Saturday, May 27, 2023

Waterman Brown's circus chest from the 1860s was elephant hide exterior, and papered inside with circus posters

Bill Wylam was working at NASA as a senior electrical engineer for the space program in the late 50s, while in his spare time he was the drawing airplanes for Model Airplane News

In 1943 or 1944, the fortieth anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight was the main theme of the U.S. War Bond Drive in New York City. 

General Henry H. Arnold was the keynote speaker and Orville Wright was the honored guest. At the banquet, George C. Johnson, the president of Model Airplane News, presented a framed panel to Orville Wright. It contained Wylam's original drawing of the Wright Flyer. 

Wright was impressed and remarked that it was the first time that he saw a correct representation of the original Wright Flyer. 

During the wars years of the ’40s he had his home searched and files taken by the F.B.I. twice inquiring how he was getting his sources.

Before NASA, Wylam worked for GM Electro Motive, Sperry Univac, and while at NASA, 
he worked on the Apollo and Saturn Space Program as well as the Space Shuttle Program

He made twelve books on airplanes, has over 1200 copyrights, and seventeen industrial patents

Bill Wylam was the driving force in creating market acceptance for the maintenance free battery — VRLA's battery when it persuaded General Motors to manufacture them and put them in their cars.

Pratt and Whitney were engineers for Colt until 1860

The Pratt & Whitney Company was founded in 1860 by Francis A. Pratt and Amos Whitney, with headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. The company manufactured machine tools, tools for the makers of sewing machines, and gun-making machinery for use by the Union Army during the American Civil War.

In 1925, Frederick Rentschler approached Pratt & Whitney for funding and a location to build his new aircraft engine. Pratt & Whitney loaned him $250,000, the use of the Pratt & Whitney name, and space in their building. This was the beginning of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company, which evolved into today's widely known aircraft engine manufacturer.

Rentschler, an Ohio native and former executive at Wright Aeronautical, was determined to start an aviation-related business of his own

Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool was going through a period of self-revision at the time to prepare itself for the post-World War I era, discontinuing old product lines and incubating new ones.

World War I had been profitable to P&WMT, but the peace brought a predictable glut to the machine tool market, as contracts with governments were canceled and the market in used, recently built tools competed against new ones. P&WMT's future growth would depend on innovation. Having idle factory space and capital available at this historical moment, to be invested wherever good return seemed available,

P&WMT saw the post-war aviation industry as one with some of the greatest growth and development potential available anywhere for the next few decades. 

This was the beginning of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company, their first engine, the 425 horsepower R-1340 Wasp, was completed on Christmas Eve 1925. On its third test run it easily passed the U.S. Navy qualification test and by October 1926, the U.S. Navy had ordered 200. The Wasp exhibited performance and reliability that revolutionized American aviation

In 1929, Rentschler ended his association with Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool and merged Pratt & Whitney Aircraft with Boeing and other companies to form the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (UATC). His agreement allowed him to carry the Pratt & Whitney name with him to his new corporation. 

Pratt & Whitney's large commercial engines power more than 25 percent of the world’s passenger aircraft fleet. Pratt & Whitney's Military Engines power 27 air forces around the globe, with nearly 11,000 military engines in service with 23 customers in 22 nations. 

Between 1967 and 1971, Pratt & Whitney turbine engines were used in American Championship Car Racing and Formula One. The STP-Paxton Turbocar dominated the 1967 Indianapolis 500 until a transmission bearing failed four laps from the finish.

in 1929 diesel was 20% the cost of gasoline

it's weird to see a Knaak 16 cu ft job box in the back of a El Camino!


In the movie Fight Club, in the 2nd half, the action is focused on mayhem, like feeding a lot of pigeons on the roof of a BMW dealership - that's funny stuff

CC888CC... weird vanity plate. Attempt to confuse license plate

RM Sotebys is auctioning off a lot of Paul Newman stuff, and wrote up an article that is fascinating - I learned a lot in it, like, his race car number was his age, and Nissan made a Skyline R30 Paul Newman Version, a variant sold only in Japan beginning in 1983.

Newman was 70, and the oldest winning racer, in 1995's 24 Hours at Daytona Rolex (making his lifelong business arrangement with Rolex even better) 

read the whole article, it's worth it 

Porsche racing at Le Mans documentary movie preview

Friday, May 26, 2023

nailed it, went to prom in a WW2 era tank!

this 1920s Harley sidecar was used as a 3 passenger taxi in Naples

this race team owner must have been one happy and rich person

when you piss off your girlfriend, your day will come to pay... this guy's girlfriend was so freaking outraged that he wasn't treating her cats like gods, that she took his family heirloom '72 F100 (grandfather to father to him) to a scrapyard to get $400

John said that he got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend of two years over not caring for their cats. By the sounds of things, it was a dispute over the split of domestic duties that she felt he hadn't held up his end on. He left and went to a bar to get drunk with a buddy. 

After returning from the bar, John noticed his prized truck was gone. His girlfriend allegedly admitted to selling the truck to a nearby junkyard for $400, using a forged signature. 

John filed a police report for a stolen truck and began scouting nearby junkyards before a friend eventually found it. The Ford was recovered, but in worse condition than it was last seen: its bodywork was damaged, some rust had formed, and its brakes had an unknown problem. As for John's ex, she has reportedly been charged with a Class 1 felony and faces a $5,000 fine—plus a civil lawsuit from John.

when you piss off a customer, your day will come to pay.... this woman keyed around 400 cars on different dealership lots, all owned by the same family, causing about a half million dollars in damage

the wonderful Austin Powers would say, "Oh behave!" if he were to discover the swinging London 60s Birds Paradise double decker fashion boutique

How did this not get into ANY of the Austin Powers movies?

Name one invention that the Allies used for night ops off aircraft carriers, that the Japanese did not have? Flourescent color fabrics made possible by Day Glo colors, invented by the Switzer brothers of Cleveland, the same inventors that made magnafluxing effective

DayGlo Fire Orange became the standard of safety in aviation by increasing visibility on aircraft, the psychedelic 60's rock concert posters would be boring without day glo paints, so would swimsuits,  Tide boxes, and traffic cones.

Coffee and donuts video of the day, big trucks, deep mud - lots of struggling to make it around a course.

the FBI and Houston PD just busted a County Deputy for being the police escort of a 10 kilo load of cocaine, in exchange for 6,000 dollars. How nice that the uniformed police in Houston, in official police cars are for rent. Is that like Uber Cops?

On or about Dec. 5, 2020, Reyes escorted a tractor-trailer in a marked constable vehicle through Houston with the assistance of his then girlfriend, Priscilla Yvette Cervantes, 46, Huffman. They both believed it contained 10 kilograms of cocaine. 

 For their assistance, Reyes received a total of $6000 in cash.

 However, the drug load was actually part of an undercover operation and included “dummy” or fake cocaine.

Prior to the escort, Reyes and Cervantes had traveled twice to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to transport a total of $350,000, proceeds allegedly from the sales of narcotics.

in trucking news.... slow roll, and ironically, brake safety inspection finds 10% of the inspected failed. Plus some brain dead moron thought he'd get away with booting trucks, and demanding 600 dollars to remove the boots

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) released the results from an unannounced single day brake inspection campaign that took place throughout North America in April. During the single day effort, a total of 6,829 commercial motor vehicles were inspected. Officers discovered brake-related critical vehicle inspection items on 11.3% of the vehicles inspected

a slow roll along Interstate 465 around Indianapolis on Wednesday, May 17th in hopes of spreading awareness about the financial hardships the low rates are creating for owner operators

Police said Isreal sat in a Georgia gas station parking lot, the same parking lot where he was booting drivers, watched truckers park along a curb where the station allowed them to park overnight, waited for them to fall asleep, then booted tires around 3 a.m. He then told the drivers they would have to pay $600 to get the boot removed

Israel already had a warrant out for him, yeah, shocking, I know. 

Israel is now facing two charges, theft by deception and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. An officer decided to drive through the truck stop and found him there, waiting to prey on other drivers. At first, Israel told police he worked for the city of South Fulton. He then said he worked for the City of Atlanta. 

load and unload smarter not harder

what a pretty way to get your GT 350 to the track or car show

Thursday, May 25, 2023

In 1911 when you wanted to travel in snow, you improvised, wrapping large rope around tires increased traction, decreased punctures

the annual Tahoe Tavern Challenge was to see who would be the first across the Summit in Spring, long before the state began plowing roads, so who could cross first was a real challenge. The event ended at the Tahoe Tavern in Tahoe City.

Arthur Foote was the mining engineer in charge of the Northstar mine in Grass Valley and is the subject of the Pulitzer Prize winning book ‘the Angle of Repose’ by Wallace Stegner. His crew above, won the 1911 Tahoe Tavern Challenge 

Overland Expo West was this past weekend, and the event coverage at has articles on best rigs, best gear, best Toyota, and the vent recap

Goodguys 2023 Hot Rod of the Year title went to Coby Gewertz and his wild ’34 Ford Coupe.

 The Saint Christopher Coupe as Gewertz calls it, started life as a body shell he acquired from Mike Wolfe of the television show American Pickers. 

The build was performed over several years by South City Rod & Custom in Hayward, California, and features a long list of traditional hot rod custom touches such as the chopped top, rows of louvers across the roof and deck lid, vintage magnesium wheels and of course, a souped up 331 cubic-inch vintage Hemi engine.  The wild paint work is by Compani Color

ever heard of Morgan's Wonderland in San Antonio? those with disabilities enter for free. The theme park isn't just for people with disabilities, it's for everyone, but it was built by Morgan's dad to focus on being ultra inclusive for the disabled

In 2006, Gordon Hartman observed his daughter, Morgan, who has Tatton-Brown-Rahman syndrome, a rare genetic disease, wanting to play with other vacationing kids at a hotel swimming pool, but the kids were leery of Morgan and didn’t want to interact with her. 

Then and there, Gordon resolved to create opportunities and places where those with and without disabilities can come together for fun and a better understanding of one another. On April 10, 2010, Morgan’s Wonderland became the world’s first theme park designed with individuals with special needs in mind.

Hartman started on a quest to create a space where no one felt left out. He had experience as a builder and enlisted help from other experts to turn his dream into what is now Morgan's Wonderland.

The park, opened in 2010, is believed to be the only one like it in the world and it has expanded to a sports center and camp with an outdoor adventure park. 

In 2017, the Ultra-Accessible™ theme park opened it’s expansion, Morgan’s Inspiration Island, which was named on the 2018 “World’s Greatest Places” list by TIME Magazine.

The park with an 8 acre lake is circled by a super small train, and it has a Ferris wheel, zip lining and even a water park – all fully accessible.

And for people who can't get their electric wheelchairs wet, Hartman and his team have a solution. "We have a wheelchair valet," said Hartman. "You go from your wheelchair to a wheelchair that has been specially built to the size that you need and if you're in a battery-operated wheelchair, we actually give you a nomadic wheelchair, which works off compressed air. It works underwater."

ever heard of Zell's Angels?

Sam Zell was the largest owner of mobile-home parks in the US. His real-estate career kicked off in college, after managing the building where he lived in exchange for free rent, he moved on to managing other properties, ultimately incorporating an apartment-management business when he managed student housing apartments at the University of Michigan, by the time he graduated he managed about 4000 apartments and owned about 150 apartments. 

"This is the guy who started wearing jeans to work in the 1960s, when offices were a sea of gray suits," the book-jacket blurb reads. "He's the guy who told The Wall Street Journal in 1985, 'If it ain't fun, we don't do it.'

He rides motorcycles with his friends, Gerry Spector and Burt Richmond, the Zell's Angels, around the world, but he had never ridden a Harley. "Harley’s are for parading. I ride a motorcycle as a sport. I’m not the guy who goes out on Sunday and parades down the expressway. We ride all over the world and look for the twisty, windy roads." Their 1st ride was in 1985 and they did a ride or 2 every year after that

Zell described annual motorcycle trips that he takes with an eclectic group to Italy, Switzerland, Corsica, Sardinia—wherever the scenery is breathtaking and the roads vertiginous. 

 Zell died with a 5.1 billion dollar fortune. Apparently, he enjoyed earning money, and didn't see any reason to enjoy spending it. Why die with it? What's the point of getting it if you're not going to use it? That's like buying the desert so you own the most sand.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Bug racing! Good stuff!

Ford's upper management claims they'll reduce the number of parts on an F150 by up to 2500 less, in about a year. Of course, absolutely not a single specific was mentioned, that's a POTENTIAL goal

 If they can even delete 250, and it's not just washers replaced with vinyl lock nuts with shoulders? I'll be surprised. 

If they figure out how to make an F150, that has all the same functions and features, without deleting actual equipment (like glove box doors, ventilation variable discharge vanes, or whatever) I'll be surprised of they can figure out even 250 things that they can make that truck without. 

I don't count replacing switches with touch pads as much of an improvement, though, yes, that would reduce the number of parts by about 3 on a 4 panel switch. Fewer trim pieces would just annoy all the car reviewers who believe that the level of luxury is based on the amount of decoration trim pieces 

interesting... beats a plastic organizer. Looks good mounted to the wall at eye level too

AIR Hurst SC/Ramblers heading to Baja 500 race... 10 were built

Always Be Celling (ABCs of sales)

I've never heard of VanRooyen cams

wow, 1952

Usually, I am "keep your hands off KID!" but, in this case, I bet it made a lifelong drag racing gear head out of a nose picker

1953 M-37 that was in the movie Hobbs and Shaw, up for auction in Texas