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Eagle-Lion Studios on Location Rig Caters to Movie Stars

Eagle-Lion Studios a British film production company which was active between the years of 1946 to ’49 was located at 7324 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The Film Company was a producer of low-budget B-movies that accompanied British film releases as double features in theaters.

In 1946, at the cost of sixteen-thousand dollars, Eagle-Lion had this eleven compartment on-location trailer constructed that included: two makeup rooms, a shower, four toilets, water and holding tanks, generator, air-conditioner, refrigerator, communication system, and telephones. The expandable view below shows the rig backed up into an alley at the Studio by a Ford fifth-wheel tractor, the water tank is visible behind the cab.

Share with us what you find of interest in this image, along with any details about the Ford tractor, the tiny roadster and the other vehicles in the Studio lot. The photograph is courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


37 responses to “Eagle-Lion Studios on Location Rig Caters to Movie Stars

  1. The 1937 English Austin 7 Ruby roadster is one of many at the studios. A fleet of them with a couple of American Bantam roadsters mixed in appear at the beginning of the 1937 film Hollywood Hotel, qv. The model A Ford open cab pickup is on its second top; this time with a glass rear window. I don’t see the word “Willys” on the Jeep windshield. Might be a Ford Jeep; can’t make out the front cross member. I always like the waterfall grille on this era of Ford trucks. I have this design on my late 1941 Ford 9N tractor.

    • Did you notice the USN on the Jeep? It’s definitely a war model. The 46’ CJ2A had headlights with trim rings on the grill not recessed behind the grill like war Jeeps.

  2. I think the little white roadster could be a 1935-37 Morris Eight 2-seater Tourer. That would figure if the film company was British.

    • I’m inclined to agree with David Horsley in saying the car is a Morris Eight, since Austin 7 fenders did not swoop down to blend into the rubber-covered running boards in this manner.

      • Looking at the photo again, I’m convinced it is a Morris Eight. The mid-1930s Austin Seven in 2-seater form had an entirely different-looking body ; at the back, it slanted less than the Morris so the spare wheel was more vertical.
        Robert is right about the fenders/running boards.

  3. The truck has a water tank mounted behind the cab, and the driver seems to be doing a good job of backing the trailer through the gate, with a little help from his friends.My first thought on the little white roadster was “Siata Spring”, but they didn’t come along until much later.

    • Hi Bruce, mirrors have come a long way, but in the 40’s and 50’s, there were very few divided highways and generally, there was nobody next to you, and you backed in by opening the door, something I always did backing in somewhere. And doing that a million and six times before retiring, I can tell you, this guy, who must BE the teamster, isn’t going to make it on this try. The Jeep is in the way of a wider swing. I bet this whole unit was pretty expensive in it’s day.

    • Depending on the perspective, from the angles I see, he can, in fact make that entry into the lot – maybe not easily, but it is certanly doable. As for comments about mirrors, you “use what ya got!” It’s probably not his: “First Rodeo”
      I just love the variety of scenes and viewpoints showcased here – Great job all around!

  4. Perhaps the guy in the white tee shirt and bellbottoms is the swabby that belongs to the USN Jeep. Even looks like his dog tags are dangling from a chain around this neck.

  5. I always assumed that the audience for “The Old Motor” were Americans.
    How wrong I was.We have some foreign guests as well.

      • You do indeed, including one old Yank in Australia. I was born and raised in California, where I (predictably) became a car nut, built a hot ’49 Ford and thus learned the First Rule of Car Performance – You can’t beat cubic dollars – then went on to sports cars, a Sprite and a Sunbeam Tiger, and membership in the Pacific Sports Car Club. Came to Australia in 1970, where I’ve owned an Alfa Romeo Alfetta, the first Honda Accord and the first Mazda RX7, and once used a quarter tank of petrol (gas) driving around (and around) the Mount Panorama track in Bathurst, a public road when the Bathurst 1000 isn’t running.

        • I’m in England but have been an American car enthusiast since my Dinky Toy days. I’ve always been particularly fond of the 1930s cars.
          Nowadays, I have a 1934 Hudson Eight Victoria Coupe.
          This site is great fun !

  6. Yeah, I am from Japan…LOL. However, it would seem a lot of these vehicles were used for their films and so I think the USN Jeep is a prop and the swabbie is an extra. Another question that comes to mind is will the tractor avoid tearing the front bumper off of the jeep?

    • I’m an ex Pom who moved to Africa 55 years ago and am now back in UK. My first 2 cars were a 1939 Vauxhall Ten followed by a 1939 Morris Eight roadster. Then I woke up and bought a 1941 Chrysler Windsor and have loved American cars over English cars ever since.

      • I was wondering about the backing-in vs. pulling-out too.
        I suppose the front wheels might be turned that way for both maneuvers, but I don’t think that backing up a trailer such as that usually involved dragging the rear tires sideways.
        Been lots of vehicles in and out to make those marks.

  7. The Jeep is a Willys, as the grill has nine slots. Ford Jeeps had seven slots, and there were many more of them due to Ford’s production capacity.. After the war, since only Willys continued to produce Jeeps and the most common image of the Jeep was the seven-slot version, Willys appropriated the seven-slot design and later trademarked it.

  8. Yep, another Australian guest who is a regular visitor to the Old Motor for many years. It always gives me a good laugh when the audience endeavours to identify European cars and those from the colonies.

    happy classic car collector from North East Victoria

    stay cool guys and above all have fun
    Bernard S

  9. Eagle – Lion Studios was later taken over by Ziv Studios in the early 1950’s. I’m a big fan of Highway Patrol which was made by that studio and there are several episodes which feature the same front gate from about a decade later and which are now available on Youtube. If anyone is interested in seeing that same front gate, then I suggest you watch “Machine Napping”, “Hitchhiker Dies” or “The Trojan Horse” for some very good shots of that front gate as well as a few other views of the studio lot.
    p.s. Its long gone now, torn down I believe back in the late 1960’s.

  10. Jeep could be either Willys MB or Ford GPW , the grilles were identical, and that pressed metal grille was actually designed by Ford.

    I’m wondering if the tractor and trailer were built ground up, or just conversions of military surplus units. Price quoted is a little expensive for surplus units conversion though.

  11. And I’m South African. Attended GMI in Flint MI 1972-74, always loved American cars, still own a LHD ‘94 Explorer (only pre-2000 LHD’s are legal here so I’m hanging on to this one). Love your site, read, restore, trade US cars for fun – most recent was a 1965 Valiant Barracuda – known to you guys as a Plymouth.
    The web makes nationality just a theoretical concept – petrol-heads (& diesel here too) are one big brotherhood!

  12. Does anyone know what that vehicle is in the upper right-hand corner of the photo? Is it a chauffer driven town car or a truck or?

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