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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Yesterday 10:52 AM
CrazyBRONCOguy Some things that caught my eye at the local cruise spot last night. Always
some good stuff that shows up there.

I think this is a '51, though not stock by any means

Always like these

Side note, the engine block in my '92 bronco came out of a '69 Torino.
09-14-2019 04:28 PM
BigBlue 94 Got some of my 'personal junkyard' moved to the new place. Along with the bronco and exploder

09-14-2019 02:47 AM
Originally Posted by Handy_andy_cv64 View Post
They may not have come out until '61, but it was out in time for the '62 Winternats. However, as Cobrajoe pointed out, that Chevy did have a 348, and made the holeshot in order to win. Such are the breaks for heads-up racing.
I think B/S is on the side window of the Ford, IIRC, those stock classes were limited to the engine that was available for that model year from the factory, and displacement was limited to stock size plus a 0.030 overbore.
Interestingly enough, the NHRA Stock classes were based on factory advertised horsepower and shipping weight, I don't have a '62 NHRA rulebook, but in the '65 rulebook, the B/S ("B" Stock) class was 9.50 to 10.59 pounds per advertised horsepower.
09-14-2019 02:02 AM
Originally Posted by Mikey350 View Post
The 409 was not available in 1959 Chevies, but that was my first thought.
They may not have come out until '61, but it was out in time for the '62 Winternats. However, as Cobrajoe pointed out, that Chevy did have a 348, and made the holeshot in order to win. Such are the breaks for heads-up racing.
09-13-2019 12:00 PM
White Dragon While snooping around for something to cheer up one of Our Bruddas'

I found this.
Looks like @schwim strikes again. LoL

09-12-2019 10:05 PM
El Kabong I saw a coupe version at Hot August Nights several years ago. It was nicely done. He called his a "Mustero". I think I like that ^ fastback version better.

09-12-2019 09:14 PM
Originally Posted by MS88Bronc View Post
What can I say? The guy likes Rancheros. That Stang looks to have been done well, as it certainly looks professionally done in back.
09-11-2019 01:52 AM
Originally Posted by Handy_andy_cv64 View Post
Or a 406 vs. a 409.
The 409 was not available in 1959 Chevies, but that was my first thought.
09-10-2019 03:39 PM
09-10-2019 10:37 AM
MS88Bronc Umm...
09-10-2019 06:12 AM
cobrajoe Terry Prince putting a hole shot on the factory '62 405hp 406 Ford Galaxie 4-door for the B/Stock class win at the 1962 NHRA Winternationals. Prince's 320hp '60 348 went 13.37 at 105 mph, his quickest and fastest ever
09-09-2019 11:42 PM
Handy_andy_cv64 Or a 406 vs. a 409.
09-09-2019 10:27 PM
Originally Posted by cobrajoe View Post
406 versus a 348?
09-09-2019 05:52 PM
09-07-2019 07:28 AM
09-04-2019 06:17 AM
09-03-2019 07:44 PM
Originally Posted by BikerPepe` View Post
What a very interesting read. Glad they left that design on the factory floor and didn't go any further though. That thing has a very unique FUGLY to it. They could have named it NEMO.
yup, and sent straight to the bottom of the ocean.....
09-03-2019 05:08 PM
BikerPepe` What a very interesting read. Glad they left that design on the factory floor and didn't go any further though. That thing has a very unique FUGLY to it. They could have named it NEMO.
09-03-2019 04:19 PM

Ford's answer to the Beetle could have been a flip-front mid-engine turbine-powered death trap.
Daniel Strohl on Aug 30th, 2019

The Volkswagen Beetle, as we all know by now, sent shock waves through the U.S. auto industry. Sure, imports had come and gone in the past, but they were usually considered outliers- cars for enthusiasts, immigrants, and crackpots-that hardly garnered any market share. And Ford's initial response is worth examining because it illustrates how little some in the U.S. auto industry really understood the Beetle's appeal.

While GM eventually responded with the Corvair, Rambler with the American, and Chrysler, Ford apparently did take notice of the little rounded air-cooled, rear-engine car as early as 1957, according to Jim and Cheryl Farrell's Ford Design Department Concept and Showcars, 1932-1961.

The growing sales success of the Volkswagen was not lost on Ford's engineers and designers, some of whom had foreseen the reason for the Volkswagen's popularity, even before Ford's market research people did. Robert McNamara liked the Volkswagen, and encouraged efforts by Ford's engineers and designers to develop a similar car.
Ford's engineers and designers weren't averse to trying out any number of automotive configurations in the Fifties, and the task of finding a suitable counter punch to the Beetle fell to Earle MacPherson and Gil Spear's Special Vehicles Department, founded in May 1955. Specifically, it fell to Norm Nebozenko, Doug Miller, Bud Ward, and Jack Mills, who proposed the Midshipman, a smallish four- or five-seat forward-control sedan with plenty of unique features.

To begin with, one entered the Midshipman via a sort of clamshell door, hinged like a hood just under the split A-pillar. Spear had proposed a similar entry system- which he called the Strato-Door- on the Bimini, another Special Vehicles Department design, claiming that it facilitated entry into the car by allowing passengers and the driver to walk in and out of the car. To make entry somewhat easier, the Midshipman's designers had the steering wheel and part of the column rotate upwards as the door opened and then back down into driving position as the door closed.

Because I appear to be the first person to write about this car in the meme era, I'm going to make the obligatory om nom nom reference.

In addition to the clam shell door, the Midshipman's designers also included a conventional side door for the rear seat passengers and a tailgate and what amounts to a tonneau cover for access to the rear storage area, expertly foreseeing how pickup owners treat their beds like oversized trunks 60-some years later. And to make the tonneau cover hinge forward enough to permit access to the drivetrain, they designed the backlite to hinge upwards too. The designers were obviously very certain of Ford?s ability to craft a quality hinge.

Speaking of the drivetrain, the full-size design sketches of the Midshipman show it in a mid-engine configuration with what appears to be a water-cooled straight-six laid horizontally and an air-cooled opposed-six, but the Farrell's note that the designers intended to cover pretty much every base with the Midshipman.

It was designed-as a front or rear-engined, front or rear-wheel-drive car, with an engine, transmission and drive unit that could be easily removed and replaced with a loaner, while the dealer made repairs to the driver's unit. The Midshipman was so versatile that, in addition to being set up for both front and rear-wheel-drive, it was planned for either reciprocating or gas-turbine engines and for air and water-cooled engines.

It progressed as far as the aforementioned full-scale drawings and a 3/8-scale clay model before Ford dissolved the Special Vehicles Department in 1958.

While we want to like the idea of a mid-engine turbine-powered Ford competitor to the Beetle and will definitely bring one back should we ever encounter a production Midshipman while traversing the multiverse, the design had so many safety red flags that it likely would have drawn all of Ralph Nader's ire and given the Corvair a pass. To begin with, kiss everything south of the torso goodbye in a front-end collision. Even Martin Carl Fischer would've been horrified. While still on the topic of that door, sure it might've worked in ideal situations, but rollovers, low-overhead garages, and the inevitable need-to-bail-because-the-car-is-on-fire-and-we-lost-the-brakes-and-we're-headed-for-a-cliff situation would prove disastrous.

Handling, based on the proposed cabin weight distribution, independent rear suspension, and forward-control driving position: Not impossible to design well, but the challenge would be to design it well at a price-point to compete with the Beetle.

Fuel tank location, right underneath your rear-seat passengers and just in front of a gas-turbine engine: Just remember to pack some marshmallows for the inevitable flambe.

We're also not sure if the designers anticipated anybody would ever need to open a window. Though they did include window cranks in their drawings, so maybe?

Whatever the Midshipman's drawbacks, its designers appear to have misunderstood all but one aspect of the Beetle's appeal-its serviceability. They completely whiffed on its simplicity, on its inexpensiveness, and on its anti-status charm (fins? really?) by creating an overly complex, overly styled reach of a vehicle. Instead, it seemed, they were focused on quirk, on alternative drivetrain layouts, and on segment-busting while Volkswagen owners-at least in those initial years- just wanted a well-built and affordable car without all the frou-frou of contemporary American cars.

So, in a sense, the car that Ford did eventually produce to counter the Beetle-the Falcon- was not only the Midshipman's polar opposite in many respects, it was also much better aligned with the typical Beetle customer.

SIDEBAR: It's entirely conceivable that Ford's Special Vehicles Department might have baselined the NAMI Belka, a Russian vehicle from 1956 that also had the odd combination of flip-front and conventional doors.

SIDEBAR 2: While Renault didn't include a flip-front on its Ghia-bodied 1959 Project 900, the vehicle's cab-forward, long-decklid profile is rather similar to the Midshipman and NAMI Belka.
09-02-2019 04:05 PM
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