11/16/12

Thunderbowl Comet Again



Subject of my very first post, this formidable machine was identified by Dan Strohl of Hemmings Daily as the Golden Eagle aka Thunderbowl Comet. Although the car's story varies from one teller to the next, it did at least portray a Muroc Dry Lake LSR contender in a 1936 Jimmy Stewart B-movie called 'Speed', turning up years later as opening act at the Carpenteria Thunderbowl, a quarter-mile dirt track near Santa Barbara, California. As Auto Puzzles editor Ray B. posted, "The Carpinteria Thunderbowl was operational between 1947 and 1956. Anton Krivanek reminisced about the circuit: I used to go there when I was about 14. The guy who owned it had a great big streamliner called the Thunderbowl Comet. It had the name painted on the side and it had a big fin on the back end with a stylized comet with a tail of sparks and stars painted on it. He'd trundle it around the track before the races to impress the rubes (me). In my memory it was so long it could hardly make it around the corners... Years later I saw it parked alongside Highway 14 out near Acton as a draw for a sad little western roadside attraction. I told Strother MacMinn about it and he drove out there and checked it out... He had seen it parked on the street in Hollyweird in the late '30s or '40s. It was on a stretched L29 Cord chassis and eventually was bought and dismantled for its Cord parts." I recently acquired the photo above, the script on the side plugging (indecipherable something like Egge) Speedway Carburetors of Glendale. Below is the photo previously posted, followed by movie frame captures from IMCDB. Check out the original shotgun/centerline fin aiming setup. Used car / rental lot snapshot was found at H.A.M.B. Jalopy Journal and the last four were pilfered from Auto Puzzles, where further information and photos can be found. I thought 'Our Famous Salad Bar' might refer Antelope Valley tourists to the Village Inn of Palmdale, California, mentioned in a Frank Zappa song, but another Auto Puzzles photo brings Noel, Missouri out from behind the cage post. Salad bar, honey! We really must give it a try the next time we're 1600 miles east of here!  The distinguished gentleman smiling from the cockpit is designer Alex Tremulis, another luminary who made the Acton pilgrimage to pay respects. According to Strohl, the beast still exists.



4 comments:

  1. A great big up to Dan Strohl! These things(vehicles) I don't even have the right word to use, look like rockets! And if Strohl said that it still exists, i would like to one day see it. I mean, who wouldn't? I think today's racing cars should be transformed into this shape. Looks strong and safe to ride in. Thank you reservatory for posting the pictures! I love them! And i as i always say, i love your photography!

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  2. Very nice car, thanks for sharing.

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  3. Wow. With cars like that it's not wonder people thought flying cars would happen eventually. Vehicle Wraps

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  4. Very nice post... and car

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