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Harbor Freeway in 1965

Harbor Freeway in 1965

Aug. 12, 1965: Southbound 110 Freeway at Florence Avenue, taken from inside of a car.

This is one of two frames of 35-millimeter film found with negatives taken by Richard Oliver during the Watts riots. The unpublished negatives were archived with a published image of reporter Charles Hillinger. He interviewed residents of Avalon Boulevard.

A sign to the right of the car says Florence Ave. Today there is still a Chevron station on Florence, just west of the freeway.

A co-worker and I took a stab at identifying the cars. We believe the car on left is a 1964 Chevrolet Impala, behind a Ford Mustang. The Car on the right may be a 1955 Chevy. No guess on the car in the middle.

In 1965, Oliver used the byline R.L. Oliver. The photo of Hillinger is in this recent post: Los Angeles Times covers the Watts riots.

Google Earth view of southbound 110 Freeway just before Florence Avenue, taken in April 2015.

Aug. 12, 1965: One of two frames of 35mm film found with negatives taken by Richard Oliver of reporter Charles Hillinger interviewing residents of Avalon Blvd. area after the start of Watts Riots. In 1965, Oliver used the byline of R. L. Oliver. This location unknown.

Aug. 12, 1965: Second frame taken from inside of a vehicle. The freeway location is unknown. Credit: R.L. Oliver/Los Angeles Times

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  1. August 20, 2015, 12:51 am

    Good photograph… Like it a lot ****
    The pack of Viceroys on the dash makes it perfect.

    I have a photograph that I'd love to exhibit with it.
    It's in my book "Southern California in the 60s"
    which is about to be released… Let's talk.

  2. August 20, 2015, 12:57 am

    PS. There are people who identify 1960s cars with absolute certainty,
    I'm not one of them, but the car in the middle is a Ford product.

  3. August 20, 2015, 6:56 am

    That's a 1963 Chevy Impala to the left, a 64 Mustang ahead. The car in the middle is a 1962 Ford Thunderbird. On the right you are correct, a 1955 Chevy. The biggest song on the radio that day was "California Girls" by the Beach Boys, btw. In a few weeks, Sandy Koufax would pitch his perfect game. Signed, Baby Boomer.

    By: scfehr
  4. August 20, 2015, 7:20 am

    The car directly in the middle looks like a 1961 Ford Thunderbird.

  5. August 20, 2015, 8:13 am

    The car in the middle is a 1963 Ford Thunderbird ( The Chevy on the left is a 1963 Impala. The Chevy in the right lane is correctly identified as a 1955 model. The car further up the road in the left lane is most likely a Chrysler product circa 1962-64.

    By: eprobono
  6. August 20, 2015, 8:48 am

    Very cool pics. As a car guy, perhaps I may assist with identifying some of the cars in the top photo. The one the left is a '63 Impala, (3 tail lights indicate a V8 equipped model), the Mustang is a '65, and the middle is, I believe, a '62 Thunderbird, the one on the right is a '55 Chevy. Thanks for the great photography! Keep it coming!!! -Biker Joe

    By: Biker Joe
  7. August 20, 2015, 8:57 am

    Looks like that second photo is somewhere in the "ditch" on the 110 between MLK and Slauson.

  8. August 20, 2015, 9:18 am

    Looks like a early '60's T-Bird (1961-63). The Harbor Freeway wasn't the 110 back then; just the State Highway 11.

    By: John
  9. August 20, 2015, 10:56 am

    Love those Viceroy's on the dash!

  10. August 20, 2015, 11:28 am

    The car in the middle is a T-Bird

    By: Paul
  11. August 20, 2015, 12:29 pm

    The middle car is a 1963 Thunderbird!

    By: Paul in Miami
  12. August 20, 2015, 12:30 pm

    The car he's following is a '61-'63 Ford Thunderbird.

    By: Evan Burkitt
  13. August 20, 2015, 12:39 pm

    Car in the middle looks like a early 60s Ford Thunderbird or Galaxie…

  14. August 20, 2015, 3:18 pm

    The car in question is a 1961, '62 or '63 Thunderbird. The car on the right is indeed a '55 Chevy.

    By: passingthroughthemoment
  15. August 20, 2015, 4:31 pm

    The car in the middle is an early 'sixties Ford Thunderbird.

    By: andyeagle
  16. August 20, 2015, 5:08 pm

    Looks like a T-Bird in the middle. And a 1963 Impala on the left.

    By: Jeanne
  17. August 20, 2015, 5:40 pm

    And people think driving and texting is bad.

    By: genesnowberg
  18. August 20, 2015, 6:51 pm

    1961-63 Ford Thunderbird.

    By: Dancho
  19. August 21, 2015, 12:29 am

    1961 Tbird

  20. August 21, 2015, 3:29 am

    No guess on the Thunderbird? Seriously?

  21. August 21, 2015, 8:24 am

    The car in the middle looks like a 1961 Ford Thunderbird.


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