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  • 03/12/14--10:00: North American B-45 Tornado

  • The B-45 Tornado was the first American four-engine jet bomber to fly, and the first American production jet bomber, built by North American Aviation.

    It was also the first jet bomber capable of carrying an atomic bomb, and the first multi-jet reconnaissance aircraft to refuel in mid-air.

    Design of the Tornado began during World War II, and the B-45 made its first flight in March 1947.

    The B-45 was an important part of the United States' nuclear deterrent for several years in the early 1950s, but was replaced by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet when it came into the USAF fleet. The B-45 served in the Korean War in which it provided its value as a bomber and as a reconnaissance aircraft.

    B-45s and RB-45s served in the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command from 1950 until 1959.

    North American built 142 B-45s, including 10 long-range B-45Cs with wingtip fuel tanks and 33 RB-45Cs (see photo below) configured for high-altitude photo reconnaissance and aerial refueling.

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    The ZZ Top Eliminator hot rod became a legend by appearing in several rock music videos. Rock 'n' roll and hot rodding have a lot in common. Both inject old forms (say, blues music or antique Fords) with horsepower and flamboyance. It's no surprise, then, that many rock stars are also hot rod enthusiasts. ZZ Top frontman Billy F. Gibbons is probably the best-known roddin' rocker.

    Heavily influenced by Pete Chapouris' the California Kid, Billy had Don Thelan's Buffalo Motor Cars shop build him a chopped 1933 Ford in the early '80s that would soon be known as the Eliminator coupe. Underneath was a straightforward Pete and Jake's chassis with a dropped tube axle and four-bar suspen­sion up front and a Ford nine-inch out back.

    Thelan chopped the steel three-window body three inches, Steve Davis made the three-piece hood with unique "scooped" side panels, and Kenny Youngblood designed the "ZZ" graphics. Additional body details included the filled rear splash pan with recessed license plate, '39 Ford teardrop taillights, and lowered '34 Ford headlights.

    Finicky hi-po motors have never been Billy's scene, so the emphasis was on reliability. Power was provided by a simple but capable 350-cid Chevy V-8 with a Camaro Z-28 hydraulic cam, a polished intake manifold with a single four-barrel carb, and a Turbo 350 transmission. As a finishing touch, Eric Vaughn milled the ZZ Top logo into the valve covers.

    A painting of the coupe was featured on the cover of ZZ Top's multiplatinum 1983 album Eliminator, and the real car was immortalized on the small screen in four music videos that were run in heavy rotation on MTV.

    Each video featured a Cinderella-story vignette in which an earnest but unfairly downtrodden teen is swept away and "saved" by the arrival of beautiful girls in the Eliminator. The members of ZZ Top granted the protagonist a magical set of keys with a stylized ZZ key chain, and the hot rod appeared as a magical fantasy object.

    Gibbons' Eliminator gave rodding immeasurable exposure and spurred the interest of an MTV gener­ation of teenagers who hadn't before seen a real hot rod in motion.

    Billy had always been a rodder, but the Eliminator was his first car to gain international fame. Demand for public appearances was so high that Billy had California Street Rods construct an Eliminator clone to go on tour. He still owns both cars today, along with several other high-profile rods and customs. Billy has done almost as much for rodding as he has for rock 'n' roll.

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    Gregor Halenda purchased this bike for $940 back in 1992. ‘The project started with a wicked 70mph tankslapper, which nearly destroyed the motorbike. The shocks were pulled apart with the subframe, and the bike went quite a ways on the cylinder head (through actually). Leaving only wheels, forks and the engine for the project’. Says Gregor Halenda

    New frames, paralever and transmission were taken from a ’92 R100GS, then Scott grinded off all the brackets, tabs, mounts and extraneous metal bits making the frame lighter and stronger. The Engine on this BMW Boxer was tuned slightly, balanced at 9.5:1 compression ratio, a 336 BMW sport cam, 44mm intakes, titanium retainers, dual plugged, 40mm Dellortos and running a tranny, clutch and flywheel from a ’92 bike. The complete engine in the rolling chassis has the bike weighing 306 lbs. With a 50/50 balance Team Incomplete was thrilled. Scott Kolb is the man behind the scenes who made this BMW Boxer what it is today.

    The rear sets are Pro-Tek’s to fit a Suzuki GSXR and the top clamp (as well as the entire fork assembly) was from an early Ducati 851. The tank is from The Tank Shop in Scotland, the tail-section is a Harley KR750 from Airtech, and a heavily modified front fairing from a Laverda SFC. The Exhaust came back from HPC and fit perfectly to the bike.

    The finished bike is a perfect Cafe Racer transformation, what we love most about this bike is that Laverda SFC fairing and that BMW Engine.


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  • 03/14/14--10:09: 70's Sidecar

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  • 03/15/14--12:00: The Bike

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  • 03/16/14--12:00: Renault 12 Gordini

  • The Renault 12 Gordini is a 4 door saloon-bodied car with a front positioned engine powering the front wheels.
    Its 4 cylinder, overhead valve naturally aspirated engine has 2 valves per cylinder and a volume of 1.6 litres. For this model it develops power and torque figures of 111 bhp (113 PS/83 kW) at 6250 rpm and 140 Nm (103 lbft/14.3 kgm) at 4500 rpm respectively.
    The engine transfers its power through to the wheels by means of a 5 speed manual gearbox.
    It weighs a quoted 980 kg at the kerb.
    Maximum quoted speed is 185 km/h, or 115 mph.

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    Pinarello Treviso build from Columbus SL tubing in Tri Colore italian flag color scheme. Chromed rear stays and fork, ALMARC leather bound handlebars.

    Equipment consists of Shimano Dura Ace parts with 7-speed indexed or on choice non-indexed shifting and great Mavic 501 hubs. Cinelli 1A stem and Cinelli Giro d'Italia handlebars. Saddle is an black smooth leather Selle San Marco Rolls.

    Absolutely great condition of paint and chrome - no dents, rust or other damages. All decals original and in very good condition.

    The bike is completely refurbished and has got an new chain, dual compound brake pads, cables and tyres. All bearings adjusted and lubricated.

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  • 03/17/14--12:00: Isle of Man start 86'

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    The Corvette StingRay Racer was designed by Bill Mitchell, GM Vice President of styling, and Larry Shinoda in 1959. The basis of the Stingray was an engineering test mule chassis for the foundation of an official Chevrolet race effort culminating with the 24 Hours of LeMans. But, soon after its race debut, the Automobile Manufacturer's Association had banned manufacturer-sponsored racing, and the SS had been relegated to test track duty.

    The Stingray featured a 92-inch wheelbase and was nearly 1,000 lb lighter than a 1960 production car. Its fuel-injected 283-cubic-inch (4.6-liter) V-8 engine produced 315 hp at 6,200 rpm. Billed as a car 'built to test handling ease and performance,' Mitchell arranged to race the car quite extensively. In the hands of Dr. Dick Thompson, it made its debut at Maryland's Marlboro Raceway on April 18, 1959, finishing in fourth place. It went on to win an SCCA National Championship in 1960.

    The Stingray was then retired from racing and modified by Mitchell. A passenger seat was added, among other things, and it was exhibited as an experimental show car even while Mitchell regularly drove it personally on weekends.

    The Stingray's body design strongly influenced the styling of the next generation Corvette (1963). It also was a test bed for many technical developments with a four-speed manual transmission, extensive use of aluminum and a de Dion rear suspension.

    Because of its SS underpinnings, the Stingray was exceptionally light, with a dry weight of 2,200 pounds. The car today has a 327 Cubic inch (5.4 liter), fuel-injected V-8 with 375 BHP.

    Bill Mitchell loved Corvettes, so it's fitting that his first secret Studio X car, and perhaps the most historically significant, was his 1959 Corvette Stingray Racer.

    'I knew they had three or four chassis that Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus- Duntov had built,' Mitchell told historian David Chippen in a 1985 interview. 'It had a tubular frame, de Dion suspension, inboard brakes, everything! And I went down in the hammer room and designed this Corvette Stingray in clay. Nobody in the corporation knew about it.'

    According to the book, A Century of Automotive Style, by Mike Lamm and Dave Holls, junior designers Peter Brock and Chuck Pohlman won an internal sketch competition to design its body. Then Pohlman and Corvette Lead Designer Larry Shinoda crafted the clay model, then a fiberglass roadster body that was mated to the racing chassis.

    In 1960, driven primarily by Chicago dentist Dr. Dick Thompson, it won the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) C-Modified class championship. More importantly, it introduced the folded-crease styling that would become a trademark of Mitchell's 1960's designs and the beginning of the path to his revolutionary 1963 production Corvette Stingray. 'When it came time to face-lift the Corvette,' he told Crippen, 'I took the lines right off that car.'

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  • 03/18/14--12:00: Flat Track Time

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  • 03/19/14--10:00: Boeing B-47 Stratojet

  • The Boeing B-47 was the country's first swept-wing multi-engine bomber. It represented a milestone in aviation history and a revolution in aircraft design. Every large jet aircraft today is a descendant of the B-47.

    Boeing engineers had envisioned a jet-powered plane as early as 1943. However, wind-tunnel tests of straight-wing jet aircraft indicated that the straight wing did not use the full potential of jet-engine power.

    Near the end of World War II, Boeing aerodynamicist George Schairer was in Germany as part of a fact-finding mission. At a hidden German aeronautics laboratory, Schairer saw wind-tunnel data on swept-wing jet airplanes and sent the information home. Engineers then used the recently completed Boeing High-Speed Wind Tunnel to develop and design the XB-47, with its slender 35-degree swept-back wings.

    A pod containing two General Electric J-35 engines (GE J-47 engines for all production models) hung from each wing inboard, and a single engine hung farther out. The weight of these six engines made the wings droop. B-47 had tandem bicycle-type landing gear under the front and back sections of the fuselage. Small outrigger wheels on the inboard engines kept the airplane from tipping over when it was on the ground.

    Because early jet engines could not provide enough thrust for takeoff, the XB-47, B-47A, and B-47B had 18 small rocket units in the fuselage for jet-assisted takeoff (JATO). Thrust reversers and anti-skid brakes had not yet been developed, so a ribbon-type drag parachute reduced the B-47 landing speed.

    Once airborne, the graceful jet broke speed and distance records; in 1949 it crossed the United States in under four hours at an average 608 mph. The B-47 needed defensive armament only in the rear because no fighter was fast enough to attack from any other angle.

    The B-47 medium bomber became the foundation of the Air Force's newly created Strategic Air Command and many were adapted for several specialized functions. One became a missile carrier, others were reconnaissance aircraft or trainers or carried remote controls for other aircraft.

    Between 1947 and 1956, a total of 2,032 B-47s in all variants were built. Boeing built 1,373, Douglas Aircraft Co. built 274 and Lockheed Aircraft Corp. built 385.

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  • 03/19/14--12:00: 500cc class Dutch TT Assen

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  • 03/26/14--10:00: Boeing P26 Peashooter

  • The all-metal, single-wing P-26, popularly known as the "Peashooter," was an entirely new design for Boeing, and its structure drew heavily on the Monomail. The Peashooter's wings were braced with wire, rather than with the rigid struts used on other airplanes, so the airplane was lighter and had less drag. Its initial high landing speeds were reduced by the addition of wing flaps in the production models.

    Because the P-26 flew 27 mph faster and outclimbed biplane fighters, the Army ordered 136 production-model Peashooters. Acclaimed by pilots for its speed and maneuverability, the small but feisty P-26 formed the core of pursuit squadrons throughout the United States.

    Twelve export versions, 11 for China and one for Spain, were built. One of a group of P-26s, turned over to the Philippine Army late in 1941, was among the first Allied fighters to down a Japanese airplane in World War II.

    Funds to buy the export version of the Peashooter were partly raised by Chinese Americans. Contribution boxes were placed on the counters of Chinese restaurants.

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    Gene Winfield built the car for the Hartford Autorama show promoter Joe Kizis. Who asked him to build an aluminium hand-built show car for being used as a promotional attraction to his show. The car name was "Autorama Special".

    The main base for the "Autorama Special" was a Citroën ID-19. Gene used the frame and suspension of the Citroën and mounted a Corvair engine on it. The acrylic glass was also custom made to fit the body. The paint was gold metal flake with lime green fading edges. The "Autorama Special" makes its first appearance at the Autorama Custom car show in 1965.

    Joe Kizis sold the car back to Gene after some time due to some mechanical problems. Gene Winfield fixed the problems, painted it again and renamed it as "The Reactor". With this new name, the car appeared in several movies and tv-shows as Star Trek, Bewitched, Batman, etc...


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