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History The First Belly Tank?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,039

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    The First Belly Tank?

    [​IMG]

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
     
  2. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,373

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pics or it didn't happen...I'm surprised one would be able to get away with making such things at the time...I suppose it was scrap heap pickings and this was a pre war Rodder killing time with a passion we can understand.

    I am sure it could have started this innocently.

    A little pleasantry in the hell they were living at the time.

    Hope he made it through and thanks for your service.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  3. Here is another photo of soldiers having fun with the belly tank.

    It is titled WW II Iwo Jima hot rod '45. HRP

    RIDES 12-1 WWII Iwo Jima Hot Rod.jpeg

    6733748253_1c3fa98f1c_z.jpg
     
  4. Driver looks the same in all pics- guess they made at least two in their spare time?
     
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  5. rustednutz
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,571

    rustednutz
    Member
    from tulsa, ok

    The first picture of the belly tank car was taken in early 1944 at the 15 USAAF 94 Fighter Squadron base in Foggia, Italy. My father was the Master Sargent of the Air Maintenance Platoon that built this car from salvaged P38 parts to run around the base. I'm not sure the gentlemen's name that is seen in that picture, however, I have several other pictures from my Dad's WWII photo album of my Dad, and what appears to be the same guy in the first picture, sitting in it. 90% sure the pics of the car were before the March 1944 eruption of Mt. Vesuvios. The volcano pictures appear later in his album, so I assume the car pics were before the eruption event as my Dad was very organized and meticulous in everything he did as he was a pilot and aircraft mechanic before the war. If I knew how to post pics on here I would share some of the other shots. I was totally blown away when I saw that first picture on the thread "Vintage Shots From Days Gone By" and had to dig this old album out of the top of the closet to verify.
     
  6. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 5,924

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Those WW II guys had a lot of pent up creativity along with spare time. Nothing stops a dedicated Hot Rodder. Was it Wally Parks who had a hopped up Flathead Jeep overseas in WW II?
     
  7. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,453

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    agreed, that one could have been the prototype for Burke's
    D528BC4E-B945-4053-BEDE-8D745E49F001.jpeg
     
  8. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,590

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hot rodders make it happen wherever they are. Here we have two tanks and most know about Wally's Jeep. I'd be willing to bet that there were a few others. Isn't this place Great?!
     
    lothiandon1940 and Stogy like this.
  9. If you have access to a printer with a flatbed scanner, then scan each of the photos in your father's album ... save the images as individual JPEG (.jpg) files on your computer ... then simply click the "UPLOAD A FILE" button (middle button in the lower right corner of the REPLY screen) to post the pic(s) in this thread.

    Second option is to take a digital photo (with your smartphone or digital camera) of each of the photos in your father's album ... transfer those JPEG (.jpg) image files to your computer ... then simply click the "UPLOAD A FILE" button (middle button in the lower right corner of the REPLY screen) to post the pic(s) in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,453

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    we have an electric race car at school (hang on before ya get mad)
    actually 3 of them (one seater aero styled cars)
    we were contemplting on a military tribute design
    I started showing students belly tank cars
    Students were blown away at the pics and how simple/ingenious it was all at the same time
    They started asking if we could build one of our cars like a belly tank racer
    Would love our next one to resemble one of these belly tanks
    Nice knowing that young folks today can be inspired from these old pictures

    The mods pic from this thread came up, it was the first I had ever seen this pic. Its cool that some of these guys had a little fun in all the bad they were surrounded with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  11. rustednutz
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,571

    rustednutz
    Member
    from tulsa, ok

    Thanks Hemi32. I'll play around with the info you gave me and see if I can post some more pics. My Dad died when I was 16 and didn't talk much about the war. He was born in 1906 and they almost wouldn't let him join the Army Air Corps because of his age. He'd been an old Barnstormer with his Curtis JN4 Jenny around the Chicago area before the war. He did show me his album when I had wanted to build a go kart as a kid to show what he and his buddies had built and those tank car pics stuck with me. The HAMB is a great place to be a part of.
     
  12. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,590

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wow, your Dad was a Barnstormer! Did he ever tell you tales about that?
     
  13. rustednutz
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,571

    rustednutz
    Member
    from tulsa, ok

    Fortunately he wrote a few of his flying escapades in a folder for me. At the time of his death, at 64, he had over 17,000 flying hours in numerous types of planes. When stationed in Italy, his platoon would search out our downed aircraft in enemy territory to either see what they could salvage or destroy what was left. He would test fly the repaired planes sometimes before they were put back on the flight line. His favorite was the twin engined P38. He called that the "hot rod" of airplanes!
     
  14. .................In your profile from 8 yrs. ago you mentioned a 6 yr. old Grandson. Guess he would be 14 now. I bet if he's close by he could help you post pictures no problem. There's even a great tutorial right on the HAMB here.....Get busy!:D;)
     
  15. shmoozo
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 672

    shmoozo
    Member
    from Media, PA

    Kinda tiny, isn't? And in a good way, I mean.

    Looks like it might have had a small engine in the back, possibly using something like an engine off a lawn mower or a small portable generator or some other small piece of gasoline-powered equipment that was lying around.

    In other words, it looks a bit like an early homebuilt go-kart with a belly tank body.

    I bet it was a fun little "car" to use getting around the base.

    I wonder what the wheels came off of? Maybe they used some kind of utility cart or trailer for the chassis. Perhaps something that originally had some kind of larger generator or something on it.

    Something kinda like this, maybe?

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Murocmaru
    Joined: Apr 5, 2006
    Posts: 386

    Murocmaru
    Member
    from Van Nuys

    My friend, Ray, was a hotrodder in the early 40’s before the war. He raced as a guest at the lakes and grew up in Beverly Hills. He was an airplane mechanic working on Grumman Hellcats stationed in Saipan.

    He told me some of the other mechanics on the base in Saipan built little cars out of drop tanks. They used other cars that were left on the island for the wheels and running gear, etc. I used to have a picture of one of these tank cars during the war, but I can’t find it at the moment. But drop tanks were turned into cars during the war.

    [​IMG]

    Here’s a cool tank built by George Trotter. This one is powered by electric motors.

    http://www.trottermatic.com/electric_car




    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  17. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,578

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Why? They had an actual, practical purpose. The flight line is a long ways to walk back and forth. Back and forth. There's also all kinds of shit to move, toolboxes, test equipment, flight gear, ammunition, the list is endless. So anything and everything gets pressed into service. Bicycles, shopping carts with one bad wheel, you name it.
     
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  18. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,373

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I worked in Aviation and using big bone aircraft parts for toolboxes and tote carts or little Hotrods wasn't allowed. Aircraft parts were property of said aircraft and had to be destroyed and scrapped to specific guidelines.

    Rivets, bolts, small clips and some unused raw skin panel I have seen in boxes but every organization operates differently.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
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  19. davidvillajr
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 712

    davidvillajr
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It could have been a "morale booster" competition/challenge for the crews.
    Gotta do something "positive" in a "negative" situation.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  20. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,578

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Right, but it was obviously allowed back then. That's one of the "nice" things about real wars, a lot of the chickenshit goes bye-bye, if only temporarily.
     
  21. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,408

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    The American GI could do anything. My father in law was a sergeant in WW II and their unit captured a freight yard. They needed to move a steam locomotive and at first thought they would have to try to tow the train with a tank. A call went out to any GI's that thought they could fire up and move the train. Within four hours the train was moved with GI's driving it.
     
  22. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,453

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Kinda like the nose art on planes. Guys painting messages on bombs, building stills, pin up girls .........
    Looks like the brass was smart enough to let the guys play once in a while
     
  23. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,373

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those involved rightfully deserved a right to have some fun to pacify the hell...as for many it was their last bit of it...

    Lest we Forget.
     
  24. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,373

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There was a Lancaster bomber I saw with those shark teeth on all four engines. It's totally connected to the period Hotrod/Race movement.


    lancaster-1.jpg

    :rolleyes:..."Ropey"...much of this art and other things like open protruding open exhaust, and so much affected the War Spirit and Hotrod...but balance was necessary as it got overdone real fast.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  25. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,013

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    Your Dad was BadAss!
     
  26. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,578

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    My dad said they had a nickle slot machine installed in the control room on their diesel boat. Somebody stole it from somewhere, Atlantic City or maybe Gitmo. Anyway the money collected was used as the enlisted sailor's emergency fund or somesuch.

    Well the boat went into drydock for repairs for a while, and a civilian contractor was playing it a lot. His wife was pissed off, called the base commander complaining her husband lost his entire paycheck in a slot machine... So the machine had to go bye-bye right away lol.
     
  27. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,197

    Django
    Member
    from Chicago

    That's really cool! I've been looking for more info on Saipan for years! I have a 73rd Bomb Wing yearbook from just after the war, and it has this photo...

    [​IMG]

    I've been in contact with a few 500th Bomb Group veterans and the 500th Bomb Group Association and no one remembers or knows anything about it. I was inspired to create this art print entitled "You Can't Keep A Hot Rodder Down". The B-29 "Flagship 500" survived the war, and is currently on display at the March Field Museum in Riverside, CA. I still have one or two prints left on my Django Studios website.

    [​IMG]

    Also, Ed Iskendarian has some fantastic stories about his service in WWII and some of the stuff he did hopping up Jeeps in the Pacific. He told me stories for about 20 minutes one year at PRI. Priceless.
     
  28. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 691

    X-cpe

    When did that ever bother a G.I. or sailor? My dad was a crew chief on a PBY in Kaneohe before WWII. He and his friends had a sailboat that was rigged with aircraft stainless cables. After the sailboat they had a cabin cruiser with rusted exhaust manifolds. They pulled them the weekend before the war started. I don't think they asked the Navy about supplying the material for constructing the replacements. That's one project that was never finished.
     
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  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,373

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am only the beneficiary of what those that served accomplished so I can't speak for what went on back in those dark days. I was curious. The reasoning for destroying of scrap parts is to prevent the every so slight chance that it would every find itself back on a flying product. Now obviously complete aircraft and just about everything that flew back then was up for grabs after the Big One in the US and Canada so yes things were different. Even in my time in aviation stuff did end up outside and even inside on many non flying projects but we did have protocol to follow.

    Canada had a well known Wartime facility and chopping to pieces and destroying every single piece of these aircraft was part of the order but some pretty hefty chunks did make it into a Federal Aviation Museum thankfully countering their own orders making me think why the heck didn't they just save a whole aircraft for historical display.

    Again they were obviously given the OK and good on them...;)
     
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  30. Pretty cool that work came from Portugal and that you have mentioned it.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

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