Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Art of the Car Display

Los Angeles is the original car-centric culture, and we have brought the art of the car display to a highly refined level. Above is an early example, at the house of movie star Frederick March's Bel Air mansion (found on, a wonderful repository of post cards, matchbook covers, and other SoCal ephemera). Perhaps it is this convergence of auto culture and Hollywood culture that created the phenomenon. Touring the well-manicured homes of the stars, might Angelinos have longed to create a display of their own?

I still have a small treasure of a book, Charles Jenks's "Daydream Houses of Los Angeles," in which he tours LA residential neighborhoods and waxes acidic with pithy captions like, "Debbie Reynolds Egyptoid with Topiary Petrol Pumps and Car Display." Love it.
Here is a north-of-San-Vicente version. Less is more (less is a bore?).
Not to be confused with cars (in this case, trucks) parked ON the lawn. Every neighborhood has one of these households....

But you don't have to be rich to engage in the art, especially if you can get your neighbor to collaborate by paving over the yard between the houses. Muscle cars like caterpillars in their pupae, waiting (but for ample amounts of money and elbow grease) to be reborn.

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