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Thunder Bird Club Meets at Les Bacon and Son’s Ford

Les Bacon and Son’s Ford was located in Hermosa Beach, CA, on the Pacific Coast Highway at Aviation Boulevard. Before taking on a Ford franchise, Bacon ran a Studebaker agency. He passed away in 1959, and his sons Roger and Bob, who were running the Dealership at the time, continued on with its operation.

Roger Bacon was a showman (note the likeness of a bag filled with bacon on top of the dealership sign) who used television commercials and stunts at the dealership as a way to become the number one selling Ford dealer west of the Mississippi River. In 1976 Bacon built the Alpha Beta shopping center at the site. He died in 2019, and you can learn about his exploits in his obituary.

Please share with us what you find of interest in the lead image of a Thunderbird meet held at Bacon Ford, and a view of the Dealership (below) both taken in the 1957 model year are courtesy of Ron Felsing.

22 responses to “Thunder Bird Club Meets at Les Bacon and Son’s Ford

  1. I would’ve loved to have been there in `57! I’d special-order a Fairlane 500 hardtop with the supercharged 312! Or better yet, a Squire with the same setup!!

  2. I love the beach culture of this club! Hawaiian shirts, no shirts, bathing suits and beach cover ups. Of course shorts and no doubt film flops too. It doesn’t look like anyone in the club has sprung for a brand new ’57 T-bird yet.

  3. In the 3rd picture [2nd expandable photograph], parked on the upper level & on the right [under the word “think’], is either a four-door 1951 or ’52 BUICK Roadmaster.

  4. In the 3rd photograph [2nd expandable picture], on the far left in the foreground, is a what looks like the tail-end of a 1954 STUDEBAKER.

  5. Mmmm, bacon,,,it’s one of the things that stinks about getting old, can’t eat bacon. 1st pic, that’s a lot of T-birds, but the 2nd pic, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many ’57 Fords in one place. The man walking up to what looks like a Ranchero, and a finned Mopar, and maybe a Packard amongst the used cars, the lot boys VW, and a couple Model T’s as promotions, or someone liked the ’57’s so much, they finally traded in the Model T’s . Hey, it’s California, never know. Complete with the surplus WW2 carbon arc searchlight.

  6. In the 3rd picture [2nd expandable photograph], parked on the upper level center [under the “USED CARS” sign] is what looks like a 1948 PACKARD Club Sedan. If it weren’t for the open front wheel well, it could be a NASH.

  7. 1) It’s warm weather as several people (men and women) are wearing bathing suits.

    2) The first two cars have had their “propellers” on the front bumpers removed. The second car from left has had bumper guards of a sort installed.

    3) That second car from left shows Ford made the right decision not to use chromed headlamp rings.

  8. In the Lead Photo and Item 1 of 2, apart from the T-birds, there’s a cluster of ’57 Fords out by the street including a Skyliner facing right. Joining them is a ’55 Pontiac Chieftain Sedan. There’s some considerably older cars in a distant lot across the street.

    In Item 2 of 2, a ’53-56 Studebaker Coupe is passing the Ranchero to the left and a ’54 Ford Customline V8 Club Coupe is entering from the right. I see an oval window VW up by the back wall and a lineup of very blurred early-‘50s car to the right, among which may be a two-tone Hudson (under “C” in “Cars”) and second from the right probably a ’51-’53 Buick Super Riviera Sedan.

  9. Nice group of Thunderbirds. Never saw so many 1957 Fords in one spot. Nice 54 Ford Club Coupe passing the dealership.

  10. A lot and f T-Birds in the last photo.
    I wonder what the survival rate is for 55-57s?
    Considering they have always been collectable, pretty high I’d guess.

    Circa 1965, a neighbor had one (along with a ’63-64 Riveria) and I can remember my dad saying he must be crazy spending $2000 for a USED car!

  11. I, of course, had to zoom in to look at the two model T Fords! The one on the viewer’s right appears to be a ’24/’25 coupe, I used to have a ’24 (fun car to drive!). The one on viewer’s left (partially hidden) looks to likely be a ’13/’14 touring car. Photo detail isn’t clear enough to tell much more than that.

    Gotta admit, all those T-Birds sure do look nice (for modern cars!). I even see one with a Continental spare tire on its back. I wonder if it would be the factory option available for part of the T-Bird years, or one of the after-market kits that showed up occasionally?

    • 1956 Thunderbirds had a continental kit to make more room in the trunk. For 57 they solved that problem. The 55 had the spare flat on the trunk floor. For 57 they were able to arrange it standing up at an angle.

  12. The two Thunderbirds in the lower left are mildly customized, factory guards replaced with thin ones or removed altogether. The dark car has chromed headlight rims and short lake pipes.

    Plymouth dealer sign appears next to the Motel sign across the street above the Bacon’s Mid-Century Modern flying wing canopy.

  13. After reading Bacon’s obit my thoughts turned to Earl Madman Muntz. It sounded like Bacon was taking a page from the Muntz playbook. Although a detailed timeline of Muntz activity was not referenced in this case, it’s clear he was in the Los Angeles area in the 1950s when he would have been outrageously hawking his wares on television. Bacon, in his 20s by then, had to have seen Muntz. I have to wonder if Earl had become sort of a business model for Bacon.

  14. “Get up off that couch and get down to Bacon Ford'” That was their TV pitch. I lived near there and saw it often.

  15. My preference for Fords dropped off completely for the 58-59 models, incl. the Birds. Nice to be reminded that the 57s had some nice stylings. I noted the large searchlight stowed in the third row of pic #2, remembering when dealers would flash those into the night sky to promote the new car years. I don’t think anybody does that any more, but since most cars now look like some variation of computer-designed jelly beans, I guess the big rollout of new designs has lost its relevance.

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