Never Before Seen Footage Of The Incredibly Rare SoCal Snownut

In 1949, I suspect that everyone in Los Angeles was making the exact same tired jokes about Hell freezing over, because between January 10-11, 1949, Los Angeles received just over 4 inches of snow, which, to LA, may as well have been a blizzard. While most drivers were likely paralyzed with fear, a few intrepid hoons made the most of this incredibly rare snowfall the best way they knew: via judicious application of hoonery.

This footage is from my friend Galen who runs a little thing called RetroChrome, which is essentially him seeking out and preserving old, forgotten footage. Here’s what he has to say about the footage:

Found this in the same batch that the Indy 500 footage was in. Same photog and I’m 90 percent sure his name was Al Smith. Found a batch of film at an Antique store in Monrovia Ca.


Galen also mentioned that this same batch of footage also contained some very creepy footage of what appears to be someone spying on women by a pool in Vegas, in the interest of full disclosure.

I think what’s especially interesting about that footage is that one of those cars is a brand-new 1949 Ford. It snows for the first time in decades and decades in LA, and there was at least one person who’s first instinct was to take their brand-new car out in the snow and go nuts. That’s achingly beautiful.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)