Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Batmobile and the Lincoln Futura -- starring together at Warner Brothers

Nearly four years ago, when I went into a little history about the Lincoln Futura, little did I dream I would ever witness this amazing sight -- a 'new' Lincoln Futura as it was originally designed. Tonight, at Warner Brothers, comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, who owns Batmobile #6 and this new Futura, paid tribute to the great George Barris. After the Futura toured from 1955-1959 in car shows, Ford loaned the car to MGM, which used it in the Debbie Reynolds/Glenn Ford movie It Started with a Kiss.  After that it was forgotten in storage and by 1966 found its way to Barris' backyard.  (He paid a grand total of one dollar for it). Barris, famous for his talents as an automobile customizer to the studios and the stars, was commissioned by ABC to build a futuristic car for a new TV series they were planning about a comic book hero, for which they were willing to pay $15,000 if he was able to deliver said vehicle within an impossible three weeks.  As luck would have it Barris had to look no further for his inspiration than his own backyard. The rest is history, and the one dollar investment eventually turned into a $3,999,999 profit when Barris sold it at auction a few years ago.  It's now sitting in someone's living room in Arizona.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Father's Army Pictures Part Six -- Berlin, 1951 -- McNair's Starlight Grove Club

 My father, Louis Santoro, is at the left.
 Pictures of the club above and below, are from The Berlin Brigade site.

My Father's Army Pictures Part Five -- Berlin, 1951 -- Off the base

Officers of the RHO including 1st Sgt Evans and Capt. Barton

 The Brandenburg Gate can be seen to the right of this photo.
 My father, Louis Santoro.

 My father's pal Bill Ramson, above and below.

Frank Harvey and Bill Ramson.  Frank is either holding my father's Kodak Retina 35 or one exactly like it.
Bill Ramson.
 If anyone can identify this location, please let me know.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Father's Army Pictures Part Four -- Berlin, 1951 -- McNair barracks -- Goerzallee

Reinhard von Bronewski, who has this extensive and informative site about the Berlin Brigade, identified this street as Goerzallee for me.  I suspect these were taken from my father's window, in which case he was housed near the main gate.  For a guy from a sleepy little town like Arnold, PA, this must have been pretty exciting. 

Reinhard told me this was a view of the street '4 Ring', later renamed Strasse des 4th of July because of the big parades held here by the American military.

A latter day picture of the McNair barracks, it is now being converted to luxury housing, and named after Marilyn Monroe!  Many more pictures are here of its recent history.