Norwalk Motorcade 1957 by Bob Stephenson
A movie by Bob Stephenson from the 4th annual Norwalk Motorcade, an outdoor car show sponsored by the Norwalk Coachmen car club. Keith Christensen was the first President of the club and a founding member. In 2016 Keith told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that the club was started in the living room of his folks home in Norwalk in late 1952.
The idea of the first annual Norwalk Motorcade was conceived in July of 1954 at a joint meeting of the Coachmen, Jr. Chamber of Commerce, Sgt. Louis Casullo, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Norwalk Centours Motorcycle Club and interested parents. According to the Souvenir Program for the third annual Motorcade in 1956 "the teenagers wanted a chance to display results of their labor and prove the worth and need of organized clubs with proper adult supervision." The ball started rolling, committees were formed, plans were made and the Junior Chamber volunteered to sponsor the show. According to Keith, it was inspired by the club, and the show became known as The Coachman Show. The first show was held in 1954 at Excelsior High School in Norwalk, California. Keith was the Director of the show, and it became a huge success; "We promoted it and developed a lot of contacts. We held it on the grounds of the high school we all attended, Excelsior High School. The show expanded to encompass all of the grounds on all sides and brought a huge crowd, as we drew in entries for many communities in the outlying areas. This was the babyhood of car shows. No one had 'yet started doing this as the customizing era had just started and we were groundfloor. In its peak, we had displays from all of the local car dealers, the Army National guard, the Motorcycle shops and many others, about 4 acres of show grounds. I was able to get our club member who was a photographer to film much of the shows. We even got him a ride in an airplane to fly over and film for the air." Working for Dennis Hildebrandt, Keith had rubbed elbows with the members of the Qualifiers car club, so he used some of their cars to enhance the Motorcade show; "They helped add that quality touch to the shows."
Cars Featured in the Movie
Norm Grabowski's 1922 Ford Model T Roadster - Kookie T
Buzz Pitzen's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
Ed Cousins' 1932 Ford Pickup
Lloyd Bakan's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Jim Griepsma's 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Dave Cunningham's 1940 Ford Sedan
Louie Bettancourt's 1949 Mercury
Joe Edd Ray's 1950 Buick Sedanette - XM105
Rod & Custom Magazine’s Dream Truck
Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet Convertible
Junior Conway's 1950 Ford - The Teardrop
Pete Angress' 1952 Ford
Ina Mae Overman's 1952 Lincoln Capri
Ed Russell's 1952 Mercury
Bob Schremp's 1954 Chevrolet
Earl Bruce's 1955 Mercedes 300SL
Dick Gonzales' 1955 Studebaker
The Kopper Kart
Ed Roth's 1956 Ford F-100
Jud Morgan's 1956 Ford F-100
Jack James' 1957 Buick Special
Kermit Hanson's 1957 Buick
Harry Okuda's 1957 Dodge
Dick Jackson's 1957 Ford Thunderbird
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