Parade of Racing Cars Lines Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen too many Noire movies; or read too many detective novels; or played too much LA Noire on Playstation; but I love the notion of Downtown Los Angeles being the epicenter of the city’s life. There’s a certain amount of wonder in old photos of Downtown LA thronged with people and streetcars and traffic. It makes LA feel like more of a city-city, which is something that occurs to almost no one today (with the possible exception of some Angelenos).

The caption on this photo said 1927, but that can’t be right, can it? This parade of racing machines running through town—perhaps to publicize the weekend’s dirt track race—seems more like early to mid 30’s. Those look to my eyes to be ’31—’34 roadster rear ends. I’ve scoured the Marquees along the streetside for some clue that might narrow in on a date, but I’ve turned up nothing. What do you think?

I’ve visited LA many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever crossed into downtown. Perhaps I’m missing out.

Photo via this incredible LA Photographic history thread on Skyscraper City.

5 responses to “Parade of Racing Cars Lines Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles”

  1. Cris says:

    The photo should be from 1934, a parade of cars entered in either the Gilmour Gold Cup race at Mine’s Field, or possibly the “Targo Florio”(yes, “Targa” spelled wrong) or another race run at Legion Ascot.

    Cris

  2. peter says:

    next time you go stay at the figueroa hotel — kinda kitsch but also kinda great and not even expensive. eat at the pantry. visit the grand central market. there’s all kinds of great hidden historic stuff in downtown LA that most people who live there don’t even know about. worth checking out!

  3. William Longyard says:

    The picture is from 1933 because one of the film marquees shows that Ramon Navaroo and Kay Francis are starring in a picture. The only one they did together was STORM AT MIDNIGHT in 1933.

  4. William Longyard says:

    The picture is 1933 because the film THREE LITTLE PIGS was released May 27th of that year. (I was wrong about the Navarro/Francis picture.)

  5. Mike Jacobsen says:

    Almost certainly the cars are parading to Legion Ascot, just across the river one mile north east of downtown just off Soto St.–they ran on a course made up of the dirt oval and dirt roads over the hill where Wilson High School is now located. My Dad raced a Buick sprint car there; track closed in ’36. MJ

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