Sunday, January 17, 2021

1952 Abarth 1500 Biposto BAT


"The first of Bertone’s series of Berlina Aerodinamica Technica (‘BAT’) cars of the early 1950s, this remarkable car was designed by Franco Scaglione, Nuccio Bertone and Carlo Abarth for the 1952 Turin Motor Show, where it appeared on the Fiat stand due to its Fiat-derived mechanical components. The car ended up in the Packard styling studio in the USA, where it was used as a design study before being presented to Fortune magazine editor Richard Austin Smith, who kept it until his death. Found in a barn 50 years after its first appearance, it had covered only 32,000 km (20,000 miles) and has been sensitively restored. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011." (from vintageclassiccars)

1949 DeSotos

from Imbued with Hues

ships in Albert Dock, Hull, England, early 20th century

This was a major port until the 1920s when its status began to decline. One of the major shippers was the Wilson Line of Hull which had been founded in 1825 by Thomas Wilson. "By the early 20th century, the company had grown – largely through its monopolisation of North Sea passenger routes and later mergers and acquisitions – to be the largest privately owned shipping company in the world, with over 100 ships sailing to different parts of the globe. The Wilson Line was sold to the Ellerman Lines – which itself was owned by Hull-born magnate (and the richest man in Britain at the time) Sir John Ellerman." (Wikipedia)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

A drive through 1940's Los Angeles in Color


hairdresser for bikers

1972 De Tomaso Pantera

1929 Buick poster

Hyperion XP-1 hydrogen supercar prototype hits the road

Last summer, a hydrogen technology startup by the name of Hyperion unveiled a supercar claimed to be powered by a hydrogen-electric powertrain.

It was called the XP-1, and although it was originally envisaged as a proof of concept for Hyperion's hydrogen propulsion technology, the wild supercar is currently on its way to production.

This week, Hyperion revealed a functioning prototype and demonstrated it in Las Vegas and on some of the city's surrounding roads.

At last summer's reveal, Hyperion said the XP-1 would start production at a site in the United States as early as 2022. That would be a relatively quick gestation but work on the XP-1 actually started in 2016, and Hyperion has been developing the technology behind the car for a decade.

Wellington traffic cops try out new microwave radar, 1956

"Give 'em a microwave blast now, Bill, maximum power!"

Mounted on a Ford Zephyr Six of the era, seen in Oriental Bay. This press photo was taken because radar speed detection had just been introduced.   For lots more, see the book Wellington: a Capital century

cars in Berkeley, California, 1967

A still from the movie The Graduate: among others, a 1963 Peugeot 403, a 1967 Mercury Comet and a Dodge Route Van.

Friday, January 15, 2021

"I love feeling textures like a leather covered book"


1941 Ford 'Soybean'

After investing millions of dollars into the development of plastics, the Ford Motor Company publicly debuted its Soybean Car on August 13, 1941 at Dearborn Days. The car earned its name due to its body panels supposedly made of agricultural plastic derived from plants including soybeans, wheat, corn and hemp. Henry Ford and Eugene Gregory originally collaborated on the car, receiving a patent for it on this day in 1942. The patent had originally been filed for in July of 1940.

The car weighed in 30 percent lighter than a normal steel vehicle of the same dimensions, making it highly fuel efficient. Add in the fact its motor ran on hemp fuel, and the vehicle was all but a crop itself. Ford himself claimed he would “grow automobiles from the soil” That said, the car’s 14 plastic body panels mounted to a tubular steel frame of unique design.

hot-rodded 1947 Morris 8


Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge 2-8-0 at Knott's Berry Farm, greater L.A.


A postcard from 1980.  Present day info here

1990 Buick station wagon

With simulated woodgrain along the sides.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

steam train of the Harzquerbahn in DDR days

An official DDR postcard, location stated as near Netzkater. 

It looks the same today, except the passenger cars are properly maintained, and the track will be too.  Info

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

cars in Breaker Bay, Wellington NZ, circa 1915

What are they?

Google Earth reference

traffic in Los Angeles, 1960s

Note the aspect ratio isn't quite right.

combined Swedish Railways and SAS poster, 1948

SAS stood for Scandinavian Airlines System, today the 'system' is omitted.  This advertises a combined ticket for the train and the flight, which seems a good idea, but in the post 9/11 world is probably unsuited to security needs.

1972 VW Transporter

For more, see the book 50 Years of Volkswagens in NZ, available from Amazon (U.S. site only, not available in NZ).

Sunday, January 10, 2021

How Toxic Fumes Seep into the Air You Breathe on Planes

Rather scarey this -- L.A. Times article

heartfelt call to be kind

This is a message at the head of one of the Facebook blogs we follow which speaks for itself. It's one of the reasons why we've never bothered with our own FB page.  The denizins of cyberspace include a small number of negative and often nasty trolls who spoil things for not only the targets of their venom, but everyone.

We'd like to think there are none among our readers, but we know there are a handful.  Nearly all social media blogs are labors of love, but when things stop being fun for the editors/curators/admins, then the likelihood is that the enjoyment that people could and should get from them will cease.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

NZ's highest viaduct -- Mohaka

Near the small settlement of Raupunga between Napier and Wairoa, this was built between 1930 and 1937 by the Public Works Department for NZR. The gully was the biggest natural obstacle on the whole Napier-Gisborne line, some of which is still mothballed. 

It is 276.8 metres (908 ft) in length, and at 95 metres (312 ft) high, is the tallest viaduct in Australasia.  Here it is crossed by a steam-hauled passenger special.  For lots more, see our books, in particular New Zealand 1950s Steam in Colour.

British Railways class 45 'Peak' diesel-electric locomotive art

A painting by Nick Harling of BR Class 45 "Peak" No. D60 Lytham St Annes as it accelerates through Rusher Cutting Tunnel in Millers Dale with a Manchester to London express, 1960s. 

A total 127 of the 1-Co-Co-1 type were built between 1960 and 1962. All were withdrawn from service by 1989.

More info

1951 Ford Vedette

 "The vehicle which merits its name" -- vedette can translate as "star".

Gisborne battery trams, NZ, circa 1920

Two of the fleet of four are in this press photo along Gladstone Road.  It doesn't seem as if internal combustion had made much of an appearnace. The battery trams were withdrawn in 1929. See earlier posts and our books.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Southern Pacific steam passenger train with Mt Shasta, California, early 1910s

See earlier posts.

veteran railcar, Mariager-Handest line, Denmark

Source with more info

Birmingham, England, 1953, street art

Another painting by Eric Bottomly, available commercially as a print.

"1953 not only marked the Coronation year but sadly saw the closure of the Birmingham Corporation tram system, which they had opened some 49 years earlier. Aston Cross was the busy junction of Litchfield Roadand from Witton Park Road. Tram 637 is working on the 2 route from Erdington towards the city centre."

Monday, January 4, 2021

British Railways 56 class diesel

A total of 135 examples of this Co-Co type were manufactured between 1976 and 1984, 30 in Romania and 105 in Britain (the Romanian ones subsequently required extensive overhauls). They were designed for heavy freight work. "It is a Type 5 locomotive, with a Ruston-Paxman power unit developing 3,250 bhp (2,423 kW)... Enthusiasts nicknamed them "Gridirons" (or "Grids" for short), due to the grid-like horn cover on the locomotive's cab ends fitted to nos. 56056 onwards. Under its Romanian railway factory nomenclature, the locomotive was named Electroputere LDE 3500, with LDE coming from Locomotiv─â Diesel-Electric─â (Diesel-Electric Locomotive) and the 3500 being the planned horsepower output."

More info

steam hauled goods train on the Mangaweka viaduct, NZ, circa 1910

The line was only opened to traffic in 1909. The viaduct was demolished following completion of the Mangaweka-Utiku deviation in the mid-1980s. See earlier posts and our books.

"why did he put these books up here?"

1974 Alfa Romeo Guiliata

1989 Chrysler Conquest TSi

Sunday, January 3, 2021

NZR Road Services delivery/pickup van

 A 1984 Bedford CF seen in Island Bay, Wellington. NZR quit the retail freight business in the early 1990s.

Franco-Belge Company railway passenger car early 20th century

 For cape gauge on the Congo railway, combined first and second class, transformable into a sleeping car. 33 seats or 28 beds. Length overall 16.85 metres, tare weight 30 tonnes.