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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Signal Hill in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Car Climbs on the Hill

Part of the “Memory Necklace”

 

—A Series of Historical Panels Located in the Hilltop Loop Trail —

 
Car Climbs on the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 24, 2016
1. Car Climbs on the Hill Marker
Inscription. The ascent of Signal Hill (elevation 364 feet) was not just a fantasy for automobile drivers of the early 1920s. In January 1921, the Long Beach Daily Telegram advertised an upcoming effort by a Dodge touring car to climb “The Hill’s” 70% grade. Thousands of people turned out for the demonstration and cheered the car as it crashed through the Dodge brothers’ paper emblem at the top of the hill.

The newspaper reported, “The startling feature of the exhibition was the apparent ease with which the Dodge car negotiated the steep grade and speed with which it completed its ascent… never before in the history of the automotive industry has any automobile given such a climbing exhibition and such a demonstration of power…”

The climb took only 15 seconds, but the speed was not reported. Oldsmobile upped the challenge a few months later by adding four passengers to the load, which totaled 750 pounds.

By the 1930s, the challenge of “Shell Hill” turned into an annual race for Model “T” Fords. Spectators crowded the edges of Hill Street for front row views. Mechanical problems seemed to enliven the event. The sight of a Model “T” with radiator trouble rolling backwards down the hill was common also. Spectators could walk about as fast as many
Car Climbs on the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 24, 2016
2. Car Climbs on the Hill Marker
of the cars could climb. Cars with brake problems steered into the grass below to slow down. (Marker Number 2.)
 
Location. 33° 47.923′ N, 118° 9.543′ W. Marker is in Signal Hill, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is on East Panorama Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2601-2697 East Panorama Drive, Signal Hill CA 90755, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Unity Monument" (within shouting distance of this marker); Discovery of Oil on the Hill (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Discovery Well - Signal Hill Field (about 700 feet away); Japanese Farming on the Hill (about 800 feet away); Early Aviation on the Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Broadcasting and Music on the Hill (approx. ¼ mile away); “Tribute to the Roughnecks” (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hilltop Park (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Signal Hill.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Events
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 14, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 60 times this year. Last updated on December 16, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1. submitted on December 14, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   2. submitted on December 15, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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