Chop, Drop & Roll: The Adri’s Custom Ghia

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Since recently reinstating our popular I Am The Speedhunter program, we’ve been receiving story submissions from all around the world, many of which are leading us to some simply amazing builds. Case in point, Adrien Faure’s spectacular body-dropped and boosted Volkswagen Karmann Ghia from Landivisiau, France.

With Adrien’s brother Maxime on camera duty, we’re happy to be able to bring you this spotlight post on what is a stunning custom creation, but of course it wasn’t always this way.

When Adrien picked up the car in 2010 and embarked on project, it threw up a few surprises. “It was my dream car, but I discovered that it was very rusty,” he says. Such things are to be expected when you start stripping an old car back to its bare bones, but in this case it necessitated the purchase of another car. In its final form today you’re looking at 1966 body slung over a ’71 left-hand drive floor pan and running gear, but that’s just the start of it…

Drool over the rest HERE

A Zombie that Almost Lived up to its Name

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The 64th Squadron struck the Ring Ring coconut plantation near Gasmata, New Britain on November 24, 1943. On the way home, Henry J. Domagalski and crew, in the B-24D #42-40913, ZOMBIE, were attacked over the Dampier Strait by 12 Japanese Zeros.

For a short time in November 1943, the 43rd Bomb Group was flying missions to a Ring Ring, a coconut plantation near Gasmata. Although these weren’t the most exciting missions, the area was being prepared for a December ground invasion, which made the mission necessary. It was observed in the 43rd’s Group History that, “Our combat crews don’t seem to think much of this type of target, preferring to hit something that will blow up with a loud noise and a satisfactory amount of flame and smoke, but the Army seems quite pleased with the results of our bombing and apparently considers the destruction of these targets essential.”

Flying from Port Moresby to Ring Ring on November 24th was 1/Lt. Henry J. Domagalski and his crew in their B-24 nicknamed ZOMBIE. Their mission was an armed reconnaissance to the area, with the crew running into no trouble as ZOMBIE’s bombs were unloaded over Garove Island. As the B-24 flew over the Dampier Strait, the crew encountered a formation of nine Japanese “Lily” bombers accompanied by 12 “Oscar” fighters returning to Wewak from a mission to Finschhafen.

Head over to A Zombie that Almost Lived up to its Name for [Paul Harvey]the rest of the story. Gooood day![/Paul Harvey]

Early torpedo tech

The Brennan torpedo was the first effective guided weapon. Introduced into service in 1887, the Brennan was launched from a shore-side fort and powered by a steam engine which pulled wire off drums in the torpedo. As the wire was pulled in, the drums rotated so powering the propellors that drove it through the water.

Brennan torpedo sites were used to protect the entrances of naval ports. Its major advantages were that if the target manoeuvred, the torpedo could be steered to intercept after launch, by tracking a mast showing above the water. It also carried a large warhead that would strike below the heavy armoured belt. At least 8 Brennan sites have been identified, 5 in the UK and Ireland, 2 in Malta and one in Hong Kong.

Brennan torpedoes had a speed of about 26 knots, well in excess of the speed on the battleships of the time, and a range of 2000 yards. They carried a warhead of 230 (later 364) lbs wet guncotton.

Some details of the Brennan are still secret. The depth mechanism is sealed, and there are no drawings to show how it worked, so the movie shows one of the techniques available at the time. The single remaining original Brennan can be seen at the Royal Engineers museum, Chatham, England.

Animation of 16 inch torpedo, Whitehead design, built by the Royal Laboratories in about 1876. This torpedo has a warhead of 116 lbs (52.5 Kg) wet guncotton, a compressed air compound oscillating engine giving a speed of 9 knots and a range of 1,200 yards (1.1 Km). The animation shows the desk launch carriage that was used when HMS SHAH fired a 16 inch torpedo at the Peruvian armoured turret ship Huascar in 1877. Animation created using Cinema 4D.