Saturday, August 01, 2009

Winner of first Indianapolis 500 Race, it was lighter, more reliable than the competition... and had one thing they didn't. Rear view mirror.

thanks Steve!

found on

For a 2009 replica of the Wasp;

This Marmon Wasp won the first Indianapolis 500 Race in 1911... at that time, all race cars held two men, a driver and a co-driver/mechanic.

The Marmon was a single seater, unlike every other car on the track which had a seat for a driver and riding mechanic.

Marmon figured that shaving the weight of the mechanic from the car reduced the weight making it faster around the track and streamlined the car. It was widely speculated the car won because of its lighter weight.

Officials wanted drivers to have a riding mechanic so they could have an extra set of eyes on the track to avoid collisions. To skirt this rule, a mirror was hastily fixed to the hood and track officials were told that the driver could now see behind him, negating the need for a co-driver with a second set of eyes.

But the mirror vibrated so much, it was useless

This was the first rear view mirror ever used on a race car (or a passenger car as well). The driver, Harroun, was an Indiana native and still holds one Indy 500 record. No one has ever come from the 28th (or worse) starting position to end up winning the race.

Between the years of 1903 and 1933 Marmon Motor Cars, made approximately 250,000 cars. Fewer than 350 exist today.

If you’d like to help support the ongoing preservation of automotive history like Ray Harroun’s Marmon “Wasp” and many others like it, contact Greta Allen at the Museum at (317) 492-6779 to reserve your Hall of Fame Museum license plate, or check out this link for more information: IMS Hall of Fame Museum License Plate

Racing on Catalina in the summer of '51, Lindley Bothwell brought his brass era racecars, Mobiloil sponsored the millionaires, and everyone had fun

With friends like P. K. Wrigley, Jesus Chavez, Walt Rosenthal, Ralph De Palma, Anholt, and Koehle and corporate oil sponsorship... who wouldn't have a great time on the twistiest hairpin switchbacked roads in America?

This photo of a Lindy Bothwell might not be the "Lindley Bothwell" private collector and vintage car racer... but it's kinda coincidental... so i'll let you make up your own mind about it.

For an entire gallery on Bothwell's collection, see Nik's post:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Honest Charlie powered

Buddy Miles and his stars and stripes Harley trike

Buddy was the drummer that worked a lot with Jimi Hendrix from 1964 - 1969, and was the drummer for the "Band Of Gypsies" in 1969 and 1970 that Jimi had when he split with his management who were getting too controlling

The Bushmaster of George Schreiber, painted by Jag Painter of Chicago

The murals took over a 1000 hours and were in the Zodiography form of art that Jag made up, based on the request of George to have a Peter Max style paintjob.
This was George's 2nd top fueler, the first was Ed Roth's Yellow Fang.

Have a look through the Ed Roth book, "Hot Rods"

Another photo of the Barris shop


Take a look at this advertising... it's damn good! Plenty more at

take a look at the other 20 or so:

1973 Javelin AMX advertising

Dodge; for the hard driving man... right advertising meassage, 10 years too late

1974 Ford Pinto advertising, they sure went overboard on trying to convince the reader it was as wonderful as Henry's pioneering success, the Model T

1974 Ford Mustang II Mach 1... what a waste of design and advertising

"the best news from Detroit in 9 1/2 years" really? What a gross overstatement. Obscenely ridiculous... what drugs were those advertisers doing on their lunchbreak?

Muntz ad 1974

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I found another Roth t-shirt ad... sweet!

Chrisman Cannon Hustler exp 1961 Chrysler digger

For more dual engine and or dual rear tire dragsters see:

Broom Hilda drag raced!

Perfect timing... the photographer had perfect timing to catch the driver looking down at the damage, and throwing his hands up in disgust

The original car had a fiberglassed 1948 Fiat Topolino body with a bored and stroked 331 Chrysler Hemi.

Jim Miles built the car and acquired sponsorship from the Magic Muffler Shops in Southern California.

In August 1965 at the Lions Drag Strip, as driver Gary Essman hit the throttle, the bottom end of the engine exploded all over the track.

And it happened in less than one second. The photographer clicked the shutter. The driver stomped on the throttle. And KA-BLOOEY. The entire bottom of the engine exited the Fiat’s frame rails. The crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and oil pan all say sayonara through a cloud of fire.

At that moment of obliteration, the driver raised his right hand like he is letting go of a radioactive burrito. Through the carnage, the Genie beamed beatific, never breaking character.

Contrary to myth, a Genie doesn’t always do one’s bidding. He can be good, evil or indifferent.

In this case, the Genie was a vicious, smiling sadist.

So how, exactly, did the bottom come out?

“It was because (Gary) Essman didn’t torque the bottom end,” said AA/FA scenester, racer and authority Rod Hynes. “Brain fade had set in after putting in so many hours to get it together.”

About that infamous night in August of 1965, Miles said: “The driver was a fellow named Gary Essman. He helped me on the car quite a bit.”

Until the deconstruction… which was not as catastrophic as it appeared in the pictures.

“It spit the entire assembly out which was not hurt,” Hynes said.