The names of the six boys were Howard McAbee, Jack, Steve Bales, Joe Bales, Dale and Roy Bales and their dog Butch.
Howard was the driver because he was taller then Steven and said he knew how to drive. The three oldest went to jail for boys for what they had done.
Carl Stewart commented a couple times (thanks!) with info, and just wrote in with this background to the photo:
Steven wrote the story before he passed away; he was the oldest of the group at 13 and because of a problem at home he decided to run away from home. His two young brothers Joe and Roy not to be left out, went with him.
The other boys Howard, Jack and Dale all seen them and just had to join in on the fun. They went from Billy Goat Acres in a stolen car out of Bakersfield. This car broke down after flat tires. Then then stole a car in the mountains only to run out of gas in Mohave. They then stole another car and drove to New Hall where the police shot into the car not knowing they were all just kids that were to scared to stop.
From another website:
Billy Goat Acres was a poor neighborhood in Bakersfield.
Some kids from there had stolen a car and taken it for a joyride.
They crossed over the mountains towards Mojave and near Tehachapi they ran the car into a ditch. They stole another car and ran it out of gas. The 3rd car they stole, near Mojave, was a Chrysler. They made a wrong turn and ended up in Los Angeles where the joyride turned into speeding, running red lights and general reckless driving.
The California Highway Patrol gave chase and when the car wouldn’t pull over, they started shooting.
The kids ran through 2 roadblocks and when the car finally stopped the kids were unloaded from the car.
When I saw the picture I was surprised to see that the driver of the car was my 12-year-old cousin Howard McAbee and that he was the oldest in the group.
Billy Goat Acres was just 2 miles outside Bakersfield. It is now called "South Gate".
In 1927, Firestone Tire Company bought some of the land at $7,000 an acre. By 1900, Bell Gardens was divided into tracts of 40 to 100 acres. The land adjoining the City of Bell became known as Bell Gardens.
Both Bell Gardens and Bell are named for James George Bell. In 1930, O.C. Beck purchased property and begins to build affordable homes for those suffering through the depression era from Oklahoma. It was during this period that the area was known as 'Billy Goat Acres'. To this day, Bell Gardens is affectionately known by this moniker. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Gardens,_California
Ashley Bales is the granddaughter of Roy, and somehow found my post from Dec 2015
Shanna Rutledge wrote in to say the Bales boys were her cousins, and that they all grew up and had families
And the following week, in the letters to the editor:
Life magazine, Feb 11, 1952
the original post is at https://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-billy-goat-acres-mob-time-magazine.html with the original comments