Friday, February 17, 2012

Waiting For The Snow --- AMT Ford LNT 8000 Snow Plow

This past November my wife and I visited our daughter in Queens, NY for Thanksgiving. The rest of our family was there too. We had a truly magnificent time, visiting and seeing the sites of NYC. On one of those visits I made a stop at one of my favorite "old time" hobby stores -- a place called Rudy's Hobby Shop in Astoria.

It was there that I found another of those kits built long ago but now lost, and thanks to my son I got it. It was his early Christmas present to me, and he saw that I really wanted it.

This kit was the latest re-release of this model by Stevens International. Unfortunately it was discontinued, but maybe Round 2 will bring it back.

This was an okay build that I started in January. I took my time, building up the frame and painting it as a unit in flat black.

The picture above shows the completed frame, wheels attached and the main body components primed in Testor's gray primer. Note that I built the plow up as a unit, modified the hinge point by drilling it out and pinning it so it would work, and priming as a unit.

Test fitting is important with this model -- note that I chose to use a front bumper from an old AMT Mack R kit. I liked the look and after some slight modifications to the bumper it was a better fit.

It should be noted at this point that my wife has become more trusting of me, allowing me to do this build on our dining room table. This shows the body components being test fitted after painting with Testor's Competition Orange. Note that the interior tub is in place but NOT glued.

This is the completed model. The gas tanks were stripped of their chrome and steps attached. They were painted with Testor's Diamond Dust. The interior tub was done in flat black, dash and seats are done in Testor's Gray Primer. The FORD marques were done using a Sharpie silver pen as were the door handles and touch up on the mirrors. The reflective decals came from the AMT Log Trailer kit.

The mud-flaps were painted in flat black, and the raised FORD carefully scraped back to the white plastic. The sander unit was built as a unit and painted with the gray primer. The auger is flat black and was inserted after building the unit. I also added outside controls to the sander unit -- I like the way it looks.

Finished model, with dump body raised and plow in lifted position. Note the windshield frame was done using a Sharpie black pen. I wish the kit included an option for plow lights -- the headlights just won't work when the plow is lowered and it's blowing snow!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"CANNONBALL" --- A night at the movies

Two episodes of the classic ---- Cannonball!!!! The following was taken from "TELEVISION OBSCURITIES"

Cannonball was created by Robert Maxwell, one of the producers of The Adventures of Superman and the man responsible for Lassie. The New York Times reported on July 8th, 1958 that the series would be produced by Normandie Productions, Ltd. (the Canadian arm of Television Programs of America) with production set to begin in Toronto on July 14th [1]. Television Programs of America was responsible for filmed programs like Private Secretary, Fury, Halls of Ivy and Last of the Mohicans, among others.
In September of 1958, Television Programs of America and Normandie Productions were sold to the Independent Television Corporation [2].
On December 3rd, a full-page advertisement in The New York Times for Independent Television Corporation called Cannonball a "stirring human-interest series about truckers on the highway to high adventure" [3]. It was one of four shows the company had in production for "national sale" (the others were The Four Just Men, The Adventures of Tom Swift and Interpol Calling). Paul Birch and William Campbell starred in Cannonball as Mike Malone, nicknamed Cannonball, and Jerry Austin, truckers working for C & A Transport who spent their days driving a big rig across Canada and the United States. Howard Milsom played Harry Butler, their dispatcher. Rounding out the cast were Beth Lockerbie, Beth Morris and Steve Barringer as Mike's wife Mary and his children Ginny and Butch.
The series premiered in Canada on Monday, October 6th, 1958, broadcast by CBC. Because it was syndicated locally in the United States there was no nation-wide premiere date. But it appears the show wasn't seen until 1959. Cannonball premiered in Los Angeles, for example, on Monday, May 18th, 1959 airing on KHJ from 8:30-9PM. In New York City, the series was seen on Fridays from 7:30-8PM beginning October 16th, 1959. And it aired on WGN-TV in Chicago from 8:30-9PM (7:30-8PM local time) starting on October 30th, 1959.
A total of 39 episodes of Cannonball were produced. In addition to Canada and the United States, the series was also seen in the United Kingdom. I'm afraid I don't know who sang the theme song.
Works Cited:

1 Shepard, Richard F. "Networks Widen Recording Use." New York Times. 8 Jul. 1958: 55.
2 "12 TV Shows Sold in $13,500,000 Deal." New York Times. 16 Sep. 1958: 55.
3 [Advertisement]. New York Times. 3 Dec. 1958: 74.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Look Who's Driving --

Just like my friend Jerry is ALWAYS telling me, "you never know where you're going to find a truck", well in this instance, "you never know who's driving it".

I have a couple of older post on the 1940's movie "THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT" with Humphrey Bogart and George Raft  so the story is known. So, as the late Paul Harvey would say -- "and now for the rest of the story".

Also, since we are back on the subject of  "THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT", there was this model that was used for about 90 seconds in the movie. It was a 1/4 scale exact duplicate of the 1922 Sterling that Bogey and Raft drove in the movie. This model was recently in the possession of a gentleman out in California, and can be seen in the book "MOVING THE GOODS" by Ron Kowalke. This model recently went up for auction and was expected to bring $10-15,000. It sold for ---1922 Sterling Truck Model with Humphrey Bogart Sold For $24,750.

And all I got is a picture ---

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blue Diamond Fuel Company --- The Trucks of Domenico F. Proscia


"Domenico F. Proscia, Bari, Italy (1902? - 1980) started Blue Diamond Fuel Oil in Brooklyn, NY, Grandpa Domenico in 1929 when he had his first brand new Ice and coal truck. If you look at the plate, it says 1929. This is the year my Dad was born, Grandpa had the business going and now his first son all at the same time. What a great year it was for him and my grandmother even though it was the year of the great depression." --- Domenic F. Proscia

I always appreciate when someone takes the time to send an email regarding one of my posts here. Thus was the case a couple of weeks ago when I got an email from Domenic Proscia, the grandson of the gentleman in the picture above. Domenic had read a post I put up about Brockways and he said it brought about a flood of memories about his grandad and his days with BLUE DIAMOND FUEL COMPANY.

BLUE DIAMOND is located in Brooklyn, New York. It was started back in the 1920's by Domenics' grandfather Domenico.
It is still a family owned business that survives today in Brooklyn.

The best part of Domenics' email is that he stated that he had some pictures of some old trucks used by his granddads' company  and some were BROCKWAYS. He asked if I were interested --- of course I was, and thus began a new friendship.

So, below are the pictures he sent -- not all Brockways, but some neat old Whites too. The captions below the pictures are Domenics own words.

"Grandads' 56 Brockway" --- Domenic F. Proscia

"1961 Brockway this truck was my Uncle Richie's he lives in Florida now the last of the living original Blue Diamond Family this truck had a blown governor and it would run 80 to 90 on the highway." ----- Domenic F. Proscia

"1965 Brockway this was my Uncle Mikes truck this truck was a real work horse with class". -- Domenic F. Proscia

" 64 White Mustang. This was the only truck that my Grandfather and my Grandfathers brother Willie purchased while thier sons were on vacation. This truck was terrible and I was stuck with it for a short period of time, so I made the best of it and when I got Engaged to my wife I painted her name on the front " Little Nancy " ---that made me feel better." ----- Domenic F. Proscia

"1963 White 3000 "bubble cab" we purchased this one used it was a great truck except the shift was about 3ft long and it felt like you shifted all the way to the other side of the cab." ----- Domenic F. Proscia

"1974 White Expeditor. This was a beautiful truck. The oil tank that is on it came off the 1961 Brockway. The one problem with this truck if you didn't unload the fuel going from the back to the front and if you let off the clutch fast you would pop a wheelie because the rear of the tank extended over the axel. This was a design transition we were trying back then in the middle 70's." ---- Domenic F. Proscia

I can not thank Domenic enough for sharing those pictures, but more importantly for sharing the love and respect he had for his grandfather. Domenico came here from Italy searching out the American Dream. He built a company, survived the Depression, and had a great family --- I wish I could have known him.

thank you Domenic ---

For more about the history of the BLUE DIAMOND FUEL COMPANY --- just click on this or any link in this article. There are some more pictures too!!!

UPDATE --2/13/12 --- Kate Prosia

Dear George,

  My name is Kate Proscia. I am the oldest daughter of Domenic Proscia.  I can not thank you enough for that beautiful article . My father forwarded me the email this morning.  You have put a big smile on both of our faces.  The love and respect my Dad had for his grandfather and Blue Diamond is something no one could ever understand or put into words.  Growing up as a young girl I heard countless stories and had the opportunity to visit the company when my grandfather was still alive.  I was the only little girl that wanted to ride in an oil truck and wear the jacket promoting the company with nothing but pride.  I was only one when my great grandfather past but the love and respect I have for that man is endless. It is the same respect I have for my father.  That respect carried so far that I named my second son Vincent Domenico, so that my boys know that it was hard work and determination that allow them all that they have today. So from the bottom of my heart thank you so very much for honoring my great grandfather and my father with that article and pictures.

 With much thanks,

 Kate Proscia

Thanks Kate ---