FRYMAN CANYON (CBSLA.com) — A Los Feliz-based photographer is preserving a hidden part of L.A.’s history by capturing haunting images of the dozens of wrecks below the steep hillsides off Mulholland Drive, revealing scenes that look like bone yards of cars from a bygone era.
Jason Knight has explored and documented the decades-old wreckage off parts of Mulholland – a 55-mile windy, mostly two-lane road constructed in 1924 that stretches from Hollywood to Ventura County.
“A friend of mine told me about the cars off Mulholland Drive. I couldn’t find any pictures so I decided to go hunting for them myself,” he told CBS2’s Serene Branson of how the project unfolded.
“When you think about it it’s haunting – tumbling feet off the side of Mulholland Drive. At the same time nature is growing up… it’s quite beautiful,” he said.
Knight focused on an area known as Dead Man’s Curve, a two-and-a-half mile trek down a trail and into vegetation.
The cars sit and rust in weather – none of them appearing younger than 30 years.
The photographer suspects their ages coincide with the addition of a barrier rail and a reinforced embankment in the 80s.
The half-dozen cars in Fryman Canyon seem to date back to as early as the 1940s, the city so far leaving them untouched.
“I think it’s so tucked away it’s not causing anyone to be upset,” Knight said, adding that the cost of removing them has also become prohibitive.
The photographer, whose images will soon be showcased in a gallery, hopes his work will preserve a part of L.A.’s history many seem to have forgotten. He often thinks about the people who died there and contemplates each of their stories.
“I find these scenes – although some I find haunting – I find them beautiful,” Knight explained.
“It shows to me the cycle of life – the objects we create returning back to nature.”