Saturday, January 25, 2020

fall colors and railroad tracks

cool photos from

a lot more handles than sockets to use them with, but it's gonna pass the cool factor minimum

Chopped 2019, Australia

I love the fat fendered Mopars, I could be wrong, probably am, but this seems to be an early 30s Dodge. 1934?

what a sweet ute, that car cabin blends into the truck beed beautifully

that's some quality aging

So, today I learned

That Norm Grabowski, a favorite of mine - along with Von Dutch, Ed Roth and Barris - being some of the very very 60s of hot rodding

As I was saying, Norm was in the Munsters, and Cannonball Run, and Hooper. In the Munsters was Jackie Coogan, he played Uncle Fester, and so there is one connection,  Norm and Jackie, but also Jackie, Norm, and Mamie in "Sex Kittens go to College" 1960, connection number 2, and Norm and Mamie in  "Untamed Youth" 1957 connection number 3

(Sidebar, the movie College Confidential, had in it's cast Rocky Marciano, heavyweight boxing champ, and Conway Twitty, country music star.)

I think I find Norm to be a part of it because of the many Disney movies he was in, that I was watching as a kid in the early 70s.

I'd like you to remember that Disney put on a car show, and who was there displaying a hot rod?  Barris, Roth, and Norm!

oh yeah, the hot rod... Norm Grabowski's of course, later to be disguised as "My Mother The Car". Well with Mamie Van Doren, who Norm often acted with, so maybe this was just another fast movie production for a paycheck, or maybe it was part of a series of college movies with Mamie Van Doren

So, when you think 60s - very very 60s -  which people in hot rodding seem to embody the era/decade?

Friday, January 24, 2020

1942 WLA Flathead heads by @alleywaykustoms, who made them lighter, and likely created air turbulence which ought to cool the engine better. Why didn't the factory do this? It wouldn't seem difficult or a time consuming procedure.

Dodge Havaball promo pack for salesmen, and the world series spin a fact for 1965

Mrs Kathlyn Minner, the Little Ol' Lady, that at age 65 broke into tv, movies, and Dodge publicity and commercials

Making her first acting appearance at the age of 65 in a 1957 episode of Dragnet, Mrs Minner was best known for her appearances in a series of ten television commercials for Chrysler Corporation's Dodge Division which aired in Southern California from 1964 to 1969, and as the red shawl wearing little old lady on the cover of the 1964 Jan and Dean album "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena".

In the spring of 1964, Mrs Minner came to the attention of the Kohner Agency in Hollywood after she answered a casting call wearing a red shawl, black gloves, and a pair of Keds sneakers. She was perfect for the part of the "little old lady", which would be featured in a series of upcoming television commercials for Southern California Dodge dealers, and was hired on the spot. The television commercials became one of the most memorable advertising campaigns of the 1960s. Her famous tag line in that Clio Award winning advertising campaign was "Put a Dodge in your garage, honey!"

Mrs Minner became a Southern California celebrity for teens, parents, and even bikers. She even made an appearance on The Dating Game, which became their highest rated show.,%20Kathryn./mode/exact

Paul Vico of San Fernando Valley Motors posing in crash helmet with the new 200 horsepower V-8 Dodge truck which the company claims is the 'most powerful truck in the world.'

There was a movie called "Out of Sight" back in 1966... they did some publicity for it at the Riverside 1966 Motor Trend 500, and brought the Barris ZZR and Munster Dragula. By the way, this is another Norm Grabowski movie, and a year after he was on the Munsters - so, it all ties together.

the "customized weirdo" was a 2nd fiberglass body for the Munsters Coach, called the ZZR for the goofy beach and spy movie

and it's followed in the above video by the Munsters Drag U La

The ZZR Out of Sight show car included in the rare retouched pictures had about twenty-one weapons. Some say fire came out of all fenders,and others say bullets. It had tar and feathers,and oil slicks,the bed has and arsenal of weapons,rocket launchers, machine guns,hand grenades, and other weapons.The right passenger side's upper wind- shield frame had a flower pot with sleeping powder,if you got to close to the flower pot. The ZZR was made of from a extra Munster Koach body of fiberglass.

The top was cut off, then after the first doors, then cut after the second doors. Next the rear of the body was shoved forward to mesh to the front,and the front doors. By removing front doors, and the smaller third doors, they could mesh them together as one reinforced by plywood to the back of the doors. This then gave a longer slender look with the new custom body. The frame was square tubing. The front axle was tubular axle on hot rod tires and Radir Star Mags with right Radir Knock- offs.

The body was channeled over the frame, and tilted down and then bolted into place. A tall fiberglass scoop was made over the cowl area. The top was made of steel, which wrapped around the back like a Model T but had two port holes on both sides of the top, with chrome rings, to seal the port windows.

The flat top was squared and was yellow with pom poms. The windshield was like the Munster Koach, but had another type of windshield angled at diagonal, to fit the top securely.

The engines were two 1966 Buick Riveria 425 CID bored out to 440 CID. Each engine had one four barrel carburetor, but the front engine has a Cadillac air cleaner, and is higher with it's four injector type scoop then the rear one.

This has two radiators. The engines are mounted tandem style.

Barris employee Les Thompson had engineered, designed this marvel,which does actually work. It you move the gear shift forward, the second engine will engage. The rear fenders are lavender from the Munster Koach. Flames come out of the rear fenders.The two long front tear drop fenders do have barrels that shoot bullets if the caps are popped off. They incorporate spare tire holders with lavender straps to hold the tire holders in place that are supported by pontoons.

The ZZR tire holders are covered with gold Naugahyde tuck and roll. The top side is also covered the same way along with the upholstery for the gold bucket seats. When the driver turns on the car, the seat moves forward. Then the side arms snap into place. Special graphics were applied to the doors  with House of Kolor Gold used the paint the car.

The car has custom headers for each engine.Then the headers were collected into a cylinder type pipe, which looks like a CO2 capsule, to move exhaust to the rear and cut the noise to the engines.

The ZZR also had side hood doors with custom headlight shells for the French headlights which turned vertical to fit between the front fenders, that served nicely for the two radiators which the custom brass grill snugly fit onto.

The rear mags were Tri-Rib Radir Mags with Radir Right Knockoffs. The rear tires wear 15 inch Dirt Track Mickey Thompson tires. The engines were painted red.

This car had a Ford Econoline Van steering column, two metal coolant overflow tanks to keep the Buick engines cool, and Mercury rectangular gas gauges. The rear end was a Oldsmobile to the Buick 2 spd automatic transmission. The hood ornaments were like two sets of branches on the custom brass grill.

According to  it was Dick Dean who built these and more at at Barris Kustoms. George Barris main body man was Dick Dean, who did the scroll work on both Munster Koach#1 and built the car. He had helped the Barris crew, and 1984 built Munster Koach#2. He built 4 Dragulas. Only the first was used in film.

I had forgotten I had posted about it before

the Richard Petty Museum in 2013

Tony Stewart's collection of race cars

places to go, things to see.

This is a commercial break card from the Johnny Carson show, June 1973

Thursday, January 23, 2020

parents don't take enough precautions to keep their kids from getting out of the yard and into the streets

The trucker got so lucky... I can't imagine how he didn't roll the trailer, hit the gas station pumps, or hit the kid with the trailer back bumper

Imagine how many time you have to run out of gas to just bolt something on to the rear bumper to rest your fuel container on

In Baskerville we trust

If you don't know Gray Baskerville,  he was a pillar of the Hot Rod magazine and hot rod community.

He is the ONLY photo in the lobby of the company that makes Hot Rod magazine. Why? He earned it.

If you never met him, and I never did, we missed out on knowing a really cool guy

Why did the Army move a train to a city park

Notice the soldier on the far right is smoking a cig, in his hand, in uniform, on the job, in public. 1956, and the Army was still supplying cigarettes? Huh, I wonder if any cancer victims ever sued the govt for supplying cigs during WW2 or Korea?

The engine was installed by Company C of the 84th Army Engineers from Fort Ord since the locomotive weighed 155,000 lbs and its tender 50,000 lbs. The task was not easy and the engineers used a 300-horsepower tank retriever to move the train after carefully surveying the streets between the track and the installation site.

"Old 1285" contributed by Southern Pacific and moved to its resting place by the Army at Dennis the Menace Park, the playground created as part of the El Estero Park complex in 1956. It was established with the help of Hank Ketcham, creator of the Dennis the Menace comic strip, who was a resident of nearby Carmel

For decades, children were allowed to climb all over the steam engine, but in recent years the city has become concerned about liability issues (Karens) and the engine has now been fenced off.

Lima Locomotive Works S-14 class 0-6-0 switcher locomotive build in 1924 for the Southern Pacific Railroad. It was classified by Southern Pacific as an oil-fired yard switcher, which means it remained at a freight yard to move rolling stock around to make it easier for the larger, long-distance trains to pick up stock on its way through a station. During its years as an active locomotive, SP1285 operated at the San Francisco freight yard.

For fifty years, children were able to climb on, over, and under the locomotive with virtually no restrictions in place, but new mandatory safety standards for playground safety force the city to fence the locomotive and tender and deny the public access in 2012. It was the last playground locomotive in the state to close access. Since then, the city council of Monterey has created a subcommittee to find a way to reopen the train to public access, although a solution has yet to be reached. The locomotive and tender are maintained by the City of Monterey. A community action group is currently rallying to restore the engine to playground use, which can be found at

Imagine if the cast of "Parks and Recreation" were to show up to some city meeting like this with the motivation to make something happen.  They would probably have more years playing the characters than the local city officials

Fairmont M9, the Z36 Narrow Gauge Motorcar, and the M19, and the MT19

This one was built on May 14, 1945 as a M9-C-3-17 standard gauge car and sold to the Western Union Telegraph Company in Atlanta, GA. Western Union purchased a number of cars at this time and deployed them on highway trailers to various points. They were to be used for emergency inspections following storms for damage to the telegraph wires routed along railroad right of ways. Western Union sold many of these cars as surplus in the early fifties.

It was found in a barn near Foscoe, NC. where it had sat since 1969

This is a Fairmont M19 Speeder, it was on Craigslist for 3k

But if you wanted to make a rail buggy, here's one guys easily portable design... just add quiet Honda portable generator, and an electric motor? I think you'd find it would be a nice quiet powered design. Add some gearing, and make it even faster.

Finally, new photos of the Albee Rolligon, with the Rolligon low pressure Air Bag tires inspired by Inuit who used airtight seal skin bags to move a heavy boat

I haven't had anything new to post on the Rolligon in years

#98 Ed Leslie races his Cobra through the corkscrew during the U.S. Road Racing Championships in May of 1964 at Laguna Seca

I met his grandson here in San Diego. That's a unique last name, so I asked, are you any relation to? 

mudslide 1987, Highway one. Lucky they weren't pushed over the edge of the highway and all the way to the Pacific