The story goes that a good friend of Pat Sullivan, whose studio created Felix the Cat in 1919: Winslow Felix, established Felix Chevrolet in Los Angeles in 1921, and in exchange for a new car was granted the rights to use the popular cartoon character in marketing and advertising, beginning with the 1923 Los Angeles Auto Show. The dealer has since gone on to become an icon for west coast car culture, and one of Chevy’s longest-running dealer franchises.
The dealer relocated from Downtown Los Angeles to Jefferson and Figueroa in 1958. Correlating with the character’s then-popular television series, a massive neon sign topped by Felix the Cat was added in 1959, and has become an unofficial landmark for the area that can be seen from the nearby 110 Freeway. To the dismay of some, however: the sign underwent a recent overhaul that replaced the original neon tubing with LED lighting, giving the glow a somewhat “cold” feel.