Custom History

July 2, 2018

D and B Auto Sales Part 2

D and B Auto Sales Part 2

In the Golden Years of Customizing Don Britton owned a Car Lot specialized in Hot Rods and Custom Cars. The D and B Auto Sale lot looked like a 24-7 outdoor Custom Car Show.

In the 1940’a and 1950 Hot Rods and Custom Cars were so popular in California, that some of the bigger cities had car dealers specializing in nothing but Hot Rods and Customs Cars during these Golden Years. One of the better known lots was Don Britton’s D & B Auto Sales located on 8221 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

A couple of years ago we already did an article on the D & B Auto Sales lot in Los Angeles. But I kept coming across more interesting pictures taken at this special place, SO I figured it would be great to combine them in a follow up article. A well done magazine and news paper ad campaign made sure everybody in the Hot Rod world knew about Don Britton’s D & B Auto Sales, so when it was time to move on to a new car and let go of your older Hot Rod or Custom, this was the most obvious places to go to. The fact that this dealer was well know might mean you could get a higher prices than any other place where there might not be many people into Hot Rods and Customs.

Some of the well known magazine cars ended up on the D & B lot, and some were listed for (low) prizes we cannot really understand today. The fact that the D & B lot had so many Customs and Hot Rods of coarse drew quite a few lookers in during the weekend. Like going to a free outdoor car show, this is perhaps the main reason why there are so many photos taken at this place that have surfaced so far.

Close up of the sign above the entrance of the small office building. The sign above the clock reads Buy-Sell-Trade, indicating that you could also drive up to the lot with your old Hot Rod or Custom Car and trade it in for a new one.. perhaps with some cash exchanging hands as well… or not.


Don Britton drove this Chuck Calvin Restyled sectioned 1950 Ford two door in the early 1950’s. This photo was not taken at the D&B lot though.


Wes Collin’s 1934 Ford at the D&B Auto Sales around 1948.


Another color snapshot of Wes Collin’ 1934 Ford at the lot in 1948.


Very nicely done, really wild Custom Convertible with some coachbuilt influences. Possibly based on a 1942 Nash Convertible. Two photos of this custom also appeared in the 1949 Dan Post Blue Book, but no info was given on the owner/builder. The car is surrounded by other Hot Rods and Customs For Sale. (photo by Throther MacMinn)


Rear quarter angle photo of the mystery ’42 Nash Custom, shows an almost fleetline roof shaped padded top flowing nicely in what appears to be a molded in trunk. Photos were taken around 1948 by Throther MacMinn


Close up of the special trailer behind the ’42 Nash.


Hot Rods For Sale, with in the foreground the nose of the “Estrata” original owned by Preston P. Hopkins based on parts found at wrecking yard.


Art Maimbourg photographed this chopped 1940 Ford Coupe with the rer quarter windows filled in, a very popular treatment in the mid/late 1940’s. If you look careful at the front of the car you can see the Al Andril 1940 Mercury sitting on the lot.


Al Andril’s Barris restyled 1940 Mercury Coupe sitting at the  D & B Auto Sales lot photographed by Art Maimbourg.


Actor Donald O’ Conner ones owned this wild Sports Roadster, now its up for grabs for $2500.- in 1948-49. (photo by Throther MacMinn)


Unique feature on the O’Conner car is the below the bumper grille giving the front of the car an ultra smooth look. (photo by Throther MacMinn)


Throther MacMinn took quite a few photos at the D&B Auto Sales lot in 1948-49. Including this one of a really nicely restyled 1948 Hudson four door turned into a roadster with boat like windshield by a shop called Silversmith.


This is one of my favorite photos of the D&B lot, showing the Silversmith 4-door Hudson Roadster and a much of padded topped Customs in the background. Notice that the cars in the background, are in the foreground in the photo below. (photo by Throther MacMinn)


Beautiful simple chopped, padded topped ’39 Ford for Sale at $1,500.-. In the back we have a good look at the small D&B office building. (photo by Throther MacMinn)


Johnny Zaro also had his 1941 Barris Restyled Ford convertible at the D&B lot. The car was apparently stolen from this lot, not long after it had been brought it. Notice that the D&C Auto Sales sign above the building has been replaced with one with new lettering.


Side view of the Johnny Zaro 1941 Ford showing a bit of the Santa Monica Blvd.


The Zaro Ford at a different location at the lot. This photo was taken from the Santa Monica Blvd side walk.


Another Barris Restyled Custom at the D&B lot was Joe Urrita‘s 1941 Ford build by Sam Barris.


These photos of the Joe Urritta 1941 Ford were taken around 1953.


Later, around 1954, the lot name changed to Custom City.


Hot Rods for sale at the new Custom City lot as we can see in this great overview photo.



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About the Author

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)


  1. WOW! How amazing would that have been.
    I would like to see a close up of the the trailer that the Nash? custom convertible looks to be pulling.
    Great story and Pics Rik.


  2. Randy Cox

    The photographer noted above was Strother MacMinn. He taight automobile design at The Art Center in Pasadena for 50 years. Perhaps no one else taught so many of the great designers as Strother.


  3. Amazing indeed! When I first started visiting L.A. there were several specialty car lots there, but alas, it was the muscle car era and I missed the “golden age” by a few years.. Insert “sad face” here..



  4. Epic post rik.. to see the zaro ford on a lot waiting to be scooped up and driven would have been amazing. What a time to have been alive


  5. Hey Pal……!! Id like to buy that 1940 merc over there in the corner….. That guy called BARRIS painted it I was told, Ive been working at FOSTERS FREEZ after school ever day and ive saved $269 and my mom said she would lone me the rest…..

    I want to cruz it with the big side windows down even in the cold so my dad gave me his Colvernx bomber jacket….. You know mister the one with the big shearling collar….



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