What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea?

Discussion and questions about Packard dealers, distributors and factory branches.
Leeedy

What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea?

Post by Leeedy » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:29 pm

Due to a lot of claims I am reading on the internet...I just have to ask. What Packard dealer (if any) was ever on the corner of Wilshire and LaBrea in Los Angeles? If this is even true, does anyone, anywhere have a photo of this place? Having a hard time swallowing this story.

Also, what was the address of Earle C. Anthony's Beverly Hills dealership? I know he had one for a while in BH, but I have forgotten the address. Thanks.

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Ozstatman
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Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Ozstatman » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:27 pm

Looking at the Dealership Directory on PackardInfo.com looks like Wilshire Motors.

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modul ... .php?ID=72 - Click on link then scroll down to see aerial view of location.
Mal
Currently - '50 Packard Eight Touring Sedan
Previously - '41 120 Club Coupe(Sold October 2017) & '38 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold July 2009)
Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW Australia

"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

Leeedy

Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Leeedy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:02 pm

Thanks. Yes, except that the extreme claims on the wild internet I've been reading state that Earle C. Anthony had "his dealership" here...(he didn't) and that he erected the first neon sign in the USA here (he didn't again). So my query probably also ought to be more properly worded as to what Packard dealer name was ever here and when? A Packard dealer on Wilshire and LaBrea in the early 1920s? Hmmm. Even if it is so, the rest of these stories still just don't work.

Leeedy

Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Leeedy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:16 pm

And since we're on the subject of LaBrea and old Packard dealerships... anyone know where Packard LaBrea was located in Los Angeles??

Here is a photo of one of their license plate frames from my collection...
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PackardLicFrameCRP.jpg
An original Packard LaBrea dealership license plate frame from my collection.

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Ozstatman
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Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Ozstatman » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:16 am

Scanning through the Packard dealer list on PackardInfo - http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/dealer/

Besides Wilshire Motors Inc @ 735 South LaBrea Avenue - http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modul ... .php?ID=72

Also found Allen W. Fleming @ 419 S. La Brea St. - http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modul ... php?ID=927

Could either of these be aka Packard LaBrea?
Mal
Currently - '50 Packard Eight Touring Sedan
Previously - '41 120 Club Coupe(Sold October 2017) & '38 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold July 2009)
Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW Australia

"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

Dave Czirr
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Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:17 am

In addition to those Mal has listed above, my just prewar dealer list also shows:

Ingle Motor Co.
664 S. LaBrea
Inglewood

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Ozstatman
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Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Ozstatman » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:12 pm

Thanks Dave,

After your post I had another look at the PackardInfo list and found another dealer, Locke Motor Co, at the same address of 664 S. La Brea Ave - http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modul ... .php?ID=52 Maybe an earlier or later incarnation of Ingle Motor Co?

I suppose there could be more Packard dealers on LaBrea but these old eyes don't need the aggravation of pouring through the list.
Mal
Currently - '50 Packard Eight Touring Sedan
Previously - '41 120 Club Coupe(Sold October 2017) & '38 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold July 2009)
Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW Australia

"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

Leeedy

Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Leeedy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:39 am

Ozstatman wrote:Scanning through the Packard dealer list on PackardInfo - http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/dealer/

Besides Wilshire Motors Inc @ 735 South LaBrea Avenue - http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modul ... .php?ID=72

Also found Allen W. Fleming @ 419 S. La Brea St. - http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modul ... php?ID=927

Could either of these be aka Packard LaBrea?
Not as far as I know. Packard LaBrea was just... Packard LaBrea. I once had a collection of over 300 original Packard dealership business cards and I am sure I had 2 from Packard LaBrea. I had saved Packard dealer biz cards since the 1950s and once had a lot of them. This stuff disappeared along with my 1956 Caribbean and a lot of other Packard items that were stolen when I was robbed years ago. So there once was a time when I could answer my own question, but not now.

PACKARDAPL
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Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by PACKARDAPL » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:47 pm

Based on my understanding of the California territorial franchises issued to Earle c Anthony, I think I may have the reason
that all those locations --of various dealer titles-- were sometimes said to be Earle C Anthony. As a very early board member
and large stockholder, he virtually tied up the California sales market. His flagship dealerships in LA & SF oversaw and
set up "sub-dealers" around the territory. He did own or had a share in many of the early locations so he was both franchise
dealer and zone manager for Packard on the coast. I believe that he had some degree of both a veto & control of most
anything Packard in his operational area. The board was a rich businessmans 'club"--only the socially acceptable (& rich) could
participate. All those sub-dealers weren't owned by ECA, but any sales were past thru as a part of his organizations' operations
(pre-1950). So, the early dealers there really did have some connection with ECA and therefore might have confused some as
to the actual ownership of a given dealership-regardless of title. It might have been as simple as a line on advertizing or other
dealer material saying they were "associated with ECA"--which would have been true--in a limited way. When Packard changed
out its zone management handling around 1950 and eliminated the zone management fee, many of the big time--big sales dealers
dropped their long held franchises and some signifigant annual Packard sales disappeared. This was a big contributor to Packards
eventual failure.

Leeedy

Re: What L.A. Dealer was EVER on corner of Wilshire & LaBrea

Post by Leeedy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:01 pm

Good point. Earle C. Anthony (in addition to many other hats he wore) was West Coast Packard Distributor for several decades. However, this kind of arrangement was a very, very common business method back in the teens through the 1960s. Not just with Packards but with any manufactured goods (especially large ones) be they automobiles, motorcycles, refrigerators or bicycles. Frankly, the average dealer for manufactured goods back then was rarely equipped to set up his own shipping from the factory or other large-scale marketing/training/service, etc. operations. So that's where distributors came in. As a distributor, this function naturally had certain dealers in California and elsewhere tied to ECA, Inc. As for Mr. Anthony's own dealerships, those were in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, CA (certainly Oakland, as grand as it was would fit as a "flagship" dealer). ECA also had a dealership for a while in Beverly Hills. I knew several people who worked at various California Packard dealerships, but I never heard any of them–even in jest–refer to their own dealerships as Earle C. Anthony's dealership or ECA, Inc. No... this latest phenomenon is something else that has arisen long after those old Packard dealerships were dead and forgotten.

The story going around the internet right now and in recent years is obviously being touted by sources who know nothing of all the subtleties of the relationship with ECA and the dealers. In fact, what is being claimed on some web sites is that the first neon sign was set up in "front of ECA's dealership on Wilshire and LaBrea"... and that's just plain fiction (the sign was never there... the L.A. dealership alluded to was also not there... etc. etc.). But... these stories persist and just keep getting wilder and wilder as time goes on and the internet grows–and as old guys who were there are fewer and fewer and slowly fade into an increasingly confused "history."

As for Packard LaBrea... the only thing I know for sure is that it was a postwar Packard dealership in Los Angeles. And the dealership license plate frame I have came off of a Packard V-8 that was sold there new.
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Last edited by Leeedy on Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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