With the news that the Ford Product Development Center – along with its rotunda styling dome and open-air courtyard – faces the wrecking ball, we thought we’d go in search of more video of that institution and came up with a couple vintage behind-the-scenes glimpses of what went on there in the Sixties
.The first, a circa 1961 Ford adaptation of the Jack Douglas television series “The Secret Door,” is unique in that it shows us a few steps in the development of an advanced styling project (the highlight, a car called the Astrion, is a bit of a mystery – it doesn’t appear in the Farrells’ comprehensive book on Ford concepts and showcars) and also gives far more credit to the clay modelers who worked on that project than to the designers who sketched it. In the video it also looks like we get a shot of Alex Tremulis demonstrating the Gyron’s gyroscopic stabilizer system, some footage of the Futura going through testing, and plenty of reminders that Ford was serious about keeping a lid on its design process.
For anyone interested in speed, time, distance rally racing but aren’t quite ready for the annual 10-day, 2,000-plus-mile Great Race, we suggest starting in one of the smaller regional rallies offered throughout the year. One such event is the Coker Tire Challenge, taking place a few days from now from September 19th-22nd. It’s a 3-day mini version of the Great Race, with similar rules and team directions, however, race teams start and finish each day back at Coker Tire world headquarters in Chattanooga on each of the three nights of the event. The Coker Tire Challenge runs through the beautiful Southeast Tennessee countryside with a few visits into northern Georgia and Alabama along the way. Scoring is identical to Great Race rules, with older cars receiving an adjustment factor to their scores based on the age of the vehicle (the older it is, the bigger the adjustment). For those unfamiliar with the format, two-person teams attempt to complete a route as close to a target time as possible, with no electronic aids to calculate speed and acceleration times. As always in this type of racing, the team with the closest score to perfect time wins.
Several Great Race cars were damaged in a tornado in the early morning hours Thursday, May 23, in Jefferson City, Mo. The cars, which were originally stored in Brad Epple’s airplane hangar at the airport, had just been moved to a storage facility due to record flooding in the area which is expected to put four feet of water in the hangar in the next few days. The tornado hit just after midnight damaging Epple’s 1916 Hudson racer, his 1934 Ford produce truck, his 1965 Corvette and several other personal vehicles. Marybeth Lewis’ 1940 Cadillac, which was being stored there as well before being shipped to California for the Great Race, was also damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the three cars entered into the Great Race next month should all be repaired in time for the event.
A look back at the 2018 Great Race from Llewellyn and Susan Toulmin @Montgomery County Sentinel
This month, we focus on the 2018 Great Race, probably the coolest motoring and travel adventure you never heard of. Next month we will interview the only Marylander in the 2018 Great Race, and then we will describe the highlight of the event -the scary climb and terrifying descent of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.
Miniature Model A Ford Engine, amazingly engineered and highly built by a very skilled machinist. Each part has been machined and handcrafted and scaled down to an exact copy of the real Model A engine. Has been shown and demonstrated at museums and seminars. Runs & sounds like a Model A. If you are a Model A collector or enthusiast you might like to own this one-of-a-kind engine, which took 100s of hours to build. You must see it and hear it run to believe it. Takes regular gas, 10w oil in crank case and water or antifreeze in radiator, battery start.
A very special little running motor for a serious collector to display in your collection and take to shows and have lots of fun with.
The Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty has visited the West Coast numerous times in its 36-year history, but the event has never started and finished there. That changes next year, when the 2019 Great Race begins in Riverside, California on Saturday, June 22, and ends in Tacoma, Washington, nine days and 2,300 miles later