Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest PetrolGator

GROUP BUILD: What in the heck were they thinking?!

Recommended Posts

Guest PetrolGator

Here's the second group build for the new year.

 

There are engineering projects that leave you scratching your head. Whether it be the painful lines of the Edsel or the Dynamite launchers of the USS Vulcan, well, there are drugs and then there are the hallucinogens that made the "Flying Pancake" seem like a grand idea.

 

 

Choose something truly strange. Bonus points for research done to explain either how ill received, poorly thought out, or downright dangerous to its own operators.

 

Simple ask yourself: What in the hell where they thinking?

 

Build begins in or around January 1st, 2015. Build will end in June 2015.

 

 

Builders:

1) Chris Martens, USS Kearsarge BB-5 (Severely damaged. Build will be put off for this group build)

2) Bob Liebman, The uh... flything. Or flying thing. Or bad trip. Who knows. I love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Respectfully- it is spelled Edsel and it was a beautiful car, especially the 1958 convertible! Regards, Nick Filippone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest PetrolGator

Spelling fixed, but it's still well, the Edsel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spelling fixed, but it's still well, the Edsel.

 

The Edsel was more a failure of product planning and marketing than design and engineering. It was intended to be a "step up" from the standard Ford sedan, but it largely overlapped the existing Mercury product line (Mercury was another Ford brand). It also had the misfortune of debuting in the middle of a recession; a bad time to convince people to buy a luxury product. What really killed it was that Robert McNamara (yes, that one) - a man who understood statistics but not automobiles - was running Ford at the time, and he didn't like it...

 

Back around 1980 I had an after school job washing cars at a Ford dealership; for some bizarre reason they had taken a pristine Edsel wagon in on trade and parked it in the middle of the showroom. One of my jobs was to dust this thing and clean the fingerprints off the windows, and I got to look it over real close. Under the hood and inside it looked much like the '62 Ford Galaxie that had been my first car, so I don't think the engineering went to waste.

 

If you want a real automotive "what the heck?" consider the Chevy Vega or the AMC Pacer.

 

Don

Edited by Schmitz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may motivate me to complete the Mach 2 1/72 Convair YF2Y-2 Sea Dart I started oh so many, many years ago. It sits on the shelf of shame because of all the work I've already put into scratchbuilding a cockpit and the entire canopy structure. I burned out at the masking and painting stage for the complex visual scheme for which no decals were provided (and the few decals that were provided were terrible).

 

So, this is a dual question: What were they thinking and what was I thinking?

 

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest PetrolGator

 

Spelling fixed, but it's still well, the Edsel.

 

The Edsel was more a failure of product planning and marketing than design and engineering. It was intended to be a "step up" from the standard Ford sedan, but it largely overlapped the existing Mercury product line (Mercury was another Ford brand). It also had the misfortune of debuting in the middle of a recession; a bad time to convince people to buy a luxury product. What really killed it was that Robert McNamara (yes, that one) - a man who understood statistics but not automobiles - was running Ford at the time, and he didn't like it...

 

Back around 1980 I had an after school job washing cars at a Ford dealership; for some bizarre reason they had taken a pristine Edsel wagon in on trade and parked it in the middle of the showroom. One of my jobs was to dust this thing and clean the fingerprints off the windows, and I got to look it over real close. Under the hood and inside it looked much like the '62 Ford Galaxie that had been my first car, so I don't think the engineering went to waste.

 

If you want a real automotive "what the heck?" consider the Chevy Vega or the AMC Pacer.

 

Don

 

 

Or Gremlin. One can also plant multiple early Fiats rusted brought to the States way back when in this category. IMO, the "New" Beetle is also one of the worst looking cars on the road. Build a Beetle for this and you earn a special nickname. Or a Kia Soul, Nissan Juke controvertible, or the naming convention currently taking hold at Volkswagen.

 

That's the thing with cars: it's all so subjective, aesthetically speaking. People love or hate the Edsel. I happen to dislike the styling strongly.

 

Still, Edsel is one um, interesting looking machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in...

 

PKZ-2WTF.jpg

 

There are just too many bad things that can happen to the crew here. For starters, note that he's airborne with no hands on any controls.

Edited by VonL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's a manned UAV.

 

In the words of George Kennedy, "I'm only an observer".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, Edsel may be high on the list, but all time fuglyest vehicle ever has to be the Pontiac Aztec. There are still a few of them around and every time I see one(I try very hard to not see them) I try to imagine a group of GM stylist standing around the prototype saying, "Damn, we just nailed that one!" I just can't get there. Not going to happen. It is so bad that no one ever made a model of it, and I am not going to waste my time scratching one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try to imagine a group of GM stylist standing around the prototype saying, "Damn, we just nailed that one!" I just can't get there.

 

Pete, in one of Bob Lutz's books (maybe Car Guys vs. Bean Counters ??), he mentions that GM once had a requirement to invent so many completely new types of vehicle per year. The example I remember was an SUV with a rolltop rear hatch that would open up into the roof to let you haul really tall things (grandfather clocks? small trees??). These "inventions" typically required lots of engineering and suffered from unusual proportions and awkward styling so that they generally turned into expensive failures. But if you were a middle manager hoping to be promoted you had to make sure your department met their "innovation quota".

 

That has to explain the Aztec; either that or hallucinogens...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I try to imagine a group of GM stylist standing around the prototype saying, "Damn, we just nailed that one!" I just can't get there.

Pete, in one of Bob Lutz's books (maybe Car Guys vs. Bean Counters ??), he mentions that GM once had a requirement to invent so many completely new types of vehicle per year. The example I remember was an SUV with a rolltop rear hatch that would open up into the roof to let you haul really tall things (grandfather clocks? small trees??). These "inventions" typically required lots of engineering and suffered from unusual proportions and awkward styling so that they generally turned into expensive failures. But if you were a middle manager hoping to be promoted you had to make sure your department met their "innovation quota".

 

That has to explain the Aztec; either that or hallucinogens...

 

Or perhaps a combination of that and too many reruns of Batman!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest PetrolGator

Aztec yes. I tried to forget about those.

 

You should build one, Peter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Progress, of a sort.

 

"What were they thinking?" might also apply to the kit itself. Numerous tiny, plastic rods, molded with the sprue attachment from the side(!) and butt-jointed to their neighbors in the assembly. Seems like a no-brainer to run a long rod top-to-bottom of this contraption - not so in Roden's proverbial mind. So I made an executive decision to do it myself, with a thin steel rod. Stacked components are separated by micro-tubing sections strategically positioned along the central rod.

 

No controls are provided for the inside of the lab-rat's...err...cockpit...

 

PKZ-227nov141.jpg

Edited by VonL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda sorta finished. Just enough rigging to show that it had some. It needs a base and some figures for scale:

 

 

PKZ-WTF1_zps15e1a117.jpg

 

 

Austrianhelo2_zpsd0669d6b.jpg

Edited by VonL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is definitely a "what were they thinking" item! Nice build Bob!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanx, guys. I do get a laugh just looking at this thing. Easy choice, which one I'd rather drive, between the PKZ-WTF and the Bleriot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes you just can't make up stuff like this (thank God).

 

Ahh, the good old days!

 

Great build.

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

"That has to explain the Aztec; either that or hallucinogens..."

 

As I understood it, the Aztec was based on a really good looking, different SUV Styling Model with some unique features. Obviously, the move from Styling Model to production machine did not go well. They had to utilize an existing platform that severely limited the design. As it turned out, people who actually owned Aztecs loved them. Also, the very same platform as the Aztec was used for the Buick Rendezvous. A hell of a lot better looking and better selling vehicle. The number of interchangeable parts between the two was pretty extensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda sorta finished. Just enough rigging to show that it had some. It needs a base and some figures for scale:

 

 

PKZ-WTF1_zps15e1a117.jpg

 

 

Austrianhelo2_zpsd0669d6b.jpg

 

That's just wrong. On so many levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...