Saturday, March 09, 2019

In 1951 John Cobb sold the Napier Railton to the GQ Parachute Company who used it to test aircraft brake parachutes

 In 1951 John sold the car to the GQ Parachute Company who used it to test aircraft brake parachutes at Dunsfold Airfield- GQ modified the car and fitted it with test equipment to deploy parachutes at high speed and then retract them at about 30 knots.

fyi, In 1949 Cobb leased the Napier Railton to the Romulus Film Company while they make ‘Pandora and The Flying Dutchman’, a film about a racing driver.

Ford F3L/P68 whatever that is

so, there I was, just enjoying some web surfing, when all these banners just came out of no where and started slapping me around

the ‘parts-bin’ Volksrolet

Bob Skelton taking a Ford Falcon XA GT Amaroo Park lap of honor with TAA hostesses after wrapping up the 1972 DTE.

Have you carried a Morgan lately?

Brabham factory and race car haulers

Robert wants to complete his list of Hollywood racing movies, can you think of any he's missing?

which has me thinking, why hasn't Denzel made a racing movie? I'd like to see him as a racing driver

First ones that come to mind for me are:

American Graffiti
Cars (Pixar)
Vanishing Point
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (early Gran Prix races)
Catch Me If You Can - one from the 80s I love but no on else has seen
King Of The Mountain (Harry Hamlin, Dennis Hopper, Dan Haggerty, Seymour Cassel)
the new Herbie with Michael Keaton, Matt Dillon, and Lindsay Lohan
Thunderbolt with Jackie Chan
Smokey and the Bandit
Super Speedway
Once Upon A Wheel (and Super Speedway, both narrated by Paul Newman)
The Lively Set
Funny Car Summer
Hot Rod Girl
the newer Death Race remake with Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson and Ian McShane
Clutch The Movie
Hit and Run
The Car
The Italian Job
The Big Wheel, Mickey Rooney

and in Foriegn Films,
Fiances De La Morte
and that camera on the bumper racing through Paris movie... Rendez-vous

So, don't use my comment section, email Robert. He's the one working this, not me
It's his project, not my post.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Steven Juliano’s collection is up for auction, Indy May 2019

Featuring four of the rarest and most correct Shelby Cobras in existence, three of the storied original Plymouth Rapid Transit System factory show cars, an original Cheetah race car and thousands of pieces of the rarest original muscle-car-era Road Art in existence

nice stance

you'll remember that the first astronauts had Corvettes? Did you know they leased them from Jim Rathmann, winner of the 1960 Indy 500, and raced in 13 others? and they OWNED an Indy 500 race car

JFK, Gordo and Gus

Rathmann had a Chevrolet dealership near Cape Canaveral, and GM saw the marketing value of the astronauts driving Corvettes.

The company let Rathmann lease Corvettes to astronauts for $1 a year. Gordon Cooper, Gus Grissom and Alan Shepard took him up on it.

About thirty miles south of the Cape’s launch-pad row, Jim Rathmann ran the local Chevrolet dealership. A world-class race-car driver who was the 1960 winner of the Indianapolis 500, he was really cut from the same cloth as the astronauts, the only difference being that Rathmann did his speed on the ground instead of in the air. He worked out a deal with General Motors to give the Mercury Seven new Corvettes. Of course, such an arrangement would not be tolerated today by NASA, but in 1960 Jim Rathmann sold General Motors on the fact that the public-relations and advertising benefits would more than offset the cost, and the guys happily hopped into a strong friendship with Rathmann and his hot ’Vettes.

At first, there was a Barney Fife wannabe who was determined to give the astronauts tickets. The Mercury Seven, and those who had gathered to watch the fun, regarded this deserted and restricted road as none of his business. They took his ticket book and ripped it to pieces. Cooper decided to eat a few pages while the others undressed the “Rent-A-Cop” and threw him and his pistol, badge, and uniform into the surf. Next they drove his patrol car deep into the sand, where it took two wreckers to get it out. It was a great way to get rid of the tension that built up during the long work hours, and the polite astronauts thanked Barney Fife for the good fun.

The traffic-cop matter was soon dropped because the U.S. Attorney had the final say on federal property, and it seems that he had married the sister of one of those involved. The ticket writer was invited to leave the Cape. He found a ticket-writing vacancy in the Cocoa Beach Police Department.

Soon Gordo Cooper was leaving Alan Shepard in the dust at the starting gate of the drags. Alan wasn’t laughing. Fuming, he turned to Gus. “What the hell’s going on?”

Gus grinned. “You’re getting your ass kicked,” he told Alan, who drove off disgusted and headed for Rathmann’s Chevrolet.

Jim was in the garage, and Alan went in growling. “There’s something wrong with my car, Jim; you gotta do something.”

“Leave it with me, Alan,” Jim said, smiling.

Jim Rathmann partnering with Gordo on the prank, and when Alan picked up his ’Vette and tried Gordo again, he lost. He had expected his ’Vette to perform better, but now it was even worse. Alan was beginning to smell a rat, and he took the car in again, even more adamant with Jim that something be done.

Fighter pilots had a tradition of painting swastikas or rising-sun flags for each kill on the side of their cockpits during World War II. When Alan's Corvette was returned this time, his car had four Volkswagens and two bicycles painted on its driver’s door.

 He soon learned the mechanic had changed the rear-end ratio on his ’Vette. This gave him more speed but less pickup. Gordo’s car could outrun Alan’s for about two miles—long enough to win every drag. It was truly a classic “Gotcha.”

Alan once loaned his Vette to his boss, Walt Williams, at NASA, but realized it was a perfect set up for a prank:

Alan turned and ran into the launch pad’s office. As Walt was turning onto the main road, he phoned the cops. “This is astronaut Alan Shepard,” he shouted. “Some sonofabitch just stole my Corvette. He’s headed for the south gate.”

Walt chugged and jerked Alan’s ’Vette up to the Cape’s exit, and the guards pounced on the stoic man, lifting him from the car and spread-eagling him over the hood.

Alan was already on the phone with NASA security chief Charlie Buckley. “You better get to the south gate right now, Charlie,” he laughed. “They have the boss in handcuffs.”

Astronaut Gordon Cooper (seated in race car) is seen here with Jim Rathmann (kneeling) and astronaut Gus Grissom (standing on left) in Rathmann’s garage, where most nasty pranks were hatched.

From left to right Jim Rathman, Jim Robbins, and astronaut Gus Grissom

They got along great, and in 1965 Cooper, Grissom and Rathmann, at Rathmann's suggestion, bought a rear-engine supercharged Offenhauser called the Pure Firebird Special.

They entered the car in the 1966 Indy 500.

Cooper and Grissom at first were silent partners but soon admitted they were the "G" and the "C" in "G.C.R. Inc.," the car's registered owner. They hadn't notified NASA of their venture, and NASA was not happy. "We were called on the carpet for it," Cooper said a month later.

"That bothered me because I figure this is part of our private life and didn't seem right for them to be regulating it. I figured it was part of our recreation and hobby interest. But when we got to the right people, there was no problem at all. Gus and I and some of the other astronauts are real interested in racing. Gus has a competition Corvette and I have a single-overhead cam 427 Ford that can go 180." Cooper said

1966: Lee Roy Yarbrough tried to qualify a car owned by astronauts Gus Grissom and Gordon Cooper and 1960 "500" winner Jim Rathmann.

Greg Weld was hired to drive the Pure Firebird Special. Weld crashed the car on his final qualification attempt. The car was repaired, and Art Pollard drove it the rest of the season and had his best finishes, a fourth and a seventh, in races at the Milwaukee Mile track. Cooper and Grissom, when they had a weekend off from NASA, worked on Pollard's pit crew.

Months later Grissom ordered from Rathmann a new Corvette, a 1967 convertible specially geared and modified in the rear to accommodate extra-wide racing tires.

Cooper and Rathmann returned to the Indy 500 in May 1967 with another race car. Grissom was gone, but they continued to call their team G.C.R.

After the 500, it was revealed that Wally Schirra very quietly had been a part owner of the 3rd place race car driven by Joe Leonard, 2 time Indy car series champion and three-time American Motorcyclist Association champion, one of only two drivers to win national championships on two and four wheels. The only man to win back-to-back national championships in motorcycles and cars Indy, '71 and '72. He took 3rd at the Indy 500 in '67 and '72

In total, he won 27 national AMA races and six IndyCar races, and he also raced BRCA midgets

a movie about dirt track racing, Trading Paint, with John Travolta, Michael Madsen, Kevin Dunn, and Shania Twain

the HWC Special Edition Steam Punk Truck, the latest design by Larry Wood! This will be offered at HWC ( on 3/12/19.

there are alternatives to laying in a casket at your funeral... if you're not a religious zealot, and having a funeral service, or wake, at a funeral home, and not a church

somedays I get wonderful questions, like the 5th graders who want to know more about the Eire Canal Stump Puller, somedays, it's the ridiculous back yard cistern question because I post old photos. What a difference a day makes

today I got a letter:


My name is ######, and I am a 5th grade teacher in #####, Connecticut. I have three students who are working on a westward expansion research project about the innovations sparked by the building of the Erie Canal. So far they are hunting for info on the Dibble horse drawn scoop crane, the Star Bit Drill, and the Stump Puller. They came across your video  and asked me to reach out to see if you can offer suggestions for further resources regarding the ingenious stump puller.

:) You have never seen three 10 year old boys so enthusiastic about the Erie Canal. And rightfully so.

Any info or response would be appreciated - I want them to see that research isn't just from websites and books, but also from speaking with experts.

Thanks, and have a great weekend,

5th Grade Teacher
######## School

but yesterday?

Hello Sir-

Happened upon your site and loved the old pics!

Not sure if you can help me or not, but thought Id ask. : )

My mom lives in Fletcher Hills (El Cajon, CA) (Annette Way) in a home which was built in the 1950’s. I was in her yard digging, getting ready to put in a new fence. I was removing some old brick which were about 8” wide. I dug down about 12” and hit something solid. I found solid cement…….then what appeared to be an opening. I stuck a camera as far as I could reach and took a couple pics.

 Thought it was an old well or something, but after some research I think it appears to be an old “Cistern.” Although I really have no idea. Was trying to figure out what was on the land prior to my mom’s home being built. Couldn’t really find anything other than Camp La Mesa (An Army camp from back in WWII). But its hard to tell exactly where this camp was located. Some old maps look like the was a train track near, but cant find any info.

Would you happen to know where I might find out info of what was on the land way back. (I tried El Cajon Historical Society but haven’t heard back as yet.)

Thank you-



Followup, I told Ted to do his own homework (literally, it's his mom's home) or pay me to get to the bottom of it like anyone else you pay to do stuff you don't want to do, or trade me something I want, like a better paying job, guitar lessons, etc.

I told the the teacher that I'm no expert, and the one who is, would be Capt Jerry, the guy in the video, an found his email address, he happens to be running the business of informing tourists about the Erie Canal, and that stump puller..

Then I mentioned that the stump puller was adapted or evolved to the Michigan Wheel, a high wheel tree trunk / logging type of trailer  that was later evolved into the bulldozer pulled "Best Logging Wheeler"  which was soon evolved into the Trailer Arch

So,   I'm no expert, but I've blogged a lot about things with wheels... and that tree stump puller is one thing that I'm actually pretty darn happy to have learned of, posted about, and admired for it's force multiplier simple engineering, and historic importance, in the Mid West USA back in the day.

It's one of several things that make me pleased to do this blog, and learn about stuff that simply became obsolete, and yet, is a simple way to get things done, with wheels, that we don't use anymore because of things like not having a team of oxen around anymore, and instead, the easy availability of tractors, contractors, (see what I did there) and modern construction equipment like excavators, dozers (bigguns like the D11) etc

in January 1963 a B52 was damaged by storms winds so strong it caused a structural failure in the 40 foot tall tail, and was forced to crash, from 500 feet altitude... for some reason the Air Force didn't clean up the pieces, and 56 years later, the pieces are still there

A grader operator on a remote woods road witnessed the final turn of the Stratofortress and saw a black smoke cloud after impact. Eighty rescuers from the Maine State Police,  Fish and Game Department, Civil Air Patrol, as well as Air Force units from Dow Air Force Base and others from New Hampshire and Massachusetts along with other volunteers, went to work.

Search aircraft were on the scene, but they searched too far south and east to locate the wreckage before nightfall.

After the crash site was located the next day, plows from Greenville cleared 10 miles of road of snow drifts up to 15 feet deep. The rescuers had to use snowshoes, dog sleds and snowmobiles to cover the remaining mile to the crash site. At 11 a.m. the two survivors were airlifted to a hospital by a helicopter.

The pilot, Dan Bulli, had in his time in the Air Force, survived crashes in this B 52, a B 24, and a B 26

The remnants of this crash lie at the end of a tree-lined road only fifteen minutes from the town of Greenville. Lily Bay Road on the southern shore of Moosehead Lake intersects with an easy-to-miss turnoff marked with a small sign that reads: Prong Pong Road which about 8 miles later turns into logging roads that head up to Elephant Mountain.

I recommend that you set the speed of the video to 2x

Some of the remains, that aren't already in private collections, such as the engine and the navigator's ejection seat at the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club Clubhouse in Greenville, of 53–0406 are still at the crash site, owned by Plum Creek Timber Co.

The 1½-mile no-salvage and no-harvesting zone created by Scott Paper years ago and maintained today by Plum Creek, isn't a govt set zone, and no one seems to have paid attention to it when getting the engines, hatches, windows, and electronic equipment. Frankly, there isn't anything left that is portable, fascinating, and recognizable. Notice you see no gauges, switches, panels, or interior pieces like seats, chairs, handles, etc. In fact, 2 companies got salvage rights from the govt. What you see left here is what they couldn't find worth the trouble to clean up for aluminum recycle prices

The plane’s stabilizer landed 1½ miles from the other wreckage and remains there.

In the late 1970s, a retired military pilot and president of the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club initiated the annual memorial snowmobile ride in honor of those aboard the B-52. The Maine Air National Guard, the American Legion, the Civil Air Patrol, Maine Warden Service and members of the snowmobile club bring a color guard, wreath, and play Taps in an annual ceremony

In 2011, a Maine Forest Service employee found an ejection seat, it is most likely the pilot's seat, from the aircraft near an overgrown logging road while hunting. It was confirmed to be from the B-52.

It is the third seat recovered from the crash and preserved for public viewing.

The other is in a Bangor museum. In 2013, 50 years after the crash, the Snowmobile Club held the annual remembrance at the crash site and the retired pilot gave a rare interview.

Navigator Gerald Adler came face-to-face with his rescuer for the first time in 50 years during a Memorial Day event on 25 May 2013.

These vintage snowmobiles were used to rescue two men following the crash of a B-52 in a remote section of the Maine mountains. The sleds are kept in the Maine snowmobile museum in Millinocket.

In researching stories on various websites about this crash, I learned that this was the 2nd B52 to have it's stabilizer broken, then crash, the 1st was in Minnesota, in 1958

myself, I feel the govt is responsible for the equipment it knows of that litters the planet, as a result of crashes, or as a result of wars.

After all, try and tell the govt that you'll be expecting them to ignore the aircraft on the local miliotary base, while you relocate it to your forest.... and you'll see them get mighty protective of their ownership of the planes. You know?

But tell them they have some plane crashes to clean up, and they'll give you the I don't think so, it's not in the budget dead shark eye look while they wait for you to move along.

There are many crash sites, on mountain sides, in swamps, in lakes, etc etc that the govt has never bothered to remove. Hell, it's just metals in the environment, and the govt has turned a blind eye to that for a hundred years, unless its YOUR cars and trucks in your back 40, and then you can guess who gets fined by the day until abandoned cars are removed.

one way to move logs out of the forest, to the trains, was simple bogeys on rails not fitted with too many ties, but quickly laid in any direction the loggers were working in

above is a demo of the bogeys on a log, but ignore the 4 x 4s

as there certainly weren't many ties in the forest floor

1955, Mogens von Haven won the first ever World Press Photo of the Year award for this photo of a motor-cross competitor taking a tumble from his motorcycle at the Volk Mølle race track in Denmark.

How many chopper fans marched beside Martin Luther King Jr? One. Cliff Vaughs, who also was the associate producer on Easy Rider, because much of Easy Rider was Cliff’s experience as a man who actually rode his chopper through the South in the early ‘60s.

Cliff was famous, as he'd been featured in Easy Rider Magazine, and Ed Roth's Choppers magazine

I think I posted about Vaughs' work with Fonda and Hopper back in 2007 or 2008, before I started using the tag system to find things quick and easy... as I recognize the story, but I didn't know about him in the March.

I do remember him in the article about Capt America, the chopper that Fonda rode.

Fonda, the producer of Easy Rider, hired Vaughs to coordinate the motorcycles for the film, and Vaughs tapped Ben Hardy for the actual construction of the machines. Fonda and Vaughs both worked on the design of the bike.