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How did Roth's Beatnik Bandit Steer?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by andydodge, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Can anyone tell me exactly how Ed Roths Beatnik Bandit steered?.......I've built the Revell model, have the Roth & Tony Thacker book and have studied various pics but nothing actually explains how the tiller controls/operates the linkages or whatever etc that steer the car, I know its a shortened 1950 Oldsmobile chassis, stock front suspension but the steering?.......
    I am aware that Starbirds Predicta used 2 steering boxes with one operating reversed under the interior, but would be interested in info re how Roth did it..........thanks, Andy Douglas
     
  2. It was designed with a single stick,somewhat like an old airplane. The concept was-push for throttle,pull for brake,lean left to go left,lean right to go right. It never really worked like he wanted to. WAY ahead of it's time though.
    Remember,that was before a Show Car had to run and drive into a show to compete. That's why there were many cars with stacked blowers,twin engines,and all kinds of crazy stuff.
     
  3. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,530

    belair
    Member

    Back then, I guess that was true "drive-by-wire". Cool concept.
     

  4. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,044

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Having seen it unloaded from trailer,they pushed it and someone pushed the front wheels to steer into place at show back in 60's;)
     
  5. The steering tiller worked as it was part of the show. Steering, throttle, and brake lights were all demonstrated.
    The car didn't have a driveshaft but the engine fired and ran and the steering worked when the engine was running.
    The engine ran on Alcohol so the fumes weren't bad. Every half hour it had a stereo recording and Ron Ekholm would work the box that controlled everything. It would fire up and all the steering and top and reving up the engine was part of the show.
    The show lasted through three songs from the Enoch Light Orchestra and had a professional announcer that described ''The car of the future''.
    This was circa 1961 in St. Petersburg, FLorida when I hired the car for a show at the National Guard Armory.
    I remember it like it was yesterday.
    The three songs were, ''Bongos,flutes, and guitars'', ''Tenderly'', and ''Blue Moon''.
    That recording was very professional and Ed Roth was quite a showman, if he is the one that did the production.
    The photo has signatures signed by Roth 30 years apart.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  6. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,431

    Tom davison
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    The Bandit's first show outside of California was also Ray Farhner's first show in Kansas City. Ed worked the steering and started it remotely(with wire). My frind's dad shot a home movie of the demonstration and I have a copy of it. It was shot in dim light and is of poor quality, but you can see what's going on. I hope to post it on here if I can learn how to do it.

    When Ed showed the Outlaw, he toured with Daryl Starbird and his Predicta. Both the bubble top and the stick steering of the Bandit were directly inspired by Daryl's ingenuity on the Predicta, which had both first. I have seen Daryl drive the Predicta with the stick and he told me that he clocked a 106 mph run on the strip using the stick.
     
  7. Mudslinger
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,964

    Mudslinger
    Member

    haha thats true. Old guy I know built T buckets in the 60's and one had a fake blower on it. All just for looks.
     
  8. Hotweel
    Joined: Jun 23, 2010
    Posts: 66

    Hotweel
    Member

    Not to burst any ones "bubble top" but the car was never built to be driven, at least not with the top down. I've been in the car and was surprised how tiny the cockpit is. My knees were in my face and I had to lay over the passenger seat to get in it with the bubble top down.
     
  9. Rocky Famoso
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,000

    Rocky Famoso
    BANNED

    With a hydraulic cylinder and pump. The tiller would tilt left and right, which actuated the hydraulic ram that served as the steering arm. The tiller was moved forward for braking, and pulled back, or twisted for acceleration. The throttle linkage may have been by cable.
    .
    .
     
  10. I agree, I sat in it and never would have been able to close the top. I was my own night watchman and thought I would sleep in the Bandit just for licks. No Way. I slept in the back seat of a 1927 Buick sedan.
     

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  11. Catdaddyo
    Joined: Mar 9, 2005
    Posts: 136

    Catdaddyo
    Member

    "This was circa 1961 in St. Petersburg, FLorida when I hired the car for a show at the National Guard Armory."

    What type of money was Roth getting back then for renting the car?
     
  12. Thanks guys, appreciate the replies & info......knew someone would know....thanks, andyd
     
  13. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,044

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Thanks for the extra facts Bob [hotrod1940],I always had a great time coming up to your show's from Miami :cool::D
     
  14. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,292

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    From what I heard.... Roth wanted to sell his shirts and souvenirs at car shows but a booth cost $500 - $600. So the deal was, you could get him and his car for nothing if you let him have enough space to paint shirts and sell stuff.

    This is one reason he built a new car every year, to have something new to show each season.

    I would have thought he and his cars were enough of a draw that he got some cash or appearance money too. But this is what I heard, I think it was in Tony Thacker's book.
     
  15. Rocky Famoso
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,000

    Rocky Famoso
    BANNED


    Yer' Welcome andydodge...
    .
    .
     
  16. $550. The car was owned by Promotions inc. out of Detroit. Ron Ekholom was with Promotions and a cool guy. Drove to Florida from Detroit in a new Pontiac station wagon.
    They also owned the Outlaw and it was a little cheaper because it was a little older.
    That was back when gas was a quarter and you could get a great motel room for $6.00
     
  17. I also remember that the tiller pushed forward to accelerate. Ron Ekholm would reach into the cockpit and push the lever forward to rev the engine during the demonstration. I think Ron lives somewhere in Paso Robles today.
     
  18. Not that far ahead, Roth surely must of got his insperation from the Firebird III. Click on the link and wait for it at 2:45 mark.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpt7H6st2PM
     
  19. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,292

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    So Roth did not own the car at that time? Was he at the show? Wonder what it cost to get Roth and if the story I heard was true?
     
  20. The Beatnik Bandit and the Outlaw were owned by Promotions inc.
    Roth was not at the show.
     

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