When A Californian Vacations

October 25, 1947
Elkhart, Indiana

The first reports of strange behavior by Howard Burbank, 57-year-old San Fernando Valley real estate man, came when he was pulled off a Chicago-bound bus after trying to choke a fellow passenger, William Ross of Cleveland. Following a police investigation, Burbank was freed.

Later today he stashed his clothing in a parked car, and ran naked down the street. Perhaps that’s considered normal behavior in the San Fernando Valley, but not in Elkhart in October! So a passing driver knocked him down, and cops took him to the jail at Goshen, where it took four strong men to get a pair of pants onto him.

Further reading:

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Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons and forensic science seminars of LAVA- The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.

2 thoughts on “When A Californian Vacations”

  1. What is the source for the information on 1958? I am an archivist at Toyota and have the same info on the first dealerships, but it is not cited. I think it came from the LA Times, but I am not sure. Thanks for whatever help you can provide.
    SELLS FOR $5000

    TOKYO, Oct. 23. (AP)—The Toyoda Automobile Co. unveiled its first postwar product today—a small four-passenger sedan with a 27 horsepower engine capable of doing 50 mph.

    The price: 250,000 yen ($5,000 at the official rate of exchange) ($47,320.93, USD 2005).

    The company has produced only five of the bantam-sized machines, which are patterned along the lines of European cars. For the time being, only doctors may buy cars.

    1957—Toyota Motors announces plans to enter the U.S. market with a four-seat “midget carâ€Â ($1,000-$1,200) and a six-seat Toyopet Crown De Luxe ($2,200). The Land Cruiser goes on sale in Cuba for $2,850. Toyota gets permission to open a dealership in Los Angeles.

    1958—Jan. 8, the Toyopet, which gets 30 mpg, is supposed to be exhibited at the Imported Motor Car Show at Shrine Auditorium. However a July story says they were introduced during a gala soiree at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

    July 31—The Toyopet ($2,187, whitewalls and side mirrors extra) goes on sale in Los Angeles at the Avalon Motor Co., 900 W. Anaheim in Wilmington; Art Frost of Culver City, 11153 Washington Place; Art Frost of Glendale, 737 S. Brand Blvd; Holt Motor Co;, 8230 Van Nuys Blvd.; Walter G. Linch, 312 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach; C. Standlee Martin, 1227 American Ave., Long Beach; and at Balboa Motors, 1475 Broadway in San Diego.

    1959—Masao Morimoto, chief stylist for Toyota, studies auto design concepts at the Art Center in Pasadena.

    1964—The Times reports: “The four-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser, acclaimed by every automotive authority and automotive trade journal that has tested it, is rapidly becoming the favorite ‘go anywhere’ car of American outdoor sportsmen.â€Â

    1965—Studebaker rejects a deal to sell Toyotas, certainly one of the more visionary actions ever taken by an American company.

    Oct. 25—A prototype of the 1966 Toyota Corona goes on display in Los Angeles.

    1966—Americans buy 25,000 Toyotas, with sales up 131% over the previous year. U.S. sales have increased by more than 100% a year for the last five years.

    1967—Toyota is the first automaker in the world to devise a smog control system that meets California’s new emission standards. The 2000-GT fastback goes on display in Los Angeles. Dominic Longo opens a dealership at 11509 Garvey Ave. in El Monte.

    Quote of the day: “Do you want to be like Tchaikovsky and Chopin and wait for everyone to pick your bones after your dead? Do it yourself while you’re still able to enjoy the money.â€Â
    Lou Levy, president of Leeds Music Corp., on turning Stravinsky’s “Firebirdâ€Â into the pop tune “Summer Moon.â€Â


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