Saturday, December 05, 2009

The best interview of Von Dutch I've read, and you've never seen it before, Feb 1956 Car Craft

There. I just saved anyone who wanted to read this about 10 dollars from not buying a copy on EBay. You know, I just hate when someone will sell you something they won't share. Is that a problem?

For another interview I haven't looked at yet:

Garage porn a video of the parking garage that is pure eye candy

Rocking horse motorcycle, even has pinstriping

I wish I'd come across this a day ago, it would have went great with the vespa rocking horse:

Friday, December 04, 2009

Walter Chrysler, a brief note about an amazing biography

For a full write up:

But briefly he started working at age 18, as a janitor, and started taking educational courses like a machinist apprentice program where he studied air brakes (this was about 1893) and steam heat. He worked for railroads until 1900, when he took an electrical engineering correspondence course. He was a foremen with about 90 guys working for him by 1902, and in the next two years became a master mechanic; only 29 years old, and was the boss of 1000 men.

He further rose up the corporate ladder, achieving promotions and becoming the supervisor of many more workers, and in 1908 bought a Locomobile and took it apart to study it

At 34 yrs old he was promoted to works manager at GM, and in charge of Buick production where he quickly turned around the slow production and brought it up to 200 from just 45 cars a day. That is improvement on a scale that is hard to imagine, because it was simple things anyone could have seen and implemented.

In 1916 Walter was general manager of Buick, he resigned in 1920 due to not liking the direction Durant took producing frames.

At 45 years old Walter was retired when asked to save Willys-Overland which was $50 million in debt, but the risk of not pulling this off was so great that Chyrsler asked for 2 years at $1 million per year. He was concerned that failure to save Willys would reflect on his abilities. In two years the debt was reduced to $18 million and he left when Willys executives wouldn't go with development in a new engine.

At this time Maxwell Motors was $26 million in debt and Chrysler was asked to help out, and he did at a salary of $100,000 a year and a stock option. He secured a loan of $15 million for Maxwell and sold cars out of existing inventory for $995 -- a profit of $5 per car.

in 1925, MaxwelI Motor Corporation was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation after 32, 000 Chryslers were built in 1924 and sold for $1595 — the same as Buick. This car was a true 70 mph performer with four wheel hydraulic brakes and a replaceable oil filter. On $5 million debt the company had a net profit of $4,115,000!

in 1926 the Chrysler 50 replaced the Maxwell and competed with Dodge. The model numbers indicated top speeds - 50, 60, 70 and 80 mph -- and later models used 62 and 72 designations to indicate improved models.

After putting together the Chrysler Corporation from the remnants of Maxwell-Chalmers in 1925, acquiring the Dodge Brothers Company in 1928 and introducing both the Plymouth and DeSoto the same year, thus becoming the number 3 position automaker, Walter Chrysler decided to wind down a little and do something different.

He built an office building, you've already guessed it's the Chrysler Building in New York, and it was a private business matter and not corporate relating to the car business. His sons weren't interested in the auto manufacturing business, so Walter had this, the tallest of its day, skyscraper built to be given as a business venture for his sons Walter Jr. and Jack Chrysler who were not interested in the automobile business

It was surpassed in height (but not beauty) by the Empire State Building in 1931, and today reamins the finest Art Deco building in the world. Walter Chrysler had his personal office here for a number of years. The tower culminates in a beautiful, tapered stainless steel crown that supports the famous spire at its peak.

The building has a lot of ornamentation that is based on features that were being used on Chrysler cars of the day, the thirty first floor corner ornamentations are replicas of 1929 Chrysler radiator caps, and the corners of the sixty first floor are graced with eagles, replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments.

Cool photos

Above: simple bellytanker, no frills. Not sure what dry lake.. doesn't look like El Mirage to me.

Steve racing the Hurst Baja Boot for a gallery of Steve motorcycle racing across the Mojave

Johnny Cash and a train, cool setting!

Pike's Peak, and on the edge of that

Drag racing knows no car unworthy of competing

I believe these images are all from

1938 Hudson Super Terraplane, barn find... with the coolest dash and gauges

I dig the hood and grill chrome

It's got the most interesting shifter, but look just past that and see the oil pressure indicator... and it doesn't read numbers when not running, it simply says NO oil pressure... simple, straightforward, to the point. How did this not become the norm?

No oil pressure and not charging, I love it!

trivia answer that I came across accidentally, why did the 1920 Locomobile have a scarfed and moustached guy as a factory (not resale) hood ornament?

In WWI, British infantry soldiers were referred to as Tommys because of the name used as example in the pay book- Tommy Atkins. British troops during the Great War were famous for their bravery, and for always keeping their heads when the action got hot. That’s why this Tommy is a fitting mascot for this 1920 Locomobile.
The reason a British soldier was the choice, well since this was just after WW1, and a lot of mutual respect was formed between Brish and American forces, I think that explains it. No one has such respect for allies anymore, unless maybe it is the respect between military guys in a unit. Crewmembers in a aricraft, submarine, tank unit etc have this kind of utter respect.
in 1908, George Robertson (wearing #16) took the win in this car, ahead of fellow Locomobile pilot Joe Florida in third, becoming the first United States-built car to win in international competition. This would be the high water mark for Locomobile racing, and they soon faded from the scene, though Orin Davis did score a win in the Los Angeles-Phoenix rally in 1913.. On the strength of this, Locomobile soon became known for well built and speedy luxury cars.

Need a laugh?

A 23-year-old woman flipped her boss's Ferrari 360 on a California road this weekend, thus begging the question: why was a young, attractive woman driving her boss's Ferrari? Oh, right.

Johnny Eck Special

Above via:
Johnny was born with a truncated torso and appendicular legs as the result of a rare condition, and joined the circus side show in his teens.

Eck loved all things mechanical, especially automobiles. With his circus earnings along with pay from odd jobs, Eck purchased a midget racecar and converted all the foot controls to hand operation. He even went so far as to have the car licensed for operation on the streets of Baltimore. Not only did he buzz around Baltimore in this crazy contraption, he raced it all over the eastern seaboard. The car was one of Johnny's greatest joys and although he went on to own others, his first was still somehow the best, much as it is for the rest of us.

did you ever think the a jukebox maker would go into scooter production? The Rock-ola

for more info:

image via: that also tells about it, and that it only had a 1 hp engine, and in the front of the driver the hood opens and looks to be designed for use as a ice cream delivery 3 wheeler

Woodlight headlights, very cool looking, very rare. It figures they are in high demand

Hi all you "Truth About Cars" readers, you will get more from about the WoodLite headlites.

 Trust me,
Justacarguy Jesse

I am a fan of the design of these headlights, and if you want to see more, click this link and see all the rest I've posted:

On the Blastolene B-702, also known as the french curve. Beautiful work of art, a full gallery here:

Interesting vehicles and photos at Pebble Beach concours

1911 Oldsmobile Limited 7-Passenger Touring
A barn find that was in inoperable condition previously was meticulously brought back to mechanical life after two years

Paige Model 6-55 Daytona Speedster with mother in law seat
Nash Rambler Pinin Farina Palm Beach
Morgan F Super Sports

The Bardahl Special and a Kurtis 500 G-S

Chysler LeBaron Thunderbolt at Pebble Beach Concours

Mr Bean at Goodwood


The coolest kids toy I've seen all year!

For another:

1915 American LaFrance Speedster, factory race car built on a firetruck chassis, 802 cu inch engine and chain drive

simplicity is a thing of beauty

Mopar billboards via: I think?