Why Did the Chicken Car Cross the Road?

Awhile back, a reader chanced upon the world’s most unusual 1974 Olds (see photo) but I had only the bare bones of the story behind it. Now I’ve found the Chicken Car’s owner, who has filled me in.

Years ago, “I was sitting in my office in Glendale and heard a strange noise,” recalled race car driver - turned - broadcaster Tommy Kendall. “I went to the window and saw a car that was clucking. I had to have it.” The jalopy, usually displayed to promote pet expos in Ohio, was here to appear in a movie called “Skippy.” Kendall made an offer on it but got no reply.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Oct. 11, 2003 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday October 11, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Only in L.A. -- The name of a photographer who took a picture that ran with the Only in L.A. column in Friday’s California section was misspelled. It should have been Terence O’Brien, not Terrence.

Later, though, he learned that it had been impounded in Santa Monica -- a few blocks from his house. He snapped it up at an auction.

Today, he said, friends demand rides in it and love the clucking tape, which is hooked to a loudspeaker. But not everyone appreciates it. The posh Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills wouldn’t let him park there.


Of course, Kendall admits, he’s never fixed up the rusting hulk. “It’s tacky,” he reasoned. “Why make it look nice?”

Which came first, the Chicken Car or...? Kendall, by the way, even leaves his clunker/clucker parked on the street. “It usually gets egged at Halloween,” he said. “That’s sort of appropriate.”

Still on the poultry beat...: The Peninsula Hotel may not want the Chicken Car, but Terence O’Brien noticed a sign near L.A.'s historic Gilmore Adobe where poultry power is protected (see photo).

Unclear on the concept: Stephen Billard spotted a sort of uplifting sidewalk sale (see photo).


Hi-tech pet park: “In Westwood Park I saw a young couple running one of those remote-control big-wheel trucks on the roller hockey court,” writes Arthur Purcell.

“The truck was being operated for the pleasure of their dog, who seemed to have an insatiable capacity to chase it.”

Unrelated item! The police log of the Seal Beach Sun said that a man in a parked car, questioned by a suspicious resident, had “reportedly stated that he was not a three-headed dog.” The newspaper added: “The man was cited for possession of marijuana.”

MiscelLAny: In the other LA (Louisiana), Byron Myhre of Palos Verdes Estates glimpsed a law firm whose name ranks up there with such memorable combinations as Bull, Cohn & Assoc. of Santa Barbara, Lies & Bullis of Hankinson, N.D., and Argue & Phibbs of Dublin, Ireland (see photo).


Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012 and by e-mail at