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The Driver's Seat

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The Driver's Seat
The Driver's Seat
Desk Traffic
Crime Scene P.E. Freight Depot
Clues 14
Persons of Interest 4
Questions 12
Locations Black Residence

Cavanagh's Bar

Date January 6, 1947
Previous case Next case
Buyer Beware A Marriage Made in Heaven or

The Consul's Car
(The Complete Edition or downloaded)

"And now, some housekeeping. A warm Central Division welcome for Detective Cole Phelps."
Gordon Leary

The Driver's Seat is a Traffic case in L.A. Noire. This is the first case Cole Phelps takes on the Traffic Desk, after being promoted from the Patrol Desk.


Cole Phelps and his new partner, Stefan Bekowsky, are called up to investigate an abandoned car, which looks as if a murder was committed inside of it, at the P.E. Freight Depot in the Warehouse District. During the investigation, Phelps finds out that the car is registered to Adrian Black, who has been reported missing the previous evening. Phelps also finds a receipt for a live pig in the trunk of the car, bought by Frank Morgan.

Persons of Interest


  • Investigate P.E. Freight Depot
  • Interview Nate Wilkey
  • Interview Mrs. Black
  • Investigate Black Residence
  • Trace Address of Cavanagh's Bar
  • Investigate Cavanagh's Bar
  • Interview Frank Morgan
  • Charge Frank Morgan or let him go
  • Investigate Morgan's Apartment
  • Apprehend Adrian Black



Notice: This walkthrough points to various evidence markers. As they aren't always consistent, the ones listed here might not be the same in your game.

P.E. Freight Depot

Once you arrive at the crime scene, talk to the coroner and then find the following evidence:

Stencil Found Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Thedriversseat blood splashes Inside a light blue Lincoln Continental Coupe.
Clue Clues
Blood splashes
Large splashes of blood, found inside abandoned vehicle.
Thedriversseat receipt In the trunk of the abandoned vehicle.
Clue CluesPOI P.O.I's
Receipt for live hogF. Morgan
Live hog purchase receipt, signed by F. Morgan, found in abandoned vehicle.
Thedriversseat wallet In front of the vehicle, at the evidence A marker.
Clue CluesPOI P.O.I'sObjective Objectives
WalletMrs. BlackInterview Mrs. Black
Wallet belonging to Adrian Black, found near abandoned vehicle.
Thedriversseat glasses In front of the vehicle, at the evidence A marker.
Clue Clues
Stenzel eyeglasses, broken and repaired, found near abandoned vehicle.
Thedriversseat pipe To the left of the vehicle between the forked train tracks, at the evidence B marker.
Clue Clues
Bloody pipe
Length of steel pipe, InstaHeat brand, stained with blood.

Interview Nate Wilkey:

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Purpose at scene Truth
Knowledge of Adrian Black Truth
Contents of wallet Doubt
Bloodstained pipe found Truth

Black Residence

Stencil Found Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Thedriversseat message On the dresser in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Clue Clues
Concealed message
Photograph of Adrian, message on reverse reads 'Hurry back, my darling, Nicole.'
Thedriversseat glasses case On the dresser in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Clue Clues
Glasses case
Stenzel glasses case, found empty.
Thedriversseat ticket In the wardrobe in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Clue Clues
Train ticket
Train ticket with receipt, Los Angeles to Seattle.
Thedriversseat matchbook On the table in the dining room, on the kitchen table next to the stove, and on the nightstand in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Clue CluesObjective Objectives
Cavanagh's matchbookTrace Address of Cavanagh's
Matchbook marked Cavanagh's Bar.
Thedriversseat instaheat receipt On the kitchen table.
Clue Clues
InstaHeat receipt
InstaHeat water heater installation receipt, dated recently.
Thedriversseat instaheat flyer On the kitchen table.
Clue Clues
InstaHeat flyer
InstaHeat water heater promotional pamphlet, with assembly diagram.
  • Inspect both photos of Mr. and Mrs. Black in their separate rooms, which suggests marriage problems.
  • In the dining room, there is a newspaper on the table.

Now, go outside and inspect the new water heater. You will find that you have to arrange the pipes, and once you do, you will find that the pipe that is missing is the same one found at the scene, covered in blood.

Interview Margaret Black

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Slaughterhouse receipt Truth POI Frank Morgan (Updated)
Photograph signed 'Nicole' Lie Concealed message
Location of Adrian Black Truth
Stenzel glasses case Truth
Cavanagh's Bar matchbook Truth
Alibi for Mrs. Black Truth

Pay attention to the order of these questions, it depends on the order in which you gathered the evidence.

Once you are done, use the telephone in Black's home to find the location of Cavanagh's Bar, if you haven't already.

Cavanagh's Bar

Once you arrive at the bar, talk to the bartender.

Interview Frank Morgan

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Link to Abandoned Vehicle Lie Receipt for live hog Location Adrian Black Whereabouts (?)
Location of Adrian Black Doubt Location Morgan's Apartment (Updated), Objective Investigate Morgan's Apartment

You will have the choice to arrest or leave Frank Morgan.

  • NOTE: If you fail the questioning, you will have to tail Morgan home to discover Adrian.
  • If you answer the questions correctly, arresting or leaving Morgan alone will not affect your case rating, and he will still appear in a Homicide street crime later.

Morgan's Apartment

During the drive to Morgan's Apartment, you will get another clue via the police radio letting you know that the blood in the car was not human but in fact swine blood (most likely from the hog Frank ordered). If you have your partner drive and skip the scene, you may or may not miss the clue. If you don't get the clue on the way, commandeer a police vehicle, and you should get it.

If you correctly answered Frank's questions, just find his apartment number, number 2, walk up to the door. Adrian will answer the door, where he will tell you that he needed to leave L.A. for a while. He then tells you that he needs to pack his stuff. However, he slams the door in your face, prompting you to kick it down and go after him. However, if you didn't answer his questions correctly, Frank Morgan will answer the door after reassuring Black that they were "in the clear." However, he opens the door to find the detectives outside the door. Cole will ask Adrian to come with him to Downtown. However, Adrian will go out the window and try to escape, while Frank Morgan gives himself up.

Apprehend Adrian Black

Climb out the window and chase Adrian up the fire escape, across the rooftops, down the pipe and he will get cut off by Bekowsky.

Case Briefing

"Newly assigned to the Traffic Squad, Central Division. After a year in uniform, the Detective Bureau was starting to sound like the promised land. First case is an abandoned vehicle, recovered at the Pacific Electric Freight Depot. According to the reporting patrolman and witnesses on site there are signs of foul play. We need to track down the owner, see if anything untoward happened to him."

Case Notes

  • "Adrian Black can look forward to his day in court, and a beating from the LA press."
  • "Frank Morgan would have rolled over on Adrian Black with some tougher questioning."
  • "Mrs Black is no doormat - the right evidence and she would have spilled the beans on her husband."


Video walkthrough

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 5 - The Driver's Seat (5 Star)31:55

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 5 - The Driver's Seat (5 Star)


  • While examining the blood-stained car, Officer Clyde Hart mentions that the victim appeared to have "copped the full Broderick." This is a colloquial 1950s slang term, meant to mean that the victim looks to have taken a thorough beating. This is also referenced in the Broderick suit, which improves fist-fighting ability.
  • This case is loosely based on the real-life 1947 disappearance of Euguene White. For information about the real case, see the 1947 project time travel blog
  • In the opening cutscene, wherein Phelps is introduced to the rest of the department, he is shown a proposed map of the L.A. freeway system. He remarks why they can't "build a freeway that goes past my place." In a twist of irony, US Route 101 will be constructed directly over Cole's home just off of Sunset Boulevard and Wilton Place in the years succeeding the story.
  • At the Black residence, there is a note of InstaHeat with the name "M.Ryan," who appears in the later Arson case "The Gas Man."
  • At the Black residence, if you go in the back of the house and across the alley Parsons Boarding House is located right behind the Black residence.
  • The store to the right of Frank Morgan's apartment building is one "Geiger's Rare Books," referencing Raymond Chandler's famous hardboiled detective novel The Big Sleep.
  • "The Driver's Seat" and "A Different Kind of War" are the only two cases where all Cole's detective partners are seen. Herschel Biggs, Roy Earle and Stefan Bekowsky are introduced by Mel Fleischer, and Rusty Galloway can be seen sitting in the far side of the briefing room while Capt. Gordon Leary welcomes Phelps.
  • Even though Adrian will eventually be stopped by Bekowsky, losing tail of him will still count as a case failure.
  • There is a 19 day period which passes between this case and the next case, "The Consul's Car."
  • Even if you ask for your partner to drive to the first crime scene, the cutscene triggered there will show Phelps at the driver's seat.
  • Leary mentions Cole's Silver Star in the opening cutscene, as he is one of two LAPD members to have received it in World War 2. The other is Lynn "Buck" Compton, a member of the decorated Easy Company 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division, and is featured in the HBO Miniseries Band of Brothers.
  • Outside of Cavanagh's, a drunk will beckon Cole with claims of having gone to school with him. He Will suggest Cole buy him a drink. There is a small cut scene but this seems to have no impact on the case.
  • During the investigation of the crime scene at the rail yard, Cole can talk to the crime scene photographer, but if this is not done this will have no impact on the case.
  • If the player decides to arrest Morgan, when Cole places him in the back of the prison van, Cole will shake out his hand, as if he had been in a fist-fight with Morgan. As the player does not ever engage Morgan in a fist-fight, it could be concluded that this is a developer error.


  • Beginning with this mission, calls for assistance regarding various street crimes will begin to be heard periodically. The player has the option of ignoring these calls for now (to investigate them later while in free roam) or taking on these mini-cases, even in the midst of investigating the main assigned case. If the player chooses the "partner drives" option to get from place to place, these calls will not be heard.
  • Also beginning with this case, the player does not need to immediately head to the scene of the crime or investigation destinations and may, effectively, free roam the city finding landmarks, unlocking vehicles and searching for film reels. However the player runs the risk of a lowered case rating should Phelps' vehicle be damaged, damage city property, or hit pedestrians during these drives (in free roam no such penalties are imposed). One way around this is to use the "partner drives" option, assuming one has a destination in mind (i.e. a landmark, etc.).

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