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Pacific Coast Highway: Anchor Inn Cafe Malibu, California

Recently a set of photos of Surf Rider Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 101) in Malibu, California, were featured and a small portion of the Anchor Inn Cafe was visible in one image. Today’s circa 1950 picture of the Cafe and gasoline station was taken by Bob Plunkett of Los Angeles circa 1950 for use on postcards he sold in the period.

In the first sectional expandable photo below is a good view of the open air Texaco filling station complete with a lift used for oil changes and chassis lubrication. The second image below shows the front of the Anchor Inn Cafe and the automobiles parked there in detail.

Tell us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the Huntington Library.

24 responses to “Pacific Coast Highway: Anchor Inn Cafe Malibu, California

  1. Parked on the street is a 1942 BUICK convertible, either a Roadmaster or Super [missing its rear fender skirt] that’s seen better days.

    In the lot, parked under the “ANCHOR INN CAFE” sign is a 1950 STUDEBAKER Champion Starlight Coupé.

    • Also in the parking lot, “above” the trunk of the ’42 BUICK convertible parked on the street, is a 1941 BUICK, most likely a Roadmaster or Super [parked under the “SIZZLING STEAKS” sign].

    • My parents had one of those bullet nose Studebakers when I was born. It only lasted a year it was so unreliable. They replaced it with a Ford which was a lot better.

  2. With all the mud slides in Calf., I would like to see if the cafe is still there .
    The hill looks like it already slid once and is probably ready to do it again.

  3. One of the most interesting cars in this photo, to me, is the ’47-’48 Ford convertible on the left. I can’t tell the exact year as the front of the car is cut off. I don’t believe it’s a ’46 from what I can see of the side trim.

  4. I don’t see a one I wouldn’t like to have. David , you do come up w/ the most challenging exciting interesting fotos God knows where you find them… I admire your energy and am so entertained by the Old Motor. I have so many, “Did you see’s?” with friends I correspond with. Thanks for all you do for the hobby and have the merriest holiday season and a very healthy new year… and to all your participants and followers, as well… I enjoy the dialogs, the back and fourths, all. I learn so much, and remember as well!

  5. Yes, its still there, it is now known as ‘ Neptunes Net” A weekend destination for the
    coastal cruzers and bikers. It is smaller and the parking lot is on the South side of the property out of the picture ( looking at photo would be on the rt side).
    Located on PCH near Mulholland Drive at the Ventura/LA county line.

  6. Two Buicks overlooked. Located beside the bldg. I see a ’49 4-dr.
    sedan and off to the left a little more behind the bldg. a ’50 convertible,
    likely a Super. Stopped at this place (I think) with a native CA cousin not
    so long ago (I’m in CO). Middle of the week and just as busy. Great burgers
    even now

  7. As I observed in the previous Malibu Photos — there are places where it’s really best not to park there (!): In the photo in front of the Anchor Inn, the Ford Convertible is parked in “the wrong place” a High Voltage power line’s cross-arm , a perfect place for Malibu’s Eagles (& Owls) to perch! (while relieving themselves!) This does not go “well” for (especially! ) Convertibles, as the White spray’s coverage is significant! The hill behind the Anchor Inn isn’t “stripped” — it’s trimmed! Notice the Hillside next door : Natural Chaparral coverage, about 3 to 4 feet high = easy to burn !!!

  8. Studebaker pickup in the far right back parking lot…
    Wonder how many people drove right over the lift in the darkness after ‘a few too many’?
    And how ’bout the kid in the striped shirt carrying the MONSTER boom box on his shoulder? or was that a crate of avocados……?

  9. The comment about the reliability of the Studebaker surprises me. Those cars were nothing to get excited about but generally proved to be pretty good cars. Worked in a 76 station in the early 50s, one customer had a Starlight coupe. He would come in the island park by the same pump in nearly the exact same spot and would stand by you as you filled the car, he would tell you when to stop when fuel level was at a point in the pipe. Then while the tires were checked, oil, battery,water, look after and all the windows were cleaned inside and out he would calculate his MPG, and enter it all in a log book. Who ever got that car after he was done with it would have a record of every thing that was ever done to it.

  10. Everybody in warm weather clothes and top-down convertibles throughout, but that Buick front & center is rolling with the windows up. Could it have an early A/C unit? If so, that’s pretty rare in a rag top.

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