Saturday, August 21, 2021

somebody figured out a funny as hell way to poke fun at BMW drivers


tough kids... one has crutches, the other has no shoes, but they are hopping a bus to get across town, 1954 or 55, but no source for this photo knows much about it, most likely it was taken in Valparaíso, Chile


have you heard of the Jarrett Palmer Express train of 1876? A New York to San Francisco high speed train to set a record and get a theater troupe to the theater in time to perform, but mostly, to drum up publicity to sell tickets!

(note of interest of this books author:Jules Calvin Ladenheim, American neurosurgeon. Diplomate American Board Surgery, American Board Neurologic Surgery. Decorated Navy and Marine Corps medal. Member American Association Neurologic Surgeons, Congress of Neurosurgery, Nordiska Neurokirugiska Forening, Abraham Lincoln Society (president 1993-1994), United States Ship Columbus Veterans Association, Harvard Club New York. )

According to Nellie Bly, the Palmer-Jarrett trip across the continent had been prepared and planned for 6 months in advance, and when the start was made, a flagman was posted at every switch and crossing between New York and San Francisco. 

Bly was quite proud that her trip from West to East, was 500 miles longer, and beat their time by 24 hours, though I don't think she took into account improvements in the train engines over the decade since the Palmer-Jarrett event. 


The transcontinental Lightning Express captured the attention of the nation while transporting a theatrical troop from New York to San Francisco in record-breaking time for opening night, in under 84 hours.

 At every scheduled stop, supplies, water, and coal were ready for quick loading, as were staff, including conductors, brakemen, firemen and engineers. Likewise, the engine was switched out five times to avoid mechanical issues.

 The national excitement generated by the arrival of the Lightning Express in Oakland was incredible and not to be again matched until Charles Lindbergh landed the Spirit of St. Louis in Paris fifty years later.

Lucious Beebe--the renowned author, gourmand, photographer, railroad historian, syndicated columnist, (owner of a Pullman Palace car if I recall correctly from a post I did a long time ago)  and all-round social raconteur--vividly described the journey in his railroad classic, The Age of Steam "In 1876, . . . seven full days and nights with changes of cars at Chicago and Omaha, were conventional time between New York and the Pacific Coast. 

When, therefore, a specially chartered train filled with theatrical celebrities . . . made the passage from coast to coast in the record time of eighty-four hours, Americans followed the magnificently publicized event with awed enthusiasm. . . The Lightning Express was chartered by Henry Jarrett of Jarrett & Palmer, managers of the Booth Theater in New York, to transport the celebrated Lawrence Barrett and a distinguished supporting cast in time for the opening night of Henry V at McCullough's California Theater in San Francisco.

 The project instantly caught the fancy of the public and fantastic newspaper coverage was accorded the train's departure . . . over the rails of the Pennsylvania [and then] the Chicago & North Western--Union Pacific-Central Pacific route to California. The actors rode in ornate splendor aboard the Pullman Palace Hotel Car, Marlborough, while a commissary car carried appropriate food and drink and the scenery rode in a conventional baggage car. 

All across the continent, the train's passing was the occasion for the wildest excitement and at Reno, nearing the end of its run, its approach was greeted with an exclamatory display of rockets and other artifices de feu. The run over the Central Pacific from Ogden to Oakland, a relay of 875 miles, including the High Sierra crossing, was accomplished by a single engine and a single engineer, Hank Small, at the driver's side. No. 149, a sleek 4-4-0, achieved immortality overnight.

That engine, the Central Pacific’s #149 “Black Fox,” pulled the special train the last portion of the journey, 879 miles from Ogden to Oakland, in a record-breaking 24 hours.

 The sooty actors, weary but triumphant, were met at San Francisco by Warren Leland, the manager of the eye-popping Palace Hotel and taken to a breakfast of grilled, salmon, cucumber salad, filet of Beef Bearnaise, cutlets of Minden lamb, escalloped veal, partridges sautéed in champagne, grilled Mallard duck, asparagus, strawberries and three kinds of eggs, shirred, with mushrooms, and rum omelets. . ." On the evening of June 4th, Jarret & Palmer's Henry V opened on schedule in San Francisco to a sold-out house.

ever heard of railroad track pans used to water the steam locomotives so that trains didn't have to stop to reload water?

 In the 1870s, with the rail networks fully formed, the managements of the various eastern railroads found themselves in a very competitive market for freight and passengers. Their first thought was to use speed to attract customers— hence, the origin of the “fast freight” lines and through-train limited-stops passenger service. 

The gigantic Pennsylvania RR found itself on top of the game for speed. The railroad’s Altoona, PA, shops, run under a succession of talented master mechanics— John Laird, Alexander Cassatt, Isaac Dripps, G. Clinton Gardner, and Frank Thomson— could build the best, fastest, and most modern passenger engines anywhere. So the PRR officials focused on another problem— making long-distance non-stop runs.

Specifically, they wanted a non-stop run of 440 miles from New York to Pittsburgh. The railroad had begun to install track pans to help reduce the number of stops. This was an idea borrowed from English railways— having a mile-long pan of standing water between the rails.

 Locomotive tenders were equipped with scoops that could be lowered into the pans as the train passed over, and momentum did the rest. A tender could be refilled in moments.

 The only problem with the concept was that the Pennsylvania RR was not a flatland railroad. Those mile-long stretches of level track were few and far between in hilly Pennsylvania.

Marty in New Zealand, the epitome of perseverance in getting old machines running, like this mid 1960s Howard Rotavator GEM Garden Tractor

Howard seems to have made these from the early 40s until going bankrupt in the mid 80s

I just found a you tube channel that has a weekly compilation of aviation video clips

Romo 2021

compliment of the week, for coverage of the news, and advocacy of the 4th amendment, civil rights, and anti police harassment of blacks, summed up in one word


from Dominic for the post

nose art, and LeMons combined in this painting on the tail of the 1956 Cessna / Toyota van entry of Speedycop Jeff Bloch and his teammates, the Band of Outlaws... thanks Victor!

Friday, August 20, 2021

The NYO&W (New York, Ontario & Western) was the first major railroad to be abandoned entirely


the New York, Ontario & Western started nowhere, avoided all large industrial centers, and only hauled coal from anthracite mines which eventually were mined out and folded up, the earnings of the road fell off so rapidly that the railroad was useless, and doomed

 None of the rail line exists or was used after it's abandonment, none of it's steam locomotives escaped the cutting torch, and only one diesel locomotive (a GE 44-tonner) survived

riding lawn mower without a steering wheel in the 1960 Montgomery Wards summer catalog

Wood-fueled car The gases are condensed in liquid form and introduced into the carburetor. The condensed liquid hydrocarbons would form a fuel of relatively high volatility that would be sufficient to run the gasoline engine.


garage shelf eye candy I bet a LOT of guys would like to have an example of

a poem from before 1928, from a poet you've never heard of, but will probably be impressed with his award winning work ... he even found a rhyme for oranges.

Along the country roads there grow
Willow trees and Texaco,
Mobiloils and marigold, 
and other fruits of men and mould

Oh, how my town-tried heart desires
to know the peace of Kelly tires
to hear the robin in the grass
Sing "Socony", as I pass!

Some day I shall fly the rut
and build a small, bucolic hut,
Trim a hedge and hop a stile, 
Walk my Camel for a mile, 
Milk a mid-Victorian cow
Eventually, but not now. 

Samuel Hoffenstein

Samuel "Sam" Hoffenstein (October 8, 1890 - October 6, 1947) was a screenwriter and a musical composer. 
Born in Russia, he emigrated to the United States and began a career in New York City as a newspaper writer and in the entertainment business.
In 1931 he moved to Los Angeles, where he lived for the rest of his life and where he wrote the scripts for over thirty movies.
 These movies included Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, The Miracle Man (1932), Phantom of the Opera (1943), The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Laura (1944)

Laura was a 4 star elegant film noir, that managed to encompass the darkest sides of its players in a sophisticated setting as a hired detective (Dana Andrews) comes on the scene to investigate a young woman's murder. Laura (Gene Tierney), believed to be the victim, reappears and becomes a suspect.

Laura was relegated to the B-picture unit at Fox, where the producer Otto Preminger and the writer Jay Dratler worked on the script. Preminger got supervisor Bryan Foy's permission to hire Hoffenstein and Reinhardt to work on it. The revised script moved the picture up to A status, and Zanuck took over the supervision. 

The new treatment told the story from two viewpoints. Hoffenstein practically created the character of Waldo Lydecker, the acid-tongued columnist whose narration guides the first half of the picture. The second half was told from the viewpoint of the detective, who falls in love with Laura's portrait, a haunting image of her mystery. 

The scene in which the detective dozes in a chair and suddenly the woman in the portrait appears before him is one of the most poetic images in movie history.  

The movie Laura inspired aa Escondido husband and wife to name their daughter Laura, who I met in 1996, and she was amazing. You'd easily mistake her for a young Valerie Bertinelli. I believe she told me she was 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Japanese, but she was probably the most perfect woman I'd met, and she was the type of outgoing young woman tv shows revolve around. And one day she fell asleep in my arms on the beach. 

Anyway, I ran across Sam's poetry book, and it's a lot of fun. In its day, it was quickly known as a classic, and favored by Dorothy Parker and H. L. Mencken.

Tony Hawk interviewed by Sean Hayes, Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman had an epic question from Will:

 I don't listen to many podcasts, and I seem to enjoy the celeb interview podcasts the most.

So when listening to "Smartless" with Sean, Will, and Jason, I was enjoying the q and a while learning even more than I've already found out about Tony Hawk... and this does bring up a lot of new info of interest about Tony.

Anyway, the awesome question came from Will, and was "Do yo have a lifelong battle with security guards? Like, when you see a security guard, cause they are the people that are trying to keep you from skating everywhere, when you see a security guard does your back arch up a little bit, and you're like, here comes my enemy!"?   at 25:54

The Skatepark Project, formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation, is a skateboarding organization that helps communities build public skate parks for youth in underserved communities, so far, they've funded about 640 skate parks 

To-date, almost 600 recipients of grants from The Skatepark Project have opened their skateparks. These parks receive more than 6-million visits annually by youth who benefit from the active lifestyle and camaraderie the facilities promote.

After receiving thousands of e-mails from parents and children across America who did not have a safe, legal place to skate and in some cases arrested for skating on public property, Tony Hawk decided to establish a nonprofit organization whose mission would be to serve this population. He wanted to help them develop quality places to practice the sport that gives them much needed exercise and a sense of self-esteem. So in 2002 he established the Tony Hawk Foundation, financed the organization with a personal gift, and assembled a Board of Directors that represents a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise.

Justin Bateman, race car amateur driver.... I did not know that

He won the celeb Toyota Gran Prix in Long Beach, once, in 1987. He raced the celeb Long Beach Gran Prix 4 times, and placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th

He once flew to Monaco, rented a car, drove to the Nürburgring, and then found out his rental car was costing him 5 dollars a mile. 

He was invited to race for Mitsubishi professionally in their sport truck series, and had a race at Pocono, and Lime Rock   1:08:00 to 1:09:30

Frane Selak, probably the luckiest guy you'll ever hear of

 In 1962, Croatian music teacher Frane Selak was riding from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik when his train jumped the rails and plunged into a river. Seventeen people died, but he escaped with hypothermia.

A year later a plane door malfunctioned and he was blown into midair. The plane crashed and he landed in a haystack.

Three years after that he was riding a bus that skidded into a river; he swam to safety. (“By this time my friends had stopped visiting me,” he said.)

In 1970 his car caught fire as he was driving it. He escaped before the fuel tank exploded.

Three years after that, another car caught fire; his hair was singed but he was otherwise unharmed.

In 1995 he was knocked down by a Zagreb bus but sustained only minor injuries.

The following year he nearly collided with a United Nations truck; he crashed through a mountain guardrail but managed to leap clear of the car.

In 2003, two days after his 73rd birthday, he won a lottery jackpot worth a million dollars. He married and bought two houses and a boat, and in 2010 gave away most of the rest to friends and family.

it's been 50 years since the Countach was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, it must have seemed like a great idea to give it a modern retro makeover.... and I think it looks fantastic


Used by Steve McQueen on the set of LeMans, this Solex just sold at auction for $66,000... thanks Phil M!

Phil Brey wrote a song about the Union Pacific Big Boy, it's good, and catchy

you might not be as safe as you probably imagine you are, at any time... but when on a paved street shared with dozens of vehicles? Unexpected things can happen, so I hope you are listening for unexpected sounds. Be safe my friends!

This has been my weekly safety bulletin/public safety announcement

Teenagers broke into an old building in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and discovered a neglected collection of classic cars


one collector accumulated this warehouse full of cars, made a private museum, dies, and his kids couldn't figure out what to do with his collection, so no one did anything. 

If that sounds familiar, you probably remember the Robert Lee collection in Brazil

There are probably a lot of facebook pages about crazy stuff, I've found a few, but this one really has the focus on the craziest stuff... in fact some of the stuff is simply made up photoshopped images. Still crazy

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Ted Frye's record-setting bellytanker with Von Dutch pin stripes


Ted Frye of Los Angeles built this P-38 tank in the mid '50s. He was working for Isky Racing Cams in those days.

The tank, nicknamed "Salty Shaker," held many SCTA speed records over the years. Frye drove his way into the Bonneville 200 MPH Club in 1957 with a speed of 216.750, which was updated to 240.650 by the time he stopped racing it in 1963.

if you're an airplane collector, or, the most obsessed B17 fan, it doesn't matter. As long as you have 9 million dollars, and want a B17 that's 80% restored, now is your chance to buy one cool B17 with only the nose and cockpit areas left to restore


period-correct propellers are said to be included, as well as the proper engines, those being a quartet of turbocharged nine-cylinder, 29.8-liter Wright radial engines.

just when it counts the most to check that a million dollar car is in neutral.... this guy forgot, at Pebble Beach, with a 917

and that is why you always check that shifter, and never let anyone else touch your car. 

This 1941 Kurogane Model 1 Fire Trike was used to fight fires in both Japan and Malaysia

This extremely rare survivor was found in a sad state in Malaysia, and is now part of the Motorworld by V. Sheyanov motorcycle museum collection in Petra Dubrava, Russia.

Million mile 1991 Honda CRX Si with original trans and engine.... they don't build them like that anymore.... owned by Tampa Honda

The car still has its original interior, original engine and transmission, a five-speed manual thanks to the Si trim upgrade. Honda paired it with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that made 105 horsepower (78 kilowatts) and 98 pound-feet (132 Newton-meters) of torque when it was new.

The previous owner had the exterior repainted about eight or nine years ago.

Led balloon

a higher resolution version can be found online at  

For a reason I do not understand, Audi took down the amazing video that they had made

I had no idea this video would pay respects to the Auto Union, Horch, DKW, Wayfarer, etc. I think that is awesome