A little history on the dealership building and lot

The building was built in 1930. It has 19,500 square feet with a lot size of 39,000 square feet. It does not take up the complete block, but it does include lots 52, 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57 in Tract #7199. The main lot number is 57. The parcel is #5542003013. The property is located in the Los Feliz neighborhood at 4531 Hollywood Boulevard.

Shown below is my concept of what the dealership building looked like during the Cort Fox Ford years after viewing the Mannix TV episode. See the two photos below the rendering of the Cort Fox Ford signage in 1958 and 1960.

Shown below on the lower left is a photo I took of Castle Ford in 1983. The dealership building looked impressive in size. To put a car in the showroom there was a ramp that came from the service department. The photo on the lower right captured the dealership during the period it was Hollywood Ford by a Google Street photo.
The former dealership building and the building next door occupied by Auto Zone will be demolished in 2019. As the article indicated on the following pages, the complete block will be transformed. To the current generation it is progress. To the older generation it will be history lost. What ever your thoughts are it will become home for many new residents.
This photo of the Vista Theater was taken in 1960. Notice the Cort Fox signage on the lower left. This photo answers some questions on what the signage looked like. David Kerr, a former Cort Fox Ford employee discovered this photo on hollywoodphotographs.com. David grew up in the neighborhood and saw the dealership on a regular basis. He was no stranger to the Vista Theater or Stan’s Drive In located in the Los Feliz neighborhood.
1950’s style 1960’s style
The license plate frame on the top left was typical of the 1950’s. The license plate frame on the top right is typical of the 1960’s dropping the word FORD. The frames from the 1950’s varied with Hollywood on the bottom and Cort Fox Ford on the top. See the pictures shown below.
There was another variations of the frame style in the 1950’s. There are a few with Los Angeles on the frame instead of Hollywood. I have only seen one and that is shown on the left in the group of three photos above. The majority of them were made with Hollywood. The company that manufactured the license plate frames for Cort Fox Ford was “The Morton Company”. These frame are highly sought after in any style.
The one variation I can find with the 1960’s style shown here at right is the color of the lettering. The Fox is always red, but the lettering can be dark blue or a medium green. This is an original unrestored frame. All of the frames that I have seen appear to be cast pot metal.
The 1950’s style frame shown at left appears to be restored. The background is painted red and the lettering is polished chrome. I cannot verify if the frame is original style or creative license in the restoration. Either way it is a great example.
Here is an original Motor Vehicle Purchase Order from Cort Fox Ford.

Shown at left is how Cort Fox Ford was listed in the telephone book in May of 1956. Notice there are several different departments. Notice the “Boyle” name is still associated with Fox. This appears to be the time the Boyle name is being phased out.

All of the phone numbers are the same for each department except for the Used Car Department. It has a direct line. The Used Car Department can also be reached by dialing the main number as well.

The different departments are: Autos, New Car, Parts Department, Service Department, Body and Paint Department and Used Car Department.

Notice the phone listing from May of 1956 for O.A. Darcey. Owen Arthur Darcy is the original owner of my Thunderbird. A Cort Fox customer.
This is a picture of my Thunderbird taken in the fall of 1956. O.A. Darcey took this picture at 330 N. Robinson Street in L.A., his address is listed in the phone book. Owen’s wife Joy is in the driver’s seat with Owen’s mother in the passenger seat. Owen’s father is standing in the background.

Cort Fox Ford had COINS made for advertising purposes
Coined Phrase:        Cort-Fox-Ford For A Better Deal
Businesses and social organizations have long turned to coins, tokens, notes and similar items when an inexpensive advertising, fraternal or souvenir piece is needed, to the joy of collectors collecting such materials. Merchant store cards, advertising notes and Masonic tokens are just a few of these collectible pieces. So are encased coins. An encased coin is a coin, most often a cent, that has been forcibly inserted into a prepared hole machined into a ring or encasement of metal that has then been stamped with an advertising or souvenir message. Encased coins fall into a category of altered coins that some collectors avidly collect (others being elongated coins, love tokens, hobo nickels).

Shown in the photo on the far right is that token coin given to customers. This photo was provided by Joe Oliphant.

Another item Ford Dealers gave away was a key with the Ford Crest as compared to the standard keys Ford provided. This key shown here was given to the original owners of my 1956 Thunderbird that was purchased new at Cort Fox Ford.

Cort Fox Ford also gave away Key Chains. This key chain was given to David Kerr when he purchased a new car at the dealership. Mr. Kerr provided this photo.

Cort Fox Ford had a Newsletter called “Fox Tales”
The Newsletter appeared to be monthly. The Newsletters that I have seen share information about employees and noteworthy dealership information. See the examples shown here.

I used a Computer Aided Design program to do my best to recreate the Used Cars sign. Although not exact, it does give a fair representation of the original sign.

This sign was located on the West lot of the Dealership on Hollywood Boulevard. It was formerly known at the T-Bird and Mustang headquarters on the Boom Town map.

This is also the location of two movie location shots.

The Dealership in 1983, Castle Ford
These are the pictures I took in 1983 when we visited the dealership. At the time it was Castle Ford. The top left photo shows the showroom windows, front door and on the far left is a huge garage door to access the service department. I also took two photos of the showroom floor. Beside my wife and two children in the background, that is John Rossini, a salesman leaning against that brand new 1983 Mustang. At right is a picture of the service department.
John was kind enough to give me several Castle Ford License Plate Frames and the advertising insert. Interestingly enough, Castle Ford was able to keep the same telephone number that Cort Fox Ford had.
This is the sight of the former Cort Fox Ford, Castle Ford and Hollywood Ford Dealerships located at 4531 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. These Google Earth photos were taken in 2012. The first group of pictures shown here are concentrated where the short movie segment was filmed in 1957 on the Used Car Lot. At bottom is the dealership building.
The building was vacant when these photos were taken. The building will be demolished in March of 2019.

So, what is next for 4531 Hollywood Blvd.?
An artist’s rendering of the City Lights project being considered at Hollywood and Sunset boulevards at Hillhurst

Time stands still for no one. Developers see this property as a prime location for Apartments.

The family that originally built the dealership building in 1930, still own it today. But, a sale will more than likely take place in 2016, as developers are offering to purchase the property.

LOS FELIZ–At its 2014, Nov. 18th meeting, the LFNC approved a request the city stall decisions or approving project variances, until the board could further review developer’s plans.

According to LFNC Vice President, Administration, Mark F. Mauceri, there are concerns regarding size, adequate parking and vehicular entry and egress at the already congested six-point intersection where Hollywood and Sunset boulevards and Hillhurst Avenue converge.

The LFNC previously voted in October, 7-6, to table support for the project until further evaluation.

“We want the city to know we intend on weighing in on behalf of our stakeholders,” said Mauceri. “The last project of this size had to be the Los Feliz Towers.”

Community opposition to the proposal has recently surfaced through online petitions and a website, losfelizneighborhood.org. Developer Chandler Pratt Partners and Hollyhill Developers, LLC, is requesting three variances for the project: combining two land parcels and removing the existing alleyway between them; a 33.3% reduction in a required street “set-back” and a height increase over code.

The project is 216,867-square-feet residential and commercial structure bordered by Hollywood Boulevard, Hillhurst Avenue, Lyman Place and Clayton Avenue.

The plan calls for 202 residential units, 14,725 square feet of commercial space and a total of 397 parking spaces for both.

The project is eligible for relaxed parking requirements under the city’s Station Area Neighborhood Plan (SNAP) that encourages development near mass transit. A metro station is in walking distance from the site.

As a concession for the variances, the developer has agreed to add 25 additional parking spaces—with elevator-like “lifts” that stack cars vertically—above SNAP’s minimum requirements but still under the maximum allowed by the city’s building code. Additionally, noisy activities would be barred after 10 p.m. on both of the project’s rooftop decks.

At the LFNC’s November meeting, a constituent pointed out the project’s current plan is taller than the Target construction at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue. A judge ruled that project exceeds the city’s height building code and ordered construction stopped until a final ruling from the courts.

LFNC members had previously expressed concern that providing the minimum 1.5 parking spaces for 202 residential units may be allowable under SNAP guidelines, but is not adequate for the project’s size and location.

The article shown below appeared on the “Urbanize Los Angeles” website. The article gives a good explanation of their plan with a computer generated view of what the intersection of Hollywood and Hillhurst will look like when completed.

The car dealership and the associated out buildings and the AutoZone building are gone now. Before AutoZone on the corner it was an Atlantic Richfield Gas Station. After Cort Fox Ford the dealership building housed Castle Ford. Then Hollywood Ford and Hyundai. The last dealership to occupy the building was Hollywood Ford. It now fades in to history.

The Dealership Building and AutoZone were demolished in March of 2019

These two photos were taken from the same location on Hollywood Boulevard and Lyman Place looking East. There is nothing left but dirt and fencing as of March 2019.

The property is now ready for the Apartments that will be built. There will also be retail businesses on the first level. The process of getting approval and purchase of the property to demolition took at least 5 years. There was a lot of opposition, but the developer won out.