Friday, March 31, 2023

'An eastern seaport' school poster, 1950s

The caricatures are rather entertaining.  What are those red-tipped batons the man sitting on the crate is dispensing?

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wellington tram circa 1908

It's hard to recognise this setting today as nearly all the buildings have been replaced, the only clue is the wharf shed at bottom left which is still there, now used for exhibition space.

For lots more, see the book Wellington: a Capital century

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

'It's a real book, much better than a little screen'

Northern Pacific Railroad sleeper car model

from TexNrails

Running on 6-wheel passenger trucks, the prototype was built by the Pullman Car Company in the early 1920s for Northern Pacific as “Chief Arlee.” It was later re-painted in the classic two-tone green paint scheme developed by Raymond Loewy in the 1950s. Even though NP began to replace aging heavyweights with lightweight cars, this car continued to serve NP through the mid-1960s in a standby capacity.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

cars in Otaki NZ, early 1960s

We think this is Mill Road and not State Highway 1.

Ford says it will burn $3 billion on EVs this year, in a bleak signal for the cars that underpin its future

 from the Insider

Ford said Thursday it's still losing billions of dollars on electric vehicles and it won't turn a profit on those cars for at least another three years.

Ford gave a peek into the financials for its electric vehicle business, known as Model e, for the first time Thursday. The Model e segment expects to report a full-year loss of $3 billion in 2023 alone, a stark sign that the company still has a long way to go before it makes money on the cars it says will lead its future.

Ford Chief Financial Officer John Lawler rationalized the expected losses on a call with reporters by explaining that Ford Model e exists as an "EV startup within Ford."

"As everyone knows, EV startups lose money while they invest in capability, develop knowledge, build volume, and gain share," Lawler said on the call.

Friday, March 24, 2023

A double-headed steam train out of Wellington, late 1920s

A pair of Ab class 4-6-2 work hard, although none of the train is visible on the bridge over the Hutt Road, so one of them is probably a helper until the easy gradients are reached at Paekakariki.  This line, now the Johnsonville Branch, was the Main Trunk to Auckland at the time, until the Tawa deviation was built in the 1930s. It was originally built by private enterprise -- the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company.  Reclamation work in the harbour is obvious. Another train is on the Hutt Valley line but too amorphous to distinguish.

For lots more, see our books.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

'I love spending time in a store full of real books'

'Quayside boats, Bideford', England art

 by Mike Bernard. Info

What makes a Ferrari worth Ferrari money?

from Eric Peters autos

It isn’t a battery.

Chief Technology Officer Michael Hugo Leiters says it’s a V12. The engine that makes a Ferrari sound like one. Not “virtually,” as via the emission of a recording, in the manner of remembering what something used to sound like. The real thing, right now. Leiters says people buy Ferraris for performance and emotion – his word – the latter being something as absent from electric cars as beef is from the Impossible Burger.

The engine defines what a Ferrari is; without it, what you have is what everyone else already has.

Put another way, Ferrari aims to do what Tesla did, except in reverse.

When Tesla began selling cars, it was the only car company selling electric cars. It thus presented something different – as opposed to something the same. A silent Tesla was the opposite of a V12-powered Ferrari such as the 812 GTS recently unveiled in Maranello – Ferrari’s headquarters in Italy. Both are extremely quick cars, but how they are quick is what makes each car not a replication of the other car. The Tesla’s driver stands on the accelerator pedal – EVs have no gas pedal – and the car surges forward silently.

Mallard Class hedge, England

(Mike Jackson pic)

SP tunnel motor 5-unit lash-up

The blackness of the lead unit suggests it was usually futher back in trains and spent a fair bit of time in tunnels

Monday, March 20, 2023

SP Black Widow F7's with an Owl


Southern Pacific F7A #6444 arrives at Saugus, California with train #58, the southbound "Owl," circa 1956. The overnight service between San Francisco/Oakland - Los Angeles is nearing the completion of its run. (Gordon Glattenberg photo.)

The Owl was a secondary Southern Pacific train that certainly carried an appropriate name.   It operated on an overnight schedule between Los Angeles and San Francisco/Oakland where it began service just prior to the 20th century. 

For many years it was the railroad's only overnight run between the two cities, operating along the San Joaquin Route.  However, its unique standing was short-lived with the inauguration of the all new, Lark during the early 20th century. 

The Owl was normally assigned coaches only and, of course, several Pullman sleepers.  During its tenor it was predominantly a heavyweight affair  As ridership declined the train was slowly cutback and made its final run during the 1960s, interestingly only a few years before the SP also cancelled the once-proud Lark as well.


two coupled Pacific Electric cars in L.A., 1961

A photo that must have been taken shortly before closure in August 1961, and the condition of the lead car matches the street surface. It is here eastbound on E. 9th Street where it becomes East Olympic Boulevard at Ceres Ave -- present day Google Streetview

Sunday, March 19, 2023

NZR DGs at Belfast station north of Christchurch, 1968

With a short distance passenger train, probably a Rangiora service. This was about the changeover stage from Ab steamers. (Pic by the late Bill Pierre)

'can I tempt you with a good real book?'

Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 4-8-4 lineup

These were the railroad's Class H locomotives, of which 35 were built by Baldwin in 1929. At the 1933 World's Fair in Chiacgo they were promoted as "Zeppelins of the Rail"

traffic in Herald Square, New York City, circa 1960

 At 6th Ave/Broadway and W 34th-35th Street.

1995 Opel Astra convertible

The clipper ship 'Sir Lancelot' passing South Foreland

"The clipper ship Sir Lancelot passes Dover Strait on an outbound voyage. The westerly breeze blows from the west and makes the vessel roll. The crew is making sail and the ship is gaining speed. The White Cliffs of Dover can be seen in the distance, with the lighthouse of South Foreland as a landmark at the right."  Painting by Maarten Platje born in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1967.

car rears in Hollywood Boulevard, 1960s

The decorations suggest it's December.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

1961 Buick Electra


Lady Penelope's pink 'Rolls Royce' from 'Thunderbirds'

The Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward's pink six-wheel “Rolls-Royce” in the British TV series Thunderbirds.

The original car was just a miniature that was only big enough for puppets, but eventually this full-sized car was built.

Apparently, Rolls Royce was not happy about any of this, as it was built on a Bedford Duple Vega coach chassis, and merely borrowed the famous grille design. They planned on buying it, so that they could destroy it, but somehow it survived. It went on to be used in the movie Thunderbirds Are Go.

(via Superfly Autos)

1961 Alfa Romeo poster for a tourist rally

11,12,13 May in Turin.

abandoned Soviet hydrofoil

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was a leader in hydrofoil technology, with nearly 3,000 vessels built for Russian and Ukrainian waterways. Using hydrofoil wings to lift the hull out of the water and decrease drag, these streamlined passenger boats were capable of reaching speeds of up to 150 km/h (90 mph), impressive for the time. ( Beauties)