What visions enter your mind when you think of Santa Monica—the Santa Monica Pier with its iconic Ferris wheel, Palisades Park, the Aero Theatre or something a bit more cutting edge?
Being a fan of the weird, whacky and mysterious, I prefer to envision something bizarre; like a traveling landmark.
Living and working in Santa Monica we have the distinct honor and privilege to have what is in my opinion to be a thing of beauty, wonder and uniquely Santa Monica—the chicken car, cluck-mobile, the San Diego Chicken’s parental unit; whatever this unique offspring between a chicken and automobile would have for a moniker.
In full splendor and regaling us wearing an outfit of joyous yellow and red, sits “El Gallo Grande”, a 1973 Olds with a rooster head on the roof and a preening tail on the trunk. This unusual car has been a Santa Monica fixture for quite some time and I daresay acts as a goodwill ambassador for those fortunate enough to enter its atmosphere.
Rumor has it that the chicken car was the creation of a gentlemen named Steven Cantin who in 1997 had it driven from Ohio to California to appear in a movie that was never made (the road trip alone would have made an interesting movie.)
Last seen parked by the Brentwood Country Club golf course, its current owner is Tommy Kendall, a retired race car driver and spokesman.
Mr. Cantin and Tommy if you are out there, please accept our thanks and appreciation for the creativity you inspire in all of us with your traveling Santa Monica landmark that somehow magically uplifts our spirits and pays homage to the laid back entity that is known as Santa Monica.
Footnote: The chicken car has not been seen for the past few days in its normal roosting spot. Does anyone have any information as to its whereabouts?
Over and out,