Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1907 that a railroad president had his employees make a bit more locomotive looking, they cast the parts instead of machining from blocks of aluminum or brass

1907 Franklin.... kinda goofy looking, in a friendly way... like a young dog eager to go for a run

I don't remember hearing of a leather covered car before, but this Minerva is.

Leather over a wood body... hmm. I've seen some cycle cars with a loose leather skin over a bit of frame work, and I've seen fabric covered cars... one that was designed that way for going on safari comes to mind that was in the Imperial Car Museum and Casino Hotel in Las Vegas

I remember a gray colored car at the Driving Museum in El Segundo, but can't recall what make it was.

Anyway, this is an original Weymann bodied Minerva, and they did several material covered wood frame cars for light weight and higher speed. Also the unique look and feel of the cloth or leather is an attention getter, even when your expensive rare car is in a parking lot with all the other rare expensive cars

elegant funeral car procession, that's a flower car in front

70 hemi Charger

the reverse scoops on the doors were good looking, but made no damn sense, A scoop on the hood to get some cold air into the engine would have made sense, and 10 more free horsepower, but Chargers from 1968 to 1970 never got one. I don't think I've ever hear why the rest of the hi po Mopars got hoodscoops, but not the high selling Charger

Best way to get to speed on the Silver State Challenge? Buy an obsolete Nascar racer, and skip all the upgrades any other car would need to achieve 230 mph.

Designed in Italy by Fiat, adapted in Japan by Nissan, made in Mexico, powered by a Renault engine in India, and spec raced in Canada, but not sold in the USA... the Nissan Micra is a racing machine that before racing mods sells for 10 thousand Canadian dollars

there are 3 versions sold in Canada, and they have the same engine and HP, just more optional luxury features like bluetooth.

it's the most inexpensive car sold in Canada, so, the Motorsports In Action team built some up, and went racing, then other people got the bug to go racing cheap (like Mazda Miata used to be) in identical cars (like IROC used to be)

you can read about the racing of the Micra all over the car enthusiast magazine websites, or

March Enchante models included a swivel front passenger's seat that turns 90° in a simple operation to allow easy ingress and egress by senior citizens and wheelchair users as well as by persons wearing traditional Japanese clothing.

In 1995, it topped the small car class in a reliability survey of four to six-year-old cars undertaken by the German Automobile Association,
with 7.5 recorded breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles for four-year-old Micras
and 11.5 for six-year-old cars:
this compared with 8.0 breakdowns per 1,000 cars for four-year-old Volkswagen Polos
and 15.3 for six-year-old Polos

I just learned Guy Martin brought his 164 mph van to the 2016 Silver State Open Road Challenge (an annual race in May)

see the entire episode at

Check Berry, 1956... You Can't Catch Me

I bought a brand new airmobile
It was custom made
It was a Flight DeVille
With an outboard motor
And some hideaway wings
Push in on the button and you can hear her sing
Now you can't catch me
No, baby, you can't catch me
Cause if you get too close
You know I'm gone like a cool breeze

New Jersey Turnpike in the wee wee hours
I was rolling slowly 'cause of drizzlin' showers
Up come a flattop he was movin' up with me
Then come sailin' goodbye
In a little old suped up mini
I put my foot in my tank and I begin to roll
Moanin' sirens, was the state patrol
So I get out my wings and then I blew my horn
Bye-bye New Jersey I become airborne

Now you can't catch me
No, baby you can't catch me
Cause if you get too close
You know…

Thanks to Bruce, Trevor, Brett, Timothy, Gordon, Karl, Eldon, Daniel, Dan, Paul and Bjorn for making my day!

You guys are great! I sure didn't realize how much you all like this pet project of mine!

the track day when Hickman and McQueen were checking out the cars before filming the chase scene for Bullitt

When he goes down, he goes down in flames! Is the old punchline, and Batten seems to have stuck to his car, safely piloting it back to the pits so no one got hurt by an uncontrolled race car on fire

Which do you prefer, the Martini Hippie, or the Safari?

They are both instantly recognizeable, and cause me to applaud the graphic design genius who created them

Compliments to Sweatpants Media for outstanding camera and movie work  for a look at the fantastic work they've done with the best in business, Red Bull, Monster, Toyota, Mercedes, Nitto, Maxxis etc etc - lots of videos, all fantastic.

Several of the videos I've posted already, like the 360 degree video with Shannon Campbell

BJ Baldwin's NEW video! In CUBA! Recoil 4 ...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

the Rickenbacker of 1924 demonstrating how good those brakes were!

in 1924, the Rickenbacker car dealer in Los Angeles, demonstrated the brakes on a new 1924 Rickenbacker C6 Touring sedan by driving the car down the 2nd street steps leading from Hope street to 3rd street at the west portal of the 3rd street tunnel

the only Muntz dealership I've ever heard of

Muntz only made about 400 Jets in 3 years, there actually may not have been another dealership

a 1920s Mercedes Benz dealership in LA

North Broadway and Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 1922 showing a Willys Durant and Overland dealership

an example of what AAA was set up to do, find, and document, bad road designs and conditions, and improve the roads for drivers and traffic. Here a street car makes the road to narrow for cars to be on at the same time, on the inside curve

On 11th Street looking northwesterly across Hoover Street showing limited clearance for automobiles between curb and street car making turn, Los Angeles, 1928

on 11th Street showing clearance between curb at southwest corner and street car making turn at Hoover Street, Los Angeles.

So... that's what AAA used to do before they solved the road problems, and turned into a travel agency for club members who want help planning a vacation. 

A new cable line on Broadway 1889. The sign on the cable car reads Downey Ave.

Chevrolet COE tow trucks seem to have been prevalent at many dealerships

Porky Pig speeds through Hollywood in 1940, in color! (only 20 seconds of the driving though)

You Ought To Be In Pictures 1940 by dm_522a55249db63

While zipping along, he goes past:
1934 Buick Series 40
1936 Chevrolet Master
a couple 1935 Fords
1937 Ford
1937 Packard One-Twenty
1929 Packard
1939 Plymouth De Luxe
and a couple 1936 Studebaker Dictators

Pulled out of a Florida garage in 2008, supposedly restored soon after... said to be a 1968 L88, with the M22

M-22 special heavy duty transmission, J-50 power brakes, J-56 special heavy duty brakes, K-66 transistor ignition, F41 special heavy duty suspension, G81 heavy duty posi-trac rear end.

Would you pay even 10% of the asking price, of a 15 year stored 1985 Countach that's been left for dead?  says it was in a midwest garage for 15 years and the price was $225 is only asking half that, and got it out of the garage.

it has 6 triple choke Webers on top of a 4 valve per cyl. 5L, 12 cylinder which is claimed to only have 1700 miles... and NO  mention of how many problems it has that need fixed for it to run, much less be legal in the USA.

Me? I figure it was smuggled out of Europe in the 80s, bought with drug money by some NJ schmuck in a purple velvet track suit, and never ever made legal for use in the USA. just a guess.

Hammond was bored between Top Gear and The Grand Tour, so he made some videos... just for fun

Oh yes... I had forgot to put this link up.... (shhhhhh! don't tell no one)

Now, before you click it, remember, you didn't get it from me.

Also, safety warning... this site has a nasty effing trick of opening another tab on you, and that one will be a nasty little effing pest to close.

SO BE WARNED... never click on ANYTHING without being INSTANTLY ready to close a tab or window that opens INSTANTLY.

If that damn thing opens, and it will try every time you try to use the search function, or the volume adjust, or the slide bar, it will be a vicious bastard that won't close without a fight.

BE DAMN CAREFUL, and don't click a damn thing except the X to close a window or (if you get stuck in the loop) to tell the pop up window DON"T OPEN ANY MORE WINDOWS

Remember... it's a tricky bastard, but! It does have the full 1st season of The Grand Tour.... free.  

I never knew Hispano Suiza made buses, but there is a bus rental company in Spain that has restored one to join it's fleet of cool old buses for wedding rentals

When you really don't mind how much work your truck does... because it's got a Cummins Diesel

Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice - Laid back

That's just mean.... who dared that guy to ride next to the wall getting torn down?

And then... a new trick was invented, and I lost my mind. Monster trucks will now being doing FRONT flips!

the Jaguar XJ 220 specialty shop

.... it was a major strain on the finances of Jaguar at a very difficult time, and Ford ultimately made the decision that they want to stop the program. Once the program was stopped, that literally was the end of the interest from Jaguar’s point of view. They had a 10 year responsibility to supply parts and service backup in Northern Europe to fix the cars, so they came to me for help, at which point they formally asked if they could send customers to us.

TG: So you became an officially certified XJ220 service center?

It was made very clear that we could not be “official and certified” because of their contractual obligations to the main dealerships who’d never seen a car. They’d spent all this money investing in the car, so it was all very tricky and political. It never was a bad car, there never was a problem with the car. It was circumstances to do with the financial markets, and you know there’s the fact that more than 100 of the depositors found themselves in difficult situations where they couldn’t buy the car that drove them to lose faith in their own program.

TG: You described earlier their 10 year obligation to the car, what happened on the last day of the 10th year?

Well Jaguar basically said to Justin and I, if you service these cars and keep the good name of the car and look after the car and assist us with the parts situation, we’ll take care of you. The chain of parts suppliers was very depleted during that time so we actually came in and began manufacturing parts for the XJ220 during that 10 year period. So we did this for Jaguar for 10 years, at which point they called up and offered us the entire business. And literally to the day exactly, in 2007 I had a call from one of the directors to say look, this business is yours and you know, our obligation to the dealers has finished, come and see us and you can buy the business. They couldn’t wait to get rid of it quickly enough.

TG: As I saw in the workshop, you guys have the original wooden buck. What’s the story there?

A lot of the tooling and equipment came with our deal with Jaguar and some of the other very interesting things too; we have a cutaway Jaguar engine, and the buck is actually a CAD model, so that was the full sized CAD model that Jaguar made, gave to the body manufacturers, and said “You make it like that and you don’t make any changes,” and we just decided that you know, as well as rescuing the parts business, we’d try to rescue the heritage of the car as well, so we saved the pre-production cars and we saved the MIRA crash test car and we saved the buck

" one of his people started out on his own and took the car. He turned out to be a criminal and more or less hijacked the body for three years" Holy crap... the things you learn by accident about a car you saw at a car show

The car was found via eBay, an unlikely vehicle for me to buy a car because normally you don’t get to inspect what you’ve bought unless you have enough money to fly there, but this was a local car. It had escaped two auctions and I called the owner, who happened to be a car dealer in a nearby town. We struck up a deal for $1,500 for the body. It was an intact car, fairly straight, but it had the Marauder package on it. It was a two barrel, 390, non-air conditioned car, very plebeian, nothing much, but the body still spelled NASCAR to me when I looked at it. Because of the way it was trimmed, had you elected to restore it, it would been a very expensive restoration.

I elected to strip the car and put it on a rotisserie and then the body went in one direction. It actually went back to the man’s shop who had built the Indy car all those years before. His son took over his business and we had been friends and they started the body work. Then at some point he decided that he was selling his business and one of his people started out on his own and took the car. He turned out to be a criminal and more or less hijacked the body for three years. Six months of which I didn’t know where the car was.

I saw this car at the Art Center College or Pasadena annual Car Classic last fall:

Petrolicious was so impressed by the car at the Car Classic that they did a full article and photo shoot
and that is when I found out about it being stolen and snagged that headline for this post

I don't recall anyone taking a better photo of a Shelby valve cover. Well done Andrew Golseth!