Saturday, July 23, 2011

Motoring Magazine and Motor Life, 1913, and available online to read at your leisure


 I enjoy reflecting on the cars of 100 years ago, it's amazing that they were all simple enough for a gearhead like me to work on, repair, or improve on.

 What do you make of the above tire covers? A primitive retread? And that company name, Leather Tire Goods... what leather tire goods did they make?

I think I've pointed out several times that roads were so bad that tires were lucky to last a couple thousand miles, just last week I found a photo of a the "3000 mile club" tires that were amazing enough to get that kind of recognition.

the above is a Winton

I got a letter from Brian that is funny, and he's let me share with all of you

Once I discovered your blog, I went to the first post in 2006 and worked forward. You do post a lot! But I likey the car porn. About 3/4 through 2008 I discovered I've been overlooking posts.

So after I finish 2008 I'll restart at 2006. Yeah! More car porn to drool over.

Here's a story which illustrates how naive I am regarding this hobby.

I have a 1966 Mustang convertible that I want to hotrod. I paid $8,500 for decent shape project car. I've enjoyed puttin around town for the past few years.

I love the early Stangs, but they handle like crap, the stock 70hp I-6 is toooo sloooow, and the convertible frame is too weak to handle decent power.  So I want to channel the body over a Morrison chassis, drop in an injected 351W, and get instant modern coilover disk brake goodness. I've restored an early Stang back to stock and taken a welding class or two, but I've never tackled extreme mods.

So on a whim, I email the owner of a California hot rod shop who has an awesome web site... 

Their web site is much nicer now. Back then, it looked like a small Mom-n-Pop outfit. But their project photos were awesome.  So the owner personally responds to my email. He is a very nice guy. He covers the major challenges in such an extreme mod, and then asks why I haven't contacted two builders in my area that he knows personally.

Well at that time, I never heard of Ridler Awards.

I've heard of Barris, Gene Winfield, Von Dutch, Boyd, and a few others, but I'm not really up on the modern hotrod scene. Turns out the owner of HR&CS has a couple of Riddlers to his credit. How many people have the cajones to customize a 300 SL roadster?  Or a perfect Chrysler 300 B?

So the "guys he knows" in my area are Bobby Alloway (about 4 hours away in Knoxville, TN) and Bob Johnson (about 2 hours away in Gadsden, AL).

Never heard of them. But since I'm within easy driving to both shops, I'm really excited and think my project may be achievable. I decide to email both and descibe my project. I want them to do the floors and fab, and I'll finish the rest to save money.

No really. I did.

Needless to say, Alloway never responded. About a year later, I learned who he was and what kind of money he plays with. Big face-palm moment for me.

 I expect my naive email was a big joke around his shop. How embarrassing.

But get this, Bob Johnson actually called me. We talked for about 20 minutes. What a nice dude. Way too expensive for me of course. I had no concept. This guy builds cars valued at more than my whole house, much less the half I still owe on the mortgage.

So nowadays I figure I'll cut and weld everything myself. If I screw it up, I'll just part out what's left and take up a less expensive hobby like crystal meth or heroin.


The 1912 Official Handbook of Automobiles, (wow, stats and views of brasss era cars still licensed under the Selden patent)

the above delivery wagon is cool, but check out the Locomobile Cup Racer, and the price ... $18,000

the Peerless on the right hand side below... if you read the stat sheet, you might be as amused as I am that the body is known as the "King of Belgium"

the Selden Patent issue:
The above tag has a bit of historical perspective... the Selden company patented the automobile. He collected on every car made... 0.75%

Selden was a patent attorney. His dad was a judge, and a prominent Republican attorney most noted for defending Susan B Anthony.

Yeah, it obviously didn't stand up very long, but for a time, they had the patent on the automobile, and if you wanted to sell a car in America, you either paid a licensing fee or fought them in court.

Henry Ford fought them in court and won... he was obviously better prepared to make a success and a fortune that he'd share with the US Govt by way of taxes, so the right people were persuaded to take the patent of the automobile, and make it go away... the reason given was that the Ford and other cars were using an engine based on a different engine than Selden had patented.

see the whole book page by page at which is just one of 10s of thousands of online books at

More great old ads from the "Centuries of Advise and Advertisements" Tumblr

if you've enjoyed old cars, old ads, steampunk, magazine clippings and old catalogs, this is the cool tumblr you'll enjoy!

2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed, good 45 minute documentary

Found on
This is in good resolution, and looks good in full screen

Boudoir cars and palace cars, the luxury travel of the 1870's -1920's

Woodruff's Silver Palace Sleeping Car, built by the Harlan and Hollingworth Company of Wilmington Delaware, for the Central Pacific Railroad of California in 1869

from the book  The American Railroad Passenger Car  By John H. White, Jr

Hot Rod Headlines has done the legwork and you can take a vitrual shop tour of about 100 of the best hot rod builders in the US

It has photo galleries of Winfield, Alloway, Foose, Trepanier, Starbird, Rolling Bones, Alan Johnson, Coddington, and 90 more I'm not familiar with, but have work of such good quality that you might want to learn about the ones in your area.

Thanks Brian for getting me to look this up!

Friday, July 22, 2011

ready for a ride in a Winton, 1908

Found on the excellent Edwardian Era blog

Color 1920's film of London

Another Smith Motor Wheel photo found, the 2nd this week for the engineering drawings and other photos of hte Smith Motor wheel and 4 wheel buckboard

This is one photo from the "Good Dog Scrapbook" of Jim Linderman

Previously unpublished Bettie Page photos 1952-56

Copyright vs Fair Use Law

Though the images, which I have myself largely scanned from my personal collection of photographs and ephemera, some are subject to © by the artist, syndicate that distributed them or otherwise the individual artists. The use here is regardless covered by the U.S. fair use laws because:
1. The image illustrates an educational article; its inclusion in the article adds significantly to understanding the text because it is a historical sample of the art covered in the critical commentary, and shows use of an innovative style. Therefore the image substantially improves the educational value of the article.
2. The image is used as the primary means of visual identification of the article topic, which directly concerns a visual artist, and is indicative of the style for which hethe artists are renowned.
3. Images are of lower resolution than the original. The image is not used here for profit.
4. It is not in any way replaceable with an uncopyrighted or freely copyrighted image pertinent to the work referenced in the article
So there. If you got a problem with my using copyright photos, refer to #3, and that old phrase, "Home of the brave" cause I just don't give a

Little kid catching a ride the hard way, Boston 1909

Side of the car tiller steering

heading off to the races, Paris, 1908

1907 Streetcar strike in San Francisco

found on

In this photo, San Francisco police escort a scab streetcar to protect it from the violence that erupted repeatedly during the 1907 streetcar strike.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Marvel Comics and Monster Trucks, new trucks based on Marvel superheroes! 2012 event cancelled

335 6th Ave is a warehouse that has events when Comic Con happens each year, last year it was decked out like Flynn's arcade from the movie Tron

Cancelled  the July 2012 Qualcomm Stadium event MARVEL MONSTERGEDDON, Cancelled

How do they get a monster truck to stand on it's nose? The tires alone are somewhere around to 800 pounds apiece...

the big event of the day was the unveiling of the Cap'n America Monster Truck

 You can tell that Caps shield is where a pickup bed would be, but there was no where to get a good picture of it from above

Driven back and forth in front of Comic Con, it fired up the motor to catch attention for a couple moments going in each direction... good idea!

Thanks to Sara, Joice, and Sean!