I see these pictures and they just absolutely blow my mind every time. The cars are stacked 5 and 6 deep in some of the thickest spots. What if you wanted to leave?
Also, the white tops really stand out in the sea of black.
The other thing that is kind of wild is how small the Model T engine and hood are relative to the rest of the car when you look at all of these other cars with massive hoods. It makes it easier to pick the T's out if you just look for short hoods. Did all of these other cars just have much larger engines?
Yes the crowding is really something. I'm guessing the mentality was that this is a big event, everyone is here for the same reason, nobody has to suddenly work afternoon shift on Sunday or get a cell phone call about some crisis at home. Everyone would be leaving when it's over.
Since there are so few Ts, this must have been a pretty high-dollar event. Half the cars on the road in the world were Ts, but you couldn't prove it by this picture.
Well, you have to consider the location as well. It IS the Beverly Hills speedway after all.
I want those.
Looking at the photo makes me wonder how many of the cars in the picture still exist. I imagine a few, but very few. Most of those cars probably ended up in wartime scrap drives a few years later.
aaca say's survival rate for antique cars is about 3% on average. T's would be more i would guess
Back then if you needed to get out in an emergency, you probably just reached in and released the brakes and pushed the cars in front of you out of the way....without fear of a lawsuit.
Also without fear of a very loud alarm going off!
3% survival rate sounds high, I would have guessed 1% after 25-30 years? Depending on how popular the model is, of course, and orphan status - the ability to find parts has helped the Model T's survival rate. Still, I would doubt there are more than 150,000 Model T's worldwide? (= 1%)
The survival rate for very early cars up to c:a 1908 can be higher since the've often been saved as a novelty early on as the first car in this or that village or as something for parades?
"Back then if you had to get out in an emergency"... Well by the time the telegram arrived by bicycle messenger and they found you in that crowd the event would be over and you would be heading home anyway.
By the way I see my car in the 12th row, 23rd car from the east side.
Is this the Beverly Hills, Ca.? I don't see hills in the picture. There is also a Beverly Hills, Tx which is near Waco. Might be other Beverly Hills somewhere else?
I like the sport roadster, near the center of the picture, about the middle of the short row. It looks like a '24/'25 Stutz with the top up. The earlier Bearcats looked very similar, but usually did not have such a top. But I wish I could have any car in that photo! Ah, to sleep. Perchance to dream.
I wonder if AACA's 3 percent is based upon newer so-called antiques? The best educated guess I have heard seems to be about 1 percent survival for cars before 1930. I have heard and/or read several discussions on the subject. Some even had decent statistical samplings. There are many reasons why some cars survived at much higher rates than others. Luxury cars as a rule were abused less, and better built to begin with. Fords have a higher survival because parts availability made it more practical to keep using them longer. Some marques were just destined to disappear. Many years ago, a friend in one of the clubs I used to belong to had a Gray. If I recall the numbers correctly (someone may try to look them up if they know where or how, I would be curious to amend my memory), nearly thirty thousand were built. Only seven (at that time six, one more since found) known to survive. I don't follow those all that closely, maybe a few more around? But they would have to find a lot of them to get anywhere near that 1 percent.
It has always been a fascinating discussion.
I also remember a time, when I was very young, my family went to (I think) the fair. This would have been about 1955. Parking was very similar to that in the photo. My dad needed to leave, we of course, had to go with him. Sure enough, he was blocked in. Just as suggested above, he opened the doors and pushed the three cars he needed to in order to drive out. Just the way it was in those days.
Great photo! I also always love seeing the pictures showing a lot of cars.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2