The original Torrey Pines Grade, which is now part of the Torrey Pines State Park—and still open to traffic—was a struggle for cars in the brass era, generally before World War I.

Before the freeway, before a 1930s realignment, this was the main highway between San Diego and Los Angeles. It was truly an adventure to drive between the two cities during the time when this postcard was created. Today, it’s a wonderful San Diego day trip.

The cars here are headed up the grade in the right direction; some cars with gas tanks in the wrong position and vacuum feed (no fuel pump) would have to back up this hill.

Today’s Torrey Pines Road was built in the 1930s to provide more capacity and a less-steep route up the hill. The road today is the entry to the state park; at the top, the former lodge is now the visitor center.

Enjoy this trip and find out more in the Joyrides Around San Diego chapter Quintessential California.

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