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Pacific Auto Laundry Hollywood California

This Pacific Auto Laundry branch location one was of three modern car washes constructed by silent screen actor and director William Beaudine and his cousins Albert and William Russell. A.A. Redford, the patent holder of the conveyor belt system used at the facility, was the managing partner of the new enterprise that opened in 1931 based at 901 North Vine St. in Hollywood, California.

The three plants washed as many as one-thousand cars a day and, in addition, offered polishing, vacuuming, and a lubrication service at the end of the line. The vehicle in the doorway appears to be a 1928 Cadillac. Pickup and delivery services were available by a rider on an Indian “Dispatch-Tow” three-wheeler.

Please share with us what you find of interest in this image found via Keith Sparks courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection.

19 responses to “Pacific Auto Laundry Hollywood California

  1. Wondering why you would have to tow the trike. Wouldn’t you just ride it to the customer’s house, pick up their car, wash it and return it clean. Then jump on the bike and ride back?

    • They don’t want him sitting around for the 15 minute wash plus the time waiting it’s turn, when he can be out bringing more business.

    • Hi Jack, I believe, the wash guy would take the trike to the customer, pick up the car, clean it, and return it, then ride the trike home. Sounds like a cool job. Since I’m here, I think the trike is a very new H-D Servi-car, which came out around that time, I read. The rear fenders and trunk look like H-D. Think of the bigshots that came through that car wash and the fancy cars.

  2. If you go to the address on Google maps, the place still existed, but is gone in street view. The overhead view shows a wash to be $12.99 From the looks of the construction on Lillian Way (The back door to the place), I’d say it was knocked down in late 2018.

  3. I never knew that people would plug the orifice at the front that was used for the crank handle insertion.
    I guess so dirt wouldn’t get in.

    • Also for style. Crank hole covers could be plain or fancy — and can be costly today: a cloisonne cover for a ’38 Dodge is $300, a simple cover for a Packard is $100, and a repro for a Ford is $30. Some things automotive do not seem to change.

  4. Thanks for another high resolution photo from a golden age of automotive and motorcycle history. This is certainly a professional photograph.

  5. Still in the 60’s the local Cadillac dealer ( Russell Cadillac, Red Bank , NJ) had a Harley with a front clamp on tow bar to pick up customers cars, , I remember a uninformed black gentleman driving about transporting cars for service… when medal bumpers went away so did the service…

  6. 1951, we had a Harley for use in pickup and delivery. We always towed the Harley back to the shop to use to pickup another car or make a delivery. Easy hook up to the open style bumpers of the time.

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