The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Jan 4, 2019.
J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:
The First Belly Tank?
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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.
Here is another photo of soldiers having fun with the belly tank.
It is titled WW II Iwo Jima hot rod '45. HRP
Driver looks the same in all pics- guess they made at least two in their spare time?
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.
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?
agreed, that one could have been the prototype for Burke's
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?!
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.
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.
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.
Wow, your Dad was a Barnstormer! Did he ever tell you tales about that?
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!
.................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!
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?
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.
Here’s a cool tank built by George Trotter. This one is powered by electric motors.
Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
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.
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.
It could have been a "morale booster" competition/challenge for the crews.
Gotta do something "positive" in a "negative" situation.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
..."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.
Your Dad was BadAss!
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
Pretty cool that work came from Portugal and that you have mentioned it.
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