Tuesday, August 30, 2011
This one is "Gunfighter", and flies with the Commemorative Air Force. It's been modified with a second seat, and gives rides at air shows across the country.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Ford did this sort of small-market limited edition a couple of other times. A nearly identical car to the GT/CS was marketed in the Denver area as the "High Country Special", and a few years later the "Twister Special" appeared in the Kansas area. All of these editions are pretty rare today, and are an interesting footnote to the Mustang story.
Friday, August 26, 2011
I wonder if one could order a spumoni wedding cake?
Thursday, August 25, 2011
This is the Campana building in Batavia, Illinois. Built in 1936, this building features styling cues from both the Streamline Moderne and Bauhaus schools of architecture. It was designed to be the main factory for the Campana Company, which made the popular Italian Balm hand lotion.
Considered very modern when it was built, the Campana building featured full air conditioning (there are no opening windows), fluorescent lighting, desks arranged in rows, and an automated manufacturing system.
Today the factory is closed, but the building is still in use for other businesses. The Campana building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and remains fundamentally in the same condition as when it was operating, and retains most of it's period detailing.
And, it was raining that day.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Built in three series, UP's turbines had all been retired by 1970. The turbines used Bunker C heavy fuel oil, which had few uses outside of this one, but by the seventies oil prices were up and new uses for this former waste product were being developed. It spelled the end of the turbine locos, and most were broken up, their parts recycled into conventional diesel locomotives.
Two of the turbines still exist, both from the third series built. This one, engine number eighteen, resides at the Illinois Railway Museum.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Established in the 1920's, Nickey Chevrolet was a legendary Chicago area dealership, and one of the first to specialize in high performance cars. Nickey ran a series of ever-faster Corvettes, all dubbed the "Purple People Eater", as well as acquiring one of the beautiful, fast RAI Scarabs. Eventually, they got into the super-muscle-car scene, using GM's infamous COPO ordering scheme to get big block Camaros and Chevelles. Though Nickey Chevrolet closed it's doors in the seventies, the name lives on, building high performance versions of Chevrolet's newest Camaro.
Fun fact-the Vinegaroon (I don't know what it means either) is a Genie Can-Am car, and was originally owned by Dan Blocker. Yep, that Dan Blocker.
Friday, August 19, 2011
I'm told that this sign-less the added on ale house bit-can be seen in the somewhat obscure film Mickey One, starring Warren Beatty. Although now that I think of it, maybe it was Goldstein, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's in The Blues Brothers.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Anyway, all this is really just an excuse to show some of my favorite fin photos. Up top is the classic '57 Chevy Bel-Air.
This here's a '61 Imperial. The wiggiest fins in my book, with those little hanging gunsight taillights.
The famous, melting fins of the '59 Chevy Impala, with those excellent teardrop taillights.
Cadillac had the first, and always seemed to have the biggest too-the towering fins of the '59 Biarritz is almost a cliche. I prefer the subtler looks-relatively speaking-of the '60 Eldo, as seen here.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Hey Brothers Ice Cream was made in Dixon from about the 1920's up until the early 80's. I'd never heard of the company (outside of this old sign) until recently, when I read a novel that was set in Chicago in 1932-the main characters undertake a road trip to the Quad Cities and stop for some Hey Brothers ice cream in DeKalb.
I had thought that the company was no more, until I decided to have some ice cream at the Kane County Flea Market a couple of weeks ago-it was Hey Brothers! I was shocked-clearly the company had simply moved somewhere else. It was pretty good too, and I'd certainly have some again.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It's been a sort of a trend in old car circles to paint up trucks in old, flat, faded paint, with artificially worn signwriting on the sides. I kind of like it-usually such paint jobs are fun and don't take themselves too seriously.
This one, though, is the real deal. It's a 1960's International Harvester Metro step van, formerly in the stable of the M.C. Lohbauer heating repair company. Note the genuine old phone number (a real number, in fact), and the old Republic sticker. A really neat piece of local history.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I haven't visited the old Caddy in a while, so I felt that the new Argus was as good a reason as any to drop by and see the old girl again.
Monday, August 8, 2011
In the earliest days of hot rodding, guys would form clubs, partially to have a group of like-minded buddies to go to events with, and partially to gain acceptance to a timing association. One of the most famous (if not the most famous) is the Southern California Timing Association, which would sanction speed events at places like Muroc Dry Lake and Bonneville.
However, the SCTA would only accept open cars, and plenty of rodders owned and wanted to race closed cars. The Russetta Timing Association was formed in part to cater to this group, and proved popular enough to be around into the sixties. It was also not uncommon for drivers and clubs to be members of both the SCTA and Russetta, so all members could race their cars.
Club and timing association plaques were a popular accessory back in the day, and remain so today.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Located on the corner of Granville and Broadway in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, the Granville Frame Shop has an excellent, if sadly burned out, neon sign.
Didn't last week's Neon Friday have a clock, too?
Thursday, August 4, 2011
In railroad terminology, a wye is a triangular arrangement of tracks, allowing three lines to connect. It's often used to turn trains around, allowing them to do a sort of three point turn. Usually there's a switch or signal at each corner as well.
This is one corner of such an arrangement, at the Illinois Railway Museum. It's guarded by this unusual, short position signal. The only other place I've seen similar signals is at Chicago's North Western Station...er, I mean Ogilvie Transportation Center. I don't think they're in use at Ogilvie, though, however I think they date back to CNW days.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
TtV Tuesday! We're back in Dixon at the Walter C. Knack company's building. Actually, we're kitty corner to it. I like the way this turned out, very retro, despite the modern sign on the lamppost and the newish blurry car parked there.
Amazingly (to me, at least) hardly anyone drove by while I was shooting this. Dixon is truly quiet on a Sunday afternoon.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Made up of a number of smaller independent manufacturers, American Motors Corporation could always be counted on to offer up interesting cars (some might say "weird"), but nobody was surprised when they entered the performance market in the sixties with cars like the S/C Rambler and AMX. However, the company surprised the road racing fraternity with it's entry into the Trans-Am series in 1970, using the Javelin. Originally run by Roger Penske's famous team, by 1972 the mantle of AMC factory team had passed to Roy Woods Racing, with Woods and George Follmer driving.
The Javelin was AMC's entry into the pony car market, which was dominated by the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford's Mustang (Mopar's Barracuda and Challenger were far less popular, despite their legendary reputations today). It proved to be relatively popular, certainly by AMC's standards, and the car was rated highly by the magazines.
This one is a second generation car, from 1972. The Javelin had grown a bit, but was available with big-block engines to make up for it. The car proved to be just as popular, even making it as one of the few two-door sports coupes to be used by police forces (those big blocks again!) in the States.
Red, white, and blue liveries were an AMC trademark-special editions of the Javelin were available in this exact scheme (less numbers and sponsor stickers), and the patriotic theme returned on the S/C Rambler and Rebel Machine muscle cars.