Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The 1952 Muntz Jet, Customized By Joe Bailon

Band leader Freddie Martin bought a rare Muntz Jet back in 1952, and was more than happy with the style and performance. But a few years later, with the power revolution, he felt he and his car were being left behind. So he enlisted legendary customizer Joe Bailon to give his drop-top a facelift and power boost.

Joe added a tooth grill, played with the lines, and of course, swapped the engine by dropping in a new 1955 Cadillac powerplant, and the results speak for themselves. It's no longer a rare bird; it's a one-of-a-kind, with modern specs and classic styling!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Phil Clark: 1960, Before The 1964 Ford Mustang

Before legendary designer Phil Clark sketched the famous "Running Horse" Mustang logo, before he had a hand in designing the original Mustang concept, he was a recent Pasadena Art School putting together his first major project, an aluminum sports car that seems to have gone unfinished. Here's a rare shot of that project from 1960, for sale. I wonder where it's at now?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Daring Elgin Car Leap of 1920: The First Mad Max Fury Road Stunt

On a warm Summer day, a crowd gathered to watch an unprecedented event. Daredevil Chas. J. Wilson of Chicago, was about to launch an Elgin Six phaeton over a creek bed, just outside the town of Elgin, Illinois.

The planks and sides of the local bridge had been removed, leaving just steel girders, and a gap of 27 feet across, with a 14 foot drop to the riverbed below. A silent film crew was on hand to record either triumph or tragedy.

As the cameraman cranked his film, Mr. Wilson gave himself a running start, and sped towards the divide. The crowd gasped as his little convertible sped up to 55 miles an hour, hit the ramp and flew through the air "like a torpedo", until, with the bouncy spring of a jackrabbit, it landed 58 FEET from where he launched, without showing the worse for wear.

It's said Charles simply got back on the road, and made it back to Chicago without any repairs or missing parts. And maybe someday, in a newly-discovered old silent serial, we'll see that scene, the predecessor to Mad Max, a hundred years ago!