by Ski Ingram

My family lived at 1901 Pullman Lane in Redondo Beach, California. The house was on the northeast corner of Pullman and Flagler Lane.  Pullman lane ran east and west with Flagler running north and south.  Our house was in the middle of two hills.  There was a fairly high hill at the west end of Pullman Lane. The other hill was on Flagler.  It ran from the north to the south ending at Pullman Lane then going back up hill just past my house.  There was a stop sign on Pullman Lane at Flagler. 

One day I was going home from work, at the Boys’ Market, when I saw a 1954 Ford Station wagon.  It had real wood on its side. It was in pretty good shape for being in this old lady’s back yard for a few years.  I ended up buying it from her for $40.00.  I towed it home and parked it in the driveway so I could fix it up and use it to carry my surfboard to and from the beach.

I got the engine running without too much trouble.  The engine was the Y block 239 cubic inch with 139 horsepower at 139 pounds torque, it was a really good engine. I had a four-speed transmission that I got somewhere and dropped that in it.  I was in the process of finding pieces of wood to replace the few missing and broken pieces on the car.  All I needed to be able to drive the car was insurance and new tires.

One night at about 1 or 2 in the morning the family was woken up be a loud crash in our front yard.  When I got outside, I saw that our front lawn was torn up and there was a car parked next to my father’s car on our driveway.

The police arrived along with the Fire Department and an ambulance. We found out that a car travelling east on Pullman   failed to stop at the stop sign at Flagler.  It hit a car going south of Flagler.  The car going south of Flagler was knocked east on Pullman.  The car that failed to stop at the stop sign slid across our lawn and hit my father’s car pushing it into my 1954 Ford, which was pushed into my father’s 1-ton truck with a camper on it.  The truck was pushed more than 3 feet off the driveway.  My father’s car and truck were not hurt very badly, but my 1954 Ford was crushed on both sides.

When the Tow truck moved the car that hit our vehicles, we discovered a woman had been thrown from her car and crushed between her car and ours.  She was dead.  My car was damaged beyond repair. I was very sad until my father was talked into co-signing for me to buy a 1964 Austin Healy Sprite.  That’s another story.

As remembered by Ski Ingram Sept. 2019