Monday, December 12, 2011

Penn Yan Express --- A New Web Page

Just up the road from me is the town of Penn Yan, New York. At one time it used to be the home of PENN YAN EXPRESS, and since they utilized, almost predominately, my favorite truck -- Brockway, I thought I would post this as way of directing some traffic to the new web site for this historic fallen flag.

So here it is --- PENN YAN EXPRESS --- Click on the link and simply ENJOY!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

LEGO 10220 -- Volkswagen T1 Camper Van

Just released by Lego in October, when I saw this I knew I had to get it for my collection. This is one of the most amazing Lego kits yet -- at least I think so. If you want one you had better act fast, as this is fast becoming a collectors item amongst VW fans.

Although the kit contains over 1300 pieces, and takes two manuals to build, it is a fairly easy build if you take it step by step.  However, the hardest part of building with Lego is finding the piece you need. Lego packs the pieces in clear bags -- big bags for bigger pieces, small bags for small pieces. What I did was to empty all the big bags into an empty shoe box, doing the same with the smaller bags in another empty shoe box. This made it kind of like looking for a zig saw puzzle piece when looking for a parts as called for by the instructions -- somewhat easier though.

So here are some pics of the build --

Chassis and rear bed area

Chassis, doors, sink, front seat cushion 

Build up of sides, passenger side, and front seat

Inside View from the rear ---

Doors, Windows, Curtains

Front Roof Section---

Ready for rear roof section --- removable for access 

Pop Top Unit --

Passenger side looking in

All in all it took just over thirteen hours to build this beautiful example with many working details --

This was just plain fun --- YOU GOT TO GET ONE!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mercury Buses, Penn Yan Buses Division, Hammondsport, NY- School Buses -- 1945 -48

It all started two weeks ago when I received an email from my friend Vern Tyler asking me to please check a web site and look at a picture there. This is what I found --

And so since they made school buses, that plaque lead to a two week intense search for any information about the company mentioned. The quest ended today with my finding some old newspaper articles relating to the formation of Mercury Buses of Hammondsport.

Also, until last week, no pictures of the school buses made by Mercury existed on the web -- I put an end to that with a call to Mercury Aircraft and the help of Laura Chandler.

So I guess now I will put the story of Mercury Buses, Penn Yan Buses Division of Hammondsport, New York into proper perspective I hope.

In 1945, Mercury Aircraft purchased Penn Yan Bus Bodies Inc. of Penn Yan, New York.

Penn Yan Bus Bodies was located on Liberty St. in Penn Yan and was formed when Whitfield and Sons Coach Builders of Penn Yan went bankrupt in 1933.

Whitfield and Sons Coach Builders of Penn Yan, New York had been building coach and bus bodies since 1885.

Willet Wetmore bought the bankrupt Whitfield and Sons Coach Builders and leased property from Penn Yan Boat Co. on Liberty St. in Penn Yan, New York to form Penn Yan Bus Bodies Inc. of which he was president.

In 1941, Penn Yan Bus Bodies Inc. was seriously damaged in a fire which may have lead Willet Wetmore to seek a buyer of remaining equipment.

This is where Mercury Aircraft steps in according to the  article from the Geneva Times,Thursday, Septemer 20th 1945,  and purchases remaining equipment belonging to Penn Yan Bus Bodies Inc. of Penn Yan, New York. They opened a new facility in Hammondsport -- Mercury Buses, Penn Yan Buses Division.

From 1945-48 Mercury Buses employed aircraft building techniques to manufacture 250-300 school buses. They utilized aluminium frames and riveted aluminium bodies. Mack and Brockway supplied most chassis along with Dodge and White. I also believe Ford chassis were used too.

Karl Kreutziger, sales manager of Mercury Buses, bought the Penn Yan Buses Division from Mercury in 1948 to fulfill Mercury's contract for 100 unfinished Mercury Buses. From that purchase, what was to become Coach and Equipment Mfg. of Penn Yan was formed.

To see all pictures relating to Mercury Buses, click on any picture above ----

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Trucks of Guy Robaye

This past week I received another of those e-mails I so enjoy, this one from Belgium and a gentleman named Guy Robaye. Now Guy speaks french, but his English is good, but what he does best is draw trucks, not just European models but American trucks seen in Europe too. He sent me a few examples of his work, and I don't think he would mind my posting them here.

So Guy, this post is for you ---

Chevy Spartan 120

Ford N Series

1954 Ford F920

1952 Ford F7 V-8 4x4

European Ford Simca

1957 Ford F-800 "BIG JOB

These are just a few of Guys drawings. If you like what you see here, and are looking for some good drawings of European trucks, visit Guy's site here through the dieselgypsy --

Monday, September 05, 2011

Narragansett Fire Dept. # 3

It's just like my friend Jerry always says, "you never know where you're going to find an old truck". Thus it was last week when I was down in Rhode Island moving our son. We were on our way down to Narragansett  via route 1 when I spotted one of the subjects of this post. We did not have time to stop that day, so I made it a point to go back the following day.

Fortunately I met up with a young lieutenant that showed me around the station and introduced me to one of the trucks that I saw, a 1927 Maxium that was used by the station up to the early 60's ----

"Ashes flew from Jerusalem’s traditional Independence Day bonfire, set ablaze on the eve of the celebration in 1959 by a group of mischievous youngsters in the middle of the night, reads the historical account of the history of the relationship between the Union Fire District and the isolated Narragansett neighborhood.
Wind carried burning embers through the sleepy community and across unsuspecting doorsteps. Cinders fell and smoldered on the rooftops and porches of homes. For more than 30 minutes homeowners waited for firefighters fromNarragansett’s Station No. 1 on Rodman Street to make their way around the Point Judith pond, through Wakefield and down Succotash Road to help them save their beachside cottages and squelch the flames of the untimely bonfire.
Although tragedy was avoided that night, Captain Emeritus Hilly Munson, a Union Fire District volunteer for the town of South Kingstown for since 1961, was a young man living in Jerusalem at the time. He said the bonfire scare brought to light the vulnerability of the neighborhood’s homes.
“They had a station there [in Jerusalem] at the time with an old 1927 Maxim Pumper, only when the call came in that night they couldn’t get the truck up over the hill,”  Munson said, referencing the steep stretch of road known today as Beach Row that the truck tried to climb. “After it took Point Judith more than 30 minutes to respond, people were wondering why the Snug Harbor Station, just a mile and a half down the road, didn’t come."

Once I got over drooling on this magnificent piece of fire apparatus history, I spotted somethig sitting over in the corner of the fire station I hadn't seen the day before. WOW!!! Here sat another great piece, a survivor of the previous hurricane albeit with a broken head gasket --- an early Federal pulling a 1907 horse drawn pumper. My best guess is this is a 1911 Federal.

The Pumper

Picture found on the internet of complete unit

I would say that this was a profitable visit, getting to see these two marvelous pieces of fire fighting history. I hope the guys at station #3 approve. My sincere thanks for allowing me the time to add these trucks to my collection, and for keeping them in truly beautiful condition!!

Narragansett Station # 3 as it appears today ---

Note: These may be the only pictures of this particular Maxim on line. The pictures of the Federal are also the only other ones with the exception of the "whole unit" picture used above.

A little something extra found on You Tube ----

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Keep On Truckin with Dave Snyder --

It sure is nice to know that this blog is followed by good people like Dave Snyder, who recently sent me some nice e-mails and attached some photos of his builds. I am particularly fond of his latest, the Kenworth K-123. Also of interest are his builds of the "Hess Trucks".  Yes,  we do have these here Dave -- only not like those!!!

So thanks for the email.  Keep on building those great models -- they deserve a "special" post!!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Truck Spotting -- Greigsville, New York --- AUTOCAR COE and others

In the past few years, I can't count the number of times I have driven through this small town and missed this treasure trove of old trucks. This past week as Jan and I drove through, I spotted an old Loblaw's trailer that fortunately caught enough of my attention to make me turn around to take a picture. Am I glad I did!!!

As I parked, the first truck I spotted was this 1940's AUTOCAR COE staring at me.  I believe this truck was once part of the KEMP TRUCK COLLECTION and purchased at auction in 2009 --

Next to this sat a marvelous collection of old Mack's ---

An old International and background Ford ---

A 40's Chevrolet and old Divco

The Magnificent Mack AC

This beautiful Brockway 260

And I almost forgot ----- the Loblaw's Trailer

You can check out some of the other trucks in my FLIKR SET -- Trucks of York, New York.