Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Billion Dollar Makeover

On our way to the second exhibit building of the Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerque, we passed a portion of the "million dollar wall" from the Indianapolis 500 track where Al Unser Jr. crashed against the wall in the third turn in 1989.
That crash cost him over $1 million in prize money.

Some of the racing cars, classic cars, and other Unser family memorabilia are on display.
1972 Viceroy Sprint Car

1988 Buick Syhawk

This 1992 Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Stock Car Champion is the only stock car to top 100 mph at all three speed traps up Pikes Peak. Competed in the 1992 race.
Pennzoil Sprint Car

The car above was driven by Al Unser, Jr. when he was 14 or 15 years old.
1991 UNO Lola Chevrolet

This car produced a finish of 3rd at Indianapolis, 2nd at Michigan, and won at Nazareth in 1991.
1930 Ford Model A Pick-up

1936 Hudson Deluxe Eight

The Hudson Motor Car Company operated from 1909 to 1954 and along the way was one of the survivors of the Great Depression. I have developed an appreciation for cars from the 1930s with the elaborate grills and
stylish hood ornaments.

And then I spy this Ford Model A below.

"The year was 1926. Henry Ford's "Tin Lizzie" was getting old. It had been produced since Oct. 1st, 1908. There had been very few major changes to the car even though it did look quite different. With his son Edsel pushing to move past the Model T and design and build a 'new ford,' the order was finally given on July 20th, 1926 to start work on a new ford, the "Model A", although that name had not been picked yet.
1930 Ford Model A Phaeton

"Henry made the last of the Model T's on May 26th, 1927. It was car No. 15,000,000. It is said Henry spent $100,000,000 (in today's dollars, that's equal to 1.2 BILLION Dollars!) on the new car design and for retooling of the Rouge plant to build the new Model A. Quite a sum in the 1920's! The car contained over 6800 parts whereas the Model T only contained about 5000.
"Model A No. 1 rolled off the production line on Oct. 20th, 1927 but the public didn't see the car until Dec. 2nd, 1927. Unlike the Model T, the new ford came in seven body styles and an amazing four colors" (ahooga.com/info/story.shtml).
1920s Sterling Truck

Sterling pioneered the use of the wood lined frame. The entire length of the frame is lined with a seasoned hard wood which absorbs road shocks and prolongs the life of the vehicle. The years 1915 to 1928 brought many radical changes in automotive transportation.
The building of good roads and increased truck hauls made way for faster road speeds which caused a vast change in the design of motor trucks.
Sterling was the first heavy duty truck manufacturer to offer chassis equipped with six cylinder engines and in 1928 introduced the use of the multiple transmission.
1913 Yale Board Track Racer

This racer could reach speeds of 90 mph--but it had no brakes.
Johnny Lightning Motorcycle

This motorcycle’s builder was Sam Wills, a three-time national drag bike champion built this motorcycle to look like the Johnny Lightning car.