Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ford Consul Mk 1 in Wilmslow, England, 1957

traffic in Amagertorv, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1960s

Including a VW Beetle, Ford Consul MK1, Opel Kapitan P2, Mercedes Ponton.

1961 Ford Trader 75 bus


Gross weight is 11.3 tons, tare weight is 7.8 tons, a 5.4 litre diesel engine.  After bus use it was later used as a motor caravan.

According to Wallace Trickett: "One of my first school runs with Blue Bus Services (I was both mechanic and driver) at Masterton in 1981 was to Mauriceville about 35 km to the north east. I was given instructions and basically told the school children would let me know the stops etc. It was a very hot afternoon. Note the sliding windows in the bodywork same as in the photo.

So all the windows were open, I dropped the last child off and was returning to the depot on a narrow country lane when a milk tanker approached from the opposite direction. I pulled in as far as I could, but small rear vision mirrors were set to watch duals and skirt so could not see the top of the bodyside.

I heard a bit of scraping going on as I brushed against some foliage. I carried on into town and parked up at the pumps: as I was getting out of my seat, the manager appeared and scratching his head looked at the left hand side of the bus.

There protruding out from a window about seven rows back was a tree branch about 9 feet long complete with small branch off shoots.  I had driven about 25 km like that and fortunately it being empty had not impaled a child sitting in the seat!"

GM Harrison car air conditioning advert, 1961

1957 Gulf Oil advert


With a 1957 DeSoto.

1984 Ford Trader

If you think the photo is taken at the mouth of the Hataitai bus tunnel in Wellington, we do too.

This was another Mazda product, rebranded as a Ford.

Hungarian railway freight cars

Or goods wagons, depending on where you live.  From a 1983 MAV calendar.

trams in Ljublijana, Slovenia, 1900s


This system began in 1901, reached a maximum length of 18.5 km (11.5 miles) in 1940 and closed in 1958.

At the time this was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and interestingly in the second postcard the German names (Laibach, Marienplatz) have been obliterated by overprinting, presumably nationalist sentiment after WW1.  Despite this, most Slovenians still speak German as a second language.

'see, I'm wearing my seat belt'

Amtrak and Union Pacific doublestack in Emeryville, California

The north-east bound California Zephyr arrives while a double stack container train rolls along on the right. (Geoff Churchman pic)

logging train in Taiwan, 1930

 A place stated to be the Lumber Camp of Numanohira, no other info.

Brisbane CityCat, Australia


Providing transport along the Brisbane River is a fleet of 19 CityCats and 9 CityFerries operated by the Brisbane City Council. There are 24 terminals stretching from The University of Queensland at St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton.

The bridge in the foreground is for pedestrians. (Geoff Churchman pic)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

88 years since Santa Barbara was wrecked by an earthquake


On 29 June 1925 Santa Barbara, California, was wrecked by a magnitude 6.8 Richter scale earthquake which struck at 6:42 am. Because of the time of day, casualties were surprisingly low. The worst damage was in the central commercial area.

Like Napier 6 years later, the rebuilding turned out to be a boon to the city with most rebuilding being in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style and today it is one of America's most attractive cities.  Hopefully this will prove to be the case with Christchurch NZ also.

wear your seat belt campaign becomes stringent

It's common now to see the Click It or Ticket warnings on US highways and on TV, a campaign promoted at the national level by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - website with myths and facts

1936 Ford Tudor in stainless steel


One of 4 built for Allegheny Ludlum Steel's top salesmen. More pics and info

Triumph Herald on the Caspian Sea, Iran, 1963


It's hard to believe now, but before 1979 women in Iran could dress as they pleased.

This is from Before The Chador dedicated to the period when the land of the former Persian Empire was a worldwide business and pleasure destination; before the government told people how to dress, before home became prison, before fear became part of life.

yellow car and the LA City Hall

A circa 1940 postcard showing a Los Angeles streetcar with the 32 floor City Hall from 1928 in the background.  This is 138 metres (453 ft) high and despite a few much taller buildings that have been constructed in recent times, is still the Downtown LA icon.

great car songs - 23. 'Greased Lightning' by John Travolta/'Grease' cast

From 1978.

1953 Kaiser/Henry J advert

1922 Tilling-Stevens bus drawings, Spain

Imported from the English manufacturer.

TER in Paris-Est

The quais at La Gare de l'Est with a Transport Express Régional or TER in the colors of the Champagne-Ardenne region.

And while on the subject of Paris-Est, this is the historic km 0 marker embedded in the floor paving. (Geoff Churchman pics)

1946 Morris Commercial PV promo art

Presumably PV stood for parcels van.

1938 Ford Pickup

Seen in Churton Park.

vehicles on the Mont Cenis Pass, France, 1907

The environs of Lanslebourg.  The Gendarmerie Nationale is there because of the proximity to the Italian border.

buses outside the State Conservatoire, Kiev, Ukraine, 1950s

'I think reading books is sexy'

traffic in Piazza Amedeo, Naples, Italy, 1950s

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dresden Hauptbahnhof platform hall interior, Germany

With a diesel multiple unit of one of the private franchised passenger operators arriving at the near platform. See earlier post.  (Geoff Churchman pic)

great car songs - 22. 'Hot Rod Lincoln' by Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen

Tunnel Brand fruit label

Label used by the San Fernando Valley growers, greater LA, probably 1900s.

Keelung Station, Taiwan

Formosa is an historic name for Taiwan.  This station was opened in 1908 and replaced with a new station in 1967.

car culture in Auckland, circa 1956

We think this was provided free as long as you bought something at the Farmers Department Store and showed your till receipt when leaving.

A lot of 1940s cars are in evidence - the then government policy of protecting local assemblers only served to make cars expensive and limited the availability of new cars.

transport burros climb Mt Wilson, California, 1900s

One of the better known peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains, the location of the Mount Wilson Observatory, which is named after Benjamin Davis Wilson also known as "Don Benito". Wilson, who was the grandfather of George S. Patton Jr., built a trail, following an established Indian route, which became known as the Mount Wilson Trail

loyalty cards are worth more to the issuing companies than to you

Like most people we have wallets full of loyalty cards in both NZ and the US, but don't go out of our way to use them.  In NZ the Countdown chain calls its card the OneCard and one percent cash back (in fact voucher back) is about what you get - and that would be typical with most such schemes.  Would you go out of your way to save one percent? Of course not.  You need to factor in your time and extra gas to go to that particular shop when you could go somewhere else closer.

Loyalty cards tell the organisations, particularly the supermarkets, what you like to buy and thus quite a lot about you.  Let them know that they have to compete for your custom and that you literally shop around. Fair Go video

bus at Auron ski resort, France, 1953

50 years of Volkswagens in NZ badge


The book has now sold out in A/NZ but a small quantity is available in the USA, webpage

Thursday, June 27, 2013

MAN bus in Jaffa, Israel, circa 1980

'it's nice to read a book in the park'

traffic in West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, LA, 1964

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cars in Revell Street, Hokitika, 1920s

Not overlooking the man on the bicycle.

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1980 Ford Laser


The first model year of the Ford Laser as a replacement for the Escort and was produced by Mazda in Japan after Ford had taken a 25% stake in Mazda the previous year. It was a restyled version of the Mazda Familia/323 and was sold by Ford in Asia, A/NZ and parts of South America and Africa. It was available as a hatchback and a notchback and came with 1.3 litre or 1.5 litre engines.  In 2003 it was replaced by the Ford Focus.

great car songs - 21. 'Crosstown Traffic' by Jimi Hendrix

Norwegian State Railways EL11 class

With a total production of 41 units, the Norske Statsbaner El 11, a Bo-Bo type, were the most common Norwegian electric locomotive and was an important part of the modernization of the NSB and its "get rid of steam" program. The El 11 was really a SBB Re 4/4 I with another body. They were built by NEBB Norsk Elektrisk Brown Boweri og Thune from 1951 to 1961. Locomotives 2145-2150 were a variant denoted El 11b with two front windows. El 11 was a universal locomotive for passenger and freight trains and well suited for Norwegian conditions with very good handling.  Three units - 2092, 2098 and 2110 - were rebuilt in 1983-1984 with dynamic brakes and magnetic rail brakes for use on the Flam Railway.

Locomotive weight: 62 tons, output: 2280 hp, starting tractive effort: 140 kN; driving wheel diameter: 1.06 metre. Length: 14.45 metres. Top speed: 105 km/h.

HO scale model from

the Knox Church, Dunedin and a horse tram, 1890s

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

NZ Government does u-turn on Auckland underground rail link


In a remarkable change of mind from Steven Joyce's infamous attack in May 2011 on the proposal to build a rail loop underneath the centre of Auckland like those which exist in Sydney and Melbourne, the NZ Prime Minister confirmed today the Government will pay half of the $2.86 billion estimated cost of Auckland's City Rail Link, with the city's council to pay the rest.

The rail link will extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart, under Albert, Vincent and Pitt streets, then beneath Karangahape Road and the Central Motorway Junction to Symonds Street before rising to join the western line near Eden Terrace.

The link will double the number of tracks into Britomart allowing twice as many trains to run in and out of the city, and reducing some journeys by more than half.

"Road's just don't provide it, bus just can't do it. Mass transit on rail is a critical part of any growing international city," Auckland Mayor Len Brown said.

TVNZ videos

SNCF loco BB 22326 with a train of couchettes of the Czech railways

Seen underway from Lourdes to Bratislava, at Anthéor on the French riviera, no date. The BB 22200, built 1976–1986, are dual voltage (1500 V DC and 25 kV 50 Hz AC).

Wellington from Tinakori Hill, November 1956

Another illustration considered for, but not used in the book Wellington: a Capital century

Samoa Air introduces XL seats for 'people of size'

The first airline in the world to introduce 'pay what you weigh' fares (we're not aware of any others so far) is now fitting all its Britten Norman and Cessna aircraft with a special XL row of seats which have been made 12-14 inches (30-35 cm) wider to provide more stomach room, with more space between the seats.  It seems these will be provided to those who weigh more than 280 lbs (127 kg)

Samoa Air chief executive Chris Langton told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the airline had also added a special ramp on its planes to allow for easier access for large passengers.

About 80% of the Samoan population is said to be overweight.

steam hauled passenger train in Sannomiya, Kobe, Japan, 1910s