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Servicar Service at a Union Oil Gas Station, Los Angeles, California, c.1932

This spiffy Harley-Davidson Servi-Car looks like it was brand new when it was photographed at the Union Oil service station at 4004 Wilshire Boulevard in 1932. A memo issued by H-D on November 9, 1931 describes their new model as “intended primarily for the use by garages and service stations in the pickup and delivery of customer’s cars”, and that appears to be what is going on here. The tube frame work on the front wheel was connected to a quickly detachable hitch that allowed the trike to be towed, as you can see in one of our earlier posts.

The market for them slowly dried up as time went by and fewer service stations and car dealers offered pickup and delivery of customer’s cars. The wild deco design on the gas tank may very well be a factory paint scheme, as the company used this type of layout at the time on certain models. Take a look at the Steve McQeen 1931 H-D VL, which shares a similar graphic configuration. You can find out much more about these rare machines at the D45 Homepage and see many more service station posts on The Old Motor. Photo by Dick Whittington Studios courtesy of the Huntington Library.

6 responses to “Servicar Service at a Union Oil Gas Station, Los Angeles, California, c.1932

  1. The location of this service station is now occupied by the Social Security Administration, in a new building, of course. These mission style service stations and repair facilities are almost non-existent, now. There is still one in Pasadena, on the SE corner of Colorado Blvd. & Pasadena Ave. Sadly, it is hardly recognizable as it was converted into a restaurant years ago. It used to operate as a Texaco Station until the mid-1970’s I believe there is also another mission style service station in Long Beach, that has also been converted into a restaurant. On both of these buildings, the islands are no longer existent.

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