We just added some new pix from Mike Andrews. Not everything there in the morning was a "Horseless Carriage!"
56 Year Tradition Continues to Delight!
by Steve McCarthy
As has been a custom in SoCal since 1955, the Horseless Carriage Club staged it's annual New Year's Eve Tour through the streets of Pasadena, Altadena, La Canada, and San Marino. The tour gives owners the chance to show off their oddities, and the general public to catch sight of cars from a bygone era chug by. As always, it's an adventure for all.
This year, I was lucky enough to take part, riding shotgun and navigating in a 1916 Crane Simplex. Never heard of it? Not surprised, they only made 125 or so of these beasts. The low production is clear when you learn that the chassis alone cost in the neighborhood of $8,000 1916 dollars. THEN, you had your coach builder put a body on it. For a day at least, I felt like one of the original 1%! Now that's an occupy I can get behind!
"Gearheads love it, it gives us a chance to educate the public on early transportation," Kenny King, one of the organizers said. "These are mechanical works of art."
The enjoyment for the public was obvious as we chugged up Lake Street to Farnsworth Park and in particular, as we cruised Colorado Blvd, waving and a-ooo-gahing to our adoring fans. Then, as we turned onto Lake Ave., we ran out of gas! Since I had the local knowledge, we were lucky, there is actually a gas station on South Lake! $4.00 a gallon for regular, but hey, when you're out of gas, it doesn't really matter, does it?
What's really cool about this is the chance to see cars that even us gear heads have never heard of. EMF? Jeffrey? Stoddard? Cunningham? Huh?
You have to wait a year now, but next time out, catch the tour.
The massive Crane Simplex I got to ride it.
Lynn and Bob stretch out in the back seat as we cross Suicide Bridge in Pasadena.
There were several Hartford Pope's in attendance.
No, that's not vinyl, it's PATENT LEATHER!
A Harley in it's normal operating mode, being pushed! The REAL motorcycle is at the curb.
OK, I've never heard of one either.
This one I know. A very rare Tourist, made in Los Angeles!
Naturally, everyone's favorite gearhead showed up. This is his Cunningham.
hmmm, wonder what the poor people are wearing?
And yes, the ladies arrived in this spectacular Pierce Arrow.
Others found another way to keep warm in the morning chill. Typically, it would warm up to the 70s to impress the Rose Bowl Refugees from Wisconsin. Wonder how many will return permanently?
Lots of neat track cars and racers from the era showed as well.
EMF? Yeah, me neither.
Now there's a One Percenter for sure!
We just don't realize how many car companies were around. It was THE way to express your entrepreneurial desires. Kinda like software companies today.
OK, that's just too cool! Ya know, my eldest made such a thing in Kindergarten!
A Baker Electric with a calliope! How cool can you get?
Why there were even some funny little furrin' cars too!
There was certainly more elegance to mechanical devises then. Plastic hadn't been invented!
A Chysler Special, raced in Argentina in the 30s.
Not one, but TWO EMFs!
Yeah, thank God for the Electric Starter!
This little gem is a Benjamin. Nah, me either.
There is something lovely about a fine patina.
Heralding in the New Year!