Saturday, May 14, 2022

it seems that when people make mistakes, there is always a camera around to record the embarrassing moment


one of these days I'm going to quit blogging, so when I hear what a blogger said about his 24 years of daily work and why he's taking a long vacation from his blog I pay attention

he's a full timer that went the distance to get patrons and advertising, and made a living at blogging, if you haven't heard of Kottke, it's a variety blog that shares whatever comes up of interest to the blogger

Did you hear of the Jim Taylor collection coming to auction this October? It's got some rare stuff, like a real factory race '55 Type D Jag that wasn't raced, and an unrestored '64 Cobra 289, and a '67 427 Cobra with only 8k miles

the 1955 Jaguar D-Type Sports Racer. Mr. Taylor’s car, XKD 515, is considered by marque specialists to be one of the most original examples extant and owes its authenticity to the fact that it was largely spared from competitive racing when new and instead was used primarily as a road car. As the 15th of the 42 examples originally built and having had the benefit of a pampered life, the Taylor D-Type remains one of the finest pedigreed cars of the breed

plus the 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra, '66 Hertz GT 350 Cobra Mustang which happens to be one of only 85 with a factory 4 speed, and a 1954 Cunningham C-3, plus about 110 cars I'm not even vaguely interested in

If you're looking to buy a Southbend, and a Bridgeport, I've got good news

2018 front flip, skip past the 118 seconds, to 1:58


skip the first 45 seconds of this next video to see if from a different camera

2 weeks until Memorial Day; Monday, May 30

I just wanted to make a note that it's not flag day, not Veterans Day, not WW2 day... 

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May.

So, it's a bit like killed in action day, regardless of what war or military engagement, from the Revolutionary war of freedom from the English tyrant government with it's indentured servitude where every twenty years or so there was a new generation of young men were giving the British throne hell because the Stuarts weren't on the throne, until Cromwell got fed up and shipped them off to Barbados (history, full of interesting stuff) 
and the Indian Wars in Connecticutt, Pequot-Mohegan War and King Philip's War.... the French and Indian War, Battles of Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, the War of 1812, the Mexican War (over Texas) and the battle of the Alamo! The invasion of Pancho Villa, the Civil War, Spanish American War over Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines, (they sunk our battleship!) 
and WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Nicaragua, Libya, Beiruit, Iraq, Afghanistan, Dubai, and I'm forgetting others that aren't coming to mind. Of course I am, because history wasn't taught very well in my grade school and high school, and though I've been doing little else for the past 15 years, there's a diminishing return on learning vs retaining memory. 
But I wanted to remember the Alamo (been there!) and so many Indian wars, and the various damn wars that have keep the country entrenched in a cycle of battles all over the planet. I think the USA has been in a war everywhere except Greenland. 
It's been a pet project of mine to thoroughly complete my family tree, and part of that was fascination with how many people in my ancestry were in the revolutionary war, the Indian wars, the Battle of Bunker Hill, were freezing in Valley Forge, slogging through Europe in WW2, etc. 
Memorial Day means something else when it's a look at your own family tree and who did what, where, and when. I hope you enjoy your family tree discoveries like I do. 

the Norgrove Railway outside of Arroyo Grande Ca, restored a Davenport Locomotive Works narrow gauge sugar cane plantation steam engine built in Iowa in 1917 and was scheduled to be shipped to France for use as a “trench train” moving men and supplies, but the war ended before the train was shipped

The locomotive was completed by Davenport and sold to the Army, but never shipped to Europe. Some time later it wound up at the Bryon railroad, where it ran with a traction engine boiler and made to look like a scale US mainline locomotive. Despite that, the chassis was very little used with all matching serial numbers on the brasses, rods, axles, etc. when it was acquired by the present owner. 

 The crew at the Norgrove Railway Shops restored it to original specifications using a lot of research and drawings where available. The only 'modern' concession is the Winton steam air compressor for air brakes.

one of three known to exist, but the only one operating

 WWI 60 cm railroads:
195 locomotives were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Co. and all but five were shipped to France. The Baldwin design was not well thought of by the users in France, the side tanks when full made the locomotive decidedly top heavy and when using unballested rail near the front, often tipped over. Crushed side tanks are common in the photos from the operations in WWI. The Baldwins also required a field modification to the front truck in order to track the very tight curvature found in the 60 cm tracks in Europe. The frequent derailings made them very unpopular with the users. 

Of the 80 locomotive built by Davenport and 30 built by Vulcan Iron Works none were shipped to Europe. Since the American abandoned all rolling stock sent to Europe at the end of hostilities, many of the Baldwins were reclaimed from the rail facilities and were shipped to many places in the world including Brazil, Australia, and Wales. Several had guage changes applied, usually 75 cm and one at least 100 mm (just shy of 3 feet and 40 inches). As late as 1982, 60 cm box cars were in use by a tourist railroad in France. Dunn has detailed disposition lists for the steam engines and the gas locomotives built by Baldwin for use in Europe. 

 Ten army posts/forts had 60 cm railroads in operation, some as late as the end of WWII. Equipment was stored across the U.S. and as far away as Oahu, HI, at the Schofield Barracks. Many of these stored locomotives and rolling stock were declared surplus and were sold to the general public or to the various states and wound up in logging operations and construction sites. A whole annex is devoted to trying to account for these locomotives.

Fort Benning Georgia had, at it's high point in 1923, 20 of these little locomotives running on 27 miles of track around the facility. There was even an engine house and yard on site.

Trench railways represented military adaptation of early 20th century railway technology to the problem of keeping soldiers supplied during the static trench warfare phase of World War I. The large concentrations of soldiers and artillery at the front lines required delivery of enormous quantities of food, ammunition and fortification construction materials where transport facilities had been destroyed. Reconstruction of conventional roads (at that time rarely surfaced) and railways was too slow, and fixed facilities were attractive targets for enemy artillery. Trench railways linked the front with standard gauge railway facilities beyond the range of enemy artillery. Empty cars often carried litters returning wounded from the front.

regular soccer? Boring. But motorcycle soccer? Wow! THIS ought to be broadcast instead!

as always, skip the first minute's nonsense

those two videos are good to get you up to speed, here's a real full game, and the first 19 minutes are not even the game, so, skip to 19:00 and the game will begin

Friday, May 13, 2022

seen on tonight's walk, a couple "what's under the car cover"

I think this is a early 50s Kaiser or Hudson

the interesting looking car in front of the truck is a Mercedes

looks like a Cortina, not a car seen very often around San Diego

ever seen a '72 Toronado? I never had until today's walk... proving that there's a crazy variety of rare and unusual cars all over

this design reminds me of the Bradley GP probably a mix of the color, shape, and the lack of air flow above the bumper

the door handles are very unusual, there is no thumb button. The handle pivots away from the door

notice the extra brake lights above the trunk 

Still used as daily transportation


Seen on yesterday's walk, an unusual postal delivery thing, a cool old van, a couple new "what's under the car cover" and the latest in "neglected and mistreated BMWs"

been sitting like this for 11 years at the least. The tree wasn't even shoulder high. 

That's a Tapco Pony Express:
    As the story goes, the US Postal Service was looking for a light postal delivery vehicle in the early 60s.  At that point, the USPS was also utilizing Cushman Mailsters for the same role, and it was a Cushman that eventually caused the downfall of the Pony Express. 
  The USPS launched a design competition in 1964 with a view to producing a safe and stable vehicle to eventually replace the Cushman. A San Diego industrial designer by the name of Robert VonHeck designed this vehicle, which was strong, sturdy, far more stable than the Cushman, and powered by a small petrol engine. The USPS was impressed with the design, and Mr. VonHeck found himself the winner of the competition. The prize? A contract to produce 65,000 of the vehicles for USPS use. 
    With a frame constructed of strong 2″ steel tubing and a futuristic design, the USPS felt that they were onto a winner. Mr. VonHeck needed to be able to manufacture these vehicles, and he needed to start immediately. So, a then German-owned company called TAPCO Inc, located in Van Nuys, California, was contracted by USPS under a patent owned by Mr. VonHeck to undertake the work. They commenced on the project in early 1965, and everything was proceeding as planned. 
   Then it all went wrong. The US Postmaster General was returning to his office in Washington, D.C. when news came through that one of the delivery staff had been fatally injured following an accident in which a 3-wheeled delivery vehicle had overturned. 

The Postmaster General panicked about the potential ramifications of the incident, and immediately called and canceled the entire order with TAPCO, with only around 350 vehicles having been completed. 
The only problem with this decision was the fact that the vehicle involved was eventually found to be an older Cushman Mailster and not a Pony Express. By that stage, the damage was done, and the curtain fell on the Pony Express.

The 1965 TAPCO Pony Express had the opportunity to be an enormous success, and to become a common sight across the USA. However, thanks to a single administrative error, production was stopped before 1% of the projected production run had been completed. The only consolation in the whole fiasco was that Mr. VonHeck not only still owns the prototype Pony Express, but he also still owns the patent.


I think this is a 1979 Trans Am

What do you make of this Mustang? Seen in season 2 episode 18 of the Rockford Files

Early 70s Mustang with Cougar or Thunderbird tail lights? 

What cars did James Garner own? Did you know he earned two Purple Hearts in the Korean War?

I find it strange that the internet simply doesn't mention what cars Garner owned, other than this Mini. I already posted this Mini. It's a 1966 Cooper S, which you probably guessed from the tires and rims.
He owned a 78 Firebird Formula 400 like the Rockford Files Firebird

I'm not sure if he owned, or was just driving, the '69 442 he drove in the Baja, or the '72 Cutlass, or if he owned the 68 L88 Vettes that were raced at Daytona by AIR

none of those links have any idea what Garner owned other than the Mini and the Firebird. I shit you not. He must have owned other cars though, just for basic commuting! 

Anyway, back to his military service:
He enlisted in the U.S. Merchant Marine at the end of World War II, then into the California National Guard before deploying to Korea for 14 months with the 5th Regimental Combat Team. 

He was wounded twice: first in the face and hand by shrapnel from a mortar round, when enemy soldiers were advancing on his companies position, and second in the butt from friendly fire shrapnel from U.S. fighter jets as he dove into a foxhole.

Garner’s AIR team was the subject of a documentary called The Racing Scene, which was filmed during 1969 and released a year later. Between 1967 and 1969, AIR would take part at Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring.