Saturday, August 29, 2020

this is pretty odd, a beauty pageant winner endorsing a gasoline?

Honorary mayor of Beverly Hills in 1926, Will Rogers

Honorary Mayor Will Rogers demonstrates the city's brand new Elgin Street Sweeper in front of Beverly Hills’ original City Hall at the terminus of N Crescent Drive and Burton Way.

“Honorary” meant there was really nothing significant for him to do. But still, when the city acquired a new Elgin Street Sweeper, who better to demonstrate it with a drive to the original Beverly Hills city hall?

Honorary Mayor Will Rogers and the Beverly Hills Fire Department standing outside the city's first City Hall and fire station.

A new candidate for Pomona mayor appeared on the scene March 8, 1927.

He had everything you’d want in a mayor – good speaking skills, leadership ability and the ability to do rope tricks.

The only thing going against Will Rogers becoming the top man in Pomona was that he already was a mayor, though honorary, in Beverly Hills. Working some local flavor into his talk, Rogers said he would be a perfect alternative to the numerous candidates running in Pomona’s upcoming election.

He assured the audience that a year as honorary mayor of Beverly Hills had prepared him for leadership, and that he could easily take on another city – maybe even two.

“I will come and be mayor of your town, and it won’t cost you a cent,” he said. “Why, I can still be mayor of Beverly Hills and take on San Bernardino to boot. I could run San Bernardino nights and operate Pomona by telephone.”

He was asked how he could be mayor of Beverly Hills while always traveling around the world.
“He declared that therein lay the secret of his success,” said the newspaper account. He “advised that every other city would be a thousand fold better off if the mayor would get out of town and stay out during … their administration.”

Rogers came to Pomona at the height of his popularity. The frequent guest of the world’s elite, he took particular delight in poking fun at those in power.

He told the audience he had recently been in England during a strike by coal workers. There, the strikers collected $1 a day from a union strike fund.

“He explained to the authorities that this paying men when they did not work was all wrong,” reported the Pomona Bulletin the next day. “He knew because we had tried it here with the Senate and (House of) Representatives.”

Some other observations:

He said it was wrong for the United States to intervene in unrest in China: “He thinks things have come to a pretty mess when a country can’t have its own civil war without other nations butting in. China did not interfere when America had its Civil War, and why should we do so now?”

On assisting farmers: “It isn’t necessary for Congress to pass any more relief bills for the farmers as they have been relieved of about everything now.”

On his recent trip to Europe: “All nations in Europe hated Americans, but they did not hate Americans half as much as they hated each other, because they had just begun to hate Americans, whereas they had been hating each other for 2,000 years.”

On a plan to force New York City saloons to close at 3 a.m.: “He thinks that a town that isn’t drunk by 3 a.m. isn’t half trying.”

But before Rogers left Beverly Hills, he was named the town's "Honorary Mayor" in December 1926. A popular resident, Rogers was also a generous financier to Beverly Hills, having personally paid for a gymnasium and handball court for the city's police force. However, just weeks after his inauguration, the California Legislature ruled that Rogers could not serve because Beverly Hills was obligated to make the president of the board of trustees its mayor.

good photo. Chance? Or modeling set up scene, I don't know. Either way, good color combo

Trained in the European avant-garde movement Erwin Blumenfeld moved to the USA in 1941. In the lively atmosphere of a booming press, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Life, Kaleidoscope, Photography, and all the major American fashion magazines called on him

So, I guess this must be about 65 or 70 years old, and maybe the humor doesn't hold up, but what a cast of wonderful goof balls!

For anyone that doesn't recognize the guy pumping the gas, that is world famous voice actor Mel Blanc, who is best known as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Barney Rubble and Mr. Spacely on The Jetsons.

Blanc also originated the voice and laugh of Woody Woodpecker, Speed Buggy, Captain Caveman, and Speedy Gonzales, and two seasons voicing the robot Twiki in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

On January 24, 1961, Blanc was involved in a near-fatal car accident. He was driving alone when his sports car collided head-on with a car driven by 18-year-old college student Arthur Rolston on Sunset Boulevard.

 Rolston suffered minor injuries, but Blanc was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center with a triple skull fracture that left him in a coma for two weeks, along with sustaining fractures to both legs and the pelvis. About two weeks after the accident, one of Blanc's neurologists tried a different approach than just trying to address Blanc himself: address his characters. Blanc was asked, "How are you feeling today, Bugs Bunny?" After a slight pause, Blanc answered, in a weak voice, "Eh... just fine, Doc. How are you?" The doctor then asked Tweety if he was there, too. "I tawt I taw a puddy tat," was the reply. Blanc returned home on March 17.

Four days later, Blanc filed a US $500,000 lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles. His accident, one of 26 in the preceding two years at the intersection known as Dead Man's Curve, resulted in the city funding the restructuring of curves at the location.

I don't think that Mel got the recognition he deserved for the years of comedy he gave us.
By the way, after graduating from high school in 1927, he split his time between leading an orchestra, becoming the youngest conductor in the country at the age of 19

Blanc began smoking cigarettes when he was nine years old. He continued his pack-a-day habit until he was diagnosed with emphysema, which pushed him to quit at age 77.

Jack Benny is a favorite of mine for understated wry humor, and good acting, and Rochester had such a great voice, and comedy timing

interesting strange design for the the trailer, I wonder if it's a slide apart longitudinally design?

Imagine a 2 part trailer that slides for a much longer camping experience, but retracts for a much better driving experience!

interesting trailer

Friday, August 28, 2020

way back when photographers were able to walk around the starting line, probably because the drag strips knew they needed publicity for free advertising

a convertible T Bird for deliveries? Dang! That's top shelf!

There probably was a cool story with this (and Steve found it! Thanks Steve! )

Jan '68 Motor Trend 500 - Riverside

Dan Gurney in the #121 Wood Brothers Ford 1968 Torino.

 Gurney took first for the last of five MT 500 wins. He would suffer a blown tire and had to drive on the rim to the pits before returning to the track in third place. He overtook leader Parnelli Jones on lap 160 and held on for the win.

Wow. This is cool

THIS would make an AMAZING centerpoint of a collection or museum

Cool land speed racing moment

Have you seen a this car with a plexiglass top before?


of course, until the Baja races became a big deal, no one made tires that were apt for rock climbing and off roading. Look at these bald bastards on front

those wonderful crazy days of youth.... when we were all too broke for a car, but one buddy could use his dad's truck, and we all piled in for a ride to the pizza joint, in the customary "you fly, I'll buy" to hang out with friends spending our lawn mowing money

why girls weren't interested in us fun types, I don't know. Probably too smart to get involved with crazy, broke, goof ball guys. Hell, I bet their dad's wouldn't let them! Smart! Fun guys are not up to much good, they are out to enjoy life

today's banners. Because I'm now finding so darn many cool photos that are better banners than posts, I'm changing the banner 2 or 3 times a day, instead of the usual once a day

everyone who has spent hours in a garden or crop field feeling their knees and back ache, can appreciate this.... why the hell aren't more people making these?

la vida loco

What the hell? A UPS driver shot at cars along Interstate 5 from his UPS tractor-trailer rig and hit at least seven of them, injuring one person, over the last three months in southern Oregon

They arrested Kenneth Ayers on (Aug 20th) Thursday night in Roseburg after stopping his truck on Wednesday about an hour after the most recent shooting, Oregon State Police Capt. Tim Fox said. Ayers was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, assault, unlawful use of a weapon and other charges.

Police have yet to determine a motive. They are investigating one other shooting in Jackson County that wasn’t near I-5 that may be connected to Ayers

Ayers is suspected of shooting at vehicles in Josephine, Jackson and Douglas County, he said. The shooting Wednesday night hit a woman, who was treated and released from the hospital. It was the first known injury in the string of I-5 shootings.

Troopers believe the shootings began May 12, shortly after Ayers’ route was changed and sent him south of Roseburg on Interstate 5.

that's a AAA car parked there, funny how they used to be so active. Now? They do trip tickets. Whoppity doo (Thanks Steve!)


The purpose of the photo was to show that the concrete wall obstructed vision The writing on the door actually says "Engineering Department, Automobile Club of Southern California"

Nascar pit repairs

wow.... what a beast

Thursday, August 27, 2020

check out this race truck, it looks like it might be a Willys


a Von Dutch grill panel

oddly, there is no Wikipedia entry for George Hurst (Thanks Steve!)

 the one guy that added more fun to hot rodding than probably any other, (with only an 8th grade formal education)
The Hurst Armed Forces Club!
the GTO races,
 the Hairy Olds,
 the shifters!
The Jaws of Life!
The Hurst Hemi Under Glass 'Cuda,
the Hurst SC/Rambler,
the Hurst Baja Boot,
the Gasser Passer
the Hurst Shawnee Scout
the Hurst Jeepster,
 the Shifty Doc Watson traveling performance clinic,
and Hurst Super Stock AMXs, Darts, Barracudas,
 the Hurst Olds,
and Hurst Airheart brakes -  who compares to all this?

There is a wikipedia entry for Hurst Performance... it's not very good

George Hurst worked with more car companies than maybe anyone I know of. Jeep, Pontiac, Dodge, Oldsmobile, International Harvester, and AMC.

For a good look through some cool stuff that the Hurst performance company made:

Born in New York City in 1927, died in 1986, Redlands California, in his garage. Suicide by carbon monoxide.

George's mom, Antoinette, was a naturalized citizen from Kutai Hora Czechoslovakia

His dad was a WW1 Army vet who worked for the National Biscuit Co in New York City

And his paternal great grandfather William Jackson Hurst was born in Ireland, 1818, and came to the USA before the Civil War, and enlisted in the 198th Infantry in Aug 1864, and mustered out a year later in May of 65. Lived in Pennsylvania

Almquist, the author of the sprawling history Hot Rod Pioneers published by SAE International, selected Hurst, his former business associate, as one of the topics in his book. He knew little of Hurst's early years, got his birth city wrong, but other than he was born in 1927, who never went beyond the eighth grade and dropped out of school to join the Navy when he was 16.

And there you have the most thorough info on his life before going into car parts business that the rest of the world is already familiar with. How about that... WW2 air craft carrier duty. I've never heard that before (thanks Steve!) Correction, I forgot, I had posted that he was an Navy Aircraft Machinist

After the Navy, 1943-1954, he resettled in eastern Pennsylvania in 1954 and became very active in the local drag racing scene.

His marriage didn't work out and no one even mentions the name of his wife. It was Lila, and they divorced in 1984

When he made Almquist's acquaintance, Hurst and Campbell were working out of a garage outside Philadelphia in Abington, with engine mounts as their lead product, when two problems occurred. First, a California firm began producing copies of their engine mounts. Next, Hurst became separated from his wife.

 In the mid-fifties, he and his friend Bill Campbell started a garage in Abington, Pennsylvania, where they built aftermarket engine mounts for performance cars. Although Hurst’s formal mechanical training was limited, he had an intuitive knack for automotive engineering and, more importantly, was a natural showman with a flair for clever promotions.

Hurst Performance was originally named Hurst-Campbell. The company was established in 1958 as an auto repair shop when George Hurst and Bill Campbell were both young men. An older man named Lawrence Greenwald (who is credited, among other things, as one of the inventors of stretch nylon hosiery), took certain cars from his collection to Hurst's shop for repair. Greenwald saw promise in Hurst and Campbell and decided to finance them in a venture to manufacture large aftermarket bumpers for VW buses, which were becoming increasingly popular.

When Volkswagen began manufacturing its own large bumpers for the buses, Hurst-Campbell branched out into the piston-driven gearshift business.

After some early setbacks, Hurst and Campbell formed a partnership with Jonas Anchel and Ed Almquist, founders of the speed shop Anco Industries. Together, they developed and launched several new products, including a revised engine mount design called Adjusta-Torque and a floor-mounted shift linkage for three-speed manual transmissions.

An agreement between Almquist and Hurst, in which the two decided to focus on aftermarket retailing and component development, respectively, endured for the rest of Hurst's life.

At that point, a new employee of the equally new Hurst Performance Inc., Jack "Doc" Watson, described by Almquist as then a gofer, made a personal connection that would set the company's role in history. Through his mother, Watson made a contact with Pontiac, which ended up selecting a four-speed version of the Hurst shifter as standard equipment for its 1961 Catalina powered by the Super Duty engine.

Since Almquist and Anchel were neither willing nor able to put up the substantial amount of capital needed to market the new linkage, Hurst and Campbell obtained a $20,000 loan and established their own company, Hurst-Campbell, Inc., in Warminster, Pennsylvania. It opened for business in 1959.

The hot-rodding and drag racing scene was booming in the late fifties and early sixties and Hurst-Campbell found a ready market for their shifters and shift linkages. Whatever Hurst’s mechanical abilities, his greatest talent was concocting stunts and gimmicks to market Hurst-Campbell products. Hurst sponsored drag racers; offered new cars as prizes for race winners who used Hurst products; and hired a buxom beauty queen named Linda Vaughn as “Miss Hurst Golden Shifter,” paying her to attend racing events in her gold bikini, suggestively caressing giant replicas of Hurst’s signature product. Some of Hurst’s promotional stunts were undeniably effective.

By the mid-sixties, Hurst-Campbell revenues were more than $20 million a year and Hurst shifters had become almost de rigueur among serious enthusiasts.

He was the co-founder of the Hurst Performance Product Co. and was associated with high-performance vehicles and automotive advances, particularly in the area of car transmissions. His Hurst Shifter, a floor-mounted gear shift for performance cars, made him a wealthy man.

Are you fucking kidding me? Do you have an idea how effing rare it is that anyone gives a shit about employees, much less hires anyone with any disability? Damn, this is incredible info, and I've never heard about it either. This seriously sheds light on why Linda has said so many good things about George. She never mentioned this though. Wow... sending a guy work, at his home, so he can keep a job? That's incredible!

The company has since been sold several times, said Chuck Lamerel of American Bristol Co., seller of the jaws of life. The jaws of life tool was originally developed by Hurst in the 1960s to rescue drivers in crashes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then adopted by rescue agencies throughout the country, Lamerel said.

George Hurst wrote a self help book that was published in 1984, "The Perfect You", there are maybe 5 copies for sale online, all for 75 to 125

In March 1984 Popular Mechanics did a paragraph about the transmission George was working out problems with... the problem was that the damn thing wouldn't work yet. Doubtless, it was about a whisker off from being the next must have for racers, like, a Lenco. Keep in mind, the Hurst Lightning Rod shifters... Hurst knew transmissions!

Tragic as his rise and fall are, as far from normal as either gets, he's getting hero status from me for the Jaws of Life invention. That's fair. No less should anyone expect, no more should anyone ask