Posts tagged ‘transportation’

Jets and Rockets!

Bell X-15 Rocket Plane and Boeing B-52 Flyover (Public Domain)

The Cold War was an amazing time of wholesale fear tied to the rise of technology.

As world powers tread lightly on subjects of military might, atomic weapons, and troop deployments, the engineering behind the power was being displayed and used in other ways.  Rocket power and jet bombers were perfect examples of technology which had come to fruition in the 1950s, and ultimately fine-tuned into the factors we see in the picture above.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bell X-15 and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

The X-15 was built to test the limits of aerospace technology, operating from 1959 to 1970 with NASA.  It set many records in both speed and altitude,

An American icon of power and aviation, the B-52 first flew in 1954 and went into service with the US Air Force in 1955.  Of the original 744 built through 1962, about 85 continue to fly.  I started looking for cool B-52 pictures recently after reading that the planes were now being configured with Sniper Pods, which will make them an even-more effective tool when collaborating air strikes with ground forces.  Current fitment timelines have it flying – with continuous maintenance – until its full retirement in the 2040s.

That’s right; it will be flying the skies in our military for nearly 90 years.

HL-10 Lifting Body and B-52 Flyover (Public Domain)

 

Now that’s what I call Long Range!

Wicked Street Machines of The 1970s

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If you’re a gear head like me, you can’t get cars out of the blood.

For me the most notable “period of influence” for anything automotive was the 1970s; it was when I started building models.  It was when I started drawing customs.  It was when I bought my first car.  I am still in love with the long lines and thirsty engines that once pounded the streets of Seattle – announced with Cherry Bombs or Sidepipes and rolling on mags with back ends jacked up to the sky.

It would take years of therapy to strip that image from my mind, so I don’t even try.

Recently on Tumblr I came across a blog that celebrates that era through personal photos submitted by its readers.  70sStreetMachines is an archive of custom awesomeness, with the stripes, the paint, the spoilers, and the wheels which point to a decade of driving where America lived by “Anything Goes.”  There is no short trip to this blog!  I found myself stuck in a loop of viewing picture after picture, remembering what it was like to be 12 to 14 years old and wishing I was old enough to own effectively anything there.

Visit and Enjoy!

http://70sstreetmachines.tumblr.com/

American Airlines Route Map [1959]

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

I picked this up because I love airplanes, especially what is called “1st Generation Jet Airliners” like the Boeing 707.

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

This route map was printed in October 1959, when American Airlines was using the 707 and the Lockheed L-118 Electra.

Boeing : 707

Boeing 707

Boeing : 707

American Airlines 707 at LAX

Lockheed : L-188 : Electra

Lockheed L-188 Electra

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Stewardesses and admirers near a L-118 Electra

Lockheed : L-188 : Electra

Lockheed L-188 Electra

Look closely on the map below and you’ll see that Havana Cuba was still part of the flight routes out of the US:

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

Flights to Mexico were not nearly as comprehensive as they are today:

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

And JFK airport in New York was still called Idlewild!

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

 

Barracuda!

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By far one of the finer offerings of the late 1960s was the Plymouth Barracuda.

Considered a small car by Sixties standards, the “Cuda was part of what came to be known as “The Pony Car Movement.”  The name was derived from its competitive relationship with the Ford Mustang, but in reality the Barracuda had been on the market before the Mustang was introduced in mid-1964.

The final model hit the street in 1974.

The Barracuda came with 6-cylinder or V8 engines.  Large motors were available in special packages, which made the car meaner and faster.  While Plymouth as a car make is no more, there is talk about the next Chrysler super car to be based on the famous `Cuda name.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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Photo courtesy Tom Hardin – 1983

1968 Plymouth Barracuda 2-Door Fastback (1 of 6)

Photo by Randy von Liski

Seattle Parks Video – “Parks, Pleasant Occasions, and Happiness” [1977]

It’s not every day when I can look back on the Seattle I knew as a 13-year old boy.

I just happened across this video today, which is actually a 17-minute short depicting Seattle and its parks network in 1977. There are no spoken words, only an upbeat musical soundtrack. The cinematography is simple and pleasant, void of tricks or trendy angles that frequented many of the films from the period.

The storyline is also simple and pleasant.

After the sun rises over the landscape of Seattle, a quiet old man sits down on a park bench at the beginning of the movie. He shuffles his way through all the parks in the city. Street scenes, locations, and buildings familiar to Seattleites appear often – including the legendary Space Needle. Greenlake, in the north end of the city, is shown as a bustling recreational area with sunbathers, bicyclists, and runners (it’s still that way today). Freeway Park – which now stretches above and across the ribbon of Interstate 5 that runs through downtown Seattle – is shown in Phase One on the east side of the freeway only. Included are segments filmed along Alki Beach and Lincoln Park in West Seattle. There also appears to be some footage taken at Colman Playground, situated just south of Interstate 90 near its western terminus. The final pan-out takes viewers over Seattle’s skyline at sundown during the end of the film.

It’s a cute movie that is accompanied by a flute, a clarinet, and pianist Norman Durkee.

After doing some research on Durkee, I discovered that he was also responsible for the piano accompaniment on Bachmann-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business;” The band was recording their album in a Seattle studio when Durkee walked through one night (story HERE); without knowing the band (and without them knowing he was a musician), Durkee recommended that they lay down a honky-tonk piano track for TCB. They asked him to do the part, which he wrote out quickly on a pizza box and recorded in one take.

The most noteworthy things to me in the video are the skyline shots. The city looks exactly as I remember it from my youth – a bold mix of trees, concrete, and really huge cars. If I close my eyes, I can smell a 1977 Seattle summer – Warm air, dust, hot asphalt, and the exhaust from a 1973 Chevy Monte Carlo in traffic. While these elements may not seem alluring, combined they contribute to how I remember Seattle as a younger man and bring back a time for me which was simpler. This movie does great job of sharing my Seattle of the past.

Here’s an excerpt of the longer video shown above:

Texas Service Station [1965]

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Courtesy Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

Trust your car to the man who wears the star!

Straight from the archives of Southern Methodist University, this photo is of a new Texaco service station outside of Houston TX – taken by Robert Yarnall Richie in 1965.  Richie was a noted commercial photographer, who took pictures for large businesses around the US.  He died in 1984.

The station is designed in the “Mid-Century” style, with its flat roof and jaunty positive feeling.  It would be a fairly new structure, based on the size of the trees surrounding the property.  That’s a `65 Ford Custom sedan in front of the fetching green-topped building.  There is also a `64 Ford Galaxie inside the station getting service.  At the pumps: a `65 Mustang fastback, a `65 Buick Electra, and `64 Ford pickup.

The Wide-Track `67 Pontiac

1966 Pontiac Bonneville - May 1972 [Public Domain]

I will freely admit to being a gear head.

In fact, I have a thing for big Sixties full-sized passenger vehicles; my first car was a 1960 Buick LeSabre.  Even my second car was big – a clapped-out `65 Impala.  That said, I would have absolutely no trouble in owning today’s featured vessel: The “Wide-Track” 1967 Pontiac.

1967 Pontiac Bonneville

Photo courtesy of Rob Hartog

Stylish and huge, the Catalina, Ventura, and Bonneville models all had “stacked headlights” and and bumpers integrated with the lines of the car.  Engine choices were “Huge” and “More Huge.”  Driving one of these was like a dream; with its quintessential American stance and smooth settings on the suspension, they excelled in straight-line driving and road trips – giving up some ability in the corners.

1967 Pontiac Bonneville

Photo courtesy of Walt Woodruff

Bonnie_Eyes

Photo courtesy of RaysnCayne

DM-08-36  Pontiac Bonneville [1967]

Photo courtesy of Bram Visser

Art Fitzpatrick penned a large number of automotive ads during his successful art career, including many of them for Pontiac.  His jaunty upbeat take on the full-sized GM products of the 1960s is now legendary.  Some of those ads – depicting the `67 Pontiac – are shown below, and others can be seen here.

Yesterday's Ride ~ 1967 Pontiac Bonneville

Artwork by Art Fitzpatrick / Owen Jones & Partners LTD

1967 Pontiac Station Wagons

1967 Pontiac Bonneville Wide-Track

Artwork by Art Fitzpatrick / Owen Jones & Partners LTD

1967 Pontiac Bonneville Ad

Artwork by Art Fitzpatrick / Owen Jones & Partners LTD

art fitzpatrick_'67e

Artwork by Art Fitzpatrick / Owen Jones & Partners LTD

art fitzpatrick_'67f

Artwork by Art Fitzpatrick / Owen Jones & Partners LTD

art fitzpatrick_'67b

Artwork by Art Fitzpatrick / Owen Jones & Partners LTD

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