Saturday, December 24, 2022

it was not an issue with how much a ZL1 cost, it was IF a guy knew who to talk to to make GM build it and sell it!

During the summer of 1968, John Maher’s close friend Don Yenko told him about an experimental, all-aluminum racing engine for the 1969 Corvette. 

The aluminum 427 was rated at the same 435 hp as its cast-iron brother, but it weighed about 100 pounds less. In fact, it weighed even less than a 350 small-block. It was solid-lifter with 12.5:1 compression and came with a Holley 850 double-pumper carb.

In Dec 1968, Maher traded in his 1968 L88 Corvette on the 69 ZL1

The real kicker for Maher was that this new engine could be had with the M40 automatic transmission, perfect for clutch dumps and full-throttle launches.

After much difficulty, Maher was only able to secure his order with assistance from Grady Davis, a two-time SCCA national champion and senior vice president at Gulf Research, then a secret partner to GM’s clandestine racing operations.

The RPO ZL-1 option, a 560-horsepower derivative of the all-aluminum CanAm racing engine delivered in a street-legal, factory-built production car, more than doubled the price of a new Corvette

The 1969 RPO ZL-1 was strictly developed as an FIA/NHRA homologation experiment and, in practice, never truly intended for sale to the public.

Drag racing modifications were on the car’s original sales invoice, the installation of free-breathing side-pipes and a spare 4.11:1 rear end. 

From February 1969 until November 1972, Maher and this extreme Corvette terrorized hill climbs, autocross events, and drag races across Western Pennsylvania. Because of its M40 transmission, Maher labeled his ZL-1 with the cheeky moniker “Winning Automatically.” By September 1969, the car’s original short-block assembly had been blown and was replaced by another short-block assembly furnished under warranty by Chevrolet.

Maher kept the Vette until 2007, where it only had 3000 miles on it. 

It's now going to auction with RM Sotheby's a month from now

finally, the right weekend is here for me to post this Buick

 only holiday images get stored in a file until that one time of year that it's appropriate to post them

Olds, 1922

Washington, D.C., 1919

huh... I never thought about it this way, but, a good layer of snow pack makes for a flat road surface that the road builders can't achieve

car guy christmas trees

1958 - Oswego, NY

Times Square in the winter of 1936

I just learned of the Iron Mountain Rail Road baby, William Moses Gould Helms, an interesting true story of rural Missouri

in the mid-afternoon of August 1902, a 72-year-old Civil War veteran and farmer  William Helms had stopped near the Irondale rail trestle where he wanted to pick up some lumber for a barn he was building. 

He stopped to water his horse in a stream under the railroad trestle, saw a northbound train, the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad. No 4, speed by, and as he turned to leave he heard the muffled cry of a child. To his great surprise he found the sound coming from a suitcase that was on the river’s bank at the water’s edge. Inside the suitcase he found a baby boy with an extra set of clothes and a spool of black thread.

He concluded that the infant had been tossed off the train; however, the reason why still remains a mystery to this very day. Some thought the baby may have traveled over 500 miles in that valise. When Helms discovered the valise, it had been torn and the baby was badly bruised and injured. No one knew for sure if the child was going to live. It had a dent in its head and its left arm and leg were also hurt.

Due to the loving kindness of the Helms family, the baby pulled through. The community concluded that the baby was no older than five days old when the horrible incident occurred. The baby boy was given the name, William Moses Gould Helms. 
William - for his rescuer; Moses - for being found by the river; Gould - for the owner of the railroad.

The family was so concerned about finding out who this child had belonged to, that the story had spread from coast to coast. The saga brought many women who claimed they were the baby's mother. However, when young William was 6, the Helms' decided that they loved him too much to let him leave. They became his legal parents through adoption.

When his father died, William moved with his mother to Salem, Missouri, where he graduated from high school. He then attended Braughton's University and Southwest State Teachers College at Springfield, MO. His schooling was financed by the Iron Mountain Railroad, which later became the Missouri-Pacific Line.

 In college, he learned the printer's trade which he practiced most of his life. He was married August 5, 1933 in St. Louis. He then moved with his wife, Sally, to Texas. They had one son also named William.

It was said that the Iron Mountain Baby did not like all of the fame his remarkable story had brought him. It is rumored that his son didn't even know about his past. Helms died January 31, 1953 at the age of 51.

“Tale of The Iron Mountain Baby.” Reprinted from the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway ALL ABOARD Vol.16. 
 Dotson, Avery M. Pennsboro News, Pennsboro, West Virginia, August 21, 1980. Nickell, Frank.
 “Almost Yesterday: The Iron Mountain Baby.” KRCU. 4/6/2021. 
Missouri State.

Seen better days, parked in 1979, this factory 4 speed just sold on Ebay for 31k

a bridge and it's traffic about a 100 years ago

an open end adjustable wrench, where the shims are pivoting out of or into the jaw, to make this exactly the size you need. Pretty clever! Thank you Steve!

20 years of aerospace industry consolidation

Friday, December 23, 2022

Terry sold his F-100 to Hallmark for the Evergreen Christmas movies! How frickin cool !

thanks Terry! 

Arthur Lih, founder and CEO of LifeVac (emergency choking rescue device that's now saved the lives of 591 people) was a trucker in Brooklyn until he retired after working his way up from driver to company owner. Then he made a life saving device

The LifeVac is used to help people who are choking when the Heimlich Maneuver and other emergency techniques have failed.

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine has published an independent study documenting the effectiveness of LifeVac in removing an obstruction from a blocked airway.

They cost 83 dollars apiece, buy one at , select the one you want to buy, "Add to Cart" then click on "Proceed To Checkout" and enter your Credit card, because the life you save might be your own

And if you use it? They will replace it for free! Keeping one available to use again, and save another life! 

The Great Panjandrum, was a massive, rocket-propelled, explosive-laden cart designed by the British military during World War II. It wasn't designed well enough to get used in war though

a device capable of creating a tank-sized breach in a concrete defense wall 10' high, 7' thick that made up part of the Atlantic Wall, capable of being launched from landing craft, reaching 60 mph, since it was highly likely that the beaches in front of the defenses would act as a killing ground for anyone attempting to deliver the device by hand.

I'm guessing that the simple fact that it wasn't designed with center of gravity, center of momentum, etc caused it to not roll straight and long, and it had balance issues that caused it to veer to either side, tip, and flip

Mopar is never going to top the Santa Sleigh, from back in 2018. I don't recall any other car maker doing anything as cool before or since. Do you know of something?

There are some very cool companies that have made some really, really cool xmas videos, some dept store in London used to do a video every xmas, though I can't recall which one it was... I love those made at company expense, simple to giove something back in appreciation to all of their customers. 
I think Bugatti did, oh, hell yes! Bugatti or Bentley had a super cool video of their craftsmen making Xmas tree ornaments! 

heavy duty trucks manufacturers will have to build the 2027 year semis to a stricter emission standard for the EPA

thank you Tim M for clanging my tip jar!


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

the Dilbert comic strip character from Scott Adams (from the 1990's to present), was named for the character Dilbert Groundloop in WW2 Navy aviation training manuals. Those are related to the Army training films by Dr Suess, Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, and Frank Capra and also the training manuals by Will Eisner

The WWII military was large enough to fight a two ocean war, and that meant men were conscripted into military service beginning in 1940, however, 50 percent of men reporting for induction were rejected for military service due to physical or mental deficiencies.

 After the nation was at war, standards for induction into the military were relaxed and rejection rates dropped to 29 percent for the duration.

Of those accepted for military service, 70 percent had dropped out of school, 500,000 had less than a fourth grade education, and 4.4 million had less than an eighth grade education. 

On the other end of the spectrum were the college graduates, who made up only three percent of the army’s ranks.

To educate young soldiers with minimal formal education on military subjects and to improve morale, a series of cartoons were created by the US War Department.

I covered all of the background info in the post on the training manuals that Will Eisner illustrated:

Dr Suess (wrote) and Chuck Jones (illustrated) made animated cartoons about Pvt Snafu, who was voiced by Mel Blanc of course and they were directed by Frank Capra

the Dr Suess ads  from

page 55 and 130 of

Pontiac built excitement, and sponsored the Hall and Oates Big Bam Boom tour of '85


Promo item for their Big Bam Boom tour. The record itself is just a greatest hits album, interestingly it's sided as Side A and Side One.

The Fiero was the first two-seater Pontiac since the 1926 to 1938 coupes, and also the first and only mass-produced mid-engine sports car by a U.S. manufacturer.

interesting to me, is that this isn't the 1st Hall and Oates post I've made, the one was about the diner on an album cover of theirs, one was about the car racing Oates did, one about the Porsche tractor, and another about the cover Hall and Oates did of Family Man

thank you Harold M for clanging my tip jar!

not legal in the car pool lane, not even in the 12 days of Christmas

owner-operator Joe White bought this piece of trucking history, a 1960 Kenworth cabover, when he was 19 years old in 1970. He worked the truck for 30 years in total before retiring it. (skip the first 20 seconds)

The truck is on its fourth engine -- this one is a 1987-model 400 Cummins that White added in 1992.

 Joe White himself has had three different engines in it during the time he's owned it. "I get a little over a million miles, then I just get another motor," he said. It also has a two-stick 5 and 4 transmission. "I couldn't tell you how many transmissions I've had in it over the years," he noted. In all the years that I worked it, I pulled a flatbed. I hauled on the West Coast, lot of lumber, steel, pipe. Just about anything you can get on a flatbed, I would haul.

 I get a little over a million miles, then I just get another motor. Still got the five and the four transmissions. And the transmissions, I couldn't tell you how many transmissions I've had in it over the years. Still got the SQHD rear ends in it. All that stuff has been replaced many times, but none of it's been changed.

 I've done all my own maintenance. I overhaul the engines, the transmissions, rear ends, I done it all. You got to do a lot of maintenance if you want to keep them on the road for 40 years.

 I put three million on this. And I had another truck before this I probably put 150,000 on. I was only 18 years old when I bought that one. And then I went to work for another company, and I worked for them for a little over 20 years. And I put two and a half million miles on their trucks. So when I retired, I got over five and a half million miles.

The driver of this tractor-trailer was stopped by an AZDPS trooper on westbound Interstate 10 in Goodyear for operating an 18-wheeler with only 16 wheels. The driver explained they had hoped to make it to California to buy new tires.

In the comments, a lot of truckers are saying this chained up axel is fine, and if the trailer is empty, this isn't a problem

I found more photos of the 1934 cross Canada Citroen half track expedition

I originally learned of this expedition in 2009

cool 1967 GMC COE with a custom sleeper and twin-turbo Detroit Diesel 12V92 . The cab is only 48 inches deep

must have been a Monday, this guy is utterly cursed

this probably required a running start! (Alaska Highway during construction)

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

A "floating" railway across Buntzen Lake

'69 H/O and Super Bee found unexpectedly

clever commercial for VW in 2010

a SEMA business card drop WORKED! Mike WON!

the email came over at 1:39 today, that the 1st pick flaked out and didn't claim their win, so, Mike wins!

Thank you William M and Benjamin F for clanging my tip jar!


I find it interesting that a motorcycle frame can be made with a sheet of steel, bent just right and welded

Mondial and Zundapp. I've posted about something similar years ago