The weird Little “Zeta” motor car, 1963.

zeta_300_01Launched by the Lightburn Washing Machine Company from Camden Park in South Australia in 1963, the Zeta was an unusual vehicle to say the least.
It was manufactured of Fibre Glass in three body styles, the 2 door sedan, 2 door roadster and utility – each clearly targeting the “cheap and cheerful” market segment.
On paper at least, the Zeta put forward a compelling argument to augment the Aussie family with a second car, the $595 asking price was low?
It had some neat tricks like you reversed the car by turning the ignition key anti-clockwise and the fuel gauge looked like a fat thermometer.
But the execution was poor, build quality and insipid engines combining to wipe the smile off any new owners face in seconds, rather than minutes.
And with the release of vastly superior vehicles such as the Mini Minor few were tempted to give the little Zeta a try.
The Sydney City Council did purchase a handful of the utility body styled Zeta’s to supplement it’s Hyde Park fleet, but these rarely ventured onto the bitumen.
As a result only 363 vehicles were sold from 1963 to 1966, including only 28 of the sports model.
But I did have a mate who used to drive his Mum’s little Zeta and as young blokes we couldn’t be too fussy about our rides in those days.
The little Zeta disappeared off the Aussie scene in a short time.
via Lightburn Zeta : 1963

The Early Days of the Holden, Woodville Plant.

First-all-australian-moto-0011856 – Holden Saddlery opens.
James Alexander Holden opened his Holden saddlery in Adelaide and quickly became a reputable manufacturer of horse saddles, harnesses and equipment.
The company supplied equestrian equipment in the Boer War. It gradually began to change its focus to manufacturing vehicle hardware.
In 1887 James’s son Henry James Holden took over the business after his father’s death, setting Holden on the path to becoming one of Australia’s leading car manufacturers.
1917 – Entry into the automotive industry.
Holden was supplying Chevrolet bodies for General Motors and also made car bodies for Ford. By 1924 they were sole supplier for G.M. 
1931 – GM Australia and Holden merge.
General Motors in Australia merged with Holden to become General Motors-Holden’s Ltd. Ford and General Motors-Holden’s dominated the fledgling automotive industry during this period.
Australian-Prime-Minister-012
1948 – ‘Made in Australia.’
Holden manufactured the FX 48-215, the first car ‘made in Australia, for Australia’.
Ben Chifley, the prime minister (above), launched production of the car on 29 November, 1948, describing the FX as a ‘beauty’.
The model was enormously successful, leading to waiting lists stretching almost a year ahead from when the car was first released.
A total of 120,402 cars were made in its six-year run. Holden continued its ascendancy throughout the 1950s and 1960s, introducing many new models.
via Guardian Australia.

Traveling through Cuba – in a 1950 Chevrolet.

Image Credit: Photograph and caption by Lorraine Yip / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Traveling through Cuba in a vintage 1950 Chevrolet with a speedometer which no longer works.
We were passing by the city of Camagey known for its winding streets.
The modern American Hawaiian hula figure and yellow taxi cab sign on the dashboard adds to the time travel-esque element of the classic Chevrolet, set against the backdrop of an old and perhaps dilapidated , but not forgotten, Cuba.
Source: 10 Stunning Portraits from the 2017 Nat Geo Travel Photographer of the Year Contest «TwistedSifter

The Rileys.

The Riley cousins are meeting up on Big Bash Day to celebrate years of friendship and fun. The Riley below is Wayne who I think might be from Darwin. Alex doesn’t tell me much although I notice that Wayne is wearing a Jaguar T-shirt.
Knowing that our Alex would not give it away (T-shirt) I assume Wayne may have a Jaguar. I hope he has.

Meanwhile, here is our Alex bearing a Riley T-shirt. What’s this all about Alex? Here is the answer from Wikipedia.

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Industry Automotive
Fate Acquired by William Morris in 1938 thereafter with Morris Motors Limited
Successor Nuffield Organisation
Founded 1896 as The Riley Cycle Company
Headquarters Coventry, England
Key people

Riley was a British motorcar and bicycle manufacturer from 1890. Riley became part of the Nuffield Organisation in 1938 and was merged into the British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968. ln July 1969 British Leyland announced the immediate end of Riley production, 1969 was a difficult year for the UK auto industry and many cars from Riley’s inventory may have been first registered in 1970.

Today, the Riley trademark is owned by BMW.

Delahaye Type 165: Beautiful French Car of the 1930s.

Delahaye Type 165: The Most Beautiful French Car of the 1930s
The Delahaye Type 165 is viewed by many as the most beautiful French car of the 1930s, only 5 of them were ever made with this one having been fatefully chosen by the French government to represent France at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Shortly after the car arrived at New York customs, Germany invaded Poland and set off World War II, thus the Delahaye became stranded in no-mans land where it sat for 8 long years before being acquired by a Beverly Hills car dealer for the staggering (at the time) sum of $12,000 USD.
Source: Delahaye Type 165: The Most Beautiful French Car of the 1930s ~ vintage everyday

Last Man Standing, Nebraska.

Last man standing
The winner of a demolition derby in Nebraska stands on the wreck of his car. Photograph: Gregory Halpern
“It’s a bizarre phenomenon,” says the US photographer Gregory Halpern. “People take these junkyard cars and fix them up so that the engine works, even though the shell is a total wreck.
Then the cars drive around in a muddy arena, spewing dirt everywhere and ramming into each other – and the last car still driving wins.
”He’s talking about a very American motor sport called demolition derby, one of many striking activities he documented during his visits to Nebraska over the past 14 years.
Halpern (born in Buffalo, New York state, in 1977) was invited to do an artist’s residency in the state’s largest city, Omaha.
Taking photos of midwestern life over the course of six months, he gradually zeroed in on the subject of hypermasculinity, which he felt was “much more celebrated and part of the visual culture in Nebraska” than in coastal cities such as San Francisco, where he was teaching photography at the time.
Out of the photos from his first visit, he created Omaha Sketchbook, self-published in 2009 using a laser printer and running to just 35 copies.
Ten years and several return visits later, Halpern – who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014 – has updated (and upgraded) Omaha Sketchbook for a wider readership, though the images remain at contact-sheet dimensions.
At the demolition derby, Halpern captured the winner standing triumphantly on the roof of his battered car as smoke spews out in all directions.
It may look like something out of Mad Max but Halpern says the event felt “good-natured: the crowd is drinking and cheering. Sometimes fights will break out, but generally speaking it’s bizarrely fun”.
Source: The big picture: crash and dash at the demolition derby | Art and design | The Guardian

Volkswagen’s Beetle is rolling off the factory floor for the last time.

Volkswagen is bringing an end to its much-loved Beetle car this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.
  • Volkswagen’s Beetle was conceived by the Nazis in 1938.
  • Production of the car under Nazi rule never happened, but was restarted with the British.
  • The marque produced over 21 million versions, and was embraced around the world
It’s the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolised many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938.
Initially birthed as a project of Germany’s Third Reich, it then became a symbol of Germany’s post-war economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity.
Today, the Beetle stands as a formidable piece of 20th-century design — about as recognisable as a Coca Cola bottle.
The car’s original design — a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear — can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, the founder and namesake of fellow German marque, Porsche.
He was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to create a “people’s car” that would make motoring widespread among the German people, which was then known as the KdF-Wagen — the acronym of the Nazi labour organisation, Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy).
Preparation for the vehicle even involved creating a purpose-built factory town, which was then known as the City of the KdF car at Fallersleben.
Aspects of the car bore similarities to the Tatra T97, made in Czechoslovakia in 1937, and to sketches by Hungarian engineer Bela Barenyi published in 1934.
But due to World War II, production of the Beetle never happened. Instead, the factory switched to military vehicle production, using forced labour sourced from occupied Europe. Liberated by US troops in April 1945, the factory town was renamed Wolfsburg a month later. By June of that year, control of the factory was turned over to Britain.

In total, over 21 million original Volkswagen Beetles were produced in its lifetime. The Kombi Van was a big seller in the 1960s.
But not all Brits were immediately on the side of the Beetle, with automotive baron Sir William Rootes telling a meeting of the country’s leading car manufacturers the vehicle would be “quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer”.
By the end of 1949, the Volkswagen factory had produced over 45,000 vehicles, and had transferred ownership over to the West German government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company.
By 1955, the one millionth Beetle, officially called the Type 1, had left the assembly line.
Read on via Source: Volkswagen’s last Beetle is rolling off the factory floor this week – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Morgan 4/4, 1936.

Photos of the Morgan 4/4, the Morgan Motor Company’s First Car With Four Wheels.
The Morgan 4/4 is an automobile which has been produced by the Morgan Motor Company since 1936.
It was Morgan’s first car with four wheels, the name indicating that the model has four wheels and four cylinders (earlier Morgans had been three-wheelers, typically with V-twin engines).
Early publicity and advertising material variously referred to the model as “4/4”, “4-4”, “Four Four” and similar names, but from the outset the factory designation was always “4/4”.
According to the Morgan Motor Company, the 4/4 is the longest running production vehicle in the world and has built up iconic status during that time.
It’s still being built today.
Source: vintage everyday: 1930s

Peaceful dog is perfect Companion for Old Car.

Image Credit: Photograph by Myriam Beatriz Mahiques.
The perfect companion.
When I came back to my car at this parking lot, I found this fancy old car with a serene beautiful dog looking straight back at me.
It let me take lots of pictures. I have selected this one because the dog looks so human and the perfect companion for his master, who must adore him or her.
The sun was blinding me, and this is the result, a little Surrealist quick pic.
Source: The perfect companion Photo by Myriam Beatriz Mahiques — National Geographic Your Shot

Why We Still Use the term ‘Horsepower.’

Whatever Happened to Horses?

They were once an integral part of daily life. Visitors to Tudor and Stuart England called it the kingdom of the horse because of the preeminence of the horse in the “economy, social and political life, in learned and agronomic discussions and as an object of both aesthetic and utilitarian concern” writes historian Daniel Roche.
Roche writes that this now-vanished world of daily equestrian culture was utilitarian, exploitative, and also something more. “As it involved living beings, it stimulated sensibilities, establishing constant links between thought and action, horse and horseman, horses and those who domesticated them, mobilized them, loved them or rejected them.”
Indeed, horses were once so ubiquitous that they gave their name to a measure of power: horsepower, essentially the power that one horse produces. The term was coined and calculated by James Watt in the 1770s.
The measure was initially a marketing tool; he wanted to compare his steam engine to the number of draft horses it would replace.
It took a while, however, to replace the power of horses with mechanical horsepower. In the early twentieth century, forty-horse teams pulled individual combines in the wheat fields of Washington. There were issues, of course, with using horses for so much.
In 1872, Boston’s business district burned down when the fire department’s steam pumping engines couldn’t get to the fire… because the horses that pulled the engines were down with the flu.
In 1880, 15,000 dead horses were removed from New York City’s streets, to be converted into leather hides, dog meat, glue, fertilizer, furniture stuffing, candles, and soap. The waste from the city’s 200,000 living horses presented another disposal problem: an individual horse produces 15-30 pounds of manure and a quart of urine per day.
Humans now worry about replacement by machines, but horses have already experienced this and for them it may well have been a good thing.
In the nineteenth century, horses were “living machines,” says historian Clay McShane, who details the increasing growth of horse use during Boston’s “Gelded Age.”
Horses were used for “freight delivery, passenger transport, food distribution, and police, fire and ambulance services.” Caring for and cleaning up after horses (or not: cities were a pestilence of horse flies) were industries unto themselves. As late as 1900, more than 11,000 Bostonians earned their living driving horses.
McShane writes that, viewed from an ecological perspective, the horse/human connection was symbiotic, two mammals sharing habitat. Yet he also notes that it was an abolitionist who founded the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1868: the terrible cruelty humans could inflict on other humans in slavery was unfettered when it came to abuse of work animals.
As recently as a century ago, horses were still everywhere, omnipresent in rural and urban areas alike. Even during WWII, write historians R. L. DiNardo and Austin Bay, horses played an enormous role in transport and European agriculture, which suffered tremendously because of their appropriation for war.
The Germans—supposedly the most mechanized military of the day—were highly dependent on horse-drawn transport. The Russian horse population has been estimated at 21 million before the war, 7.8 million after.
Since then, of course, things have changed, and “horse-power” exists only as a metaphor used to sell cars. Humans worry about replacement by machines, but horses have already experienced this and for them it may well have been a good thing. 
via Why We Still Use “Horsepower” | JSTOR Daily