Saturday, July 16, 2011

The first bus in America, was built by Mack in 1900

Jack was 14 when he ran away from home, became a mule driver on the railroads and then went on to be an engineer on heav equipment and ships. Later he went into business with his brothers
Now, the Mack trucking company has a museum and heritage center in the Mack Customer Center in Allentown Pennsylvania page 3

“It gives us a powerful way to immerse customers from North America and around the world in the products, history and culture of the Mack brand.” said Mike Reardon, Mack vice president, marketing.

Created inside the company’s former engineering development and test center, the Mack Customer Center includes a product showroom, an 18,000-square-foot modification center and a two-lane, .73 mile oval track, allowing customers to put their vehicles to the test. The track has multiple grades, on- and off-road durability courses and a skid pad.

Inside, customers can relax, meet and work in a comfortable reception area or at the “Bulldog Café.” The new facility also houses the Mack Museum and Heritage Center, which will open to the public beginning November 1, 2010.  

Phil Remington, last of the soup to nuts mechanics

After serving as a B-24 flight engineer in the South Pacific, Remington returned home after World War II and headed straight to the dry lakes of California. With an ultra-modified Model A fitted with a flathead V8 Ford, he set a class record by running 136 mph and change at El Mirage.

When West Coast hot rodders started tearing up the dry lakes before World War II, he was there. When Sterling Edwards won the first bonafide sports car race staged on the West Coast after the war, he was there. When Lance Reventlow ran the first American Formula One car at Monte Carlo, he was there. When Carroll Shelby's Cobras crushed all comers from Riverside to Daytona, he was there. When John Holman and Ralph Moody were dominating the Southern stock car scene, he was there. And when Dan Gurney's All American Racers finally won Indianapolis 500, Phil Remington was there.
As director of research and development at Shelby American, Remington was responsible for hundreds of modifications to the all-conquering Ford GT40s, Mark IIs and Mark IVs. On the sketches for these fixes, there used to be a legend: " Draftsman: Remington. Designer: Remington. Engineer: Remington. Approved: Remington." Just call him the last of the soup-to-nuts mechanics.

As soon as the Scarab operation folded in 1962, for instance, Remington landed on his feet with the Cobra program. In fact, when Shelby started leasing shop space in Venice from Reventlow, Remington more or less went with the building. As he puts it, "I just changed payrolls, I guess you could say." A few weeks later, when Billy Krause broke a rear hub carrier while leading at race at Riverside in the Cobra's maiden race, Remington was the guy who picked up some forging blanks from his friend Ted Halibrand and made a set of new ones. These served as the prototypes for all future rear hub carriers which, by the way, never broke again.

Excerpts from

interesting distinction, tri 5 sedan delivery vs station wagon

Sedan delivery is classified as a commercial vehicle and therefore a truck, a station wagon is just a car. Which do you think has a better chance of winning against the competition?

B&M bought Flowmaster

Flowmaster was founded in 1983 and really came into their own during the late 1990′s. The company has floundered recently in the face of stiffer competition and though economic times have cut into their market share. B&M Racing hopes that the iconic brand can be restored to its former glory, and sees Flowmaster as a key to expanded beyond their core business of shifters and transmission products.

Javelin Astro Spiral Jump

J and M Production Astro Spiral AMC Javelin over 30 feet upside down in the air! This death defying stunt was first done in Houston at the Astrodome. It would later appear at thrill shows all over the country. There were 6 of these special six cyinder Javelins used, mostly stipped with no options and beefy front ends and if you ever saw them land after doing a 360 you would know why. The most famous of this particular jumps was utilized the the James Bond (AMCers call it a AMC Cult Classic!!) film "The Man With The Golden Gun" whereas a red 360V8 powered Hornet hatchback performs same stunt over a canal in Thailand.

 This fleet of unusual cars were part of the J. M. Productions Hells' Drivers tour, which also included many Gremlins, Matadors and Hornets. This "Stunt" of driving a car roughly 42mph up a ramp, spinning in a 360 degree turn and landing on another ramp was first performed in the Houston Astrodome here in the early 1970s, 1972 to be exact. It was also unheard of because the feat was done on computers first, which is common nowadays. Driver Chick Galiano gears up in this photo in the cavernous Astrodome... with flashbulbs popping, hearts thumping, breath holding, beer spilling in the Astrodome, Chick performs a never before done stunt before a sellout crowd of over 66,000 people in 1972!! A almost near perfect landing and the crowd was on it's feet; and word quickly spread about this amazing triumph in a six cylinder 72 Javelin. Several of these cars (I understand there was six used in the tour) still exist in Buffalo, NY.

I just watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, and wondered about that Nazi flying wing

The Nazi Flying Wing seen in the film was not a real plane.

 Raiders production designer Norman Reynolds designed the plane for the film, based on historical Northrop Corporation designs and drawings by Ron Cobb of the Horten Ho-2-29.

The fake plane was built by Vickers, and was painted in London at EMI Elstree Studios. In order to ship the unwieldy prop to Tunisia, it had to be disassembled and sent piecemeal before being reconstructed on location.
After the Flying Wing was destroyed in the film in 1981, the remains of the plane sat quietly in the Tunisian desert, where parts of it was salvaged by prop collectors.

ever forget something? On your car? It's bad, but when a cop puts a semiauto ar15 on the trunk, and another doesn't bother with the required vehicle inspection, and drives out into public... it's worse has the full story, here is the essential info

According to two sources with knowledge of the incident, it began when one officer was inside the secure parking garage at the West Precinct and unloaded his equipment from a police cruiser. The officer placed the rifle on the trunk of a nearby patrol car, forgot about the rifle and walked off.

Another officer then went into the garage and drove away in the patrol vehicle without realizing the rifle was on the trunk lid, the sources said. (it's procedural requirement to do a walk around pre operation, make sure the lights and siren work)

The patrol car was parked a few blocks away from the West Precinct in front of the Roosevelt Hotel on Seventh Avenue around 9 p.m. Monday when at least two people spotted the rifle on the unattended vehicle.

A man who identified himself as Nick Gonzales confirmed he snapped a photo (this photo above) of the unsecured weapon.
Police said he then flagged down a couple of nearby bicycle officers.

times are tough, Frank has cut his asking price twice, down 6500

It's a sure bet that Frank wanted to make a profit when he sold, but that hasn't happened, and I'm sure he has tired of still having to make payments, and just wants to stop losing money

great wagon design, from the Burt Lancaster movie "The Scalphunters" with Ossie Davis, Telly Savalas, and Shelly Winters

I liked the movie, Ossie and Burt have contrasting views about everything, Telly is the bad guy who has stolen from Burt, and this wagon is Shelly's transport to Mexico. The small stove over the water barrel, the little dresser and mirror, and the canvas shades that roll up are nice features, but the best part is the full size brass bed inside the wagon for a comfortable nights sleep, every night. No camping on the ground with a bedroll and blanket, hell no, it's a matress and pillows plus sheets and blankets = total comfort

The Magnificent Jalopy by John Tomerlin (1967)... about a 1931 Packard Series 8 phaeton. Great book aimed at teens who think about old cars and barnfinds

I read this in 5th grade, and still have it.

3 guys (Wally, Link and Injun) who jut graduated Alhambra high school in LA, and have an endurance run  contest against some classmates with a '54 Ford hot rod, with a Packard that they pull out of a chicken barn in Lancaster.

The rally is from their high school parking lot, through San Francisco, to Portland. A lot of problems for the 3 guys with the Packard, just to get it running, keep it moving, and make the journey with weather, roads, and old car problems. They only get 150 dollars to make the trip, and when money runs out, they have to get jobs along the way, like golf caddying, to make some cash for tires, repairs, gas, and food.

A person who reads alot will whip through this in one or two sittings, because it's riveting and keeps you fixed on what's next.

get your copy

John Tomerlin
Disk jockey, sportscaster, race car driver, pilot—John Tomerlin writes from a wide range of experience. While living in the south of France, he wrote Challenge the Wind, a novel of grand prix racing, one of nine he has published, four of which—The Fledgling, Prisoner of the Iroquois, The Nothing Special, and The Magnificent Jalopy—are for younger readers.
He has rafted the Colorado River from Lake Powell, and camped and hiked in Havasu Canyon, the site of his newest novel, The Valley of No Return.
John Tomerlin has published over a hundred short stories and articles in such magazines as Road & Track, Car and Driver, Playboy, Woman’s Day, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Mr. Tomerlin resides in Southern California where he is at work restoring an early model Porsche like the one he drove to a class championship in the 1994 Porsche Club of America regional time trials.

the Pullman Railplane of 1933, self propelled, designed by Stout (of the Stout Scarab)

Feeling the effects of the Depression and declining business, America's railroads (in the 1930s) were looking for ways to reinvigorate passenger travel. As Ralph Budd, president of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy, later explained, railroads had to continue running trains on short routes to handle mail and baggage "whether or not anyone rides the trains." After seeing GM's powerful diesel engines, Budd concluded that what the railroads needed was a new kind of train that was fast, convenient, ultramodern and luxurious enough to fire the public imagination. The Union Pacific Railroad also saw the two exhibits and came to similar conclusions. A race was on to see which of the two railroads would be the first to develop an ultramodern railcar
 1934 Century of Progress Fair in Chicago The Union Pacific selected the University of Michigan to find the best aerodynamic shape while CB&Q turned to M.I.T.. The new designs looked like nothing else that had ridden the rails. They looked more like Buck Rogers's space ship than a train. People were tired of living in the Depression and they were ready for a change. 
 the Pullman-Standard wondertrain powered by 600 HP Winton petrol engine
 Union Pacific М-10000 City of Salina weighed 20 per cent as much as a conventional railroad car, but using only two minuscule (by railroad standards) 320-hp six-cylinder truck engines, was able to hit 100 miles per hour, while delivering 5 miles per gallon. By comparison to conventional railcars, the ride was superb, engine noise and fumes were all but eliminated and the seating arrangement - using aircraft-type seats as fitted to the Scarab automobile - made the Railplane quite luxurious

It is Pullman-Standard Railplane

In 1933, the Pullman Car & Manufacturing Company constructed the Railplane to Stout's design (some improvements were later patented by the company, see the positives below). This was merely Stout's familiar triangulated space-frame aircraft fuselage, this time adapted to railroad use. Here too, he was able to preserve his all-time important triumvirate: simplicity, practicality and comfort. The self-propelled car had an aluminum body, 60' in length. It was exhibited at the Chicago World's fair 1934 and then leased to the Gulf, Mobile & Northern in 1935 for service between Tylertown and Jackson, Mississippi. From the railroad point of view, all running gear could be easily serviced from outside, tracks and roadbed lasted longer and operating costs were significantly less. Despite proven advantages, there were no buyers. Union Pacific ordered a three-car version (future City of Salina) , but that's as far as it went.

from  and

1920 Dayton-Wright RB-1

Dayton-Wright RB-1 was built in 1920, a racing aircraft developed in the United States to participate in the 1920 Gordon Bennett Cup air race. The aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear undercarriage operated by a hand-crank making it one of the first instances of undercarriage retraction for aerodynamic benefit alone, clearly ahead of his time. With a monocoque fuselage and cantilever wing (built of solid balsa wood covered in plywood and linen) that incorporated a mechanism to vary its camber in flight. Unfortunately he was unable to fully participate in the race, getting off the highway due to technical problems. After that the aircraft was taken to the Henry Ford Museum.
The pilot had no forward visibility, but was provided with side windows. Cockpit access was through a hatch in the top of the fuselage.

Dismantled and shipped to France, the RB-1 was flown by Howard Rinehart in the September 28 race, but was forced to withdraw from the competition due to mechanical failure in flight. It was returned to the United States, where it is preserved at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Just a gust of wind

This misfortunate pilot landed his vintage tri-plane on its nose. The man had been flying the famous Fokker Dreidecker aircraft at the Flying Legends airshow at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambsridgeshire. But when he landed the WW1 fighter aircraft a sudden gust of wind blew it on its nose. No one was hurt in the incident. (Philip Tyler / Rex)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Best compliment ever, a review by Chris on Cars, who wrote about his favorite 5 car sites

Chris writes:
 I thought it would be a great time to highlight some of the car sites that I am a fan of, and that I read almost every day.  Sure, there are a ton of car sites out there, but these are unique.  They offer the best of the web, and a thoroughly different perspective on all things automotive.

Just A Car Guy – Most auto sites offer the latest news, sprinkled with supercars that we can never afford.  This site, written by Jesse, is one of my favorites.  Just A Car Guy offers daily snippets from the web, as well as some great commentary.  He travels more than anyone I know, looking for car shows, races, and events to give his readers a personal glimpse into all things cool.  His own photos at shows are amazing, though he concedes his girlfriend’s are better.  Jesse also scours the web for the most amazing photos from other sites, including everything from a Nazi turbine train, to forgotten cars like this week’s Bailey, to the coolest crazy auto stuff I’ve ever seen.   He is a human web crawler and his links offer up a never ending list of great sites.

Just A Car Guy is more than a car site, it is a lesson in culture.  His archives, some of which are posted here include everything…hood ornaments, car pin striping, Prius humor, hearses, motorcycles, belly tankers, tracked vehicles, hot rods, Ferrari, billboards, old photographs, schooners, and anything from aircraft to Zora Duntov.  The sheer volume is amazing.  This is why he is continually voted one of the top blogs on the web.  If I were allowed only one site to read, this is the one.

But something else sets him apart from everyone else.  When I started out, I sent out emails to every blog known to man.  I asked for advice and for them to review my site.  Only one person answered, and that was Jesse.  He became a sort of mentor for me, and is still the only person I would ask or accept advice from.  He told me my photos sucked, and that I was writing the same crap as everyone else.  He said I should take my own photos, and credit the ones I found.  He told me to write from the heart about stuff that interested me, and not to just regurgitate auto news.  It wasn’t easy advice, but it was the best I ever got.  Read this site…you won’t be able to stop.

the other 4 sites are Just A Car Gal  The Breakdown Lane   The Automotive Philosopher  and  You Are What You Drive


Interiors of the rare luxury Pullman Palace, Parlor, sleeper and observation cars


The space saving turntable (moves side to side, doesn't turn) at the Pullman factory in 1911

I've posted photos of it moving railcars around in this post, the 3rd and 4th photos :

photos found on

Vintage photos of the Clara B Stocker railcar, compared to the gallery I took this March

for the gallery I just took:
and for the gallery Tere (JustaCarGal) took:

Pullman baggage and mail cars, 1889 - 1909

Just some of the Pullman photos from*&MR=30&TN=Pullman&RF=WebDisplay&AC=QBE_QUERY
thanks to Mary D who is writing a book about a young woman and her escapades running away from home with her families Pullman palace car (if I recall correctly) and doing a ton of research to get her Pullman info straight

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What do you make of this? 1910 Memphis Tennessee street photo caught a Model T Town Car... rare. Steve dug into the research for the ID and numbers

clipped from a much bigger photo

1909-1910 Ford towncar compared to landaulet - the only difference is that the landaulet ($1,100) does not have a covered drivers compartment and the towncar ($1,200) does. 

1909 -  236 produced; 284 sold .  1910 -  377 produced; 304 sold

The grids in the sidewalk on the top of the photo are glass blocks in the sidewalk that let light into the building basement under the sidewalk

Suede and chrome at the 2011 Beatnik Blowout