Saturday, February 02, 2019

It's snowy out there, in the North East.

well, that's a strange thing to do with a dozer... those are wheels, sort of

Ernst Meili became known in 1958 with the Metrac but he had already built in 1943 the spring wheeled prototype to mitigate the lack of rubber.

Picture from book of Gerold Röthlin ‘From Autotractor to modern special vehicles’ from Verlag Gerold Röthlin, Kriens, 2004.

serious about weight reduction

Emotional support swan

In the 1950s, Ducati aped its rival Piaggio by making three-wheeled utility vehicles.

There was a tiny 48cc 2-stroke called the Fattorino, and then the bigger Muletto. The engines were based on Ducati’s OHC singles, and you could choose from a 175 or a 200 (as shown here). You got a 350 kg carrying capacity and a top speed of around 60 kph, and different coachwork was available with open and enclosed cabs. The red stripe, by the way, was a legal requirement in Italy.

Motorcycle historians estimate that only about ten Majestics still exist, this one recently restored by Serge Bueno of L.A.-based Heroes Motors, has got to be the nicest

The Majestic was designed by Georges Roy, an engineer who disliked tubular frames because he felt they flexed too much. So he created a monocoque chassis using sheet steel, which also encased the drive train.

Introduced at the 1929 Paris Motor Show, the Majestic caused a storm. The Delachanal factory put it into production the next year, but sales were slow—and the story was over by 1933.

This 1930 Majestic has been in Serge Bueno’s family for 30 years. The restoration process was 5 months of eight-hour days in the Heroes workshop.

It was difficult enough to rebuild the 500cc Chaise overhead-valve engine, but at least the principles of that motor are conventional. The real test was the rusted-out bodywork, with no OEM parts available and only photographs to act as guides.

And adding to the charm is a rare sidecar from the famed French specialist Bernadet.

Pere Tarragó made 1:5 and 1:6 scale motorcycles

Friday, February 01, 2019

growing up without a dad isn't good, but having very little to remember him by, would be worse. Tristan's dad was a Marine that was KIA in the Anbar province in 2007, and since then, his Bronco was set to go to his 4 yr old eldest son, Tristan, when he came of age. Then 2 months ago, his mom sold it

The relationship between Julie Walsh and her teenage son took a turn for the worse about two months back.

“Where is my dad’s Bronco?” Triston said that day in early December as they pulled up to the house and he noticed the 29-year-old SUV gone from the garage. As the years had gone by, the old truck had sat in the garage, needing a lot of work.

“Triston, I sold it,” Mom told her son, then 15. It needed too much work. Money for Dad’s old clunker can be used toward getting another vehicle you can actually drive once you get your license in a few months, she said.

Think it's rough living with a teen? Tell the kid, you just sold, his soon to be very own Bronco. Then see what a shitshow it is trying to get along with the kid.


What Triston did not know and what his mom, Julie Walsh, had successfully kept secret for nearly two months was that his dad’s beloved Bronco had not been sold. It had been towed to a local dealership, where thousands of dollars was poured into renovating the SUV. The Bronco was restored at Mertz Ford in Millstadt, Ill, with volunteer labor and parts from many donors because Tristan's mom Julie had been secretly working to restore the Bronco with help from a variety of sources, including Mertz Ford, the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation and dozens of Millstadt-area community members and businesses. Don and Debbie Mertz, who own the dealership, said they wanted to help, and they learned that the service technicians were willing to take on the Bronco in addition to their normal workload.


On Saturday, Jan 26th 2019, Triston turned 16 and his mom told him they were stopping in to test drive a car that could replace the Bronco. The Bronco that Triston thought was long gone. Instead, it was tucked out of sight, in an area between the service department and the showroom.

They walked into the Mertz Ford showroom, and long story short, the Bronco was driven through a brown paper wall divider, from the service area, by his dad's Marine buddies.

Service Manager Ricky Boyer had towed the 1990 Bronc to the dealership, where the guys in the service bays resealed the intake manifold, overhauled the rear differential, replaced the tires and wheels, and buffed the paint to a like new shine


Then there was the roar of an engine, followed by a roar of applause. Tim Jarrett, one of the technicians who had pulled an all-nighter to get the Bronco ready for the big reveal, slowly drove the SUV through a makeshift butcher paper curtain.

In the Bronco were three Marines who served with Tristan's dad, Sgt. Nicholas Walsh. There was no hesitation to come into town for the party, they said.

“This is an undying brotherhood,” said Ben Pollmeier of Ocean City, Md. “We always take care of our own. No matter what.”

“Nick would have done the same for all of us,” added Terry Wiese of Lincoln, Neb.

Brian Rasmussen of Salt Lake City said the Marines came after Julie Walsh contacted them through Facebook. She wanted input from her husband’s friends on what to do about the Bronco. Soon, she was put in touch with the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation, which helps veterans and their families.

“They told me to reach out to a local dealership,” Walsh said. Support was immediate, she said.


Sgt Walsh's grandfather, Walter R. Walsh, was also a Marine, as were two of Walsh's cousins and an uncle. Walsh, who joined the Marines right out of high school, served four years, was out of the service for two years, for college, then re-enlisted. He finished his first tour in Iraq in March 2006. sent a short note about this story in their newsletter

first we had to worry about 6 pack plastic rings, now we need to worry about rims?

a look at older Superbowl car commercials

Single owner 1972 Skyline GTR, only 22,000 kilometers on the odometer

Employing a 2.0-litre S20 straight-six engine (a revised production variant of the 1966 Prince GR8 engine from Prince/Nissan's R380 racecar) and producing no-less than 160bhp

only 1197 first-generation Skyline GT-R models were constructed, with any unmolested survivor in original condition commanding top dollar.

18 years ago, in 2000, in Houston, a team called the Astros started their season in a brand new ballpark. As etiquette demands, they celebrated this momentous occasion by purchasing a new Beemer and asking visiting teams to autograph it throughout the year:

At the end of the season, a California woman bought the car (with the proceeds going to charity) and later sold it to a Canadian from Saskatoon, So he took a vehicle covered in over 600 MLB signatures, including Hank Aaron, Felipe Alou and Vin Scully, on a road trip to the great white North

Someone got onto the freeway from an entrance ramp on the far side from me, and they were either burning the tires, or a lot of oil. The smoke cloud was impressive

Mattel announced today that it is partnering with Warner Brothers Pictures to create the first live-action Hot Wheels film.

Jeep corporate spokesmoron says, "unsalvageable" is the condition of this 1963 Gladiator. But it's not a 1963 Gladiator, its a 1973 Comanche with a 63 grill

Have you ever seen a 55 year old pickup truck bed this perfect?

Jeep corporate commented, and it's no longer showing up under the video, but I have a screen grab:

Tell me, it this truck "unsalvageable"? Is ANY Jeep "unsalvageable" ? No. It's convenient to crush an old one that can't be sold by the factory, again...

Would the USA have won WW2 if Jeeps were "unsalvageable"? No.

Further, in the comments under the video:

Ollie Hopnoodle said:
 Dear Jeep, you edited the description to indicate it was an 'inoperable 1963 Gladiator'. It's not a 1963 Gladiator. The ad folks took a later model J truck and make it look like an original Gladiator. Here is why I believe your representation of the Truck is inaccurate:

It's not a gladiator bumper. (well, yeah Ollie, a lot of old trucks have scrap welded bumpers)
The 63 gladiator did not have side lights.
The hood doesn't fit right with the Gladiator grill, there is a gap. I put a Gladiator grill on my 83 FSJ and I have the same gap.
The interior shot shows seat belts. In fact, shoulder belts. Shoulder belts were probably not an option in 1963
The interior shot shows gauges and a steering wheel from a later model. (proof positive)
The recessed gas filler was not used in 1963 (proof positive)
On the drivers fender there are no holes for the 'jeep' emblem at the top front of the fender, but there are holes on the fender just in front of the door.

Other indicators:
An antenna
The mirrors
The drip rail looks wrong to me

I am not freaking out that a J truck got crushed. It happens. But it would appear you were either duped that the ad company found an original 1963 Gladiator or your representation of locating of an inoperable 1963 Gladiator is not accurate.

So, there you are, not a 1963 Jeep Gladiator. Probably a 73 Jeep Commanche and a 63 grill.

above, 1973 Commanche

and here is a real 1963 Gladiator

so yes, side marker lights are wrong, passenger side mirror wrong, and seatbelts were possibly not even installed in 1963

The answer of how it got down there, to where it needed a crane to get out

a broken elevator in Turin, Italy, apparently trapped this impeccable 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ underground for 35 years.

It was owned by a mechanic who, presumably, was unable to get the car out of the basement, opting to just leave it there for more than three decades. Once the mechanic passed away and there was no will to determine the car’s fate, it reportedly went to government auction this morning, where it sold for almost $650,000

Effectively a super-hot race car for the street, Alfa did not produce the SZ in large numbers. Most estimates peg total production at just north of 200 cars.

Miles C. Collier, director of the Revs Institute, speaking of Briggs Cunningham

“Here’s a single guy up against all the factories, operating 5000 miles away, having to do it all out of his wallet. And his motivations were the purest. There was nothing in it for Briggs, nobody was giving him any money, there were no endorsements, no contracts. If he did it, he did it purely for the sport and for the prestige of America, like defending the America’s Cup. He was really the last of the Corinthian sportsmen.”

As Time magazine reported in April 1954, that year’s Le Mans effort involved six drivers, 20 crewmen, two racing cars, and a mobile machine-shop trailer. The whole lot was loaded on the R.M.S. Mauretania for the transAtlantic journey, except for Cunningham himself, who flew over in time to meet the ship at the French port of Le Havre. The team then convoyed in the cars and the tractor-trailer over the roads to Le Mans, there to stay for several weeks. When asked what it all cost, Briggs’s standard answer was, “I have no idea.”

Briggs Swift Cunningham, Jr., was the yacht-racing heir of a huge “soap and suds” fortune. In 1950, he became the first American since the ’20s to field cars at Le Mans, entering a box-stock Cadillac coupe and a Cadillac-powered wedge that looked like a parade float. It was so hideous that the French dubbed it “le Monstre.” Cunningham got thoroughly drubbed—and also completely hooked. The next year he built a couple of Hemi-powered specials to run in France as well as in some of the new road races around America. Then, yielding to European racing rules, he built 25 expensive Italian-bodied road cars in a factory in Florida just so he could compete at Le Mans as a manufacturer.

2011 was a good year for Grand Prix truck photography

awesome kid, awesome response, great news

Popular Mechanics has shared a touching story about a young boy named Patch Hurty, who became a car enthusiast at age five when he found a Ford badge sitting on the side of the road near his house.

Patch Hurty was five when he found the Ford badge on the side of the road near his house in Connecticut. He loves cars, so he was pumped about this find—car names were some of the first words he was learning to read, and now he had a badge of his own from a real car.

What would be really cool, though, is if he had some kind of logo or decal from every company. But you can't just hang around waiting for a Bugatti badge to shake loose from a passing Chiron. So what do you do? You write a letter to every car company and see what happens.

They included a coin from his piggy bank and, when they could, a photo of him standing in front of one of that company's cars. He signed each letter. They sent them out, to more than 50 companies—even to ones that don't exist anymore, like Saturn. Then they waited. Soon, the responses started rolling in.

Volvo sent a huge grille badge, a frisbee, and a lot of other goodies. Jeep apologized for having no badges but sent a metal sign, a hat, a pen, and a keychain. Bentley sent the center cap from a wheel. BMW wrote, "It's great that you enjoy watching Ultimate Driving Machines cruise past your house and we are happy to send you the enclosed shiny, new BMW emblem to add to your collection." And so it went, with Tesla, Bugatti, Honda, and many more. Lincoln sent an original pencil sketch of a Continental.

Even some of the companies that don't sell cars here anymore tried to do something. Suzuki noted that it stopped selling cars in the U.S. in 2014, but they still sent a key ring, stickers, and brochures for their motorcycles and ATVs. Isuzu explained that they got out of the car game in 2008, but they sell commercial trucks, so they sent him a couple Hot Wheels–size models of those.

Nobody has a "Department for Letters from Kids Asking for Logos or Badges from the Factory Floor." Yet somehow most of these letters found their way to people who wanted to help.

"We hope your love of cars continues to grow," reads the handwritten card from Honda.
 "Thank you for sharing your love of cars with me," wrote a customer service manager from Bentley.

 Infiniti's card was also handwritten—and signed by nine people. Patch actually got a correspondence going with Volkswagen after he sent them a thank-you note accompanied by a photo of him grinning in front of a VW Thing. They replied, "Your letters have made a lot of people in our offices happy, Patch. I am very glad that you took the time to reach out and share your dream. Keep spreading happiness and good things will come your way."

So, given that he now has souvenirs from almost every car company in the business (and even some that aren't), we asked Patch what he'd want to get for his first car, maybe a decade or so from now. "Ford," he says. "I still have a warm spot for Ford in my heart. It was the first decal I ever found and it started this project. A project of love and cars."