The LA Auto Show 1929 The Big Fire


    On March 5th, at 4:10 in the afternoon, an electrical short circuit in one of the airplane exhibits started a fire that raced up the draperies and decorations, setting the tents ablaze.

    Fire LA Auto Show

    Continue: The history of the LA Auto Show.

    The LA Auto Show is taking place from the 17th November to the 27th November 2011.

    In a matter of minutes, the entire show was enveloped in flames and by the time the fire department got things under control half an hour later, more than $1 million worth of vehicles had been reduced to twisted metal and ashes.

    By some miracle, though 2,500 people were at the show when the fire started, no one was seriously injured. But the blackened wreckage proved to be as much of an attraction as the show itself with thousands of cars jamming downtown streets as they drove by for a look.

    Ultimately profiting from the disaster was the junkyard located on an adjoining lot. When cleanup began, the fence was lowered and the burned vehicles were simply dragged over and added to the inventory.

    This might have been the end of another auto show, for that year at least, but show chairman Watt L. Moreland was determined that the show would go on. With the help of a small army of volunteers, and a fleet of tow trucks provided by the Southern California Auto Club, enough cars were found to assemble a new auto show… and one day later the Los Angeles Auto Show, Part 2, opened at the Shrine Auditorium.

    The new show, with extensive decorations, live entertainment and a full compliment of vehicles on display, was proclaimed equal to – and in some respects better than – the original.