Monday, January 13, 2014

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum - Part 5


PART 5 OF THE TAMPA BAY AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM


1929 RUXTON








My third favorite car in this place is this Ruxton.  I'd never heard of one before and discovered it was an American car.  Looks a little like one of the early Houston Astros jerseys, this positively gorgeous car was made in the Moon Motor Car Company in St. Louis in 1929.  It competed directly with the Cord and one of its features was a lower body, by as much as 10 inches from other cars of the day.  They put the driveshaft in the body and made a hump in the middle like cars today.  It was a conglomeration of companies designed to sell off to one of the big automakers, presumably Hupmobile, but the purchase never happened, and with the Crash, it died, having made no more than about 50.  The pictures below attest to the color schemes of other Ruxtons.   Me, I gotta get me a Ruxton.  Oh, before I forget, the cat-eye headlights were beautiful but worthless and owners either drove only during the day or swapped them out for better ones.






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1937 TATRA T87









Well, where do I begin.  This is a Czechoslovakian car inspired by Zeppelin designer, Paul Jaray.  It had a feisty V-8 and could get up to 100 miles an hour.  It was a favorite of German officers when the country was occupied,  and was made between 1937 and 1948.  This version is one of only 250 left worldwide.  Three headlights which was a precursor to the Tucker, and that little hole in the 4th picture is another rain drain from the moonroof.  When sitting in the back you can not only see the outside but you can also see the engine.  Absolutely cool, almost science fiction concept.  Santa, bring me one of these!  



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MERCEDES 170 H





Ever wonder where the VW "Bug" came from.  Well, from the looks of it, it came from the Mercedes 170 H.  Mercedes, like most German cars were haunted by "The People's Car" which Hitler wanted.  Dr. Porsche, who would later form Volkswagen, worked for Mercedes-Benz and tried coming up with a suitable low priced rear engined car.  Voila!  This car, amongst Mercedes most desired pre-war cars was loud, didn't drive all that well, handled poorly and was butt ugly (for Mercedes) but was a step in the right direction for an affordable cheaply made automobile for the masses.   


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Tatra T75







As I mentioned before somewhere, the Matriarch of the family   that owns all these cars bought them because they are treasured innovation in automobile making.  The Tatra T75's claim to fame was in it's chassis design.  Nothing pretty but it was that its rear axle was "swinging" rather than "live".   I am no gear head and won't try being one here, suffice to say that it made the rear wheels independent from each other.  In a live axle, like most cars, the whole axle will rise if a tire hits something in the road.  Not the Tatra.  There are pros and cons to this set up, and Tatra cars would eventually put their engines in the rear anyway, but at the time it was deemed somewhat revolutionary.  By the way, Tatra trucks are still built today and have swinging axles.  I also liked the way the whole front end raised, kind of like a semi truck.

HOPE YOU ARE NOT GETTING TIRED OF THESE PICTURES FROM THE MUSEUM BECAUSE THERE ARE A COUPLE MORE COMING UP!

1 comment:

  1. I want a Ruxton. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cat eye headlights. That is just a beautiful car.

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