Archives for category: — Vintage

This video made by YouTube user Robbie Bircher‘s dad back in 1989, offers a rare glimpse of basically stock trucks navigating one of America’s most difficult 4×4 routes, the Rubicon Trail. Along for the ride are a couple of Jeep CJs, a Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, and an International Scout.

The pace of the video is slow but you feel like you’re there. And thankfully it’s been stabilized so you don’t have to sit through any camera shake. Really good stuff.

It’s a bit ’80s, but there’s some good stuff here. The video covers pretty much everything: how to cross muddy slopes, ditches, water fording, hills, v-shaped gullies, towing, driving ruts and rocky terrain. All of the sections are done by two Defenders, one doing the right thing, the other the wrong thing.

As an added bonus, the video shows what has been selected in vehicles’ transfer case and transmission via a little Atarti-style graphic.

This film from the 1960s shows the then popular sport of motorcycle scrambling, which eventually would turn into enduro. It’s a fun little film.

The other day I posted about the Africa Twin and its 25-year history. Today I have some vintage video for you of both the 650 and 750 versions of the bike in its glory days.

The first two videos are in French but the appeal is universal. Same goes for the last one of a Africa Twin 750 starting up. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ocean liners are the largest vehicles ever used for public travel. For example, The Michelangelo, the sistership of the one in the video, was as long as three football fields and weighed as about as much as 262 Jumbo Jets (747s). That many jets could carry could carry about 109,000 passengers, while the ship could carry only 1775. That left a lot of extra space for restaurants, casinos, and mechanical-horse exercise equipment (as you’ll see).

Of course, liners couldn’t compete with jets. This film was made in 1967 as the ocean liner era was coming to an end. It looks like it was an amazing way to travel.

Actually, you still can still travel that way, if you’d like. The QE2 QM2 makes the trip from New York to Southampton in seven days. Fares start at about $1,000/person for an inside stateroom.

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Here’s an interesting experimental off-road vehicle from the 1930s. It looks like it has ten-wheel-drive, though I was only able to trace it to this source on Flickr. Apparently it’s English.

 

It’s still amazing to me that we went off-roading on the moon. Here’s some stabilized footage from the Apollo 16 mission.

This is one of my favorite Camel Trophy videos. It takes place in 1988 on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi. It also shows a bit of the driver training in England. Great footage.

See the rest of the videos after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

When I was a kid I had a little matchbox-sized Matra-Simca Rancho from a German toy maker called Siku. I always like the look of the thing but didn’t know much about it. As an adult I found out it was a bit of a poser, a French entry into the off-road market, that didn’t even have four-wheel drive. In this clip, they really pushed the off-road image (and euro-pop soundtrack).

Although the mechanicals didn’t quite live up to the image it projected, I still think the design was ahead of its time.

Continuing on the Grand Wagoneer theme, here’s a dealer commercial for the 1973 Grand Wagoneer. The narrator enthusiastically states that the rear seat is standard, not an optional extra.

It’s funny to look back at the history of the SUV. On this full-time 4-wheel-drive system, the lock-out for the center differential was in the glove box!