Tag: transportation

The 1964 Cadillac hearse that carried the body of President John F. Kennedy after his assassination, mentioned in a post last week, sold over the weekend for $160,000. (Video below.)

The hearse was made famous when it transported the body of John F. Kennedy, and his wife Jacqueline, from Parkland Memorial Hospital to Dallas Love Field, where Air Force One was parked.

The vehicle's seller previously put the vehicle up for auction in 2007 with a reserve price of $1 million, but the bid reached only $900,000 before auction's end. Of course, that still would have been $740,000 more than what it earned on Saturday.

In retrospect, that makes it an absolute steal for Saturday's winning bidder, Stephen Tebo, who says he plans to display the hearse in a yet-to-be-built car museum along with 400 other vehicles he already owns. Tebo expects to open the museum in the Boulder, Colorado, area in about 10 years. ... Continued

I wouldn't say the method by which one reaches his destination is nearly as important as the destination itself, but there is something to be said for comfort and style. In that vein, I've compiled a handful of rides I've recently come across that, if nothing else, would catch the attention of fellow travelers.

The Magnificent

First up is one of the most jealousy-inflaming RVs I've come across in some time. Christened the Decoliner, it's a one-off, not-to-be-duplicated motorhome that embodies the showiest side of the art deco scene.

Designed and built by Randy Grubb and his Grants Pass, Oregon-based team of custom-car enthusiasts known as Blastolene, the Decoliner is a luxurious work of art with the coolest of features: a flybridge that allows you to drive from the rooftop. ... Continued

Just a reminder that the auction for the 1956 Aerocar N103D convertible airplane car I wrote about a couple weeks ago ends in just two days.

The retrofuturistic vehicle is being listed as "Best Offer," but you still have the option to beat the rush and snatch it up for the "Buy It Now" price of $3.5 million.

The seller has also added a Web site detailing the history and technical specs of the Aerocar, along with a black-and-white newsreel of the vehicle in action, viewable below.

They've also included list of reasons you should buy the plane-car, which include:

  • It is a unique part of aviation history.
  • It is a testimony to man’s creative genius.
  • It is loved by the public.


Be sure to watch the vintage newsreel on the Aerocar below. ... Continued

In 1949, engineer and former Navy pilot Moulton B. Taylor set about creating a practical and mass-produced flying car. Amazingly, he succeeded in designing a working model that could be converted from car to airplane in only five minutes by one person and received certification from the Civil Aeronautics Authority (now the FAA) for flight.

Unfortunately, the Aerocar, as Taylor named it, never received enough orders to justify production and it subsequently went the way of so many other cool things we'll never have. That is, unless you have $3.5 million and an eBay account.

Only six Aerocars were constructed, in three designs, all of which still exist. Three are in museums and three lie in private collections, only one of which still flies. Aerocar N103D, the third model built, hasn't flown since 1977, but remains in original condition and is currently being offered for sale as part of a divorce settlement.

Finnair, the flag airline of Finland, has announced its vision of flying for 85 years in the future. Titled Departure 2093, the project comprises designs for five futuristic flying machines that are posh, emission-free and 100% recyclable.

Thing is, the designs are eerily reminiscent of the types of craft the futurists of the '50s promised us for 1993, especially the A1700-2400 Cruiser, a jet-powered VTOL that looks more like a flying saucer, and the yet-unnamed dual-nosecone service ship for an orbiting "space hotel."

Features and amenities for Finnair's fleet of the future include nanoceramic bodies; electricity-generating skins; luminescent crash-landing bags and emergency parachutes; virtual windows with changeable exterior views; intelligent seats that adjust to passengers' bodies, measure their vital signs and offer massages; restaurants with live shows; gymnasiums; and hologram theaters. ... Continued

For roadside fanatics who'll be in the Los Angeles area anytime in the next six months, the Petersen Automotive Museum is having a special exhibit on the early history of road trips.

Titled "From Autocamps to Airstreams: The Early Road to Vacationland," the display recounts the birth of American auto travel, complete with a selection of vintage vehicles and campers that helped give rise to the earliest of roadside attractions.

Starting with the "Tin Can Tourists" of the early 1900s, who braved rough roads in luggage-laden Model T's, the exhibit follows the evolution of autocampers through the boxy days of customized "house cars" and into the more streamlined era of diminutive teardrops and majestic camping trailers.

Among the museum's prize acquisitions is a custom-built 1934 Thompson House Car and the oldest known Airstream trailer in existence (pictured).

The exhibit is scheduled through Feb. 8, 2009.

As I was zipping over to Fry's yesterday to pick up a little something for my latest project, I spotted a couple on the highway proudly driving a Smart Fortwo, a somewhat defiant choice of automobile in a state obsessed with transparently large and underutilized pickup trucks. The practical little transport was especially conspicuous here in north Dallas where the soccer queens reign from the seats of their Excursions and H3's.

For me, it was a refreshing sight and something I'd love to see more of. I couldn't help but shout "Good for you!" vainly through my windshield and across two lanes of traffic.

Microcars are not only the ideal transport for the intra-city drives and lone commutes that make up most people's wheel time, but, as I suddenly realized in that moment, they're absolutely perfect for the interstate road trips loved by faithful guests of the Roadside Resort, when all a person needs is a motor, a CD player and a space for their overnight bag. And just imagine how easy all those U-turns would be, looking for the right back road that leads to the world's largest whatever. ... Continued

Microcar photos courtesy of the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum.

I haven't had much time to update the site, being busy with Weird Oklahoma and all, but I thought I'd at least take the time to share a few things I've recently come across in my work-avoidance surfing.

First up, a man after my own heart. Steve Lodefink has discovered what he believes will replace the Altoids tin as the homebrew tinkerer's project box: the coconut.

"The shell is hard and durable, easily machined, has a pleasing organic texture which can be left hairy, sanded smooth, or anything in-between. The little brown dome of a half-shell is cute as a bug, bringing a smile to all who see it. The dome shape is extremely stable and tip resistant. I could go on all day."

For anyone who loves the look of tiki as I do, Steve's innovative implementation has opened a whole new chapter in retro design, which it appears he himself has termed "cocopunk." His inaugural project: an amplifier for a homebuilt electric ukelele. ... Continued