Saturday, July 14, 2018
In 1953, Glenn Hire and Vernon Antoine debuted their space-age inspired concept car - the Manta Ray - in Los Angeles, California.
Both men worked in the jet aircraft division of the North American Aviation Company and wanted to incorporate the swift flowing lines of a jet fighter plane into their car's styling, so they started a 1951 Studebaker Commander
The nosecone they scratch-built by first making a wooden pattern and then casting a 1/4-inch shell. The fiberglass body they molded in 14 sections. And the triple taillamps they nabbed from a 1952 Lincoln.
It was featured in the February 1954 issue of Rod and Custom by Dean Moon , and also appeared on the cover of Motor Trend in July, 1953 and other magazines such as Motor World, Mechanix Illustrated and Popular Science.
By 1959 it somehow made its way out to a used car dealer in Topeka, Kansas, where collector L.L. “Peanuts” Lacer of Junction City, Kansas, first came across it. “Dad was a rare one,” Lacer’s son, D.E., said. “He was always buying weird old cars that nobody wanted, then never driving them.”
Peanuts traded a Volkswagen and a Crosley for the Manta Ray, then brought it back to Junction City where he stuck it in a warehouse and then never touched it until the day he died in 1990.
In the years between Yeakel’s purchase of the car and its migration to Kansas. First, possibly related to Hire and Antoine’s production plans for the car, the Studebaker V-8 was swapped out for a dual-quad Cadillac
His son then took it on as a project to get it back to running condition, with some help from an automotive restoration student at McPherson College, though he decided to leave it unrestored for the time being.
“The day’s coming to put it back to gold, but that’s not anytime soon,” he said. “As it sits now, it’s just the way my dad got it – it still has the original tires.”
The showing of the Manta Ray at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance marks the first time in over 60 years it has appeared in public.
Because here is the far less cool looking version, you can now compare a good custom to a bad one
Friday, July 13, 2018
the Z/28 on Mosteller's Garage in Chattanooga was a warning for 34 years to the local teens to not street race.
Sadly, a couple young guys were racing a truck, on July 7th 1978, and contact between them at high speed caused the car to flip up and out, and wrap all the way around a telephone pole, still embedded. The roof touches the floor, the hood and trunk lid touch each other.
the story on the 69:
Rivals at Central High went to go race. A 56 Chevy truck that hadn't been beat and the other was this 69 Z/28 , with two boys 16 and 15 years old, the driver lived in Hixson and the passenger lived near the lake off Kings Point Rd
They started at Germantown headed East on South Terrace.
They were followed by a guy in a Road Runner, his story:
As we topped the hill, I backed out of it because of the traffic light ahead. The Camaro was slightly ahead and hit his brakes just as the truck was changing lanes. (the road is said to have a bump in it) The truck clipped the bumper of the Z-28 and it simply went into the air sideways. I estimate they were going around 90-95 mph because I was still doing 80 and slowing down.
The car slid on it's passenger side right into the pole instantly knocking out the power in the area. The sound was like a sonic boom. The truck slid just off the road onto the sidewalk.
The driver was hanging half out of the car and the passenger was bunched up in the floor, they were both removed and taken to East Ridge Hospital. Other than being bloody, they were intact and really did not look that bad.
The headlights were still on and the radio was playing and that made it kind of spooky.
The fire department pried open the trunk and tore into the back seat to see if anyone was in the back seat in spite of us telling them nobody else was in the car. The wrecker tried several times to pull the car off the pole with no luck.
They cut it top and bottom.
The driver of the truck was brought up on charges of vehicular homicide. The police began a major crackdown on drag racing after this ending an era that had gone on since the 60's.
In those days Brainerd road was the place to be on Friday night. We would cruise all night, park in Jubilee parking lot and drink beer, do burn outs, head over to the drive in and check out the cars, go to the Cotton Patch... just had a lot of fun.
East Ridge Tn, South Terrace, intersection of Belvoir Rd and South Terrace and that was the 2nd pole before the on ramp to I-75.
One of the kid's mom said this:
As the mother of one of the boys, I can tell you what really happened.
On July 8, 1978, several boys had gotten together in East Ridge and when it was time to go home, they all left and went down South Terrace.
In the Camaro were 2 boys, the driver being 16 ( going to Hixson High) and the passenger being 15 (going to Tyner). They had gone to school together at Ooltewah in the past.
The truck and the Camaro, got their bumpers tangled on South Terrace right at Bacon Trail. The Camaro spun and went airborne and hit the telephone pole top first and wrapped around it - tail lights to head lights.
They got the boys out by 2 wreckers pulling the cars apart and they were taken to Erlanger ER. They were both dead at the scene.
The car was taken to Mosteller's garage and placed in their lot. There were so many teens who knew them both that went to see the car that they pushed the fence down twice, so Mostellers put the car on top of the building to keep their fence in tact.
They just buried this car after the 34th anniversary of the crash, in 2012 buried the whole car.
Happy 50th to the Super Bee, the forgotten Dodge creation with a wider variety than any other car I can think of. Seriously. Why can't the marketing morons at Dodge glorify the Super Bee on it's 50th anniversary? Lame'os!
They were amazing, as in one version they had a factory fiberglass lift off hood... I don't recall another American muscle car that ever had a lift off fiberglass hood. And the Bee's was flat black paint for 10-15% better heat transfer. As Jesse Pinkman said, "Science, bitches!"
and it was the largest hood scoop of any car in the muscle car era that I can think of
and it's one of two cars I know of that used the wheel cover advertising method.
They were factory sponsored national touring drag racers, on both the USA and the Canadian sides of the border
They were a new trim level in 1968, and had a bitchin 3 piece tail light, that looks something similar to a bumble bee's black striped tail, and were given the black tail panel bolt on piece (Coronets got the silver/argent color instead) and look especially on point when a Super Bee was yellow with black tail stripes
And they were the choice for the NFL team, the Cincinnati Bengals who made the famous Butterscotch Bee color combo
They even had some funky gasser art work, and Ed Roth mistook a Dart for a Super Bee in one t-shirt design
and it showed up in advertising for teen girl fashion
(Teen, April 1969) http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2008/02/blog-post_24.html for the whole gallery
They made a comeback about 4 years ago, and here's an homage to the billboard decal too
They are all over, even on the island of Japan
There were Mexican Super Bees that resemble the American Demon body of 1971,
and the 1972 and 73 American Duster body, where they had the twin hood scoop, and the Challenger dual snorkle
and this one looks like the American 76 Aspen and some person liked the variety of Super Bee hoods that he (barf, puke) doubled down and put the twin scoops on a "Power Bulge" 1969 383 Super Bee hood
There were Super Bee boats... yes, Chrysler Super Bees. So, can you think of a car company that ever pulled a car model name and put it on their corporate boats? No. I don't think anyone else owned a boat company, the Harley fiberglass ones don't count, that was a motorcycle company
They were even raced in Nascar
and they won a national contest for model car design
They were an answer to another cartoon character's popular namesake muscle car
from what ever year, country, car body variety etc etc applies, they could be ordered with a 318, 383, 440 4 barrel, or 440 with a 6 pack, or the hemi, or the modern 6.2 liter (whatever, I don't give a shit about new Mopar engines that didn't get a name like Hellcat, or Demon)
and the Bee immediately inspired rip offs by other marketing people for the
and they personified a marketing publicity move... the "Scat Pack"
hat tip to Mopar Connection Magazine website guru Kevin Shaw for reminding me of the 50th anniversary