Friday, December 31, 2010

Zaniest thing I've seen in a while, the Jade Warrior from 1985

Skip the first 30 seconds

Learned about it from information from

The creation of British motorcycle racer Angus MacPhail, who built it himself in his garage, it's called the “Jade Warrior,” did the quarter mile in under 8 seconds a quarter century ago without the use of nitromethane. That's riding on the tip of a bullet.

It was powered by an inline 4-cylinder that blended MacPhail’s own engineering with that of a Ford Cosworth and sported a Roots supercharger producing somewhere between 400 and 500 horsepower.

The frame was, obviously, a completely one-off piece that was built monocoque-style – with a main center section made of alloy and put together with Araldite adhesive and Monel rivets. A well-designed body with ground effects incorporated helped keep it stable and hooked up at close to 200 MPH. Angus claimed it was actually very easy to navigate down the track.

Coolest damn thing you'll see all week. 1913 Harley, heavily optioned,TANDEM !, unrestored, with a quick history and instructions how to start it. WOW

the bike's options are discussed for the first 5 minutes, then the bike is started up and the procedure is wonderfully demonstrated, step by step. (starts at minute 5:30)
Thanks Mike! This is great!

The Camelback locomotive design, used in conjunction with the exceptionally wide Wooten firebox, not safe though

The "Camelback" design, which straddled the cab over the center of the boiler, allowed the exceptional width of the Wooten firebox, which burned lower BTU anthracite coal from Eastern Pennsylvania.

The Locomotives in the picture were also called "Mother Hubbards" among other names. They were discontinued from freight service because if a side rod broke, it would wipe out the cab and if on the engineer's side, the engineer also. In yard service they were much safer because of the lower speed which was not so likely to break a rod and sling it through the cab.
photo from

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Probably the coolest damn tank I've seen


Porsche tractor gallery

Something new in the world of 3 wheelers

No information, just a gallery of photos on

innovative use of wrenchs


president of the Packard Motorcar Company in a 1913 Packard doing a trailblazer journey across the USA scouting a route for the Lincoln Highway

Conceived in 1912 by Carl Fisher, (founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), the Lincoln Highway would be the first highway to stretch coast-to-coast. In those days few “improved” (graded) roads existed, and those few were only found within city limits. Long-distance auto trips weren’t something even considered by prudent individuals, but the highway would prove instrumental in making cars a viable mode of travel.

What a day, so far I've posted fire trucks, motorcycles, a movie about cabs, train wreck photos, locomotives, and a dragster

Top that Jalopnik.

1933, 5:54pm, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Long Beach. Imagine what the result of that catastrophe would be today in LA rush hour?

for a photo gallery, or to read about it:,0,3546233.photogallery

The Big Boy, used coal so fast that shovels couldn't feed it fast enough, so they built a conveyor belt direct from the coal to the firebox

1910's to 1950's fire engines

1910 Peerless

1928 Seldon and I noticed that this and the 1910 Peerless are both marked Ft Washington

The High and Mighty, mopar engineers and (street racers by night) used it to develop intakes and engines

In the woods of Maine are the neglected remains of two locomotives

The Eagle Lake and West Branch (ELWB) Railroad Locomotive #1, was built in June 1897 at Schenectady Locomotive Works (4-6-0 stamped #4552), it was originally a steam locomotive but later converted to burn crude oil to eliminate the forest fire threat caused by cinders. Number 1 was purchased by Great Northern in 1926 and used to haul pulpwood in the Allagash area from 1927-1933.

ELWB Locomotive Number 2, and its tender, were built in December 1901 at Brooks Locomotive Works (2-8-0 stamped 4062). Number 2 was also used as a steam locomotive and later converted to burn crude oil. It was purchased by Great Northern in 1928 and used as the main engine for hauling pulp cars from 1928-1933.

The railroad tranferred logs and crossed over the northwest arm of Chamberlain Lake where it reaches toward Allagash Lake. In September of 1933 both locomotives were relatively obsolete and not worth the cost of transporting them back out of the Allagash area. They were both on the Eagle Lake end of the tramway and the entire railroad was abandoned in place.

That's only part of the story.

These were parked in a very large barn, which burned down in the 1960s

They were parked during the great depression and after, they weren't financially worth making operable again, instead the cost of logging trucks was far less, so, they simply were left, and logging trucks were used

Read all about it

Or watch this video that is by one of my favorite you tubers, Post 10, and in it he describes what happened

Don't let them get caught in the floods, keep them high and dry

Novel solution!

For an easy going enjoyable older movie, DC Cab. Its rated R, so send the kids to the other room, but Mr T, Gary Busey, Max Gail, and Bill Maher star

Sounds like a Richard Pryor swearfest, but it's got Checker cabs throughout, car chases, good guys becoming a team and facing the bad guys, solving a kidnapping, and overcoming adversity.

1 of 3 existing BMW R51 RS factory race bikes in unrestored condition getting auctioned

Read about the sad true story of how the first owner was ruined by the US Govt because he was German immigrant businessman at the beginning of WW2, just like many Japanese Americans were. He was the BMW importer in New York, and managed to finagle one of these seventeen R51RS racers from the factory.

In truth, BMW sold very few motorcycles in the US in the 1920s and 30s, as protectionist trade policies introduced in the mid-20s levied a huge tax (up to 100%) on 'heavy' imported goods. Thus BMWs were rare and very expensive in the US

The 'RS' was a pushrod 500cc ohv flat-twin

Emil Recke's troubles began when AMA track officials ignored the bike making the fastest qulaifying lap at a race in Langhorne Pennsylvania, and when the US finally entered the War in Dec. 1941, Recke, as a German national and 'enemy alien', had his bank accounts seized by the US government.

Suddenly broke, he was forced to sell his BMW dealership, parts stock, tooling, and motorcycles to survive, for which he was paid pennies on the dollar given the ramping-up of the propaganda machine against anything, and anyone, German (or Japanese). After selling nearly everything he owned, all he had left in the world was his most precious possession, the R51RS which had been entrusted to him by the BMW factory. When it became clear that this, too, must be sold, he did what he had to, and sold the bike. He then took his own life.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Home built Shelby Cobra Daytona was made when Shelby sold chassis CSX2130 to an independant racer. I wonder if it was the only one

September 26, 1964 - The annual Autosport Three Hours, at the Snetterton track is the tenth and last round of the British Championship and the fifth time that Ford and Cobra stay eye into eye.
Eventually there are only two Cobras (a Willment Coupe and the HEM-6) at the start and two Ferraris - two LMs: Maranello's for Graham Hill and Piper's.
At the start, with Graham Hill on the pole, it's raining the proverbial cats and dogs.
As the track becomes less like a lake, Jack Sears is able to use some of the power of his Willment Cobra Roadster, passing Roger Mac and taking the lead.
The Willment Cobra Daytona Coupe places 1st

October 21, 1964 - This is the third year that British drivers show at the Daily Rand Nine Hours of Kyalami. Willment Cobra Daytona Coupe places 5th