Standard Gas Station / Mad Man MuntzStandard Oil Co.’s little Art Deco service station, across the street from the Sunset Tower Apartments (8358 Sunset), seen above c. 1933, survived the Depression and the gas and tire rationing of World War II. It is still listed as a Standard station in the 1946 yellow pages. By the early 1950s, it had become an outlet of the Muntz Car Co., run by the flamboyant Earl W. “Mad Man” Muntz. Muntz came to Los Angeles in 1941 and in 1943 bought a lot at 12th & Figueroa. During the war, when new cars weren’t being produced and used cars were at a premium, he became a noted local personality with his radio ads and billboards proclaiming “I want to give them away, but my wife won’t let me!” After the war, Muntz sold Kaiser cars, and later turned to television manufacture. He moved operations to Chicago for a while in the mid-1950s, but by 1966, he was back on the Sunset Strip, selling cassette tapes at 8363 as Muntz’ Tape City. Today, a Starbucks occupies this site.
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