Saturday, December 12, 2020

1957 Plymouth Plaza Commercial Utility P-30 station wagon that belonged to the District 3 Chief on the Camden, New Jersey Fire Department. (thanks Steve!)

Mark Donahue, 1973 Matador.

Steve filled me in on coffee service companies, and in particular, the Boyd coffee company. Thank you Steve!

Boyd Coffee in Portland (established 1900) and their long-time rival Farmer Brothers (established 1912), Boyd at its height supplied nearly 6,000 restaurants, hotels, stores and offices, but diners were their cash cow. If they suppled the coffee service, it was a simple sell to offer all the spices (thyme, sage, rosemary, pepper, garlic salt, etc.). Next, they offered things like soup mixes (New England clam chowder, barley vegetable, Italian tomato, split-pea, etc.). After that they promoted things like freeze-dried potato flakes, instant hollandaise sauce, nacho mix, pancake mix, sauces, gravies, desserts, and salad dressings. 

However, as times changed the Mom-and Pop diners gave way to the chain restaurants that relied on mega-distribution companies (think SYSCO!) and their business contracted. At the same time, they failed to expand their coffee market and were caught flat-footed by the rise of the retail gourmet coffee shops.

They tried to compete with by opening Red Wagon coffee shops (named for the color of their trucks), but retail wasn't their talent. They really just wanted to do what they did best - roast coffee and deliver it to a restaurant or an office coffee service. 

 They had an opportunity to go head-to-head with Starbucks and flat decided not to go in that direction, instead they closed their brick-and-mortar stores and went mobile food truck style. With revenues dropping, in 2017 Boyd Coffee was bought out by…wait for it…longtime rival Farmer Brothers.

 In 2018 the Portland facilities were shut down and operations moved to the Farmer Brothers' facility in Texas. Back in the day Boyd liked panel trucks, but later changed to vans:

Steve used to have a couple blogs, but he never had the time to add more posts. That's a damn shame, as he does incredible research and fills you in on everything about a subject. 

well friends, it has not been a good day. In fact, 2020 just took a roundhouse swing followed up by kicking me when I was down. So, let me pass along a lesson learned, maybe you can spare yourself the same grief

 I forgot to lock my car last night.

so someone either walking their dog as a cover for cruising the neighborhoods while checking for unlocked cars, or someone who lives nearby, decided to help themselves to my stuff. They even opened the hatchback and grabbed my toolbag... that's because I brought it over to a friends to help them with some work, and forgot to take it out of my car for the last couple of days. 

and then last night when bringing in two bags of stuff, I forgot to lock my car. 

But wait, that's not all. That was the roundhouse punch, then there was the damn kick when I was down.

I decided, this day has sucked, I need a little pick me up, so I went to In n Out to get a double double. Paid for it, and was number 90. 

Then sat waiting for them to call my number. They didn't. They lost my damn order "tab" I think he called it. 

The guy was nice, you know, when I walked over and asked if they were ever going to call number 90.... he instantly made me one. But still... 15 minutes of waiting, cause you never know what the reason is that they don't always call the orders out in numerical order. So when they called number 97, I got suspicious that something was up. 

So, I hope you lock your stuff up and no one steals from you. I'll find out what the insurance company says... but after 4 minutes on the phone with the computer before getting through to a human, while an electrical storm was causing everything I tried to say to need to be repeated, I found out that the stuff stolen from your car gets a claim filed against your renters policy, if you have one, and I do, and not your car insurance. 

I'll soon find out just what Allstate is about, and if their slogan about being in good hands will Allstate means anything, or, if they only insure what you have receipts for, as few people have receipts for stuff, and some things were gifts, Hell, I have hundreds of books without receipts, hundreds of blu rays, hundreds of sockets, hundreds of cds, and hundreds of magazines, and hundreds of cassettes etc etc. If they only insure what I have a receipt for, I won't be needing much rental insurance anymore. 

Maxwell house coffee had courtesy cars in Peoria? That's just too strange to make up

Steve just found this very interesting, and filled me in on this situation of courtesy cars and coffee brands:

That “Courtesy” car was not owned or used by the Maxwell House Coffee Co. It belonged to the George O. Pasquel Company (GOP) of Peoria.

 Founded in 1946, the George O. Pasquel Co. is Peoria’s oldest institutional food and equipment distributor, and still supplies local restaurants and the general public with a wide variety of food and kitchen supplies. Coffee is still their biggest-selling item, although they do not sell Maxwell exclusively anymore – in fact, they now have their own private label of flavored coffees. 

George worked as a “road salesman” for Standard Brands in Peoria, peddling their coffee for 18 years before starting his own business with three strikes against him (according to his then boss): “One, you’re an Italian immigrant; Two, you never graduated from eighth grade; And three, you have no money.” George did it anyway by borrowing $5,000 from a Greek immigrant friend, who happened to be the cafe manager for the Hiram Walker distillery in Peoria.

Now, after many, many changes in the business, his son Peter (born in 1940) runs the company. Some of the changes cost them customers as larger institutions went for the lowest bidder, as opposed to the best quality. They now no longer supply local hospitals, and only a few nursing homes. They used to be the main supplier of the local school district (hence the advertising photo in the high school yearbook) and even the local jail. Caterpillar, which had been the company’s biggest customer from the 1940s through the ‘70s, had their own in-house people running their cafeterias, and they bought locally (several truckloads a day, in fact). But Caterpillar, most hospitals and school districts switched long ago to mega-distribution companies (think SYSCO

Today the company can still deliver and install “ranges, refrigerators, coolers and other machinery necessary to get a large kitchen up and running.” They can outfit the restaurant front of house as well, with everything from the furniture to the plates and utensils. Then they will happily supply you with the foodstuffs – that being the Nugget brand of canned foods, paper goods, frozen food and produce. Nugget is a high-quality brand that gives you more food (product) in its drained weight, as opposed to its net weight (product plus liquid) than other brands.

Now, for the courtesy car - that is - if you are still reading. The car would belong to the “road salesman” (route salesman) who, as a courtesy, would stop by your office/school/cafeteria/restaurant and check your inventory for you, then write up your order for you – thus sparing you the time and effort. Usually, these route salesmen drove sedan deliveries, and not windowed wagons such as your 2-door 1955 Chevrolet 210 Handyman.

While GOP supplied everything, companies such as Boyd in Portland (coffee and spices) and Farmer Brothers in Los Angeles (coffee and tea), serviced local companies direct. For example, if you had an accounting firm and you offered coffee service to your employees, Boyd or Farmer Brothers would supply your needs right down to the coffee pots, without any employee having to make a store run. If the percolator breaks, give Farmer Brothers a call and you will have a new one delivered within an hour or two, if not faster. Farmer Brothers was established in Torrance, California.

the George O. Pasquel Co., like Farmer Brothers, also sold to companies that served coffee to their in-house employees and would drive around servicing those clients (think Charles Chips). Beer distributers did the same thing when courtesy serving their clients such as your Mom-and-Pop grocery stores.

As in the case of the George O. Pasquel Co. and the Massa Distributing Co., the company name was on the door, while the best-selling product’s name was writ large behind it.

Thanks Steve! You've filled in a niche of car enthusiast knowledge! 

"Speedy" Aunt Molly

Andrew P thank you for spiking a tip into my tip jar!

Agustín Aguaviva's v8 Ford rear engined midget was a revolutionary design, so small that in order to sit in the Midget's seat, he had to remove the steering wheel. An engineering feat because at this time, only the Union cars were designed as rear-engined race cars

and this was in Argentina

Ha! Kids these days... they'll mimic anything in the songs they hear, so be careful what you have playing on the radio

Love those rims, and that hood. Proof that upgrading two things on a car would take it from grandmas daily grocery getter to a high schoolers legend status

compliment of the day

 Yours is still the best blog with the most interesting content ever! It is a bright spot in a increasingly dim world. Keep up the great work! and, THANK YOU!

The Beavers Dad

Aww shucks and blush

following the concepts soon to be found impractical, Japan's leading political idiot declares Japan is set to follow the U.K. and California by banning sales of internal combustion engine-only cars by the mid 2030s.

 According to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is currently weighing up plans to stop the sale of new diesel and gas-powered cars by 2035 as a key part of its plan to become a zero-emissions society by 2050.

Unlike the moron California governor, and the equally imbecilic English tag a long, Japan at least realized that there will be no working electrical supply grid in the event of the very common large earthquake, and instead of declaring electric only, said it would be fine with hybrid only. 

Now would be a good time to invest in Tesla's battery making company, or any other company that will be the battery supplier for electric and hybrid cars

a gasser 59 Caddy from imaginative illustrator Abimelec Arellano

and it can probably overland to anywhere on dry ground

I'm sure I've never seen a Hummer with a camper top

17 years of work, 227 bullet holes, and probably a small fortune later, this 32 5 window is better than new

1967 Sunbeam Tiger getting restored

another damn snake at the gas station... so don't let down your guard

I have posted them hiding by the nozzle, inside the pump

when people are flashing their lights... take heed

Friday, December 11, 2020

More than 6 feet of snow buried parts of the Alps on Sunday, the Austrian section of the Alps, the village of Prägraten for example:

allright, that's funny, I never realized there was a math aspect to license plates

people do crazy stuff at Burning Man

when it's VERY important to you that no one hits your bumper, and / or, idiots keep hitting your bumper when parking

4C2 061

farm truck tool box design

I sure do wish I had more time to post stuff

 it's getting to annoy me that now that I'm working this new job, I have no time to do deep research posts, no time to post a lot, and very little of the extremely interesting stuff out there is getting posted, because it takes so damn long to find

So if you, too, are noticing a lot less of everything that used to get posted on a regular basis, you're not alone. This blog was a hell of a lot more fun to look at when I had 2 or 3 times as much time to surf the internet to find things for it. 

And there's no car shows to go to all this past year, and probably none next year. 

We used to be able to count on the LA Roadster Show, the Grand National Roadster Show, some concours de elegance shows, and SEMA...

not this past year, and probably not next year. 

It’s a fold down step to get to the roof of the Jeep for their expeditions to the mall and such. You can sell anything to Jeep people.

Ferrari factory race car only has 90 minutes left in the auction, and is currently only $61,500 ... soooo, if you have a small fortune, and want a sweet race car, take a quick look

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Vogue magazine posted this Nissan Figaro this week... nicely done

By the way

 I passed a young woman driving a Porsche 911 GT3 yesterday, in traffic on Aero and Ruffin. 

She looked like a young Tia Carrere. I wonder how much her insurance company charges her monthly to drive that car. 

well... this is a fun way to put spare parts together for kicks

Q: You know why there are big tires in back, and small ones in front?

A: Because everything goes faster when it's going downhill. (Dad joke found in a Readers Digest, remember them?)

finding a photo of a Turbonique is a rare thing

that must have been a kick in the back to push the button and turn it on

1940 LaSalle Woodie Station Wagon

air shocks, mighty 70s

quite the demonstration of early lift engineering

How far did they think they were going to get up that hill?

fender mats made pretty good window covers too

the 60s must have been pretty crazy if you didn't hang out with religious conservatives or those weirdo cults

Thank you John S for clinkin my tip jar!

Thanks John!

looks like they sand blasted this license plate

or they took a scotchbrite pad and scrubbed off the blue letter on the paint so they wouldn't get stop light camera tickets

This Lincoln is having a bad month. First it was an asshole parking into the street, so much it got ticketed for excessive distance from curb... then it went away. Now it's back after destroying the rear axle