Thursday, June 13, 2019
Mercer was an American automobile manufacturer from 1909 until 1925. It was notable for its high-performance cars, especially the Type 35 Raceabout.
There was considerable talent and backing for the Mercer Automobile Company; Ferdinand Roebling, son of John A. Roebling, was the president, and his nephew Washington A. Roebling II was the general manager. The Roeblings had extensive success with wire rope manufacturing and suspension bridge design; engineering was not a recent concept for them. The secretary-treasurer was John L. Kuser, who, with his brothers Frederick and Anthony, had amassed a fortune from banking, bottling and brewing.
Washington A. Roebling II was friends with William Walter, who had been making a small number of high-quality automobiles in New York City. The Kusers owned a vacant brewery in Hamilton, New Jersey, and brought Walter and his car factory there in 1906. However, Walter found himself deeply in debt by 1909, so the Roeblings and Kusers bought him out in a foreclosure sale. They changed the company name to Mercer, named after Mercer County, New Jersey. Talented designers and race drivers contributed to the new effort, and the focus became proving their product in competition.
The result was one of the most admired sports cars of the decade; the 1910 Type-35R Raceabout, a stripped-down, two-seat speedster, designed to be "safely and consistently" driven at over 70 mph (110 km/h). It was capable of over 90 mph (140 km/h). The Raceabout's inline 4-cylinder T-head engine displaced 293 cubic inches (4,800 cc) and developed 55 horsepower (41 kW) at 1,650 revolutions per minute. It won five of the six 1911 races it was entered in, losing only the first Indianapolis 500. Hundreds of racing victories followed. The Raceabout became one of the premier racing thoroughbreds of the era- highly coveted for its quality construction and exceptional handling.
In the 1914 road races in Elgin, Illinois, two Raceabouts collided and wrecked. Spencer Wishart, a champion racer who always wore shirt and tie under his overalls, was killed along with the car's mechanic, John Jenter. This prompted the company to cancel its racing program. The Raceabout's designer left the company that year, and subsequent designs did not live up to the glory and appeal the Type-35R had earned.
Earlier in February 1914, Eddie Pullen, who worked at the factory from 1910, won the American Grand Prize held at Santa Monica, California, by racing for 403 mi (649 km) in a Raceabout. Later that same year, Eddie also won The Corona Road Race held in Corona, California, on November 26. For winning the 300-mile (480 km) big car event, Pullen won $4,000 and an additional $2,000 for setting a new world road race record. His average speed of 86.5 mph (139.21 km/h) broke the record of 78.72 mph (126.69 km/h) set by Teddy Tetzlaff at Santa Monica in 1912.
n October, 1919, after the last involved Roebling brother died (Washington A. Roebling II perished in the 1912 Titanic disaster), the company was obtained by a Wall Street firm that placed ex-Packard vice-president Emlem Hare in charge, organizing Mercer under the Hare's Motors corporate banner. Hare looked to expand, increasing Mercer's models and production, and also purchasing the Locomobile & Crane-Simplex marques. Within a few years, the cost of these acquisitions and the economic recession took a financial toll on Hare's Motors. Locomobile was liquidated and purchased by Durant Motors in 1922, and Mercer produced its last vehicles in 1925, after some 5,000 had been built.
An independent effort to revive the marque in 1931 resulted in only 3 vehicles being constructed and displayed.
The company is currently owned by Fred Hoch of Schaeffer & Long.
Using Revell's 1/25 scale 1968 Dodge Dart and AMT's 1/25 scale 1971 Plymouth Duster and other parts.
The 1971 Plymouth Valiant was featured in the movie Duel.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
From the Entex instructions"
"One of the most impressive Duesenbergs assembled", said road and track of the 1933 Duesenberg Boattail SJ "Weymann Speedster".
This car, one of only 35 SJ's built, is a higher powered version of the 1932 Model J. The SJ is one of the first U.S. production automobiles to incorporate
a supercharger. body was designed by Gordon Buehrig and executed by Weymann American Body Company of Indianapolis, Chassis Serial No. 2537 and Engine serial No. J-508.
The car's 153.5 inch wheelbase qualifies it as one of the largest two seaters built. The single carburated 429 cu. in., duel-overhead cam, straight eight engine is boosted by a centrifugal
engine driven water heated supercharger. This power package produced 320 BHP at 4750 rpm and could propel the Speedster from 0 to 100 MPH in 17 seconds. Top speed in first gear was 85 MPH and a maximum speed of 129 MPH was claimed.
Among the many innovative features is a self contained lubrication system for engine and chassis that is automatically actuated every 75 miles from an odometer signal.
Four wheel vacuum boosted hydraulic brakes of 15 inches in diameter and 3 inches width provided the stopping performance for this heavy car.
The boattail deck compartment houses the spare tire, tools and has room for considerable luggage. The large fire engine siren and red light mounted in front of the grille were installed at the factory for the cars original owner. Captain George Whittel of Lake Tahoe, California
who was an honorary Fire Marshall. Due to its tremendous crowd appeal the car was hardly ever driven and was sold to the Harrah collection with approximately 1400 miles on the odometer.
It has been shown throughout the United States and is one of the prize displays of the Harrah collection in Reno Nevada.
Monday, June 10, 2019
The Bugatti Type 41, better known as the Royale, is a large luxury car with a 4.3 m (169.3 in) wheelbase and 6.4 m (21 ft) overall length. It weighs approximately 3175 kg (7000 lb) and uses a 12.7 L (12763 cc/778 in³) straight-8 engine. For comparison, against the modern Rolls-Royce Phantom (produced from 2003 onward), the Royale is about 20% longer, and more than 25% heavier. This makes the Royale one of the largest cars in the world.
Ettore Bugatti planned to build twenty-five of these cars, sell them to royalty and to be the most luxurious car ever. But even European royalty was not buying such things during the Great Depression, and Bugatti was able to sell only three of the six made.
Crafted by Ettore Bugatti, the Type 41 is said to have come about because he took exception to the comments of an English lady who compared his cars unfavourably with those of Rolls-Royce.
The prototype had a near 15-litre capacity engine. The production version, its stroke reduced from 150 mm (5.9 in) to 130 mm (5.1 in) had a displacement of 12.7 litres. The engine was built around a single huge block, and at (apx. 4.5 ft (1.4 m) long x 3.5 ft (1.1 m) high), is one of the largest automobile engines ever made, producing 205 to 223 kW (275 to 300 hp). Its eight cylinders, bored to 125 mm (4.9 in) and with a stroke length of 130 mm (5.1 in), each displaced more than the entire engine of the contemporary Type 40 touring car. It had 3 valves per cylinder (two inlet:one exhaust) driven by a centrally positioned single overhead camshaft. Three bearings and only a single custom carburettor was needed. The engine was based on an aero-engine design that had been designed for the French Air Ministry, but never produced in that configuration.
The chassis was understandably substantial, with a conventional semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension arrangement at the front. At the rear the forward-facing Bugatti quarter-elliptics were supplemented by a second set facing to the rear.
Strangely, for the modern day observer, the aluminium clutch box was attached to the chassis, not to the engine, and the gear box, also in aluminium was attached to the rear axle, so was part of the unsprung mass of the suspension. The reason placing clutch and gearbox at such odd locations was reducing noise, so increasing comfort inside the cars, a difficult problem in those days. On the other hand, in view of the Royale's huge mass, placing the gearbox on the rear axle did not present a driveability problem.
Massive brake shoes were mechanically operated via cable controls: the brakes were effective but without servo-assistance required significant muscle power from the driver. The car's cast "Roue Royale" wheels measured 610 mm (24 inches) in diameter.
Reflecting some tradition-based fashions of the time, the driver was confronted by a series of knobs of whalebone, while the steering wheel was covered with walnut.
A road test performed in 1926 by W.F. Bradley at the request of Ettore Bugatti for the Autocar magazine proved how exquisite chassis construction allowed very good and balanced handling at speed, similar to smaller Bugatti sports cars, despite the car's weight and size.
All Royales were individually bodied. The radiator cap was a posed elephant, a sculpture by Ettore's brother Rembrandt Bugatti.
In 1928 Ettore Bugatti asserted that "this year King Alfonso of Spain will receive his Royale", but the Spanish king was deposed without taking delivery of a Royale, and the first of the cars to find a customer was not delivered until 1932. The Royale with a basic chassis price of $30,000, was launched just as the world economy began to sour into the 1930s Great Depression. Six Royales were built between 1929 and 1933, with just three sold to external customers. Intended for royalty, none was eventually sold to any royals, and Bugatti even refused to sell one to King Zog of Albania, claiming that "the man's table manners are beyond belief!"
All six production Royales still exist (the prototype was destroyed in an accident in 1931), and each has a different body, some having been rebodied several times.
Sunday, June 9, 2019
For some reason when I originally posted this model a few years ago it got lost in the widget back wash and never showed up on the little squares anywhere at the bottom of posts. As a result It wasn't as well known a post as I feel it should have been. So I've taken some new pictures this time with a darker background and I'm reposting it.
Here's the link to my original post plus if you're wondering why I'm not showing the interior here is this post to placate you. Enjoy!
Finding information on the 1927 variant is next to impossible so far. I will update should I ever find any.
Also this kit has been reissued under various company names over its history. Great kits usually are. From Minicraft to Revell to Entex etc. Though I'm not positive I think this kit was originally a Bandai model.
Friday, June 7, 2019
This was a fun kit but unfortunately I don't think a very popular kit. I got this kit new but from what I can tell this particular kit has been sitting around on the shelves sine the 1980's. Model builders don't know what they're missing.
A bilge pump is a water pump used to remove bilge water. Since fuel can be present in the bilge, electric bilge pumps are designed to not cause sparks. Electric bilge pumps are often fitted with float switches which turn on the pump when the bilge fills to a set level. Since bilge pumps can fail, use of a backup pump is often advised. The primary pump is normally located at the lowest point of the bilge, while the secondary pump would be located somewhat higher. This ensures that the secondary pump activates only when the primary pump is overwhelmed or fails, and keeps the secondary pump free of the debris in the bilge that tends to clog the primary pump.
Ancient bilge force pumps had a number of common uses. Depending on where the pump was located in the hull of the ship, it could be used to suck in sea water into a live fish tank to preserve fish until the ship was docked and the fish ready to be sold. Another use of the force pump was to combat fires. Water would again be sucked in through the bottom of the hull, and then pumped onto the blaze. Yet another suggested use for a force pump was to dispel water from a ship. The pump would be placed near the bottom of the hull so as to suck water out of the ship. Force pumps were used on land as well. They could be used to bring water up from a well or to fill high placed tanks so that water could be pressure pumped from these tanks. These tanks were for household use and/or small-scale irrigation. The force pump was portable and could therefore, as on ships, be used to fight fire. Force pumps could be made of either wood or bronze. Based on ancient texts, it seems that bronze was the preferred material since it lasted longer and was more easily transported. Wood was easier to build, put together, and repair but was not as durable as bronze. Because these were high-value objects, few are found in shipwrecks; they were often recovered after the ship sank. Force pumps were fairly simple in their construction consisting of a cylinder, a piston, and a few valves. Water would fill the cylinder after which the piston would descend into the cylinder, causing the water to move to a higher placed pipe. The valve would close, locking the water into the higher pipe, and then propelling it in a jet stream.
Sunday, June 2, 2019
I decided to take some more pictures of this model in order to see what it looks like under heavy shadow, as I think this is how the ship would look being so far away from the sun before being lit up by Jupiter. I didn'y bother putting stars in as you can see.