Films – Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Tue, 23 Jan 2018 04:01:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 Documentary: Operation Speed – 1956 https://silodrome.com/documentary-operation-speed-1956/ Sun, 07 Jan 2018 07:00:23 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69819 Documentary: Operation Speed – 1956

In 1956 an unusual caravan of vehicle trailers arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats. They carried a couple of land speed cars from England that must have looked like crash-landed alien spacecraft to the casual observer. The two cars on the trailers were one-off designs that had been built specifically for Bonneville a couple of...

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Documentary: Operation Speed – 1956

In 1956 an unusual caravan of vehicle trailers arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats. They carried a couple of land speed cars from England that must have looked like crash-landed alien spacecraft to the casual observer.

The two cars on the trailers were one-off designs that had been built specifically for Bonneville a couple of years before in 1954.

There was a heavily customized Austin-Healey 100/6 that had been supercharged to within an inch of its life for Donald Healey himself to drive to speeds in excess of 200 mph. And a second car with streamlined bodywork by Jensen that was fitted with a highly tuned, naturally aspirated engine that would be driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Jackson-Moore to challenge a range of Class D speed and endurance records.

Donald Healey went first. As a former racing driver it had been his life-long goal to drive a car of his own design to speeds in excess of 200 mph. He’d tried a couple of years earlier in 1954 but engine failure had spoiled the party.

This film runs at just over 17 minutes in length, and it shows both cars in action, with some remarkable aerial shots thrown in for good measure. I’m not going to spoil it by telling you here whether they succeeded or not, but I do recommend that you fix yourself a good coffee and hit play on the film.

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Documentary: This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make https://silodrome.com/documentary-film-this-is-the-last-dam-run-of-likker-ill-ever-make/ Sun, 17 Dec 2017 07:00:10 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69072 Documentary: This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make

This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make is a cult classic documentary about Popcorn Sutton, a legendary American Appalachian moonshiner and bootlegger. Popcorn tragically committed suicide at age 62 rather than report to federal prison, after having been convicted of moonshining and illegal firearm possession. He was born Marvin Sutton, but...

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Documentary: This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make

This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make is a cult classic documentary about Popcorn Sutton, a legendary American Appalachian moonshiner and bootlegger.

Popcorn tragically committed suicide at age 62 rather than report to federal prison, after having been convicted of moonshining and illegal firearm possession.

He was born Marvin Sutton, but picked up his nickname after getting frustrated with a popcorn machine in a local bar, and taking vengeance on it with a pool cue.

Of Scottish-Irish ancestry, Popcorn came from a long line of moonshiners and bootleggers, and he discovered a love for writing later in life.

He wrote a popular guide to moonshining in 1999 called “Me and My Likker” – the New York Times review described it as “a rambling, obscene, and often hilarious account of his life in the trade”.

This documentary won a Regional Emmy Award and is considered essential viewing for any fan of moonshine or modern American history. It was filmed and produced by Sucker Punch Pictures, and you can grab a copy on DVD here if you’d like to keep a copy or give it as a gift.

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Doctor Who Dalek https://silodrome.com/doctor-who-dalek/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 04:00:36 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=68794 Doctor Who Dalek

Doctor Who is a seminal science fiction TV series from the UK, it first aired in 1963 (3 years before Star Trek began), and it’s continued in various iterations since. Over the decades there have been 12 Doctors in the lead role, playing variations of the same character: a humanoid alien from the planet Gallifrey,...

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Doctor Who Dalek

Doctor Who is a seminal science fiction TV series from the UK, it first aired in 1963 (3 years before Star Trek began), and it’s continued in various iterations since. Over the decades there have been 12 Doctors in the lead role, playing variations of the same character: a humanoid alien from the planet Gallifrey, who has been tasked with battling evil using his time-travelling spaceship, the TARDIS.

The Daleks are the oldest villains from the series, first appearing in 1963. The Daleks were originally Kaleds from the planet Skaro, but they were genetically modified by the evil scientist Davros, then housed in retrotastic armored shells for mobility. Under their shell they look much like giant-brained octopuses.

The Dalek you see here was constructed in 1990, and it’s been used on screen in Series 7 episode Asylum Of The Daleks, as well as The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar in Series 9. It’s now due to be sold by Bonhams at the Entertainment Memorabilia Auction due to be held on the 13th of December and the estimated price is between £10,000 and £15,000.

More Here

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Documentary: The 1956 Joie Chitwood Hell Drivers https://silodrome.com/joie-chitwood-hell-drivers/ Sun, 03 Dec 2017 07:00:56 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=68527 Documentary: The 1956 Joie Chitwood Hell Drivers

The Joie Chitwood’s Hell Drivers show started just after the Second World War in the USA as a traveling spectacle seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Joie (that’s the correct spelling) had started out as a dirt track driver before moving up to NASCAR. After WWII he bought the ramps and cars...

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Documentary: The 1956 Joie Chitwood Hell Drivers

The Joie Chitwood’s Hell Drivers show started just after the Second World War in the USA as a traveling spectacle seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.

Joie (that’s the correct spelling) had started out as a dirt track driver before moving up to NASCAR. After WWII he bought the ramps and cars from stunt driver Lucky Teter’s widow, after Lucky had been killed attempting a world record 170 foot ramp to ramp jump.

He started the Joie Chitwood “Hell Drivers” but also kept a busy NASCAR schedule, and it 1949 he got a big break when he was featured in the Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyke film “To Please a Lady” – a semi-autobiographical film about a racing driver who leaves competitive motorsport to join the Joie Chitwood Auto Stunt Show.

Joie’s wife convinced him to stop racing in NASCAR a year after the film was released in the interest of his safety, it was good timing as Joie’s newfound coast-to-coast fame was gifting the Hell Drivers with packed grandstands across the country.

Joie would hand the business over to his son Joie Jr in 1965, and the show continued with various Chitwoods driving throughout the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Over this time the Chitwoods would also be hired as stuntmen for dozens of films and TV shows including James Bond’s “Live and Let Die”, and the TV shows “CHiPs” and “Miami Vice”.

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1961 U.S. Air Force Training Film: Helicopter Rescue Operations https://silodrome.com/1961-u-s-air-force-training-film-helicopter-rescue-operations/ Sun, 19 Nov 2017 07:00:58 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=67960 1961 U.S. Air Force Training Film: Helicopter Rescue Operations

This is a 1961 U.S. Air Force Training Film titled “Helicopter Rescue Operations”, it covers the use of the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw in rescue procedures, and goes into quite a bit of interesting detail about how these operations were (and still are) conducted. The film runs at just under 33 minutes in length, and by...

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1961 U.S. Air Force Training Film: Helicopter Rescue Operations

This is a 1961 U.S. Air Force Training Film titled “Helicopter Rescue Operations”, it covers the use of the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw in rescue procedures, and goes into quite a bit of interesting detail about how these operations were (and still are) conducted.

The film runs at just under 33 minutes in length, and by the end of it you’ll be prepared should you ever find yourself needing fly a Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw to recover downed military personnel from a body of water (you never know).

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Nautilus Submarine: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea https://silodrome.com/nautilus-20000-leagues-under-the-sea/ Wed, 08 Nov 2017 04:00:40 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=67619 Nautilus Submarine: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

This is a model of Nautilus, the legendary submarine from the Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was created by Harper Goff’s close friend and protégé Tom Scherman, and presented to Goff as a gift. For the unfamiliar, Harper Goff was the cinematic art director who designed the Nautilus as it appeared...

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Nautilus Submarine: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

This is a model of Nautilus, the legendary submarine from the Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was created by Harper Goff’s close friend and protégé Tom Scherman, and presented to Goff as a gift.

For the unfamiliar, Harper Goff was the cinematic art director who designed the Nautilus as it appeared in the Disney film. He also designed the sets for all of the submarine’s internal compartments, and over the course of his career he would be art director for a slew of iconic films including Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Voyage, and Casablanca (to name just a few).

Interestingly, Goff was also responsible for many of the renderings and concept art for Disney’s proposed “Mickey Mouse Park”, which would of course go on to be known as Disneyland.

This model measures in at 33″ x 5″ x 7″, and Bonhams estimate that it’ll sell for between $5,000 and $7,000 USD when it rolls across the auction block on the 21st of November in New York.

If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to view the listing.

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The Jeep + Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet – 1956 https://silodrome.com/jeep-robby-robot-forbidden-planet/ Tue, 07 Nov 2017 07:00:53 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=67599 The Jeep + Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet – 1956

This is the original Jeep and Robby the Robot (suit) from the exceedingly influential 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet – Amazingly they’re coming up for public sale as a twofer, and it’s hard to imagine they won’t be front and centre on the radar for every serious sci-fi collector in the world. The film...

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The Jeep + Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet – 1956

This is the original Jeep and Robby the Robot (suit) from the exceedingly influential 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet – Amazingly they’re coming up for public sale as a twofer, and it’s hard to imagine they won’t be front and centre on the radar for every serious sci-fi collector in the world.

The film Forbidden Planet was groundbreaking when it was released in 1956, and today it’s remembered as being important for a number of reasons: It was the first movie to depict humans traveling faster than light in a human-built ship, it was entirely set on another planet and in space with no scenes on Earth, Robby the Robot was the first advanced cinema robot (not just a tin man suit), and the musical score was made up of 100% electronic music.

The reason both Robby and the Jeep are being offered as a single lot is because they can function as a single unit – with Robby standing inside the front section of the Jeep, which can open and close like a saloon door to allow entry and exit.

The Forbidden Planet Jeep

The styling of the Jeep was advanced for the 1950s and the idea of integrating a robot into a vehicle would famously be revisited with Luke Skywalker and his X-Wing with R2D2 onboard. The Jeep was originally drivable as can be seen in the film, but in more recent years it was pilfered by the props department who removed the engine and steering mechanism for another film.

Returning the Forbidden Planet Jeep to full operation wouldn’t be particularly difficult for a well equipped shop, it was originally based on a Crosley car body so sourcing a period correct engine and other required parts would be relatively easy.

The body is a custom unit made mostly from wood that’s been painted silver, with twin Perspex windshields and matching seats, and the front robot gate that’s manually operated.

Robby The Robot

Robby the Robot cost MGM over $100,000 to design and build back in the mid-1950s – an astonishing amount of money back then, particularly considering the risk that was being taken on a big budget sci-fi film. He was designed by Robert Kinoshita, Arnold Gillespie, Irving Block, Mentor Huebner, and Arthur Lonergan – these men are today remembered for moving cinematic robot design into a whole new league of complexity.

Every part used to create Robby were created in MGM’s famous Prop Shop, with specially formed Royalite plastic used for the head, feet, and upper/lower torso. Each of the spheres are made of Lumarith (acetate), and there’s an internal backpack-like brace allowing the weight to be supported by the person inside – which was either actor/stuntman Frankie Carpenter or former child star Frankie Darro, who took turns during filming.

Robby’s lights and gizmos were powered either by five 12 volt DC motors (which were originally World War II military surplus), or by an external cable. He now comes with a series of spare parts, including the original Perspex dome which has now significantly yellowed with age.

If you’d like to read more about Robby and his Jeep you can click here to visit the listing on Bonhams

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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Documentary – Chuck Yeager: Breaking the Sound Barrier https://silodrome.com/chuck-yeager-breaking-sound-barrier/ Sun, 05 Nov 2017 04:00:33 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=67549 Documentary – Chuck Yeager: Breaking the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager is now 94 years old, and amazingly he’s very active on Twitter – where his famously fearless personality is on full display,  sharing his views, cracking jokes, and chatting with fans around the world. This film is from decades before Twitter was created, covering the now legendary feat that launched Yeager into the...

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Documentary – Chuck Yeager: Breaking the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager is now 94 years old, and amazingly he’s very active on Twitter – where his famously fearless personality is on full display,  sharing his views, cracking jokes, and chatting with fans around the world.

This film is from decades before Twitter was created, covering the now legendary feat that launched Yeager into the international spotlight – flying the Bell X-1 rocket plane faster than the speed of sound, making him the first man to break Mach 1.

At a little over 5 minutes in length the film offers an interesting, albeit brief, glimpse back at what was one of the major milestones ever achieved in flight. Once you’re done watching you can click here to follow General Chuck Yeager on Twitter – and even have a chat with him if you like.

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Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber From Return of the Jedi https://silodrome.com/luke-skywalker-lightsaber-return-jedi/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 04:00:52 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=67587 Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber From Return of the Jedi

This is one of Luke Skywalker’s original Lightsabers from Return of the Jedi (Star Wars: Episode VI), it was used in the famous escape scene over the Sarlacc Pit in the Dune Sea on Tatooine. The Great Sarlacc Pit of Carkoon was (unsurprisingly) occupied by a Sarlacc, a favorite pet of Jabba the Hut. Sarlaccs...

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Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber From Return of the Jedi

This is one of Luke Skywalker’s original Lightsabers from Return of the Jedi (Star Wars: Episode VI), it was used in the famous escape scene over the Sarlacc Pit in the Dune Sea on Tatooine.

The Great Sarlacc Pit of Carkoon was (unsurprisingly) occupied by a Sarlacc, a favorite pet of Jabba the Hut. Sarlaccs take 30,000 years to reach maturity, at which time they bury themselves below the sand leaving only their mouths visible – to catch unsuspecting passersby and the occasional Jedi Knight.

Each Lightsaber was individually made from cast metal, brass, and rubber – with this one first seeing the light of day in 1983. Three Lightsabers were used when filming the scene, this one was shown in closeup insert shots of R2D2 – who would then fire out a second Lightsaber made of lightweight plastic which Mark Hamill caught before mounting his escape.

If you’d like to add an authentic Star Wars Lightsaber to your collection this one will be auctioned by Bonhams on the 21st of November in New York. The value estimate is a little eye-watering at $150,000 to $250,000 USD – but if you sell your house, car, kidneys, and non-blood relatives it should be doable.

More Here

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Documentary: Jaguar At Le Mans In 1953 https://silodrome.com/documentary-jaguar-le-mans-1953/ Sun, 29 Oct 2017 07:00:11 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=67053 Documentary: Jaguar At Le Mans In 1953

The 24 hour endurance race in 1953 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France was a comeback year for Jaguar, after a disastrous performance the year before. The early overheating issues that had plagued the still-new Jaguar C-Type had largely been rectified, and 1953 would see the addition of disc brakes to...

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Documentary: Jaguar At Le Mans In 1953

The 24 hour endurance race in 1953 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France was a comeback year for Jaguar, after a disastrous performance the year before. The early overheating issues that had plagued the still-new Jaguar C-Type had largely been rectified, and 1953 would see the addition of disc brakes to the English car – giving it a huge advantage over its competition who were all still running drums.

This short film is an interesting look back at the race from a Jaguar perspective. It includes some excellent footage of the event that I hadn’t seen before, and it’s a good reminder of just how important the American Cunningham team was back in the early 1950s – beating out the likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Panhard, Peugeot, Nash-Healey, Austin-Healey, and even one of the Jaguars to finish on the podium in 3rd place.

1953 would be a very important year for Jaguar, their win at the most important motor race of the year was exceedingly popular news back in Britain, and it would help form a foundation of successes that would later be built on by the venerable D-Type.

If you’d like to read more about the 1953 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans you can click here to visit the well-detailed Wikipedia page.

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