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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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La Jolla Line: 1910

La Jolla Line: 1910

Circa 1910. "Los Angeles & San Diego Beach Railway -- Gasoline motor car running from San Diego to La Jolla, California." A McKeen Motor Car at the Hotel Cabrillo in La Jolla. 5x7 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Not a cowcatcher

It's a radiator grill, can see radiator inside it.

Equine rather than bovine?

In urban use, it was probably a horse catcher, but such motor cars frequently operated on short inter-urban lines as well, where cattle and -- equally dangerous to the equipment and passengers -- hogs often ran wild.

Cow Catcher?

OK Dave, maybe you can tell us why a trolley would need one of these?

I would have never guessed

If there had been no caption to indicate the date of the photo, I would have sworn it was taken in the 1930s. Very futuristic--looks like something out of a Flash Gordon serial.

Yellow Submarine!

Might have inspired a certain group of Liverpudlians.

Restoration of other McKeen Motor Cars

These time travelers are remarkable. With a snorkel, they are ready for Captain Nemo.

Here and here are links to the McKeen Motor Car "Cuyamaca" restoration project in San Diego County.


This vehicle was also called a Potato Bug, sometimes a Doodlebug.

Jim Page is Right!

What an extraordinary vehicle. Has one been saved and on display somewhere? Sure hope so.

[There's one here. -tterrace]

The Hotel Cabrillo is a Survivor

Part of the La Valencia Hotel since sometime in the 1940s; now referred to as "The West Wing."

Ladies and gentlemen, may I please present --

The most awesome vehicle I've ever seen in my life. I want one in gloss burgundy with deep gray trim.

Additional comment: Gosh; the example tterrace tantalized me with in a comment to switzarch is BURGUNDY with a GRAY cowcatcher. Okay; it's a long trip to Carson City, but that McKeen Motor Car there is mine. I'll just wait until they finish the restoration.

Then it is MINE. It'll look great cruising the DC Beltway.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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