Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I was a kid growing up in L.A., Colonel Bob’s Hobby Shop was “THE” spot for both trains and model airplanes. He had stuff in there that you would never see anywhere else. In the 1960’s, he moved from the spot on Pico Blvd. in L.A., to Costa Mesa. I am very interested in finding out more about the owner and the two locations. If anyone has any information or photos of the shops, please reply. I am also interested in vintage photos of any Southern California hobby shops. Any old 8mm or 16mm movies? Thanks!

Hope you are all doing well,

Allen Drucker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,699 Posts
I googled and this oddball thing came up -- no way to know if it's true. kinda interesting. [see trivia section]

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That's amazing that you found that! I have been searching forever and have never found anything. Thanks very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,699 Posts
I take it with a grain of salt until it can be corroborated and I can't find anything else that isn't simply repeating the same info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,058 Posts
I searched it on DuckDuckgo and came up with a few hits, all saying Colonel Bob has been long gone from CM. Died back in the 90s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
I've lived in the Los Angeles area since 1978 and never even heard of C. Bob's Hobby Shop !! And yet I do remember "Troxel Trains" on (was it ?) Vermont Av., and "Washington & Vermont" on Washington Bl..Then there was "The Iron horse" in Brea ..
The Whistle Stop in Pasadena is still going strong. There are a couple southward, in, or near Orange County. But I believe all others are kaput !! Latest closure was The Train Shack, in Burbank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
I've lived in the Los Angeles area since 1978 and never even heard of C. Bob's Hobby Shop !! And yet I do remember "Troxel Trains" on (was it ?) Vermont Av., and "Washington & Vermont" on Washington Bl..Then there was "The Iron horse" in Brea ..
The Whistle Stop in Pasadena is still going strong. There are a couple southward, in, or near Orange County. But I believe all others are kaput !!
Latest closure was The Train Shack, in Burbank.
who told you the train shack was closed?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I've lived in the Los Angeles area since 1978 and never even heard of C. Bob's Hobby Shop !! And yet I do remember "Troxel Trains" on (was it ?) Vermont Av., and "Washington & Vermont" on Washington Bl..Then there was "The Iron horse" in Brea ..
The Whistle Stop in Pasadena is still going strong. There are a couple southward, in, or near Orange County. But I believe all others are kaput !! Latest closure was The Train Shack, in Burbank.
I do not believe your info on The Train Shack is correct. As far as I know, they are still operating. Where/when did you hear they closed?. Troxel Bros. was the oldest train shop in L.A., since 1926, until it closed, I believe in the 90’s. By 1978, Col. Bob’s was in Costa Mesa, and closed shortly thereafter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I remember Allied Trains, on Sepulveda......gone now.....
Yes, and for no good reason. The Allied business was doing very well when I sold it in 2007, with the stipulation that it must be moved out of the big building. However, the new owners (3 partners), who moved it directly across the street, did not, IN MY PERSONAL OPINION, manage it in a manner that would continue the success I had built over my 32 years of ownership. In addition, as I understand it, there ended up being severe, personal issues between at least two of the partners, which led to them declaring bankruptcy in 2015. I believe, very strongly, that Allied could still have been a very successful business today, if it had been properly managed. It really is a shame that it’s gone. It had been in business since 1946.

554941
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,518 Posts
I thought it was the best train store I have ever been in.....my first visit was back in 1995,and it was in the old building that resembled a train station.....

Then I went back in 2013, and it was in the smaller building across the street, and the selection was not what it had been in 1995.....

Too bad, I liked that store.....:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,328 Posts
I take it with a grain of salt until it can be corroborated and I can't find anything else that isn't simply repeating the same info.
It's not like Robert Johnson is an uncommon name, and even those entitled to call themselves "Colonel" isn't exactly definitive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
Allied was a fantastic store. I made many 120 mile round trip drives from South Orange County to shop there. I am fortunate to have the Allied version of the Department 56 Snow Village Lionel Train store. It was not the same after Allen sold it. I agree, with the right management it could still be thriving today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,699 Posts
It's not like Robert Johnson is an uncommon name, and even those entitled to call themselves "Colonel" isn't exactly definitive.
Exactly also this. I tried kinda hard to find some other reference for the actress and colonel bob name ... nothing. Or it was just exactly the same info. There are various colonel bobs.

I was thinking maybe hit the city archives and try to find something about the business lease or something, names. but I dont know if they keep that stuff around or not.

assuming you want to make a movie and come up with a plausible film noir movie centered around the train store... (or something!)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Allied was a fantastic store. I made many 120 mile round trip drives from South Orange County to shop there. I am fortunate to have the Allied version of the Department 56 Snow Village Lionel Train store. It was not the same after Allen sold it. I agree, with the right management it could still be thriving today.
Thanks so much for the very kind words, I greatly appreciate it.

Allen
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
This is what the Colonel Bob’s L.A. location looks like now. He actually had two store fronts, with trains on one side and airplanes on the other side. There was a passage way between the two buildings, in the rear, behind the sales counter, so that employees could get to either side easily, but customers had to exit one side and then enter the other from the sidewalk. He had 3707 & 3709 W. Pico Blvd., as shown in this old magazine directory. 3707 is to the right in the photo.

This location was a fairly “well to do” neighborhood back in the early 1950’s when he first opened, but by the early 1970’s, the neighborhood had gone way downhill. His store was broken into on a regular basis, so much so that he moved it all the way to Costa Mesa in Orange County. I never saw that location and it did not last long. It never achieved anything close to the glory and success of the L.A. location.

554988
554989
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,328 Posts
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top