Taylormade

Still Too Much Time On My Hands

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Another disaster that befell the Zap Motorcar Company was the rushed introduction of the Zapmobile Countryside Cabriolet.

 

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An attractive, if overpriced, automobile, the Countryside featured wood trim.  This led to disaster when one of the display cars at the 1938 Los Angeles Auto Show burst into flames.  The resulting conflagration leveled the Auto Show.  Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but all the cars at the show were completely destroyed.  The cause of the fire was believed to be the highly volatile linseed oil used to treat the wood on the car  In the rush to get the Zapmobile to the show, the Zap engineers had not let the mixture dry sufficiently..  A stray cigarette butt is suspected of igniting the linseed oil and sending the car up in flames.  This rare photo shows the carnage.

 

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An assembly line shot of the Countrysides being built.  The cars were built without ashtrays.  None are known to survive.

 

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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The LA Auto show fire was in 1929 not 1938

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28 minutes ago, Curti said:

The LA Auto show fire was in 1929 not 1938

 

Retained embers still glowing through the depression years?

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35 minutes ago, Curti said:

The LA Auto show fire was in 1929 not 1938

It's pure fantasy so the real date probably won't matter.

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With some types of oil used on wood finishes, if you leave the oiling cloth bunched up, e.g. in a box, it can catch fire spontaneously. My cousin had this happen. Luckily they caught it before more than the box was burnt, else the house (all wood frame and cladding) could have burnt down.

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Just now, Spinneyhill said:

With some types of oil used on wood finishes, if you leave the oiling cloth bunched up, e.g. in a box, it can catch fire spontaneously. My cousin had this happen. Luckily they caught it before more than the box was burnt, else the house (all wood frame and cladding) could have burnt down.

My cousin darn near burned his shop down with an oily rag, once. He learned a BIG lesson that day.

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4 hours ago, Curti said:

The LA Auto show fire was in 1929 not 1938

 

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

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35 minutes ago, Ozstatman said:

 

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

 

That's a quote from Nucky Thompson. 

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4 hours ago, keiser31 said:

My cousin darn near burned his shop down with an oily rag, once. He learned a BIG lesson that day.

Probably linseed oil which is well known, or SHOULD be, to be very volatile when in a confined space....... :wacko:

 

 

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Who knew my cheap gag would turn into a serious discussion about the dangers of linseed oil?  Maybe we all have too much time on our hands.?

 

As as far as the date of the fire, I had limited photographs of Auto Show fires - one to be exact.  Since I set the fictional Zapmobile as a 1938 model, I was forced to use dramatic license.  In other words, "It's a joke, son."

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Back to the original thread, Looks like the Zapmobile got zapped and took a few others with it to "Car Heaven". More sad about the Auburn.

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10 hours ago, Taylormade said:

Who knew my cheap gag would turn into a serious discussion about the dangers of linseed oil?  Maybe we all have too much time on our hands.?

 

As as far as the date of the fire, I had limited photographs of Auto Show fires - one to be exact.  Since I set the fictional Zapmobile as a 1938 model, I was forced to use dramatic license.  In other words, "It's a joke, son."

 

Cheap gag?  I don't think so.  Your "Zapmobile" design would make a worthy "Blastolene" project for Randy Grubb.  Below are two designs from Randy: the top one being the "Blastolene B702" and the bottom one being the "Decoliner".  The B702 sold at the Scottsdale Auction for $522,500.00 in 2009.  Yes, the "Decoliner" can be driven from two points: inside the cab and up on the flying bridge.  How cool is that?  The link below is to a short video on Randy Grubb and the "Decoliner"

 

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The-Decoliner-by-Blastolene-9.jpg

 

http://www.blastolene.com/Work_in_Progress/deco.htm

 

Cheers,

Grog

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I was thinking of installing a sbc in my Zapmobile, since none are known to survive I might reconsider that.

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Ragtop, you're in luck!   No Countrysides are known to exist, but an Aerocoupe was found.  This is from my previous post.

 

A photograph of what is believed to be the only Zapmobile in existence.  It was found in an abandoned garage outside Ashtabula, Ohio by Thomas "Chuffy" Heidkamp in 1963.  Chuffy always meant to restore the car, but after pulling it out of the garage, it languished in his backyard until 1987 when he was killed in a freak accident with the automatic milking machine in his barn.  A bitter family dispute over ownership of  Chuffy's car collection ended in the infamous Ashtabula Shootout.  Thankfully no one was injured, but it took twenty two years of litigation before what was left of the car was finally awarded to Chuffy's son-in law, Carl "Shifty" Munson.  Unfortunately, in 2013 the car broke into three pieces during an attempt to load it on a trailer in preparation for transport to Barrett-Jackson.  Shifty decided to keep the car, repairing the damage with J B Weld and chicken wire.  It will go up on eBay sometime in the near future with a reported reserve of six-point two million dollars (American).

 

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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And this type of fun is how legends are born. :P Soon to be included in reference books near you!

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