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The Parking Lot Series: Farmers Market – Los Angeles

Farmers Market is located in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, southeast of Hollywood. In the late-1800s Arthur Gilmore and a partner purchased two dairy farms there and combined them. The Market began when Gilmore rented spaces in a field to farmers for selling their produce and goods.

Oil was discovered there in the early 1900s and, Earl Gilmore, Arthur’s son, took over the business and built the Gilmore Oil Company on the land previously used for farming. Earl later constructed Gilmore Field for football and baseball games plus Gilmore Stadium for auto racing, sponsored individual racing cars, and the Gilmore Economy Run that began in 1936. The Farmers Market is still in operation today and has continued to grow with the addition of shops and restaurants. View other Gilmore Oil photos here.

Tell us what you find of interest at the Farmers Market in today’s circa-1950 photograph courtesy of the USC Libraries.

21 responses to “The Parking Lot Series: Farmers Market – Los Angeles

  1. In the lead photograph, center foreground, is a 1950 STUDEBAKER Commander Sedan and two cars to the right is either a 1948 or ’49 STUDEBAKER Commander Regal Deluxe Convertible.

    • Also in all three pictures, parked to the left of the two- story building, on left of the roofed porch, is a light colored first generation PACKARD Clipper with a white wall tire; and just behind the “SPEED LIMIT 10 MILES” sign, is either a 1947 or ’48 MERCURY Coupé .

    • Actually there’s a truck ’bout midway back to the right side of the FM…looks to be an early ’50s GM variety. and to “boot” 5 convertibles, 3 w/ tops down ….2 Special Deluxe’50 Plymouths side by side, and they’re not even at a dealer’s lot AND a ’49 Ford woody another pretty rare vehicle is the ’47-49 DeSoto Suburban and further left at the corner parked heading in there appears to be a’41 Cadillac Fleetwood, in addition to all the other Caddys scattered about and further on ’round the corner could that be a light colored Packard Super Eight Clipper Sedan styled by THE “Dutch” Darrin. Not to mention all the Buicks; a ’49 Futuramic Olds 98…Guess it just depends on where you shop.

  2. Parked up by the fence in front by the klamp post is a 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan. Love seeing such a cross-section of late model and older vehiclescars!

  3. On second look, there are what appears to be two other Caddies of similar vintage. In the center of the full picture is a similar 48-49 sedan pulled up to the building next to light-colored convertible that has some gathered about. Also, behind the one parked up by the fence there is was seems to be a 48-49 Series 60 Special partly obscured by the dark sedan passing by. Some nice Studebakers too and a Hudson step-down sedan to boot.

  4. Yep, others caught them already, but several of my favorite vehicles: step-down Hudson, Desoto Suburban, first-gen Clipper.

  5. I’m amazed by how many of the cars appear to be very clean, with well-scrubbed whitewalls. Almost none with body damage. Image must have been important here.

  6. Gilmore Stadium is visible with the light stanchions: midget racing was hugely popular there. Also home of the Hollywood Stars baseball team.

    • Thanks, exactly what I first noted. Seems far more respectful of others vehicles than today. Of course, cars today do not (for the most part) hold the same value today, either. My father washed our single car weekly, and waxed it quarterly.

  7. Yes, plenty of polished cars with wide whitewalls from the surrounding: Fairfax District, Beverly Hills , Sunset Strip, etc., and from the: “More black-wall than white-wall tires sections of LA like our Atwater Village section of LA. (Probably the pictured Model “A”! ) I’m somewhat surprised — that no-one has mentioned the (very) nearby: Pan Pacific Auditorium, a very versatile “venue” for many Automotive Events from 1935 — into the Seventies! As a: (high school & junior college era for me, circa : 1954 to ’59,) I was on a Crew doing: Fabric (Booth) Flameproofing , so: I got to see New Car Model Previews — before the show(s) opened. The “Farmer’s Market like: LA’s Grand Central Market (only different) – No whitewalls , — mostly Trucks! were magical (to a Kid), impressive & necessary to LA.

  8. Yes, I also look for Motorcycles , Sidecars, Scooters and Motorized Bicycles in: “The Old Motor” as they were (and are) a significant part of: Automobiles and “Automobiliana”. (Been ridin’ since 1953). In the front of the Farmer’s Market photo —(mostly hidden) — just might be — a Mustang Motorcycle (?) (Manufactured in Glendale Ca. ), a smaller but competent Machine with Burman Gearbox, that was popular in LA for many years . I have owned 2 of them.

  9. Wonder what’s with the twin 1950 Plymouth convertibles just to the left of the 1939 Ford Deluxe sedan, center picture?

  10. Apart from the cars the Farmers Market is still there and the buildings haven’t changed much. But the market has; it’s now more of a tourist trap and restaurants have replaced many of the “markets”. It’s still a quaint place to go once in a while. Gilmore stadium been gone for many years and the market is in a very busy and congested part of the city; 2 malls, CBS broadcasting Co and major hospital are within a few blocks. So much for the farmers fields….

  11. Hi guys, I grew up in this era (in North Inglewood) and occasionally got to visit this area (3rd St. and Fairfax Ave. just south of Beverly Blvd.). Gilmore stadium baseball and Gilmore Speedway were both terrific home town night time venues for Hollywood Stars pro baseball and the Mighty Midgets and I believe some speedway motorcycles on the short oval track of the time. Of course there was a flashy Gilmore Gas Station (“Roar With Gilmore”) on the property and a few oil pumping rigs around the back edges of the huge property.

    Did anyone notice the enormous above-ground natural gas storage tank (moves sections up and down to create variable storage-engineering marvel). Mind you, this is right in the middle of a nice residential and commerical area of West L.A. ! And what about the poor hazy SMOG air quality back then that masked the Hollywood Hills that should be visible? The Pan Pacific Auditorium faced Beverly Blvd. It was extremely well known for the terrific annual auto shows and Motorama (GM) shows. CBS Television City was built on the Fairfax side of prperty when CBS finally entered the color television era and it was a technical magic studio for decades. There have been plans proposed to demolish the studio and modernize the property with yet more commercial up to date development. Some historians are very concerned and want to preserve some portion of the building(s) since they represent technical and artistic work that went on inside them for our nation’s TV industry. The buildings are not of much architectural interest on the outside, just clean rectangular modern lines of the day. Thousands of artisans and television production actors, writers, engineers had extensive careers there.

    That dark 4 door sedan in middle of the lot is a ’39 Mercury Town Sedan not a Deluxe ’40 Ford. Headlights and grille are the clues there.

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