Tag Archives: cartoon history

Can’t. Stop. Thinking.

I was on my walk, again, and thinking, again, about alternative layouts. I remembered a Bucket from “back in the day” that had the engine actually in the body, but Google Image Search can’t seem to find it. It did find this earlier car.Engine in the back, driver in the frontThat did much the same thing but wasn’t a street car.

So what I was thinking was move the body back so the engine was about the place the upper black line is in this picture.Reusing a picture here.
And have the sticky-outy thing on the right sticking out of the body.That's close to what it looks like now.This is cleaned up
And I know the “sticky-outy” thing is the final drive housing.

Doing this won’t change anything except where the driver goes and how he (I) fit.View from the back. Mrs. the Poet is obviously fascinated. Three-quarter rear viewThree-quarter front. Clint is obviously as interested in the car as Mrs. the Poet
You know you have a tiny car when you can mock it up in the living room and not have to move any furniture around. The back of the chair in the pictures is right where the radiator will be on the car. I saw the chance to get a visual reference in place and I took that chance. The gas tank will go about where the box is in the bottom view and the rear view.

Now obviously part of the back of the body will need to get cut away to clear the engine and transmission if I don’t change the wheelbase. Now if I wanted to be really sneaky I could shorten the wheelbase from the 100″ of a stock model T and move the entire engine and transaxle inside the body and just have the axle sticking through the side like on some tubs.Just keep sliding that body back...
And hide everything inside the body. Nothing of the engine would be visible except the exhaust tips. And this configuration has precedent in the original Thunderbolt Grease Slapper.See how far forward the rear tires are?
Move the body back until the back of the rear tire is even with the back of the body with a fake convertible top and just keep the same space in front of the original firewall. Or I could get really sneaky and keep adding that distance in front of the body while moving the engine and transaxle forward until the rear tires are even with the back of the body and keep the original 100″ wheelbase, and put a smooth hatch over the driver’s compartment so that when it’s parked you can’t tell where the engine is.

And looking at the original TGS had me wondering where Tom kept his legs when he was driving, because they obviously aren’t in the car with him. He would have to be an above-the-knee amputee to fit in the car, or drive with his feet sticking through the firewall next to the engine. Ah, well it’s only a cartoon, a fifty year old cartoon at that. They had their own logic and physics .

Also getting back to the car I’m building, if I shorten the wheelbase that moves the balance more neutral to make the handling better. Another reason to move the engine forward.

And I need to get ready for my walk.

It’s hard to tell sometimes where inspiration will strike

This is an extreme example of bigs and littles, but I think I’m going to steal the name anyway.
Thunderbolt Grease Slapper, note the difference in size between the front and rear tires.

There are some major differences, first and foremost being that my car is real and not a pen-and-ink animation from the 1960s. Another major difference is the OG TGS was front-engine and mine is mid-engine. Then there was the matter of kind of racing. Tom’s day he raced the TGS in everything from drag races to rallies to balloon races (yes really, with oars no less). You can do that when your car only exists as a series of drawings and xerox copies. Mine is a bit more specialized for a single competition as an autocrosser/Solo Racer (same racing just different tire rules). I mean besides actually existing IRL, I’ll have to change wheels, tires, shocks, and springs and maybe an anti-roll bar to go from one competition to the other. This is actually much less involved than it sounds because I’m designing for making the change as easy as possible.

But the official name of the Mid-Bucket as put on the entry forms is Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2. Or maybe 2000? Nope just 2, not even going to get fancy with II.

All of this is because I spent hours trying to find 16 X 12 rear wheels for the 5 X 4½ bolt circle on my car. I decided to look at pictures of cars to relax a bit while still staying on-point, and Tom Slick came up somehow. The images brought back pleasant memories from childhood, which I’m now going to destroy with new memories from adulthood… 😈

I have to go take my walk now and think some more.

Opus the Unkillable