robert, the Publisher.

  12. The Cord in the picture is a 1937 Custom Series model noted by the eight louvers in the wrap around grill compared to seven on the standard Westchester.
    The Custom Series Cords were also longer in the wheel base and had deeper rocker panels making them roomier on the inside.
    They were more of a limousine than the standard Westchester and could be ordered with a wind up window behind the front seat to isolate the chauffeur.
    The front bumper has taken some punishment as well as the front LHS fender.

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