Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dec. 10, 1950: Mr. and Mrs. Smith in front of their Sun Valley streetcar home. Retired cars that formerly operated on the Watts line, all-electric and air-conditioned.

When the Pacific Electric Red Car line was torn out in Los Angeles, a man named Smith bought about eight of the old trolleys and brought them up to a large parcel that he owned in the northern San Fernando Valley.

He strung them together with short corridors between each car, using one as a kitchen, one as a family room, several as bedrooms etc. He and his wife raised a family there. When he retired, or died, in the 70s, the property was sold and the streetcars were demolished.

Buellton's two streetcar diner, Mullen's Dining Cars

Wow, a dealership used to be a full experience... you could even drive into some of them, and most were also gas stations to entice you to stop by.

a bit of humor for today

Georges Hamel

In 1903, St. Cloud bicycle-store owner Stephen Tenvoorde signed a dealership agreement with Ford Motor Co. to sell cars. Today, Tenvoorde Ford is the world's oldest Ford dealership.

Stephen Tenvoorde was an industrious young man. He started his own blacksmith shop in his twenties. Then he started selling bicycles, he repaired them too. He loved to tinker.

"Evidently when the first automobile came out it caught his interest," Jack Tenvoorde says. "So he brought the first automobile to St. Cloud, a Milwaukee Steamer, up the Oxen trail from Minneapolis. That was in 1899

in 1903 he went to meet Henry Ford, and he was the 2nd person to become a dealer... but the 1st person has long since sold out, and doesn't get to be the oldest dealership after that moment of sale.

During World War II Cy Tenvoorde was forced to lay off all of his salesmen, except one. The dealership concentrated on repairing carburetors, fuel pumps, generators, ignitions, distributors, transmissions, crankshafts and re-building engines

Used cars were repaired and put on sale. It sold service by encouraging people, through advertising, to keep their cars in good repair. The purchase of a crankshaft grinder that cost a shocking $8,000 at the time eventually paid for itself through repairs. Against all odds, business grew.

The company reached the point where it was rebuilding an average of 125 engines a month for retail customers and several competitive dealerships. 'Dad made more at that business than he did selling cars,' said Jack Tenvoorde. 'When the war was over, Ford put in its own official factory machine to rebuild engines, and put him out of that business.'

the 5th generation of the Tenvoorde family started working at the dealership in 2003, just like all the generations of the family before him, he started with washing cars. Well, his granddad also ran a tractor for demonstrations when needed, back when Henry Ford required all dealerships to have a tractor in the showroom.

1981 Buick Regal was the pace car for the Indy 500 that year, 100 replicas were sold through dealerships

The family that owned Bennett Buick in Wayland NY bought one and keep it in their collection they opened their dealership in 1921, and are still family owned.

Garber Buick in Saginaw is the oldest Buick dealership, they started in 1907

Covert Buick in Austin Texas is still family owned, and Roberts Buick in Owenboro Kentucky... both started in 1912

were they suicidal, or did they think it was in reverse?

bicycle art on the Col d"Aubisque in the Pyrenees near Eaux Bonnes, where several of the routes of the Tour de France roads are marked with painted names of cyclists and have statues celebrating cycling achievements,

the car was sold with one stipulation "despite their efforts and offers, you must never sell the car to back to BMW - it is to remain with enthusiasts."

In 1959, BMW introduced the 700, a rear-engined air-cooled economy car as BMW was close to bankruptcy, and the 700 may have saved the company.

It's monocoque chassis, 700cc 30hp flat-two engine, and ultimate simplicity made for a car that was both cheap and fun to drive. Weighing only 1350 pounds, the 700 was as nimble as it was economic.

The immediate success of the 700 prompted the development of a purpose-built race car. Some of BMW's most well-known engineers assembled a skunkworks 700RSs. It shares little of the original car, and is reminiscent of Porsche's 550 spyder: a rear-engined featherweight roadster.

The RS's exterior takes a radical departure from the 700 coupes and sedans; a hand-built aluminum body borrows its front end aesthetic and turn signals from the 507. The front windscreen is made from the production car's rear glass. The paneling is unique to the car, sharing a style with no BMW before it or since.

The body panel tubes have been drilled with holes to decrease weight. With the fuel tank topped off, the final weight of the RS is only 830 pounds.

Driven by Hans Stuck, Chassis #1 was campaigned to a title victory for the German, Italian, and Austrian hillclimb championships in 1960 and 1961. This was, in fact, the last time the "Bergkönig," or "King of the Mountains," as Stuck was known as, would become champion. Ending his famed and celebrated racing history on a high note, it was in this very car that Stuck hung up the helmet and ended his racing career.

If your grand fathers tell you that goofing off on a motorcycle on snowy roads is a bad idea, well, they oughta know. In the 1930s someone recorded this home video

Andy Dance, maker of funky cool vehicles for the Goodwood Revival

a Fiat Jolly appearance, and a golf cart ability

Due to a lot of interest from other potential customers about his Goodwood carts, buggies, and garages Andy Dance experimented by building a scaled-down replica of a 1960s Fiat 500 Jolly

The Jolly buggy involved platform re-engineering to get the seating position low enough. Battery locations and drivetrain elements were modified in order to retain the original Fiat 500 Jolly’s proportions.

The result  is fantastic and the running prototype was given to Lord March as a surprise for his exclusive use at the 2008 Goodwood Revival.

While serving Lord March, the buggy caught the eyes of corporate tycoons who borrowed the Dance 500 Jolly to take to the 2009 G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy.

hat tip to

the Woody Golf Buggy, designed by Lord March (Goodwood), built by Andy Dance, fabricator and frequent collaborator with Goodwood to build carts, wacky racers, and art deco garages

In 2007 Goodwood opened its restored historic downland golf course and with it their beautiful 18th Century Kennels Clubhouse. As very high levels of hospitality are the norm, every detail on the golf course were considered.

So, rather than entertain standard ‘plastic’ golf buggies, the Earl of March commissioned buggies based on a vehicle his grandfather had designed and built in the 1930s.

That revolutionary car was called the Brakenvan and it was distinctive for its then-groundbreaking commodious design and ash-wood framed body. Factors like wheel-size were a big aesthetic obstacle, an issue finally overcome by developing ‘aerodyn’ spats to cover them.

Goodwood Festival of Speed, and Goodwood Revival, 2 of the most anticipated and enjoyed car events in the world. Only happen due to the estate owner, Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March

He was a pre-production stills photographer for Stanley Kubrick when he was 17, and offers that as an early inspiration for his accomplished professional life, and excellence in the Goodwood events.

A successful photographer, he took over the running of the 12,000-acre Goodwood Estate in West Sussex from his father around 1995, following the family custom of the son taking the controls at age 40.

His father, Frederick, trained as a motor mechanic on the shop floor of Bentley and became a racing driver, winning the Brooklands Double 12 Race in 1931. During World War II he served in the Royal Air Force. After the war, he turned the wartime airfield into the Goodwood Motor Circuit which was Britain’s most prestigious circuit for eighteen years from 1948-1966.

Charles, current Lord Goodwood, is lifelong car enthusiast. He restored the estate's historic motor-racing circuit and established the Goodwood Festival of Speed, held each July, and the Revival, held each September.

They are now the world's foremost historic motorsport events, drawing 150,000 guests to see drivers from Lewis Hamilton to Stirling Moss drive everything from Edwardian racers to modern F1 cars.

Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed has the best, most informed motorsport fans and gets the best and rarest cars regardless of cost.

oh my, the Ford hate runs strong on facebook

Happy 426 day!

I can't believe nothing showed up anywhere to remind me of 302 day, 305, 318, 327, 409, 413, and all the ones that aren't popping to mind. Last year I remembered a couple lesser known early 60s Ford engines, just to have fun. But this year I completely forgot to have a happy engine day on all the possible days. Dang it. I need a two year calendar so I can make alerts a year ahead. 

1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III, it's seen a lot of the world subsequent to getting requisitioned by the war dept because it was so damn nice, and few military leader deskbound derrieres could ride in a Jeep

The car was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport Section to be used as General Montgomery's staff car. The owner was the head of a car dealership, and agreed on the condition that it did not cross the Channel, because he did not want it blown up or shot at. Well... it was only safe for a while.

The Rolls Royce Phantom was subsequently used regularly by General Montgomery to commute between his home in Virginia Waters and London.

During the secret D-Day planning at Southwick House, King George VI, General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill were driven in this car.

Unfortunately after D-Day the Phantom was reassigned to the head muckety muck of the United States Air Force, some General with a delicate bottom from a lifetime of desk jockeying a lounge chair, and an American fuel tanker backed into it causing some damage.

In the 1950s at the time of the Suez crisis, the car was purchased by a planter in Malaya and shipped out to Penang. It crossed the Suez canal, was driven to the south of Italy and shipped to Malaya via Capetown and the Indian Ocean.

How about this cigar lighter? Nice historic relic.

there is a movie coming out this summer that seems to be centered around Nascar. Logan Lucky

Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  To pull it off they need the help of John Bang (Daniel Craig) who is an expert at blowing vaults opens, but there’s one small problem: He’s in prison.

“Logan Lucky” is also a test bed for a new film distribution model.  Soderbergh’s new venture will release the film August 18th in a new model with a lot less resources and with a much better economic structure for the people who made the film… everybody’s worked for scale.

Soderbergh revealed the “Logan Lucky” was completed in just 36 days, and also stars Hilary Swank, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, Dwight Yoakam, and Sebastian Stan. Stan will play a three-time Sprint Cup Champion NASCAR driver who is coming back into the sport after time away.

As it's working with Nascar for the realistic look, many Nascar drivers will be in the movie, but in non-driver cameos; Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson will all be popping into the film for brief roles.

"We wanted to make sure that NASCAR was treated in a positive light, was the big, world-class, glossy event that it is," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR Vice President of Entertainment, Marking and Content Development. "The thing that we worked closely with Mark and the production on was getting drivers into driver cameo roles. We thought that would fun for the fans, sort of Easter eggs throughout the film with these drivers in these roles for our fans.

My only problem is that there isn't a preview online to see what the movie looks like

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The model seaplane belonging to Mr Porter of Surrey, strapped to the roof of a Rolls Royce and on its way to the nearby lake, most likely Virginia Waters, a royal pleasure ground. April of 1930

The lake at "Royal Landscape Virginia Waters" was created in the 18th century under the stewardship of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, with the help of his architect Henry Flitcroft – and the construction work first began in 1752. The lake and its grounds were reinstated as a place of pageantry and spectacle, with fishing temples along the shore and an ornate Chinese junk peacefully resting on the waters.

It's just 6 miles from Heathrow airport, and 5 miles from Windsor Castle

 The Leptis Magna ruins is a folly that, in the fashion of the time (1820s), was built to look like a genuine Roman relic - using some of the remnants of a Roman town near Tripoli.

 old postcards to artistically add a romantic tinge to the way it was supposed to pull in tourists

Geo Ham: study for Hispano-Suiza

Widely regarded as one of the finest automotive poster artists of all time, Georges Hamel (Geo Ham) was born in Laval, France in 1900, demonstrating beautiful illustration skills from a very young age. At the age of 18 Hamel moved to Paris enrolling in the National School of Decorative Arts (Art Deco)

He began getting his illustrations and fine art published on a regular basis by 1923, and by the 1930s was already established as the finest in his field. Ham was commissioned to create the now iconic Art Deco paintings, prints and posters for the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and many other prestigious European Races. A highlight of his life was competing in the 1934 Le Mans race in a 2 liter Derby, and although fuel problems forced him to withdrawal, the experience only added to his passion for racing art. Geo Ham continued to illustrate cars, planes and motorcycles well into the early 1960s.

A beach for an airport runway, perhaps the only one in the world... only available at low tide, and only Loganair uses this remote Scottish island airport

as always (so annoying) skip the first minute

Barra Airport is located on an island in Scotland, and it is the only known place in the world where a beach acts as a runway.

At this airport, flight times vary according to the tides. At high tide take-offs and landings are simply impossible.

But fortunately Loganair serves the island from Glasgow. For its two daily rotations, the Scottish regional airline uses  De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft.

Last year, Barra airport welcomed 13,500 passengers in total and was ranked the fourth airport in the world having the best approach according to the study for booking private planes.

 A landing with sea view is a beautiful thing, and rarely this close to an airport

Loganair is also remarkable for another flight... the shortest airline flight in the world, shorter than the length of the runway at Edinburough Scotland.

Flights between the islands of Westray and Papa Westray total distance is 1.7 miles, and Pilot Stuart Linklater flew the short hop a record more than 12,000 times, more than any other pilot, before he retired in 2013. Linklater set the record for the fastest flight between the islands at 53 seconds.  Thanks David!

bitch'n fuel tanks