Saturday, December 25, 2021

1917 Harley-Davidson Messenger Pigeon Carrier was used in the movie "The Spirit of St. Louis" after its use in WWI. Subsequently, it was bought by Steve McQueen without the Pigeon Carrier attachment.

Dale's Wheels Through Time found the machine in 1984 and then in 2003, found the pigeon carrier attachment. 

When put them together, everything fit perfect, and there were actually parts from the exact motorcycle hidden inside the carrier wagon.

a 1951 Studebaker Commander used in filming The Muppet Movie in 1979, is in the Studebaker National Museum, and they'd like to raise $175,000 to restore it.

I have no idea why they think it will require so much money, I'm pretty sure for 1/2 that amount they can buy a restored one from a museum or private collector, and switch the parts needed to the movie car

It turns out, there's a story to this dealership Santa with a real 54 Bel Air on his lap, that was forgotten for 57 years

During the 1953 Christmas season, Porter Chevrolet commissioned an 85-foot-tall steel-and-papier-mâché Santa Claus (he’d be that tall if he were standing) to sit on the dealership building and hold an actual 1954 Chevy in his lap. 

It was definitely a promotion that would grab people’s attention. The day the giant Santa was put in place, using a crane, a man whose company had done the installing, thought it would be a great opportunity to get a Christmas card photo of himself dangling from the crane next to Santa. 

The man, Roy V. Davis, was recovering from heart-related health problems, and, as it turned out, he experienced a “myocardial rupture” while hoisted 35 feet above the concrete parking lot. He lost his grip and fell to his death. 

This tragic news made the front page of local papers and was picked up by the Associated Press, but, oddly, it was never spoken of again. Giant Santa apparently remained at his perch throughout the holidays, but as far as I can tell, there was no further mention of Mr. Davis’ death — until Robert Wilonsky stumbled across the photo and wrote about it 57 years later.

because these photos have no information with them, and no context, I will guess he's getting promoted because he's being presented with a jacket

It's been over a year since I've seen a photo of a Tubonique cart, and it's one I've never seen before

The circuit breaker kept popping when the test pilots tried lowering the landing gear on the XB-70. This, was a big problem, and needed a solution before the fuel ran out that kept them in the air.

 The engineers figured out that they needed to bypass the breaker with a jumper. 

Co Pilot Joe Cotton (photo above with the plane) saved this 750 million dollar (5.5 bil. in today's money) aircraft from destruction with a paperclip.

April 30th, 1966.

Al White and Joe Cotton prepared to take AV/2 past the final hurdle to having "unlimited" status for Mach 3 flight -- a 30+ minute run at Mach 3 to fully heatsoak all systems. Shortly after takeoff, Cotton retracted the landing gear. The nose gear jammed into its door, and as good as things had been going, they were going bad now. The attempt to lower the gear using the normal hydraulic system failed. Trying the backup electrical system, Cotton heard a "pop" as THAT system went dead. Given the Valkyrie's long, graceful neck, and the intake design, retracting the main gear and landing on her belly wasn't possible -- in fact, it was so impossible that North American had never attemped to simulate it!

White first brought the XB-70 around for a touch-and-go, hoping that a hard impact on the main gear would knock the nose gear loose and let it fall to the extended position. Even after a second try, however, the nose gear remained jammed. At this point, bailing out and losing the aircraft was quickly becoming the only option.

But there was fuel to burn away in any case, so while people on the ground pulled out plans and diagrams, White and Cotton circled around Edwards slowly but surely. 

Finally, Cotton was sent to the back of the cockpit to open service panels and check on things for the people below. After more than an hour of this (and 2 hours of flying), the problem with the backup system was traced -- hopefully -- to a circuit breaker.

 Now all Cotton had to do was find a way to short circuit the unit by closing two contacts. Of course, the Valkyrie had no on-board toolkit -- that would have made things too simple. But Cotton HAD brought along his briefcase with his various notes and plans, and opening it, he found a good, thick paperclip (actually, it was part of a legal-style paperclip, not a conventional one) .

Straightening out the paperclip, then grasping the middle of it with a leather glove, Cotton carefully reached in and ZAP! short circuited the breaker. As Al White hit the switch to extend the gear, and was rewarded with the sound of a working backup system, Cotton gratefully dropped into his seat. As several newspapers exclaimed the following day, a "39 cent paperclip saves $750 million aircraft!"


the maximum takeoff weight was more than half a million pounds

the pilot was 65 feet in front of the nose gear.

Sovietski-era Russian helicopter, the Mil V-12. Maximum payload of 88,000 lbs and takeoff weight of about 220,000 lbs.

smart way to advertise a delivery van

A 1935 Singer, used as a promotional vehicle for a bakery

The chain of pastry shops "VIENA CAPELLANES" founded in 1873 is going to restore and relaunch a peculiar delivery vehicle, bodied like the old autogyro invented by Juan de la Cierva.

This original vehicle is one of the three delivery vans that were manufactured in 1935, based on the chassis and engines of the English car Singer Popular 9 HP. 

The three vehicles were requisitioned during the Spanish Civil War, and at the end only one of them was returned, which was repaired and continued to provide delivery service until 1946. 

The bodywork of the vehicles was carried out completely by hand in the workshop of Pablo Díaz Fernández, in Madrid, builder of the original Juan de la Cierva prototypes

fantastic advertising method

a little bit different.... how neat is that brake paddle? Looks like a shoe horn

Thank you Jeff J for clanging my tip jar!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and I was so bored,
There wasn’t a trace of a Chevy or a Ford.

The presents were wrapped and the lights were all lit,
So I figured I’d mess with my Dart for a bit.

I popped the release and I lifted the hood,
When a deep voice behind me said “looks pretty good.”

Well, as you can imagine, I turned mighty quick,
And there, by the workbench, stood good ol’ Saint Nick!

We stood there a bit, not too sure what to say,
Then he said, “don’t suppose that you’d trade for my sleigh?

I said “no way, Santa” and started to grin,
“But if you’ve got the time we could go for a spin!”

His round little mouth, all tied up like a bow,
Turned into a smile and he said “Hey! Let’s go!!”

So as not to disturb all the neighbors in The Retreat ,
We pushed the GTS quietly into the street,

Then, taking our places to roll down the hill,
I turned on the key and I let the clutch spill.

The sound that erupted took him by surprise,
But he liked it a lot, by the look in his eyes.

With Hoosiers a’ crying and side pipes aglow,
We headed to Summit, where the hot rodders go.

And Santa’s grin widened, approaching his ears,
With every up shift, as I went through the gears.

Then he yelled “can’t recall when I’ve felt so alive!”
So I backed off the gas and said “you wanna drive?”

Ol’ Santa was stunned when I gave him the keys,
When he walked past the headlights he shook at the knees!

Then the 440 exploded with that great exhaust sound!
Santa let out the clutch and the tires shook the ground!

Power shift into second, again into third!
I sat there just watching, at loss for a word,

Then I heard him exclaim as we blasted into fourth and out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all………..what a great night!!!”

love it, kids having fun, thrilled to have their hands on the accelerator and gas in the tank

finally, time to post the Christmas photos I've been collecting all year, and I hope you have a fun Christmas!


lastly, compliments to the guy that made this incredible display of lawnmowers!

car photography of William Eggleston


The American photographer William Eggleston (born 1939) emerged in the early 1960s as a pioneer of modern color photography.

Eggleston went on numerous road trips between 1965 and 1974 with actor-director-photographer Dennis Hopper. They explored New Orleans, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and beyond.

Seeing the country from a car window, filling up in some unfamiliar gas station, eating at the local diner, drinking at the local bar, taking in the local color, causing some trouble, and recording the landmarks and landscapes became the formula for a new type of Homeric epic set on America’s highways and back roads

75 of his photos were exhibited at the Ney York Museum of  Modern Art, in Feb - May 2018

Eggleston’s 1976 exhibition Color Photographs, held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, was considered a pivotal moment in the development of color photography as a contemporary art form and widely credited with increasing recognition of the medium.

and I'm using the links to separate the car photos from these other cool photos

a documentary analysis of his photography:

a see a slight logistical error, and a really strong hitch