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Mid 50’s Hollywood Park Car Show




These snapshot give a very nice impression of the perfect day for a young kid in the mid 1950’s who visited an outdoor custom car / hot rod show. Great weather, a huge parking lot and a great selection of custom cars are the perfect ingredients for that.

We at the Custom Car Chronicle always love it when some new never before published photos of some of the famous custom cars from the golden ages, show up. These 7 snapshots were donated to the Custom Car Photo Archive after being hidden in a personal collection for nearly 60 years. But now the owner (who wants to stay unanimous) thinks it is time to share them with the rest of the people in the world who would appreciate them. He mentioned that he took the photos – when he was only ten years old – using his Box Brownie camera. The car show he attended was held at the parking lot of the Hollywood Park, a famous horse racing track in Inglewood California.

The owner of the photos mentioned he took these photos in 1953, but looking at the cars I would say the show must have been held in 1954, or early 1955.When I started to study the photos really well I recognized the location and cars in the background from photos used in some of the Barris books.
Ina Mae Overman also took some very nice color slides of cars at this event. One of the photos shows her 1952 Lincoln built by the Valley Custom Shop.
A lot of the cars shown in these photos, in the for and back ground are quite popular magazine cover or feature cars. This must have been quite a big show, especially for that time.

CCC-Tom-Love-1947-Ford-01-W 1947 Ford sedan with a great speedboat stance and some mild customizing belongs to Tom Love from Glendale. The background shows the Main building of the Horse track. This photo also shows that the cars are parked with ropes around it leaving plenty of space between the cars and public.

CCC-Chuck-DeWitt-1950-Ford-01-WChuck DeWitt’s 1950 Ford convertible customized by the Barris Kustom Shop. This version shows the much more attractive 1953 Cadillac hubcaps instead of the better known version with the wire wheel hubcaps. Not to long after these photos were taken, the car would be repainted white below the side trim.

CCC-Ray-More-1952Ford-01-WCustomized floating grille bar and 1953 Chevy grille surround in the first version of the Ray More 1952 Ford. Later Larry Watson would paint this car in several amazing versions when the car was owned by Pete Angress.

CCC-Hirohata-1951-Mercury-01-WBob Hirohata’s 1951 Mercury with both the hood and trunk open. Possibly the Ray More 1952 Ford on the right side behind Bob’s Mercury. This photo also gives us a good view on the characteristic square windows of the main building.

CCC-Joy-Ferguson-1954-Olds-01-WJoy Ferguson brought his 1954 Oldsmobile from Santa Barbara to the show. His Oldsmobile was also customized at the Barris Shop with extended rear fenders and Packard taillights. Painted white and “fluorescent pink”.

CCC-Overman-1952-Lincoln-01-WIna Mae Overman her 1952 Lincoln Capri in its second version customized by the Valley Custom Car shop. Behind the Lincoln we can see the sectioned 1950 Ford sedan once built by a very young Sam Foose for Don Britton. Later the car was repainted off-white as we can see in this photo. On the left side we can see the Barris built Tommy Thornburgh 1947 Studebaker convertible.


CCC-Drag-Car-01-HollywoodPark-WThe only car I cannot identify in these photos is this 1932 Ford sedan with canted 1940 Ford hood drag car. What I do know is that the car is maroon with white or yellow flames. The car has similar ingredients as an early Dean Moon racer. But I do not think this is the same car. I hope somebody will be able to identify it.



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Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

5 thoughts on “Mid 50’s Hollywood Park Car Show

  • It’s always great to see new photos surface and the old car community is fortunate to have Rik Hoving preserving all of that history for us all. The 10 year old took some pretty good pics.

  • Love the old outdoor carshow photos Rik. Thanks to, to the anonymous photographer for sharing the great pics – wish I had been there myself, so this’s the next best thing!

    Rik, the Love sedan in the Ferguson Olds pic seems to be a bit taller and sporting different wheels. Is this a different show – or an “oops”? smile


  • Really like these great photos! I have always been a fan of Chuck DeWitt’s ’50 convertible. It looks so much better with the ’53 Cad hubcaps, as shown in the picture for this show.

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