Driving L.A. In My Youth

I turned 16 on a Sunday in 1959, so the first thing thing I did after school on Monday was get my drivers license.

I didn’t have a car of my own for a while, so would borrow my dad’s 1955 Ford station wagon when it was available. What a thrill it was when I got my own car. It wasn’t new by a long shot, but it was mine.


I think I paid about $100.00 for this nine-year old car. I got it a couple of months after getting my driver’s license. It was nice looking and big. I polished it often and it looked great. I remember it had a switch on the floor that would change radio stations when you pushed it. Pretty neat, huh? I don’t think I strayed out of the San Fernando Valley with this car, but to me it was a great car.

Cars I Have Owned – Part #1 - 2


I paid about $250 for this used car and bought it from a guy who owned the gas station I worked at on the weekends. It was the cheapest model they offered in 1953. I put a floor shift kit in it, painted it fire engine red and had black naugahyde tuck-and-roll upholstery installed in Tijuana. It wasn’t fast, but was reliable. I drove this car all over the L.A. area, to Disneyland in Anaheim a couple of times and of course to the beach regularly.

Cars I Have Owned – Part #1 - 3


This was the first car I owned that was truly fast. I bought it from a classmate in college for $600.00. It was what we called a “sleeper” back then, because it looked stock. However, it had a powerful police interceptor engine with three two-barrel carburetors and a racing transmission. For it’s day, it was very fast. I really loved that car and drove it all over Los Angeles county, Orange county and lots of trips to beaches along the coast.

Cars I Have Owned – Part #1 - 5The video below shows the streets of L.A. and surrounding areas back then. It is definitely a trip down memory lane as I drove most of them in my youth.

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