Rollin' Back the Years

Stu Bailey and Jeff Spencer were the detectives who would crack wise in the Warner Brothers crime drama, 77 Sunset Strip – a TV show that ran from 1958 ’til 1964. If you wondered what the Strip looked like as that show was winding down, but before the rockers had taken it over, check out the vintage movie of a short few Hollywood blocks.

There’s some cool cars on the street, including that blue MGA, a Woody, and the Chevy Nomad that we’re following. See if you can spot the Isabella!

[youtube width=”640″ height=”385″][/youtube]

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22 responses to “Rollin' Back the Years”

  1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    I came to comment that the video is not playing for me when I click on it. Then I noticed I was in fact the moron my wife calls me often.

    1. joshuman Avatar

      I did the same before scrolling.

    2. OA5599 Avatar

      The top one links to "watch later"–look at the bottom right corner. The lower video is for more immediate gratification.

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Oh now it makes sense!

    3. $kaycog Avatar

      I too clicked on the picture. So, I guess that makes me a moronette? Moroness?

      1. Manic_King Avatar

        Her Royal Moroness of Hooniverse sounds about right, says the King 🙂

        1. $kaycog Avatar

          I like that! It has a nice ring to it.

  2. joshuman Avatar

    Some might think this video needs a sound track. Personally, I like it silent.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    I would say that this film dates from 1963. I don't see any cars newer than that. Notice the Borgward Isabella TS coupe parked on the right at 0:39.
    The big difference from now is the fact that almost nothing is franchised here, other than a couple of gas stations. Just about everything was locally owned and each city and town had its own unique character because of that. The great homogenization of American commerce hadn't really begun yet. Now there'd be an endless parade of fast food chains, 7-Elevens, Walgreens, CVS, Home Depot, BankAmerica, etc. and every suburban main drag looks about the same.
    And yes, I clicked on the picture too. Duh…

    1. LTDScott Avatar

      I see an Austin America at 0:53. They weren't sold in the US until '68, so it must be gray market.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        The MG Sports Sedan, which used the same BMC ADO 16 platform as the Austin America, was sold in the US beginning in 1963 to around 1967. Here's the 1963 ad.
        <img src=""&gt;

        1. LTDScott Avatar

          Well I sit corrected.

    2. dculberson Avatar

      I really want an Isabella. Some good friends of mine just had a little girl and named her Isabella, so by the time she's 16, I need to have one restored and ready to be driven.

    3. west_coaster Avatar

      Actually, as Southern California goes, The Strip is still remarkably free of franchises. Lots of one-off restaurants, shops, etc. The Sunset Plaza area has been yuppified a bit with some high-end retail chain stores, but the section shown in the clip is still mostly chain-less, aside from the ubiquitous Subway.

  4. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Hamburger Hamlet, Plymouth House Restaurant, Villa Nova Italian Cuisine…puts me in the mood to discover some new road food!

  5. PFG Avatar

    Nice cut-off at 1:18, T-Bird. Good to know that at least SOMETHING is a constant in L.A.

  6. Alff Avatar

    So much to like here. When was the last time you saw a Falcon Sedan Delivery? Surprisingly few really old cars or furrin' vehicles.

  7. west_coaster Avatar

    Here's a bit of car-related trivia. At about 1:00 an angular building comes in to view on the left, sitting just below a liquor billboard and before the Standard station.
    That was a restaurant called Scandia, and it was later owned by a guy named Robert E. Petersen. Yep, that guy. He bought it from the original owner in the late 1970s, and owned it until it closed about ten years later. For most of those years, it was the spot where Motor Trend's Car of the Year was announced to the world at a lavish lunch

  8. Froggmann_ Avatar

    Whenever I see videos like this I always wonder two things:
    1. Do any of these vehicles still exist today?
    2. Have I ever met any of them?

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      Froggman…living down here in the greater Daytona Beach area I see a lot of them quite often. Sometimes on the street but mostly at shows.

  9. jjd241 Avatar

    I counted at least 3 liquor stores in those few blocks…

    1. west_coaster Avatar

      They're still there! (It's kind of party-land in that part of town.)