Friday, October 28, 2016
Other Than a lot of Scratch and Kitbash work, the kits used were AMT's Peterbilt 359 Conventional Tractor. IMC's Big Rig Tanker Trailer and of course American Industrial Truck Model's 351/280 Peterbilt conversion kit.
Duel is a 1971 television (and later full-length theatrical) thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg in his full-length film directing debut and written by Richard Matheson, based on Matheson's short story of the same name. It stars Dennis Weaver as a terrified motorist stalked on a remote and lonely road by the mostly unseen driver of a mysterious tanker truck.
The script is adapted by Richard Matheson from his own short story, originally published in Playboy magazine. It was inspired by a real-life experience in which Matheson was tailgated by a trucker while on his way home from a golfing match with friend Jerry Sohl on November 22, 1963, the same day as the John F. Kennedy assassination. The short story was given to Spielberg by his secretary, who reportedly read the magazine for the stories.
Duel was Spielberg's second feature-length directing effort, after his 1971 The Name of the Game NBC television series episode "L.A. 2017". It was two years after directing a segment of the pilot for the anthology television series Night Gallery and several other TV episodes. Duel was initially shown on American television as an ABC Movie of the Week installment. It was eventually released to cinemas in Europe and Australia; it had a limited cinema release to some venues in the United States, while it was widely praised in the UK. The film's success enabled Spielberg to establish himself as a film director.
Much of the movie was filmed in and around the communities of Canyon Country, Agua Dulce, and Acton, California. In particular, sequences were filmed on Sierra Highway, Agua Dulce Canyon Road, Soledad Canyon Road, and Angeles Forest Highway. Many of the landmarks from Duel still exist today, including the tunnel, the railroad crossing, and Chuck's Café, where Mann stops for a break. The building is still on Sierra Highway and has housed a French restaurant called Le Chene since 1980.The "Snakerama" gas station seen in the film appears in Spielberg's comedy film 1941 (1979) as an homage to Duel, with Lucille Benson again appearing as the proprietor.
Production of the television film was overseen by ABC's director of movies of the week Lillian Gallo. The original made-for-television version was 74 minutes long and its filming was completed in 13 days (three longer than the scheduled 10 days), leaving 10 days for editing prior to broadcast as the ABC Movie of the Week. Following Duel's successful TV airing, Universal released the film overseas in 1972. The TV movie was not long enough for theatrical release, so Universal had Spielberg spend two days filming several new scenes, turning Duel into a 90-minute film. The new scenes were set at the railroad crossing, school bus, and the telephone booth. A longer opening sequence was added with the car backing out of a garage and driving through the city. Expletives were also added, to make the film sound less like a television production.
Spielberg lobbied to have Dennis Weaver in the starring role because he admired Weaver's work in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. Weaver repeats one of his lines from the Welles classic, telling the truck driver in the cafe that he has "another think coming." Interestingly, this phrase is commonly misstated as "another thing coming", as Weaver's character did in Touch of Evil.
In the Archive of American Television website, Spielberg is quoted in an interview given by Weaver as saying: "You know, I watch that movie at least twice a year to remember what I did".
The car was carefully chosen, a red Plymouth Valiant, although three cars were used in the filming.] The original release featured a 1970 model with a 318 V-8 engine and "Plymouth" spelled out in block letters across the hood, as well as trunk lid treatment characteristic of the 1970 model; a 1971 model with a 225 Slant Six was also used. When the film was released in theatres and scenes were added, a 1972 model with a 225 Slant Six was added, with the "Plymouth" name on the hood as one emblem. All three cars were dressed with wheel covers available only to Valiant models, only in 1971.
The Valiant's red color was also intentional; Spielberg did not care what kind of car was used in the film, but wanted it to be red to enable the vehicle to stand out in the wide shots of the desert highway.
Spielberg had what he called an "audition" for the truck, wherein he viewed a series of trucks to choose the one for the film. He selected the older 1955 Peterbilt 281 over the current flat-nosed "cab-over" style of trucks because the long hood of the Peterbilt, its split windshield, and its round headlights gave it more of a "face", adding to its menacing personality. Additionally, Spielberg said that the multiple license plates on the front bumper of the Peterbilt subtly suggested that the truck driver is a serial killer, having "run down other drivers in other states". For each shot, several people were tasked to make it uglier, adding some "truck make-up". The shots of the truck are done in such a way as to make it seem "alive" in terms of its attack on Mann.
The truck had twin rear axles, a Cummins NTC 350 turbocharged engine with a 5-speed main transmission, and a 3-speed auxiliary transmission, making it capable of hauling loads over 30 tons and top speeds reaching 75–80 mph. During the original filming, the crew only had one truck, so the final scene of the truck falling off the cliff had to be completed in one take. For the film's theatrical release, though, additional trucks were purchased in order to film the additional scenes that were not in the original made-for-television version (the school bus scene and the railroad crossing scene). Only one of those trucks has survived.
Stock footage of both vehicles was later used in an episode of the television series The Incredible Hulk, titled "Never Give a Trucker an Even Break". Spielberg was not happy about this, but the usage was legal, as the show was produced by Universal and the Duel contract said nothing about reusing the footage in other Universal productions.
The truck was purchased several times. It is currently owned by a truck collector and is on display at Brad's Trucks in North Carolina.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The Rolls-Royce armoured car was a British armoured car developed in 1914 and used in World War I and in the early part of World War II.
The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) raised the first British armoured car squadron during the First World War. In September 1914 all available Rolls Royce Silver Ghost chassis were requisitioned to form the basis for the new armoured car. The following month a special committee of the Admiralty Air Department, among whom was Flight Commander T.G. Hetherington, designed the superstructure which consisted of armoured bodywork and a single fully rotating turret holding a regular water cooled Vickers machine gun.
The first three vehicles were delivered on 3 December 1914, although by then the mobile period on the Western Front, where the primitive predecessors of the Rolls-Royce cars had served, had already come to an end. Later in the war they served on several fronts of the Middle Eastern theatre. Chassis production was suspended in 1917 to enable Rolls-Royce to concentrate on aero engines.
The vehicle was modernized in 1920 and in 1924, resulting in the Rolls-Royce 1920 Pattern and Rolls-Royce 1924 Pattern. In 1940, 34 vehicles which served in Egypt with the 11th Hussars regiment had the "old" turret replaced with an open-topped unit carrying a Boys anti-tank rifle, .303-inch Bren machine gun and smoke-grenade launchers.
Some vehicles in Egypt and Iraq received new chassis from a Fordson truck and became known as Fordson Armoured Cars. Pictures show them as equipped with what appear to be turrets fitted with a Boys ATR, a machine gun and twin light machine guns for anti-aircraft defence.
Six RNAS Rolls-Royce squadrons were formed of 12 vehicles each: one went to France; one to Africa to fight in the German colonies and in April 1915 two went to Gallipoli. From August 1915 onwards these were all disbanded and the materiel handed over to the Army which used them in the Light Armoured Motor Batteries of the Machine Gun Corps. The armoured cars were poorly suited to the muddy trench filled battlefields of the Western Front, but were able to operate in the Near East, so the squadron from France went to Egypt.
Lawrence of Arabia used a squadron in his operations against the Turkish forces. He called the unit of nine armoured Rolls-Royces "more valuable than rubies" in helping win his Revolt in the Desert. This impression would last with him the rest of his life; when asked by a journalist what he thought would be the thing he would most value he said "I should like my own Rolls-Royce car with enough tyres and petrol to last me all my life".
At the outbreak of World War II, 76 vehicles were in service. They were used in operations in the Western Desert, in Iraq, and in Syria.By the end of 1941, they were withdrawn from the frontline service as modern armoured car designs became available. Some Indian Pattern cars saw use in the Indian subcontinent and Burma.
- 1920 Pattern Mk I - thicker radiator armour and new wheels.
- 1920 Pattern Mk IA - commander's cupola.
- 1924 Pattern Mk I - turret with commander's cupola.
- 1921 Indian Pattern - based on the 1920 Pattern. Had extended hull armour to provide extra space and a domed turret with four ball mounts for machine guns.
- Fordson - based on a 1914 Pattern. Some vehicles in Egypt received new chassis from Fordson trucks.
- ARR-2, Sliabh na mBan, 1920 Pattern Rolls-Royce was retained by the Irish army and is generally accepted to be the car that was accompanying Commander in Chief of the National Army, General Michael Collins on the day he was killed. It is the worlds oldest serving armoured vehicle and is one of only two original Rolls Royce armoured cars still running today It is regularly aired during parades and open days, often being driven under its own power. It has recently undergone a complete refurbishment, which involved a complete strip down and rebuild. It is maintained by the Irish Defence Forces Cavalry Corps in the Curragh Camp.
- A Rolls-Royce 1920 Pattern Mark I is on display at the The Tank Museum in Bovington, England. The vehicle is displayed in the museum's inter-war years gallery. David Wiley, curator of the museum, called it "one of the best exhibits we have"
- One of the 12 sold (ARR-1 Danny Boy/Tom Keogh) survives with a collector in England. This vehicle carries replica bodywork.
- A 1920 pattern Rolls Royce armoured car is displayed in sand colour at the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre at RAF Honington. It had previously been on display at the RAF Museum at Hendon. The armour is a facsimile of the original, built on an original Rolls-Royce chassis in the 1960s.
- A Rolls Royce armoured car replica is on display at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, home of the Duke of Westminster, and can be viewed at charity open days of the Hall.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
In 1916, Frank Barnwell, chief designer of Bristol Aeroplane Company, realising that the performance of existing fighter aircraft was inadequate, designed a new single-seat tractor monoplane fighter as a private venture, the Bristol M.1.
The first prototype, the M.1A made its maiden flight on 14 July 1916. It was of conventional wood and fabric construction, with a carefully streamlined circular cross-section fuselage. The wing was shoulder mounted and was braced with flying wires running from the wing to the lower fuselage and landing wires from the wings to a cabane made of two semi-circular steel tube hoops positioned over the pilot's cockpit. A 110 horsepower (82 kW) Clerget rotary engine drove a two-bladed propeller fitted with a large hemispherical spinner to reduce drag. It was purchased by the War Office for evaluation, and demonstrated impressive performance during official testing, reaching a speed of 128 miles per hour (206 km/h) and climbing to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in 8 minutes 30 seconds, although the forward and downward view was criticized by test pilots.
The War Office ordered four modified aircraft, designated M.1B, in October 1916. These differed from the first prototype in having a more conventional cabane consisting of a pyramid of four straight steel struts, a large clear-view cut-out panel in the starboard wing root to give improved view for landing and a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun mounted on the port wing root.
Despite excellent performance - it had a maximum speed some 30-50 mph (50–80 km/h) higher than any of the contemporary German Fokker Eindecker and French Morane-Saulnier N monoplanes - it was rejected by the Air Ministry for service on the Western Front, ostensibly because its landing speed of 49 mph was considered too high for small French airfields, but more likely because of a widespread belief that monoplane aircraft were inherently unsafe in combat. The RFC had imposed a ban on monoplanes after the crash of one of the Bristol-Coanda Monoplanes on 10 September 1912, and despite the subsequent 1913 Monoplane Committee clearing the design type there persisted a deep-rooted suspicion of monoplanes. This suspicion may also have been re-inforced by the RFC's underwhelming experience with various Morane-Saulnier monoplanes, especially the Morane-Saulnier N, which was also criticised for its high landing speed.
Nevertheless, a production order for 125 aircraft was placed on 3 August 1917. Designated M.1C, this version was fitted with a Le Rhône rotary engine and had a Vickers machine gun centrally-mounted in front of the pilot.
A single M.1, registered G-EAVP was rebuilt as a high-speed testbed for the Bristol Lucifer three cylinder radial engine. This aircraft was designated the M.1D.
Thirty-three M.1Cs served in the Middle East and the Balkans in 1917–18, while the rest were used by UK-based training units, where they were popular as personal mounts for senior officers.
One pilot of the M.1Cs that served on the Macedonian Front was Captain Frederick Dudley Travers DFC of No. 150 Squadron RAF, the only ace on this type. Travers switched from the Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a, in which he had scored three of his four kills and scored the last five of his victories between 2 and 16 September 1918, possibly all in the M.1C serial number C4976. Amongst his victims was a Fokker D.VII, widely regarded as the best German fighter of its day.
Twelve were sent to Chile on second half of 1918 in part payment for the battleships Almirante Latorre and Almirante Cochrane being built for Chile in Britain but commandeered for the Royal Navy before completion. One of these, flown by Lt. Dagoberto Godoy, was used to fly from Santiago to Mendoza, Argentina and back on 12 December 1918, the first flight across the Andes mountain chain.
The Lucifer engined M.1D, painted red and registered G-EAVP, was successfully raced during 1922, winning the handicap prize in the 1922 Aerial Derby, piloted by L.L. Carter. The next year it was fitted with a specially tuned 140 hp (100 kW) Lucifer and entered for the Grosvenor Cup, during which it is crashed at Chertsey on approach to Croydon Airport, killing the pilot, Ernest Leslie Foot.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
The Fiat 806 Driven Stroke, sometimes described as the Fiat 806 and Fiat 806/406 Grand Prix, was a racing car created by the Turin-based company in 1927 , which represented the first cars to Grand Prix ever built. For the Fiat it was also the last.
In 1923 the persuasoria ability to Enzo Ferrari , at the time of the driver and factotum ' Alfa Corse , had torn Vittorio Jano and his coaching entourage at Fiat, to bring it to' Alfa Romeo . After the resounding defeat at the Lyon Grand Prix of 1924 , feeling betrayed, Giovanni Agnelli took one of his decisions in a rush: the racing team Fiat withdrew from the Grand Prix and suspended the construction of the new car from Grand Prix, designed by the young engineers Quiet Zerbi and Alberto Massimino .
But the choice had favored the Alfa Romeo that, in the absence of her rival, began collecting a number of important sporting victories that stimulated sales at the expense of Fiat. Determined to break the supremacy of the ' Alfa Romeo P2 , in 1927 the Fiat leadership gave orders to the Department special construction to start developing a car that can fulfill that undertaking, demonstrating the competitiveness of the Turin maintained.
Moreover, the new international regulation of the Formula Grand Prix had diminished the capacity maximum of 2,000 to 1,500 cm³ and the latest version of the previous model " 805 " was now at its maximum possible evolution. It was therefore necessary to build a completely new car. Zerbi and Massimino dusted off the previous project, making substantial changes.
Both the engine and the chassis were designed to exceed in originality and performance, the limits set by the technical era.
For the engine were devised two half-blocks of six cylinders in line to be coupled to form a twelve-cylinder engine with available U . The distribution was two overhead valves, controlled by three overlying camshafts and boost was provided by a compressor Roots .
The most innovative part, however, was in the frame and bodywork. In order to lower the center of gravity the two engineers thought to prepare the engine and gearbox no longer rests on the two supporting spars of the frame, but sandwiched between them, including giving greater torsional rigidity. The solution involved a smaller distance between the longitudinal members which did not allow sufficient space for the traditional passenger compartment. However, the improved reliability of the engines had already dispensed with the presence of the co-driver-mechanic, at least for the short-lived races, and it was decided to remove the seat next to the pilot, thus creating the first grand prix in history motoring.
In all four engines they were built twelve-cylinder "Type 406" and a single frame "Type 806".
Compared to the technical specifications of the time, the Fiat 806 came immediately notice the ground clearance and the very small front section. The house declared a power of 187 hp at 8,500 rpm / min and a speed of about 240 km / h , with an average consumption of about 35 liters per 100 km. Equipped with a 4-speed gearbox and reverse, he boasted rigid axle suspension and mechanical shocks, with drum brakes on all four wheels, mechanically controlled and assisted by hydraulic brake booster.
Embellished with many technical innovations and an engine of exuberant specific power, the "806" immediately revealed to the two test drivers, Salamano Carlo and Pietro Bordino , the difficulty of development and the fragility of the engine to the prolonged efforts. Not to mention the inadequacy of the components of that time, compared to the benefits.
For these reasons it was decided to register the car to the Grand Prix of Milan , on the distance of 50 km, and not at the European Grand Prix , on the distance of 500 km. Both races disputed, consecutively, on September 4, 1927 on the circuit of Monza .
The renewal of the challenge at the summit between Fiat and Alfa Romeo brought an overflow crowd on the circuit, despite the heavy rain the day and insistent. In addition to the return from the USA , he returned to Pietro Bordino for the occasion from the USA , where he had moved after the withdrawal of Fiat from racing, to attract the crowd contributed to the presence of the steering wheel axis of Milan Grand Prix as Giuseppe Campari , Aymo Maggi , Emilio Mattresses and Tazio Nuvolari .
The track conditions due to rain were particularly unfavorable to the Fiat 806 and its super-fractionated engine that certainly could not excel in elasticity and smoothness of delivery. However, due to the superior stability of the new chassis, Bordino won the preliminaries batteries, making sure to end what today would be called the pole position and won the victory, in front of ' Alfa Romeo P2 from Campari and Bugatti T35 Maggi, inflicting gap of more than a minute for the second place and also clinching the fastest lap of the entire motoring day, at an average of 155.410 km / h.
After this test of competitiveness, everything augured well for the season of 1928 , but the Fiat considered ended the demo experience, and announced his retirement again in the Formula Grand Prix, this time, was final.
The order of destruction of the prototype and the accompanying materials came directly from the Agnelli senator . The Fiat 806 and the spare engines were dismembered to recover reusable parts and the rest came under the press , for the smelter . To document the progenitor of the modern single-seater Formula 1 , there are only a few photographs.