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January 19 2014

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Certainly among the cheapest vehicles sold at Barrett-Jackson this year, this custom-built 1-cylinder “yellow submarine.” According to the catalog the vehicle “has a stereo that plays the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.” We’re not sure if it plays anything else.

   Via Great car deals from the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction

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1919 REO Speedwagon house car

REO, pronounced like Rio, was founded by Ransom E. Olds after he was forced out of Oldsmobile. Besides cars, REO made commercial trucks, among them Speedwagons. According to Barrett-Jackson, this Speedwagon was originally owned by a couple named Mose and Lillian from Louisinia. They used it to travel with a carnival selling prizes and kewpie dolls.

   Via Great car deals from the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction

Sponsored post

October 12 2013

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RARE 1908 Halloween Postcard Raphael Tuck 150 Series Veggie Man with Witch and Cat in A Car

счастливый Хэллоуину!

   Via винтажные открытки к Хэллоуину/Vintage Halloween Postcards

Reposted bywonkoZombieGigolo

September 30 2013

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The Freixenet car ahem chillin’ at home

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… The week-long trip was made possible and paid for by the Freixenet Group, a name in winegrowing that dates back to the 16th Century and today is the world’s ninth largest wine company and the world’s largest producer of methode champenoise sparkling wines. I enjoyed every moment (except when a gypsy in Barcelona helped herself to my cell phone) and surely wouldn’t have had such a memorable nor educational trip without Freixenet (pronounced fresh-eh-net) sponsoring my travels.

The last leg of the journey wound up in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, a colorful town in the Penedés region of Spain about 35 miles east of Barcelona. You first glimpse the Freixenet mother ship just off the Autopista del Mediterraneo and you take a roundabout way to get to the front door of the winery, where your first chore is to peer into the well-known black Freixenet bottle car created for the 1929 World’s Fair in Barcelona.
But it’s the immense building that gives you a sense of how extensive the Freixenet brand is. At anytime the eight-story building (including four storage and aging levels below ground) may be handling most of the 250 million bottles of sparkling wine produced every year. …

September 02 2013

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Count Bertrand de Lesseps prepares to demonstrate his Auto Aero in 1912.

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A motor car at Brooklands race track with a propeller for extra speed, 1911

Reposted byzorax zorax
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Is there anything cooler than a car with a giant propeller?

Yes! A weird old car with a giant propeller on and what has polo mallets leanin’ against it!

Reposted bymendelSchubiRozen

April 24 2013


November 09 2012

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Touring Paris in the 1950s

Straight out of a Jetsons cartoon, get a load of this Citroën U55 Currus Cityrama tour bus that ruled the roads of Paris in the 1950s. Its futuristic design was ahead of its time and turned heads wherever it went. No one had seen anything like it before and even today this retro bus looks like something that landed from outer space. …

(via Touring Paris in the 1950s)

Reposted byzEveRmakingmoviesero-Neochowmeinalien130
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… The double decker design by French coach builder Currus was encased with curved glass windows to get the best views of the Parisian sights. The glass roof on the upper deck was removable for sunny days to avoid overheating and considering how people smoked everywhere and anywhere in those days, this was probably a very welcome feature. …

(via Touring Paris in the 1950s)

Reposted bysiriusminervazEveRmakingmoviesinspirationsero-NeochowmeinJohannSpinNE555przytulanki
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… When I had finished gawking at all the details of these fantastic photos found from various archives online, I couldn’t help but wonder, what happened to all these Citroën U55 buses? Did they all go to the scrapyard or did any survive? Renovated and in the care of the right hands, these could make pretty cool camper vans! So I did a little digging. I could only track down the existence of one preserved Cityrama U55 and details are vague. …

(via Touring Paris in the 1950s)

Reposted byzEveRmakingmovieschowmein

July 13 2012

From the New York Times

Stout Scarab

A Visionary’s Minivan Arrived Decades Too Soon
Michael Furman -1936 Stout Scarab

By Phil Patton
Published: January 6, 2008

THE 2008 Chrysler Town and Country minivan offers a removable table and second row seats that turn 180 degrees to face the rear, a feature that Chrysler calls Swivel ’n Go. But in 1936, William Bushnell Stout had already demonstrated such amenities in his eccentric Stout Scarab, an ancestor of the minivan.

“The interior of the car is extremely comfortable and roomy, with a table and movable chairs,” reported The Phillips Shield, a publication of the Phillips 66 petroleum company. “It gives the passenger the feeling of traveling in a hotel room.”

On a rainy day in 1936, Mr. Stout and his Scarab visited one of the new cottage-style Phillips gas stations, at Third Street and Keeler Avenue in Bartlesville, Okla., in the heart of the oil patch. A Phillips executive greeted him; in the background of a photo from that day, bystanders look skeptically at the vehicle shaped like a loaf of home-baked bread. The tall, mustachioed Mr. Stout is wearing an overcoat in the photo, and looks like a scientist from one of the “Thin Man” films of the era.

“Unsurpassed for easy riding qualities, the Scarab seems destined to mark a new milepost in motor design,” The Phillips Shield predicted.

Mr. Stout, a pioneering aircraft designer, was a tireless promoter of the Scarab — no more than a dozen were built — stopping in places like Bartlesville to show off the car. He liked to place a glass of water on the table to show how smoothly it rode on its four-wheel independent suspension, unusually advanced for the time.

The eccentric Scarab may have been a milepost, but it was on a road not taken. “A challenge and a prophecy” was the phrase used in Mr. Stout’s advertisements. His car was a contemporary of creations like Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion car.

The design remains a crowd-pleaser. Last November, a Scarab restored by Tim Lingerfelt of Davidson, N.C., won the People’s Choice award at the Hilton Head Concours d’Élégance and Motoring Festival in Hilton Head, S.C..

The Scarab’s layout is worth a second look for designers working to pack maximum utility into modern vehicles. It can be seen as the forerunner of the Volkswagen Microbus, the Renault Espace and other one-box designs.

Mr. Stout was born in 1880, the son of an itinerant Iowa preacher. He showed an early aptitude for mechanical things, and later helped to pay his tuition at the University of Minnesota by writing for engineering publications. He also learned to promote his own ideas for new types of airplanes and automobiles. By 1920 The Detroit Free Press was explaining Mr. Stout’s notion of a better airplane under the headline, “Batwing 11, Giant Monoplane of the Future.”

He pushed his ideas for metal aircraft. Mr. Lingerfelt, the Scarab owner, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Stout was clever in generating his enthusiasm for his projects. In the 1920s, he wrote to 100 well-off businessmen, soliciting $1,000 from each to start an aircraft company. In his appeal, Mr. Stout noted the readers’ wealth — and that each could afford to lose money on a scheme that was such fun.

He got 60 responses, and $118,000, to start the Stout Metal Airplane Company. He built 15 of his eight-passenger airplanes before selling out to Henry Ford, one of the men who had received the original letter.

Mr. Stout’s design, which used a corrugated metal skin, was the basis for the Ford Tri-Motor, a pioneer American airliner. He set up his own airline, Stout Air Lines, which served Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and Grand Rapids, Mich., and is credited by some with being the first to serve in-flight meals and to employ attendants, whom Mr. Stout called “air stewards.”

By 1935 he was publicizing the Scarab, which took its name from the beetle held sacred by ancient Egyptians. Its layout was like that of the VW Beetle, however greatly stretched: engine in rear (a Ford V-8), housed under a vast curve of complex grillwork. Mr. Stout praised the car’s aluminum construction and hoped to build 100 a year. He courted Philip Wrigley, of the chewing gum empire; the tire magnate Harvey Firestone; and Willard Dow, of Dow Chemical.

Despite or because of its odd look, the car caught public and press attention. The Scarab was to sell for about $5,000, a huge sum in a day when many Cadillacs and Packards went for $3,500, and even more than the price Mr. Stout proposed for a small airplane he hoped to mass-produce. In September 1939, Time magazine reported that Mr. Stout said he was ready to produce the small plane, “already mocked up in his faded yellow Stout Engineering Laboratories” in Dearborn.

Mr. Stout’s dreams, like so many other dreams, could be said to have been casualties of World War II.

By 1942, he had given up on the Scarab, later selling out to Consolidated Vultee Aviation Aircraft. After the war he tried to build one more Scarablike car, this time with a fiberglass body.

In 1943 he was working with Consolidated Vultee on the Aerocar, a combination of an airplane and a car, a “roadable” airplane as he called it. The postwar era, he imagined, would see the arrival of mass market airplanes, much as the post-World War I era had seen the growth of the private automobile.

Only five of the original Scarabs are thought to survive. Legends surrounding one example hold that it was first bought by a French publisher, then served Gen. Dwight Eisenhower in North Africa during World War II before being given to Gen. Charles DeGaulle. A circus used it to house monkeys before the French auto designer Philippe Charbonneaux bought it for his auto museum. Larry Smith, chairman of the Meadow Brook Concours d’Élégance in Michigan, now owns the car.

Mr. Stout, dead for half a century, is still remembered in Dearborn, his memory preserved in part by reminders like the William Bushnell Stout Middle School (“Home of the Falcons”). Astute students of history will recall the motto on his workshop wall. Whether he invented or adopted it, engineers have been quoting it ever since: “Simplicate and add lightness.”

Enlarge this image
Brochure Collection of Steve Hayes

Scarab foretold modern minivans with folding table, movable seats.

Enlarge This Image

Conocophillips Corporate Archive

William Stout, left, with a Scarab.

Brochure Collection of Steve Hayes

“The interior of the car is extremely comfortable and roomy, with a table and movable chairs,” reported The Phillips Shield, a publication of the Phillips 66 petroleum company.

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