Sunday, November 27, 2011

Original 1965 Shelby Cobra With 427 CI Motor At Bob's Big Boy In Burbank, CA

How often do you get to see an original Carol Shelby Cobra and one that is being driven, not too often. We spotted this one at the longest running car show in the US, which happens to be at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank, CA every friday night since the 1950's.

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank, CA on a typical Friday night
Original 1965 Shelby Cobra with 427 CI motor
Original 1965 Shelby Cobra with 427 CI motor
Original 1965 Shelby Cobra with 427 CI motor
Original 1965 Shelby Cobra with 427 CI motor

The Bob's Big Boy Restaurant located at 4211 Riverside Drive in Burbank, California is the oldest remaining Bob's Big Boy in the United States. Built in 1949 by local residents Scott MacDonald and Ward Albert, it was designed by noted Los Angeles architect Wayne McAllister, "incorporating the 1940s transitional design of streamline moderne style, while anticipating the freeform 50s coffee shop architecture. The towering Bob's sign is an integral part of the building design and its most prominent feature." The building is said to have "made McAllister's reputation", and he is credited with creating the restaurant's circular drive-through design.

The restaurant was designated a California Point of Historical Interest in 1993. McAllister worked to preserve the structure as a historic landmark. McAllister was the architect for the original Lawry's restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills and the original Sands Hotel casino and Desert Inn casino in Las Vegas. He designed some 40 coffee shops in the Los Angeles area in the late 1940s, and each with a distinctive look. 

The Bob's Big Boy building represents a distinct period in the region's architectural history, often referred to as Googie architecture. Creative coffee shop designs started in Los Angeles because of the popularity of automobiles, and then spread across the nation. The building features curving windows and oversized roof overhangs with 1950s "free-form" style of cantilevered roofs and tall display signs. 

The Riverside Drive Bob's Big Boy was designed as a drive-in, in which carhops brought food to the cars, and now has a drive-thru window. 

On 14 December 1980, the restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard was the scene of a violent crime: Nine employees and two customers were forced at gunpoint into the meat freezer, where four people were shot dead and four others were wounded by armed robbers, one of whom was a former employee who was fired months earlier for making false claims of occupation-induced injury. ABC's 1986 telefilm The Right of the People was said to have been based on this case, since all of its victims were unarmed and questions were raised about the outcome if any of the victims were armed and able to fight back with handguns (e.g. if the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution means armed self defense for private citizens who are not members of organized militaries or militias). 

The MacDonald family acquired the restaurant in 1993, rehabilitating the tower sign, adding a patio and remodeling the dining room. Carhop service was reintroduced on weekends and a weekly classic car show is hosted in the parking lot.

Bob Hope and other movie personalities such as Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Jonathan Winters, Dana Andrews, Martha Raye, Alexis Smith and Craig Stevens, were once regulars at the restaurant. Hope frequented the Burbank drive-in because it afforded him privacy. 

Famed British musical group The Beatles dined at the Burbank location during their 1965 California tour. The table is the last booth on the right as one walks in, where the end of the windows facing out toward Riverside drive stop. For many years a plaque described the event (the plaque has been stolen many times by fans, and has been replaced each time. Many regulars to the restaurant call this table and booth "The Beatle Booth".

Bob's Big Boy famous sign in Burbank, CA