Saturday, July 09, 2016

the Convair XB36 and NB 36, and B 36... Not the only aircraft that tested caterpillar tracks for landing gear, but the only to try a reactor for power

On 1941 April 11, the AAC issued a design competition for an aircraft with a 275 mph (445 km/h) cruising speed, a service ceiling of 45,000 ft (14,000 m), capable of delivering 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) of bombs to targets 5,000 miles (8,000 km) away. At the time, these requirements far exceeded the best technology available.

On 1941 November, the United States Army Air Forces signed a contract for two experimental aircraft under the designation XB-36, based on design studies previously submitted by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation. A few days later, the Engineering Division at Wright Field decided that Consolidated's six-engine design, with all engines on the trailing edge of the wing, was the best option for the aircraft. The original design used vertical stabilizers and rudders, similar to those used in the B-24 Liberator. By the time the first XB-36 was delivered, the design had been changed to a huge single tail, and the wingspan increased to 230 ft (70 m), an unprecedented size.

NB-36H was the one B-36H (serial 51-5712) with a nuclear reactor installed in the rear fuselage for tests.

The first (and only) XB-36 was completed at the Consolidated Fort Worth factory in late 1945. The plane sat on huge wheels 9 ft (2.8 m) in diameter; only three airfields in the USA had concrete thick enough to support the pressure exerted by the original main gear that featured one massive tire and that exerted 156 pounds per square inch.

 In 1948 June, the single-wheel undercarriage was replaced by a new undercarriage consisting of two wheels with half the diameter on each strut. This design, which would become the production standard, enabled the B-36 to operate on runways of reasonable thickness.

the SAC wanted to see if the big bomber could operate from rough fields as well. With that the B-36's huge tires gave way to experimental tracked landing gear, to reduce ground pressure for soft-field use.

the Vacation Waterfarer

the smallest ancestor of street car diner I've seen, and itself a descendant of the cowboy chuckwagon I suspect

thanks to

the grandfather of the lunch wagon / roach coach

I just learned that the Hammonds, May and Clarkson new show has a couple Facebook pages, one is called The Grand Tour Orangutan

Amazon just revealed that there will be a live studio recording of The Grand Tour in California. Enter now for a chance to win a trip to be part of the studio audience.

The Grand Tour is hitting the road this autumn to film shows in the UK, USA and Germany. To celebrate we're giving away tickets to fans in each location so you can come and join us.

Enter the Sweepstakes before midnight Pacific time on July 12, 2016 for a chance to win the opportunity to be in the audience, including travel, accommodation and a chance to meet the guys.

By entering the Sweepstakes, you consent to being placed on a mailing list for promotional and other materials from

The prize consists of:

• Round trip economy class airfare for the winner and one guest departing from a major airport near the winner’s residence (within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia) and arriving at an airport near the destination location in California (the “Airport”);
• 2 nights standard hotel accommodations for the winner and his/her guest (single room, double occupancy) at an area hotel in or near the California destination location to be determined by Sponsor in their sole discretion (the “Hotel”); • Roundtrip ground transportation for the winner and his/her guest to/from Airport and Hotel, and to/from Hotel and Studio Recording; and
• $200 spending cash for winner only (awarded in the form of a Visa gift card) which may be used to purchase food and beverages while on trip.

Subject to talent timing and availability: the prize winner will have the chance of meeting Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May

A random drawing will be held on or about July 13, 2016 from among all eligible entries received throughout the Sweepstakes Period. We will notify the potential winner by phone or e-mail within 3 business days following the drawing

However, if you can afford to travel to Johannesburg, for July 17th 2016, there isn't any sweepstakes at all, tickets are free, and in less than a minute you can reserve up to 4 tickets, by just registering at

After months of deliberation and lots of useful suggestions from the public, for which the guys are very grateful, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have decided that, because they are taking their new Amazon Prime Show around the world, it will be called The Grand Tour, and YOU are invited to join them in Johannesburg for the very first show.

Taking off from the parking lot to deliver P 40s from the Curtis factory to the airport

 Apparently, due to wartime production Curtiss quickly outgrew its Kenmore Avenue plant, and had to think of creative ways to eliminate bottlenecks in its overtaxed production process, and limited space for storing completed airplanes. Its previous method of transporting the planes by truck couldn't keep up with wartime increased production.

 Instead of train or truck, Curtiss test pilots simply flew newly minted aircraft right off the assembly line, using the parking lot of the factory as a makeshift runway, and used this opportunity as a test flight when transiting to the Buffalo Airport for final checkout and delivery.

Thanks Steve!

1978 260 Z with only 8100 miles is coming to auction

Friday, July 08, 2016

not just a beauty of a showbox, it also won a free chop from Bill Hines

“I’d heard about a KKOA [Kustom Kemps of America] contest to win a free Bills Hines chop. A few months later after entering I got a call saying I won. I thought it was a joke and hung up the phone. Then Jerry Titus called back, telling me not to hang up again, it was no joke! So, with less than a week to spare, I closed shop and stripped the car down for the Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas. I got to spend four days watching Hines coach his crew [including Brad Masterson] on the style he saw for it.

Garage tour, Pure Vision

the new safety video... from Caterham. Smoking is encouraged

those beautiful gauges in Chris Evans’ 1931 Ford Roadster from the 2016 GNRS are prominently featured in the new Classic Instruments full page ad in Street Rodder

I could not get close enough at the GNRS for a good photo,  but the above does a sweet job of showing what a great looking set Classic Instruments made

this is what Counterfeit Crap looks like

AeromotiveInc. does not ship its products in this manner or in Stryofoam packaging- this is Counterfiet (Knockoff) product commonly found on EBay and similar sites

As soon as I hear back from Aeromotive, I'll have a photo of what the real deal looks like

409 heads, what a cool swapmeet find

Project Underdog... a '72 Maverick... right on! My parents had one when I was a tyke

Sung Kang is working with students handpicked from a local high school, Pennzoil, SEMA (the Specialty Equipment Market Association), and the best in the industry to restore and completely rebuild a 1972 Ford Maverick. The UDreamTeam of students and motivated professionals will be designing and giving new life to the Maverick — the ultimate underdog, and the car that Sung’s character Han drove in the Fast & Furious movie Fast Five. Once completed, the Underdog car will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to scholarships and charities.

Paul Newman showed up a Ford factory test driver so bad, the man crashed

Leno sat down with legend Mario Andretti in an Italian restaurant to talk carbureted glory over plates of carbs. The race god shared how he once brought Paul Newman to a test session with Ford and Newman ran faster than the factory drivers. One embarassed Ford driver got in after Newman and, trying to save face, he pushed it hard. Too hard. He ended up binning it.

Compare a a ‘55 Thunderbird, a ‘58 MGA and a ‘56 Corvette. All 50s sports cars, all successfully raced in the 50s, and all easily 6 figures at auction or private sale if in top condition

But the ‘Bird, having appreciated 25% in five years kicks the butt of the MG and the Vette when comparing appreciating values, as the Corvette's worth has only increased about 2.5% in the last half decade.

Audi’s autonomous RS7 cars aktiv and verfugbar

have went up pikes peak, without a driver in the car

and drive on the Autobahn

and make a respectable time on the track at Sonoma

Protestors shut down the I-880 in Oakland, with a sit in. Effective way to get attention real fast, peacefully, if they could just keep people's emotions from running amuck

Demonstrators shut down a major highway in Oakland Thursday night to protest the recent police shootings of black men.

All lanes of Interstate Highway 880 have been reopened early Friday morning following the night of protests.

The protest, called by the groups Live Free and the Anti-Police Terror Project, started at 7 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza with a group of 100 protestors and quickly grew to about 2,000 people.

By 1:15 a.m., all protestors were cleared out and the freeway was reopened.

using a tank to lift an MRAP onto a flatbed

replacing a tank track... looks like a 6 hour job, minimum, because they also had to dig the tank out before they could get a new track under it

the wedding car of the Sultan of Brunei

Thursday, July 07, 2016

163 year old hardware store... road trip! Placerville California

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the store opened in 1852 to cater to gold prospectors. The original countertop remains, featuring slots where customers could drop gold nuggets to be weighed and bartered for shovels, mining pans, and TNT, which they could pick up as a bundle on their way out, like a bag of ice at the supermarket.

Placerville Hardware is considered the oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi, having been founded in 1850 before the city of Placerville, California, even existed.

one heck of a tool display

the 70's had some strange stuff made as technology improved, and kids were suckered into buying those strange things with the new color tvs, in commercials during the all Saturday morning cartoons

When you twist the throttle, a "striker" cyclically strikes a "resonator cone", making a simulated two-stroke engine sound.

The toy was made by the Ideal Toy Corporation who went on to introduce the Rubik's Cube (considered to be the world's best selling toy) and did very well off of that toy craze in the early 1980's. However, profits began to decline and, in 1982, the founder's grandson sold the company to CBS Toys for $58 million. CBS sold it to Viewmaster in 1987, then Viewmaster was bought by Tyco two years later, which merged with Mattel in 1997. End of the line.

the Canton crane

part of a line of shop cranes made by the Hull Acme Company of Cleveland

GE promoting Polycarbonate, 1971

Sikorski S-39 amphib

powered by a Pratt and Whitney Wasp of 300-420 hp. It was intended as a utility-type aircraft and first flew on December 24 1929. Twenty one were built in the three year production run. The aircraft proved successful and versatile, being used for commercially as well as things like Africa exploration and even as a yacht tender. Several remain in museums, as well as one airworthy example at Fantasy of Flight, Polk City, Florida.

the Doman helicopter

While at Sikorsky in the forties, Gliden Doman designed a unique rotor head and used that and other development to form Doman Helicopters. Located in Danbury Connecticut, by 1955 the company had built two prototypes for the Army. The machine pictured is the third prototype built as a joint venture with Fleet of Fort Erie, Ontario. Despite many hours of testing and demonstration, no orders were forthcoming and the rights were eventually sold to Hiller, and for the European market to the Italian company Ambrosini.

Proving that it could lift a VW bug. How they got it in and out, is a mystery.