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Motion Pictures The Breedlove Video

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,714

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,649


    Who cares what to call them, they are cool as hell. Thanks for the video that was awsome
  3. Belchfire8
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,544


    That really brings back memories, I can't believe I was only ten when that was going on. There was very little coverage of those things at that time, you had to wait days or weeks to find out what was going on. Little or no coverage on T.V. or the newspaper. Usually you had to wait till the magazines came out a month later.
  4. At first I thought this said "The Breeder Love Video" and I was real scared. :eek:

    Craig Breedlove was my childhood hero and just about the coolest guy on the earth as far as I was concerned. The Spirit of America is in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industryand I get a thrill every time I see it.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
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  5. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,650


    What a pair of Cajones! Breedlove had a pair, and then some! Awesome video, thanks for posting, Ryan............
  6. f1 fred
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 515

    f1 fred
    from mn

    Breedlove rules!
  7. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    from SUGAR CITY

    I think that it's in the right mindset of Hot Rodding. It all boils down to speed, how ever you get there and as long as there are wheels beneath you it's all fair game. Breedlove is awesome.
  8. Is there any footage available of his cutting down telephone poles when he crashed?
  9. Love that shot of him jumping out of the car in his SNEAKERS!
    Man, were those the days!
  10. G V Gordon
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 5,469

    G V Gordon
    from Enid OK

    I have seen a vid that shows that, you can see the shockwave in front of the car and the pole disinergrate actually before the car hits it. It's been years though, and i can't remember what it was on.

    Just searched You tube and there are alot of vids with the crash but couldn't find the one I remember seeing.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  11. The amazing part was Breedlove was basically a back yard mechanic. Big kahoonies. A true hot rod pioneer. Pat.
  12. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837


  13. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 18,298

    Jalopy Joker

    Thanks for sharing video. Yep, true "backyard" mechanic build. Got to tour his shop in Rio Vista,CA a few years back when he was building SoA #2. Boy, on a fairly low budget he, and his buddies, did a fantastic job on the "cars". He spent a lot of time explaining everything, signed autographs, etc. Really a good guy.
  14. Kettleman
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 149


    Very cool, driving those must have been a heart pounding rush :D
  15. bigken
    Joined: Jul 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,789


    Thanks Ryan, takes me back to bein' a kid, and following the record atttempts on Wide World of Sports. With all the damn sports channels these days, and they still can't compare to that.
  16. 36couper
    Joined: Nov 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,950

    from ontario

    Where is the jet car now? In a museum?
    Bitchin' sun glasses he's wearing too!
  18. Triggerman
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 578

    from NorCal

    That was a really good video. I like the end best when the narrator mentions that whatever comes after, that was Breedlove's moment. So very true for many of the pioneers back then.
  19. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,087


    Cool film of a time that bridged the era's, not a belly tank but not a solid fuel rocket either. Amazing what some men can do with some hand tools, a garage and a bit of cash (Johny?).
  20. The car is in a museum in Chicago.

    I saw Gary Gabelich's "Blue Flame" at the Sinsheim Auto+Technik Museum in Germany when I was stationed there in the '90s. That really blew my mind. I went with a German friend who was telling me there's a blue record car there. I asked if it was one of Malcom Campbell's Bluebirds. He said yes. Imagine my surprise when we arrived. I was born in 1969, but I remember checking out a book many, many times in elementary school so I could drool over the photos of land speed racers.
  21. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 527

    George Klass

    I worked for Craig for four years, starting in 1964. The three-wheeled car in the video (1963) set the record at 400 MPH and in 1964, was the first to go 500 MPH. The four-wheeled Sonic-I was the first to go 600 MPH. Interestingly enough, the three-wheeled "car" was not classified as a car and was not certified by the FIA (not enough wheels) and had to be certified as a "motorcycle with a side car" by the FIM (Federation International Motorcycles). None of that mattered since the record goes to the fastest vehicle, not the fastest car, but it is one reason that we went with four wheels the following year. Aerodynamically, the three-wheeler was a MUCH better vehicle, but it was only powered by a J-47 engine. The four wheeler had a J-79, with much more thrust. The three- wheeler did start out life as a back yard project and much of it was built in the back yard of Craig's dad's place. But once Craig got $hell Oil involved, the car was moved indoors and most of the rest of the car was put together at Quinn Epperly's shop in Gardena, CA. The four-wheeler was no back yard project since it was funded from the get-go, primarily by Goodyear Tire and also by Shell. It was built in Watts, in Compton, CA and weathered the Watts Riots in July of 1965 (a story in itself, buildings on both sides of ours were burned to the ground). The list of hot rodders that built the four-wheeler reads like the who's who in hot rodding. We had 22 guys working on the car including some guys from both Lockheed (one of the F-104 designers helped us with the tricky air ducts) and General Electric (all we really knew about the J-79 jet engine was to not stand in front of it, behind it, or along side it near the compressor, LOL). Here are some names of drag racers and guys that were part of drag racing that were on our team, in no particular order.
    Nye Frank - Crew Chief. Nye was also an owner of the Peters & Frank "Freight Train" dragster.
    Don Borth - aluminum body work.
    Wayne Ewing - aluminum body work.
    Quinn Epperly - aluminum body work.
    Tom Hanna - aluminum body work.
    Bob Sorrell - aluminum body work.
    (We sucked up all the tin-benders in the SoCal area to get this thing completed on time.)
    Paul Nicolini - frame & chassis construction. Paul was the guy that built the famous "Sidewinder" dragster that was kicking ass at the time.
    Connie Swingle - welding and chassis construction. Connie was a "digger driver", worked for Don Garlits on and off and was my roomate at the Salt Flats. The three-wheeled car is still on display (I think) at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The four-wheeler was at the Indianapolis 500 Museum for many years but I saw it last at the Peterson Museum in L.A., on a temproary basis. I do not know where it is now.
  22. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,597

    51 mercules

    Cool video.Back in the 80's my co-worker showed some pic's he took back in the 60's of the Spirit of America before it was completed.He worked at Ascot and delivered sandwiches to Craig Breedlove and took pictures of it.Wish I had copies of them.
  23. Rat L. Can
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 131

    Rat L. Can
    from Indy

    Welcome George, welcome!

    A few years ago, a supplier asked me to go out to Black Rock and help with Craig's last effort. I had a scheduling conflict so I had a friend of mine go out instead. He spent the week there and reported the tedium that goes along with stepping into the unknown, weather, surface problems, equipment failures, test runs, etc. Then, on the 5th day, he said Craig was a different guy. From the moment he showed up up that day, he was distant but intense. That was the day Craig rolled the "Spirit" on its side, effectively ending the attempt (and the project).
    My friend said that he later realized that Craig had decided he was ready - ready to put his life on the line and see what "demons lived out there", that he was ready to die if that's what it took.
    It takes a special sort to do what he, Gabelich, Green and so many others have done.
    Kudos to him and his kind.
  24. Was Craigs' last name Bowman or Bauman before Breedlove?
  25. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    from socal

    cars have a tremendous history at Bonneville, they’ve always been tough to classify. Do we cover them as hot rods or not? Are they relevant to us simple garage folk or merely entertainment for speed freaks with fat wallets?

    Of course they are HOt RODS! really, really, HOT, rods!
  26. KustomF100
    Joined: Dec 26, 2003
    Posts: 371

    from Joliet, IL

    The video was awesome, and Craig Breedlove is a cool guy. I was fortunate enough to meet him at SEMA one year. I am not an autograph seeker, but a handshake and conversation is as good for me. We talked for about twenty minutes, and I mentioned that I had a copy of his book, aptly named Spirit of America. We exchanged business cards, and I left knowing I had met one of the fastest hot rodders ever to grace this earth.

    If you can find a copy of his book, i highly recommend it. Great reading, alot of pictures, and some unbelievable stories.
  27. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 527

    George Klass

    The book, "Spirit of America" was actually written by Bill Neely. Bill was in the PR Dept. at Goodyear and was a very neat guy. I'm sure this book has been out of print for many years but you still may find it on ebay or something. Craig's last car, the one he ran at Black Rock is still in Craig's shop in Rio Vista undergoing modifications. Work has progressed rather slowly as it is unsponsored at the moment. He keeps telling me that he wants to run it, and run it at 900 MPH (not a misprint). I don't know, Craig is a little older than me and I'm just shy of 70. On the other hand, there is no person on earth that has had as many miles above 500 MPH on the ground than Craig Breedlove, the first man to have a record at 400 MPH, 500 MPH, and 600 MPH. The official record we set in 1965 (two way average) was 600.601 MPH, barely 1/2 mile an hour better than 600 MPH. The first run (actually the 35th run on the salt) was 594 and the return run (the 36th and final run in that car) was 608 MPH. If you have never been on the salt for a LSR run, the course we used was 11 miles long. Five miles to accelerate, one mile to be timed, and five miles to stop. Then refuel (110 gallons of jet fuel for the six miles under power) and do it again in the opposite direction, all within 60-minutes. Since all the measurments of the run is an average speed in the flying mile, Craig estimated that he was running close to 640 MPH on exiting the timing mile. Time to travel that one mile, 6-seconds.
  28. George- that's really wild. I've fascinated by the jet and rocket LSRs since I was about 6 or 7 years old. It's a real treat to hear from someone who was there.
  29. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 527

    George Klass

    Here's a story you might like. The J-79 engine we used was not yet available for the public in 1965. Because they still had some B-58 Hustlers and a few F-104 fighters in use by the Air Force, the engines were not yet available as "salvage". We were in trouble as the J-47 engine we had would be far short on thrust to push the four-wheeler as fast as we needed to go. It was getting to be touch and go time wise as to us getting a J-79. Finally, Craig got on the phone and was able to get ahold of the CEO of Goodyear Tires. He told him the problem, which was simply "no J-79, no record". Craig told the CEO that General Electric had some J-79's that they were using for testing. The CEO of Goodyear then called the CEO of GE and told him that if Breedlove couldn't get an engine in one week, delivered to our shop in Watts, that Goodyear was going to start ordering toasters and other elctrical appliances from Westinghouse, which would have been costly to GE since the Goodyear Tire Stores were a huge account for GE electrical appliances. The end result was we got our J-79, had to rent it from GE for $2.00 per year (never paid and never returned it as far as I know). When we were up on the salt, we were having some issues with the engine and GE sent up one of their J-79 experts, who was able to fix the problem. While he was working on the engine he casually mentioned that this was one of the early J-79's and had been recalled by GE because two of them blew up in flight, destroying the planes and killing both pilots. It seems that there was a main thrust bearing in these early engines that disintegrated and GE put a limit of 15 hours on the bearing, until the engine was was sent back to the factory, torn apart completely, and had the bearing replaced. We found out that our engine had the original bad bearing still in it, and had about 31 hours on it. And Craig still got in that thing and cranked it up to 110% (had to break the glass maximum RPM stop to do it) for the last two runs.

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