Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Baldwin Motion Meyers Manx SR... ever heard of Motion Mini Cars? Me neither...

The Manx SR was a “grand touring” version of the Manx and it was actually designed to be a road car by Bruce Meyers and Stewart Reed. Featuring an 80-inch wheelbase and a curb weight of 1,500lbs, anyone with a mildly cooked up VW motor had a pretty legit little hot rod on their hands.

Word around the internet is that about 200 of these things were sold before the molds were thrown up on the shelf and forgotten about. One of those 200 made it into the hands of Baldwin-Motion.

Now, we know that you’re asking what in the hell the guys who plugged big HP rat motors into everything wanted to do with a VW, but there was a side of Baldwin-Motion you may not remember.

 Motion Minicar was a joint venture between Bill Mitchell, Joel Rosen, and Marty Schorr. They worked on hot rodding VWs and other small cars of the era. Bill Mitchell campaigned a nearly unbeatable H-Gas VW known as the “Thunderbug” and this Manx SR was the tow vehicle for it at the track.

 While we’re not really sure why Mitchell went from the ranks of A/Modified Production into the VW ranks we do know that he hauled the mail and laid waste to the national record perhaps dozens of times over the period he was running the Thunderbug. This particular Manx SR was on the cover of High Performance Cars

found on

the Ebay listing (ended at $5,599.00) has

 Own a piece of car culture history. The single most iconic Meyers Manx SR in existence and in barn find “as found” condition having recently been brought back to excellent running condition. This was the cover car on Performance Cars magazine (included) and had been reportedly stored at Atco Raceway in New Jersey for decades. This is as original and low miles as any classic from that era could be. It drives nice and is ready to be shown at any VW show to truly wow the crowds and take home the survivor class top honors. Its rarity is unmatched since it is “1 of 1” with its amazing Baldwin mini-cars drag-strip heritage. The twin carb engine does appear to have some minor updates since 1970 for functionality and performance and I assume long term road ready reliability. But it should be noted that it would be a very simple task to reold (opposite of renew) these telltale minor tweaks back to an earlier set-up. The unique original custom seats, coupled with correct era gauges, wheels and the extremely rare fabric convertible roof are all features that make this a “must have” for the serious VW or Dune Buggy collector. This is the Meyers Manx Body SR41 June 1970 original fully documented magazine cover car. The SR model is a very rare series and features the original patented door swing that in recent years has been called “Lambo” style, but here we see a car that proceeds Lamborghini’s distinct signature doors. Bruce Meyers wanted a street version of their popular line of dune buggy’s and this Steward Reed design was and is the perfect combination of a shortened VW underpinning mated to a low profile two seat aerodynamic 13 piece composite (fiberglass) sleek futuristic American made road sculpture. Some 1970’s articles about the SR refer to this design as the “Targa Buggy” from its same era Porsche inspired removable roof feature. It is considered to be unequaled to this day in its simplicity, stance and symmetry. The true Meyers dune buggies are escalating in value in recent years and this very car is destined to be among the most sought after examples of that company’s classic very innovative collectibles. I might be wrong, but the radio may be newer than 1970, but that should be a very simple swap-out. This is otherwise an original 1970 Meyer Manx SR (Street Racer). It is a very rare car since Meyers reportedly only built 206 of them but this is the only one to go to Motion performance on Long Island for the famous Motion Mini car program. It was never intended for resale in their very popular mini car sales program, but rather it was for their own use. It is very well documented that this car was used at the drag strips by Joel Rosen (owner of Motion) and Bill Mitchell (NHRA Champion) when they raced the famous NHRA Record holder THUNDERBUG. This was the Thunderbug’s drag race return tow car and was campaigned at race tracks all over the USA wherever Baldwin Motion Performance was being featured at national events. This car was in magazines and is considered to be among the rarest Motion of all. It is in pretty great shape but definitely showing its age with hairline cracks and chips very evident in the amazingly preserved psychedelic 60/70’s mind blowing paintjob. I think that since it was painted by Ultra Automation who was famous for their amazing artwork, that this represents not only a legendary and rare example of a Meyers Manx, but a work of 60’s car art that should be preserved as-is as a true survivor era correct unrestored piece of Americana . Any VW enthusiast would be proud to have such an iconic, historical and fun representation of the true dune buggy era as this famous one and only example. The Manx starts, runs and stops fine with a just replaced battery and is still using its original rear tires which I just had new tubes installed in order to preserve the date coded original and rare L60 Good Year tires. If I kept it I would have a spare set of rear wheels and tires for long road/cruise usage and use these original vintage rear tires only for shows. Amazingly this car has only 7350 original miles which by all accounts is accurate. It is very fun to drive and you will absolutely draw a crowd no matter where you take it. I have collected a good amount of documentation and some interesting extras such as a custom front license plate, new SR floor mats, wild shift knob, rare extra emblems, etc. that I’ll include for the buyer. You may be aware that Bruce Meyers will be cruising from California to the East Coast to Nags Head North Carolina for the awesome “Manx on the Banx” dune buggy gathering on October 14th to 19th of this year. Pick up this car and head there to be the centerpiece of this show. The SR model is so rare it may well be the only one in attendance, last I heard. A historical perspective: Dune Buggy's in the 60's provided a way for even a novice car enthusiast with very limited funds to create a personal vehicle usually from an older Volkswagen’s floor pan and drivetrain. One of the true legends in Dune buggy body kits and ready-made completed cars was the legendary designer and builder Bruce Meyers. Meyers was considered the style to copy and beat. He produced several variations up until the early 70's. One of his most innovative efforts as penned by Steward Reed was a radical design resulting in this amazingly unique creation. This car went to Baldwin Automotive, where Motion Performance was headquartered for NHRA Drag racing. In the 60’s and 70’s Motion was considered to be the pinnacle muscle car and race VW supplier in the North East holding many NHRA records of the day and selling street an race cars that are highly sought after today. They sent this 64 VW cut down pan with it's then new factory body out to Ultra Automation be painted in what can only be described as the most psychedelic paint schemes ever applied to any car. The car was featured at race tracks across the country as Motion's "tow car" to the delight of fans. It is perhaps the most remembered and unique Manx of all time. Although further research may be needed, it was purchased by Atco Dragway and has been stored there for decades and then in recent years sold. When it came on the market I knew this would be a fun car to own and preserve exactly as it was in 1970. I have maintained it’s heritage in every way possible and I would hope the next owner will continue to push it's originality on into the future. I am reducing my modest collection by two cars and this car must be sold. It is being offered at a very reasonable reserve.

DeNooyer Chevrolet, a small Michigan town car dealership that has been in business since the 30's or so, and I recently learned that my Great Grandfather worked there for 30 some years retired from it in the 1960's

the above was posted on Hemmings by Dan and he commented that it was taken in 1944, and he found a copy online, and it was then reposted by CarrosAntigos... where I found it. Tracking it down took about an hour, and a library in Michigan has a large collection of photos, this was among them.

from a Flikr account

From a different Flikr account

and from another library I think the year is 1963

the cars from the 1990 Total recall

Darby pedestrian broadside digger

Steam powered tractor to till the fields, solving the longitudinal stability problem, with rate and depth adjustibility

Found on

Skip the first two minutes... then enjoy a fan short that they made to kick off a Tron movie sequel

Car wash sign that tops every one I've ever seen

Brilliance in marketing... sheer genius. Found on George Takei's Facebook page.

George points out the amazing fact... Right now Ralph Macchio is older than Pat Morita was when the made Karate kid. Pat was 52, Ralph is 53 

what was a 23 window deluxe doing on the Indy 500 start line?

WW1 enormous German airplanes

the above has 5 engines, 2 push pull units on the wings, and one on the center nose

See video of the top at

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

a wing tip to wing tip coupling to get fighter/recon planes in the bombing region with less fuel used, worked. The reduced drag made up for the increased weight

Army flying platforms / ufo research projects. Ever wonder what they did with these toys? Did some retired 3 star General take them to the ranch, and have a hellava grand time?

Found on

Unfortunately (or - fortunately, it flies which side look) quite successful flying platform from the company Piasecki, their VZ-8 Airgeep, who in civilian life was called Model 59K Skycar - appeared for 10 years before on similar apparatik became possible establish a more or less applicable LAW. They are Flying, though capable based on trucks, and capable of flying right between the houses and forest glades - could become a serious threat to the Soviet armor. Therefore, the only even slightly interesting option was the installation of the practical application of recoilless guns . But, of course, not easy to get rid bezotkatkoy here.

It is clear that such a large-sized, noisy (in addition, sometimes dusty in the whole district) and "soft" target like a flying platform - on the sighting range recoilless guns on tanks (about a kilometer) live very, very long. I mean, when manually operated well to a couple of shots to get done (with the ground, of course, it depends very unstable), then opanki. Scoot if have time ... It is this fact and try to solve the problem by setting bezotkatki with turret system recharge. Six shots at a very fast pace - something. 1-2 tank can manage to light - and in the bushes, before realizing tankers where flew . however, "did not grow together" - and not least because this platform was flying very conditional. On limiting modes 425-horsepower engine and a low flying platform nebystro ( version with two motors to 400hp famously flew, but very close ), so that even a quick-MULTICHARGED system proved a weak solution, taking the view of the tanks - no platforms, no save enough. And later appeared with long-range helicopters LAW altogether closed topic platforms. This embodiment warheads tested it, as I understand it, in the years 1959-60, because already in 1961 it was transferred to test sailors - already without recoilless guns.However, they swam this platform ...

interesting waste of money military research project.

I figure millions of dollars, a couple years to get it to work, a couple trials and then it got shelved. I could be wrong. That amount of funding could probably have built a couple hydo electric dams, bridges, paved a hell of a lot of roads, or put a bunch of high school kids through college which would have rewarded USA with productive professionals with great lives who could have put their kids through college and then many people would be paying more taxes and less people would be poor and living off govt subsidies to poverty. Instead, they wasted the money.

"did not indicate any appreciatble stability" he says... go figure.

Found on

another Army Navy ufo flying platform prototype surfaces from the forgotten history files

found on

On payload allowance no longer had only useless , but turn into a kind of admiral aerodzhip taxi for flights between the ships of the squadron was considered too luxurious affair. Even for rescue operations to attach did not work, because with this task is incomparably better cope helicopters.In general, the idea of ​​"flying platform" at that time was highly premature. What can be said now - with an increase in engine power and the advent of microprocessor control systems of interest in such platforms reappears.

I like that the translation supposes that some admiral would use this to go from ship to ship

the jet train of Russia documentary mentions an American jet train I've never heard of, the Black Beetle

incredible BMX tricks.. it's amazing anyone becomes this good while young enough to pull off this kind of riding

how to stop drunk drivers from leaving your bar, restaurant, etc etc... brilliant

a gate at the parking lot, they have to blow a breathalyzer to get out

In an experiment in Belgium, an organization called Responsible Young Drivers aims to reduce drunk driving by installing parking barriers at popular party spots that will only open for departing cars after the driver has proven his or her sobriety with a breath test…

Found on

Bruce Meyer's collection

Inhumane treatment of a Police dog! There's no air conditioning in a Gremlin! Another reason to not respect cops

Who ever would have guessed any police department had a Gremlin anyway?

a new take on the side of the road people drive on

epic hill climbing video

some make it with great applause well earned, other fail in horrible parts breakages

Found on

crazy early airplanes

the Martin Crocodile, 1924 Ford conversion for the US Army

Google translate says
Here's what you can do from simple binders kolkhoz "tin Lizzie" by the specialists of "Martin Rocking Fifth Wheel Company". What prompted the company engaged in semi- tracked transporter do not understand, but in 1924 the army experienced here this is their tracked products. However, native engine from Ford-T was replaced with the engine of the "lorry" Reo Speed ​​Wagon, there is not only a third more power (27.5 hp) and torque even at the expense of volume in nearly 4 liters - more suitable for crawler transporter. Moreover, there are at least two versions of the conveyor, as different body type (flatbed, with awning and hard ambulance wagon) and some small parts Coil. However ... However, judging by the complete lack of results and the development of ideas - anything they did not work.

found on

biggest farm plow I've ever seen!

Found on

Google translate says: Actually, the company Ottomeyer huge plows worked since its inception, but the full apotheosis came after in 1950 adopted a program of reclamation of wasteland and swamps in the border regions of the Netherlands (west of Bremen.) 

Fowler R3 with double long, double wide Botrail

By Australian engineer Frank Botrill, who devised the planks to get the heavy tractor over soft ground

Found on

An amusement park train is back on the market, comes with everything but a back yard

for the write up and contact info:

1910 front wheel drive moped!

Monday, February 24, 2014

George Tirebiter... a great mascot name if there ever was one!

a scraggly, mixed-breed stray dog from a beach in Santa Monica brought to campus who became student mascot at the University of Southern California in the 1940s. He was dubbed "Tirebiter" for his habit of racing alongside passing cars and bicycles while snapping furiously at their tires.

 In 1947 the USC student body made George their mascot. He led the Trojan band onto the field for each home football game often costumed in a sweater and sometimes wearing odd little hats.

 Tirebiter posed with homecoming queens and is remembered for once biting the mask nose of the rival UCLA’s Joe Bruin mascot (a person dressed in a bear costume and chased after Oski the Golden Bear mascot of the University of California Berkeley at another home game.

He was dog-napped in 1947 by pranksters from the rival school who shaved his fur to read "UCLA" and to take the prank one step further they took Tirebiter by the Los Angeles Times to be photographed for the paper.

The nickname was passed on to George Tirebiter's subsequent successors after the original Tirebiter's death in 1950. The original Tirebiter was a nationally known figure and beloved canine.

The lovable shaggy mutt quickly endeared himself to the student body. He was pampered by the fraternities and sororities in USC's greek community, routinely being carried back and forth from campus and being fed ice cream.

The student body held a memorial ceremony for Tirebiter on September 22, 1950. The ceremony consisted of a parade of convertibles with black bunting, a marching band, and the student body. Upon reaching Tirebiter's cement footprints, immortalized during Tirebiter's coronation in 1947, a memorial wreath was laid and a trumpeter played "Taps" as Troy said farewell to its beloved canine mascot

Rumor has it there is a transcript on file showing George with a GPA of 3.2 in such courses as Chasing Cats 101 and Biting Tires 270

Lindley Bothwell.. some people are inherently amazing, some are forged by the times they live in, some are both... I'm not sure which category he fit, but he was astonishing.

He invented some pretty cool things, like cheerleading. Well, sort of, cheer yelling might be more accurate. Not impressed? He invented flashcards for the specators at college football games to use to make those stadium seating areas display ginormous pictures of his team mascot smashing the other team mascot. And releasing balloons in tandem to float up in his teams letter.

He completed a masters at USC, and another unnamed degree, then went to Oregon State University to study agriculture (leading to owning 34 orange grove ranches and becoming in the top 10 largest citrus farmers in the US, and now the last in the Fernando Valley) and while at a game at Notre Dame impressed Knute Rockne so much Knute made him a honorary cheerleader at the Rose Bowl game against Stanford.

Impressed yet?

How about attaining the largest private car collection in the world? Not as large as collections since, but at the time, the biggest.

He loved old cars, and especially old racing cars... so much he invented vintage racing. No one else was, so I say he invented it. Prove me wrong. He was the Los Angeles regional director of the SCCA, and took a 1913 Puegot to the Indy 500 (it had won the 1916 Indy 500) so he could have fun... and inadvertently set a speed record, but didn't qualify for the race. It was 1949.

He collected horse drawn street cars, and was the only one to do so, and I'm sure he was the only person to save any for posterity.

Amazed yet? Hell, this is only the bits from the Wikipedia page!

At 12 Bothwell discovered the allure of speed by whizzing down Los Angeles' Cahuenga Pass at 50 mph on a high-wheeled coaster cart.
In 1926 he bought his first old car, a 1901 Olds
in 1928 a 1909 Benz driven by Eddie Hearne
and a 1907 Stearns which had known the heavy foot of the great Barney Oldfield.
" His chief regret is that no one else west of the Rockies maintains a similar stable, against which he might have a rousing series. " as the racing on Catalina Island and state fairs

he staged the 1950 Vanderbilt Cup in Santa Monica which Ralph De Palma officiated...

The "vintage racers" he collected
the 1913 boat-tailed Peugeot with which Dario Resta won the 1916 Indianapolis "500"
1913 Stutz once driven by famed Bob Burman,
 a 1916 Hudson
 a 1910 Buick.
1914 Ford,
1907 Stearns of Barney Oldfield,
1909 Pope-Hartford,
 1908 Benz,
1907 Packard,
1914 Ford,
 1909 Benz probably the Blitzen Benz, was the Oldfield world speed record breaker of 100mph
 1910 Buick,
1909 Mercedes,
1914 National,
1916 Hudson placed 8th at the Indy 500
1910 Simplex,
1905 Mercedes
 1912 Cadillac.

info from and

November 1952 issue of Motorsports:

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the 1913 Puegot, winner of the 1916 Indy 500

Color photos from

Audi just did it... cool commercial

"Who Won" the "get-the-kids-to-stop-street-racing" episode of Adam 12

see it on Hulu for the admission price of 3 commercials per break. Good time to check your email, facebook, etc

the show is gaggingly contrived, as if cops wrote it with no clue as to when entertainment and sledgehammer PSA messages don't mix, but it must have satisfied the head mucky mucks in broadcasting at the time to be on the high moral ground... as I'm pretty sure it only irritates anyone looking for entertainment, a show on drag racing, a cop show, detective work show, etc etc. Dick Clark as the head of police? Sheesh. Total 180 from the teen friendly image as American Bandstand "Americas oldest teenager" image he'd built for years