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Right Greasing – Right Here – Safe Lubrication Pays – All Ways

Today’s feature images taken in 1931 contain views of a stand-alone Pennzoil “One Stop” lubrication service located on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and North Alexandria Avenue, northeast of the center of Hollywood, California. The set of staged promotional photos apparently show a garage set up with a new concept the Oil Company was trying at the time, wherein motorists would have both the oil changed and the chassis lubricated at the same time.

Behind the employee in the lead image, is a cabinet containing four different types of pressurized chassis grease which were added to a car while it was up on the lift. Three different grades of motor oil are on a short wooden bench just to the left of the doors for the ladies and men’s rooms. On the wall between the restrooms is a “PurOlater” oil filter demo.

Share with us what you find of interest along with the year, maker, and models of the vehicles in the photographs courtesy of the USC Libraries.

18 responses to “Right Greasing – Right Here – Safe Lubrication Pays – All Ways

  1. If it never rains in California, why does the Model A on the right have twin wipers? Wonder what the license plate topper says? Bob

  2. I’m thinking this building still stands on the southeast corner of Hollywood and Alexandria. It has since become a mini-mall and some of the door and window openings have been re-shaped or sealed off, but the rough stucco and twin narrow doors with windows above are still present.

  3. In the third photo, the ’28-’29 Model A Ford is wearing double-sided WWW tires…

    The Model A purists preach long & loud that “no one had WWW tires on their Model A’s back then”…

    I love seeing vintage photos with Depression-era cars wearing white-walls…


  4. The 1929 Essex is a coach (2-door sedan), not a town sedan.
    Note also the non-factory installed landau irons.

  5. The neighborhood is familiar, “Hollywood Boulevard” Happened in about the mid ’20’s, when Prospect Avenue had to sacrifice its name, (only) West of Vermont Avenue, to promote the (Latter) “Hollywood” name, dreamed up by the same group of large lemon ranch owner/Real Estate speculators that erected the: Now famous : “HOLLYWOOD” Sign, which originally said: “HOLLYWOODLAND” until a windstorm blew off the “LAND ” part (after all of the land was sold !) So: The Garage with Lube Rack ‘s “famous neighborhood” is an “accidental ( & financial!) “contraction”! Along with the “Glitz”, in one section, the street actually had many neighborhood stores, markets, service stations & automotive repair facilities, including the famous Car Racer, Max Balchowsky ‘s Repair Garage, and Eddie Myers, a famous Speed Tuner, who offered Aftermarket Performance equipment. There was also a Store that sold Aftermarket Model A Ford parts. The nearest Movie Studio is miles away ! (Examples: Paramount, Disney.

  6. I don’t recognize the license plate frame badge on the Model A, behind the lube rack ( A poor place to park!) A typical license plate bracket “badge”would be the: “Chrome Spoked Wheel & Mission Bell” of the So . Ca. Auto Club, an AAA affiliate. No rain ??? Wrong! It just comes in “Big Clumps” (& Flooding) and not often! The extra wiper blade on the “A” is/was a valuable& practical accessory ! So was a 6 Volt Electric Wiper Motor accessory, – designed for Model A’s, from: Owen- Dyneto, or E.A. Lab’s. (Offered by Ford), ( No fuel pump (equipped with a [wiper]vacuum booster!), on A’s , vacuum wipers can be a “joke”! & on all earlier cars/trucks, — especially on hills! (No vacuum!) Edwin W.

  7. The mid 1923-1927 Ford model TT in photo 3 is a 2 stick curtain side canopy top /vestibule cab express truck . None of the body/cab were made by Ford. A maker’s ID plate is on the cab. Ford never put the 1926/1927 car/pickup fenders hood etc on the ton truck. My favorite of the group.

  8. It rains in SoCal, just not frequently enough to warrant an enclosure for this lift. The LA area is basically a Med climate with enough precipitation to avoid being classed arid. However, there are an average 329 days a year without rain, most falling in the winter. Land of convertibles and movie lots, and long ago a lot of citrus farming…. Betcha that dry, warm climate warranted frequent lube jobs!

  9. I founf it interesting that from photo one to photo two the Essex was replace by a the TT, and the Buick was rotated, but the A and the camera didn’t move. I wonder why those photos were taken.

  10. On closer examination, I see that the camera had moved. Sorry for my typos in my above post.

    But now I can’t reconcile the relative tree and window positions in the background behind the Buick from photo one to photo two. What happened to the small tree above the fender of the Buick in photo one? By moving the camera to reveal more windows in the background, likewise more of the small tree should have been exposed. A very curious photo.

  11. I recall how you could tell a good lube bay from a bad one. When I had my ’46 Plymouth up on the lift, I’d watch the lube guy carefully; if he just pushed the hose end onto a nipple without first cleaning it thoroughly, he’d not been trained (or didn’t care, perhaps) and that was a lube bay you didn’t visit again. Although, if I did notice that the lube guy was careless, I’d immediately instruct him to clean the grease nipples properly, with a clean cloth. I got lots of looks filthier than their cloths, I can tell you!

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