The 1964 Ducati Apollo

ducati-apollo

You might consider
yourself an expert vintage motorcycle aficionado,
and still,
you may not
recognize this sled….

………….. if not,
I quite understand.

You see, this Ducati, developed
to directly compete with Harley Davidson,
especially in the United States market,
never made it into mass production.

And you’ll probably just
love the reason why.

This bike– the
full name of Image result for 1964 ducati apollo berliner
which was the
“1964 Ducati Berliner
1260 Apollo
“-
– packed a 76 cubic inch (1250cc)
90 degree V-4 punch—

and it would actually accelerate
faster than it’s tires would tolerate…..

Yep…
to over 120 mph

…… at a time when motorcycle
tires weren’t sturdy enough to
take speeds over 90.

It would literally go
until the wheels fell off.

Two prototypes were manufactured –
– one still survives.

So, if you wanna ride one,
well, you might think
that you’re outta luck.

But I’m told the 2011 Honda
VFR1200 used much of the same
technology, including a powerful
V-4 configuration.

And you can probably find one
of those bikes for about 7 G’s
on Craigslist, sitting under 2
inches of dust in some
yuppie’s garage.

Or, you can go to the Ducati
museum in Kyushu, Japan
where the surviving Apollo is
and beg.

A lot .

apollo_back

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The Essence of a Pin Up

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Hey,
following the Muscleheaded Blog
can be quite a chore,
I understand that.

There’s some really weird stuff
on here, man.

So I try to mitigate the pain,
whenever possible,

…. with beautiful vintage pin up art.

Like creative writing,

suzannemaunier

Suzanne Meunier

a great piece of art can be said
to exist in three places…

in the heart of the artist,
in the mind of the viewer,
and upon the canvas/medium itself.

But interestingly enough,
none of these images are identical.

The artist always sees
his creation
from the perspective
of his inspiration —

— how well his creative expression
lived up to the original vision.

The viewer sees
and judges the work
from his own very distinctive
and individual set of preferences,vespa
prejudices,
taste, and experience.

Much like a good work of poetry,

it is not all that relevant to its creator,

how the art is understood
by the individual viewer,

—– or to the viewer,
what the piece specifically
meant to the artist.

It is not necessary that there is a
meeting of minds between artist and art lover.a

The image itself –

— on the canvas,
or on the film,
or on the drawing pad,
or even on the skin —

is simply a mass of colors,
contrasts, textures,
and shapes —

—which bridges the perspectives
of the artist with those of the viewer,
and creates a subjective experience in each.

Harry Ekman

Harry Ekman

No wonder there are so many
opinions on what is,
….. and what is not,
good art.

“Pin Ups” are an art form
that I am particularly fond of.

It is, of course,
a genre that isn’t
and cannot be strictly defined —

— although many see it
as a very narrow class related to
scantily clad, large breasted women
in provocative poses.

almoore1

Al Moore

(Not that I have anything against
scantily clad, large breasted women
in provocative poses….. )

Actually,

I’m the last guy to knock
the whole idea of scantily clad women
of any breast size,

—- but that’s not all there is to it.

And I suppose that most pin-up fans
in the U.S. would define pin-ups,
as a purely American art form —

as characterized by the
work of artists like:

Gil Elvgren,
George Petty,

Coles Phillips

Coles Phillips

Rolf Armstrong,
Joyce Ballantyne,

Harry Ekman,
Zoe Mozert,
Earl Moran, etc–

……. and,
originating with pioneering artists

like:

Charles Dana Gibson,
Coles Phillips,
and J.C. Leyendecker.

The pin up form-
-in terms of tattooing-

a1

Sailor Jerry Collins

…. is actually considered part
of a genre called “American Traditional”-

typified by the works of artists like:

Sailor Jerry Collins,
Bob Shaw,
or Bert Grimm.

Pin-ups really get around, ya know.

In actual fact,
the first use of the term ‘pin up’
was in the British press, during the early 1940’s,

fernandebarrey

Fernande Barrey

…… and the practice of
hanging pictures and illustrations
of pretty girls in skimpy costumes
(or no costume at all)
started with English Tommies
during WW I.

This lovely French lady,
Miss Fernande Barrey,
graced the wall of many
a foxhole during the Great War,

…. and she can be rightfully
called the most popular pin up girl of the 20th century.

Yes,
even more popular than Bettie Page.

Her nudes,
in particular,
are today often categorized

Jean-Gabriel Domergue

Jean-Gabriel Domergue

not under pin-ups, however,
but as “French Postcards”.

Still,
they were first and foremost
‘pin-ups’ in the most basic of ways.

So, personally,

I think the term ‘pin-up’
should be open for interpretation.

And, putting the whole ranges of
photographic, tattoo and
ultra-realist pin up art aside,

— that still leaves a wide variety
of styles in relation to painted
and illustrated forms.

henryclive

Henry Clive

One cannot simply reject works of artists
like Raphael Kirchner and
Jean-Gabriel Domergue out of hand,

… because they didn’t fit a strict set
of parameters mostly related
to exaggerated perspective,

or because they weren’t American artists.

Other important European pioneers include:

British artists Aubrey Beardsley,
and David Wright,

Czech artist Alphonse Mucha,

Italian artist Achille Mauzan,

leofontan

Leo Fontan

and French artists Leo Fontan,
and Xavier Sager.

As the 1930’s progressed,
pin-up styles advanced
and diversified overseas by artists like:

Takabatake Kasho,
Suzanne Meunier,
Victor Tchetchet
and Chéri Hérouard,

…… and in the United States by:

Haddon Sundblom,

Henry Clive,
Zoe Mozert
and Earl Moran.

World War II pushed the

George Petty

George Petty

envelope even further,

but slowly,
the art of George Petty and Gil Elvgren
became the ‘gold standard’
that other artists aspired to.

When the fifties broke,
even more commercial markets
for the “American” type of pin-up opened up–

Calendars,
pulp magazines,
advertising all were booming,

…… and the larger publishing houses
like Brown and Bigelow controlled both content and style.

This tended to restrict, to some extent,

Alberto Vargas

Alberto Vargas

the creativity and innovativeness
of up and coming artists in the 1960’s .

If one looks at a 1960’s era Alberto Vargas,
for instance,

…. it’s not very different from the
pin-ups popular in the early 1930’s.

But, today, there has been a renaissance —

one might even say a revolution–

…….in the world of pin-up art.

Due to the ready availability
and open nature of the internet—

Artists are now free from the
traditional constraints of the

Maly Siri

Maly Siri

old-order art marketplace.

Gone are the large publishing companies

enforcing their idea of art upon those
who wish to make a living creating
beautiful, sensual art.

Thus, gorgeous fresh and innovative works
of the pin up genre are being created
in all kinds of different styles
and mediums all around the world,

… by artists as diverse as:

Maly Siri,
Brett Parson,
Olivia de Berardinis,
Hajime Sorayama,
Tommy Tijeda,

rolfarmstrong

Rolf Armstrong

Shane Glines,

et al.

Because the essential aspect of pin up
isn’t so much a matter of technique or perspective,

….. as it is the ultimate projection
of feminine beauty and sensuality onto a medium —

Any medium.

Long live Pin-Up Art–
and the artists that create it !

.

Who’s your favorite Pin Up Artist ?

Let me know with a comment,
or a submission !

.

HOY !

.
vargas Alberto Vargas

It’s Magic, Man

adeliadeI’m not a magician.

I don’t even play one on TV.

But I do enjoy magic,

–especially the vintage posters
from the golden age of stage magicians —

There’s something very compelling
about them that I find irresistible.

In the history of stage magic,
there is this legend —

Well, ok,
it’s more like a curse —
a cursed magic trick .

catchthisThe trick is called ‘the bullet catch’ —
and it’s ‘curse’,
if you believe in such things, has killed

— you know, like DEAD —

at least 12 very talented
and skilled magicians
who have attempted to perform it.

Basically, the illusionists
keep getting killed by the illusion.

karmiYoweee…

… some trick, huh ?

Harry Houdini was said to be considering
adding the trick to his repertoire,

when his friend and fellow magician
Harry Kellar gave him this advice:

” Don’t try the bullet-catching trick.
There is always the biggest kind of risk
that some dog will ‘job’ you.
And we can’t afford to lose Houdini.
Harry, listen to your friend Kellar,
who loves you as his own son, and don’t do it! “

torriniAnd he never did.

But plenty of others did try it.

Another one bites the dust.

What’s supposed to happen
is that the magician stands
on one end of the stage holding
some kind of fragile object in front of him,

while at the other end,

a marksman takes steady aim
with a loaded gun
and a specially marked real bullet—

—- and then fires,
from about 30 feet away.

herrman(That doesn’t sound at all dangerous, does it?)

Now, theoretically,
the bullet crashes
through the fragile object
( a plate, a glass, etc )
the magician is holding
in front of him,

but he magically catches the
offending bullet between his teeth.

(I’m not sure you need
all that lead in your diet… )

1920Of course,

if the Muscleheaded Blog was one
of your typical media outlets,

— you’d now get a 10 minute lecture
on how you should never
try any of this at home.

But my philosophy is that :
if someone’s dumb enough
to wanna try this at home,

— let’s let ’em go right ahead and do it.

The gene pool always could
use some chlorine, ya know.

I’m pretty sure that
none of that would apply
to the obviously intelligent,1920a
and very discerning readers
of this here blog, anyway.

Ok–
well,
enough kissing ass….

— back to the Bullet Catch Trick.

The fact that this trick
keeps going wrong,
and killing the magicians that try it
has obviously caused
some consternation among performers,

and as I indicated,
has caused the gag
to acquire a mystique,
— a mythology — if you will,
all it’s own.soo

The most famous example
of this trick going completely
horribly horrible was in London, in 1918.

A very popular magician of the time,

— an American by the stage name
of Chung Ling Soo
(no, he wasn’t of Asian descent)
decided to use the trick in his act —

Somehow,

guns being guns,chung

…. and bullets being bullets, well…

It weren’t pretty.

In front of a crowd of over
2000 paying customers, too.

All that blood ain’t good for business, ya know.

herrmannSo, the trick went pretty
much silent for about 70 years….

A couple people trying it here and there,
….. some hits, some misses ….

It was revived for a TV special in 2012,
by magician Steve Cohen.

Now, this guy IS really skilled,
very proficient–
a student and teacher of magic —

— so this ‘curse’ was finally
gonna be put to bed for good, right?

Well, sure,
think that if you want.

On a New York City shooting range,
with a small audience in attendance
and cameras taping every second of the event,

Cohen took his place
in front of a glass plate,
and a guy with a Glock 9 mm
about 30 feet away —

and when he dropped his handkerchief,
the shooter took his shot.carter

Blammo.

Screaming in pain,
(actually, the word
‘squealing’ comes to mind)

Steve Cohen hit the floor,
and was quickly taken to the hospital —

He had been hit by glass shards from the panel,
— as the bullet shattered it.

He ended up bruised,
spooked,
and swearing off the trick.

The curse continues ? ?

Ppprrrrressssttttoooooooooooooh.

Me?

Give me the lady
with the disappearing dress
trick every time.

(Keep the boots, please)

It’s magic, man.

HOY !!!!!

elvgren

Choosing A Classic Car To Restore

Man, I know I’m getting
myself into some trouble
here committing myself
to a list of Top 5
Collector Cars
worth the aggravation
of restoring —

Which is what this
Saturday series
is going to attempt to do. 

Cause I really can’t help myself
in throwing my 2 1/2 cents
worth into what is already
a controversial subject.

My perspective is limited,
of course, by the lack of
having a lot of money (any)
to throw at a project –

so, whatever I choose for
my list has to be relatively
economical to acquire and
restore, and almost
completely accessible
to the home garage mechanic.

The after market parts have
to be readily available, too.

And that’s a challenge
in itself–
you can’t just inherit your
Great-Uncle Jeffrey’s 1949
Plymouth Special Deluxe,
tow it off the back 40,
and start restoring it
by ordering a
replacement transmission
from XCheapPartX.Com.

It don’t work that way —
chances are good that
after-market parts for
that thing will be harder
to find than gold nuggets
in a bowl of oatmeal.

And the parts designated
as ‘N-O-S’ –
(or ‘new-old-stock’ –
left over from when
there even WAS a car
company called Plymouth )
are now probably so rusty
and crusty as to be
completely unusable.

Consider —
Gaskets crumbling as
you open the package.
Lost and irreplaceable
repair manuals ?
Part-specific tools
nowhere to be found?
Man, there’s so many
different potential issues –
– it should scare you to death…
unless of course,
you own a machine shop,
are a master machinist
as well as a mechanic,
have oodles of tools
and garage space,
and plenty of time
and money to burn.

It also helps to be deaf,
’cause boy, are you
gonna hear about that
wreck taking up all that
primo storage room out
there that your wife
and kids can’t use
(or even go into).

I’m not hating on the idea,
hey- I’m on your side.

You just gotta be careful
which mechanical zombie
you choose to commit
to bringing back to life.

It just wouldn’t be
ethical to get it half way
and then stop — leaving it
to become just another
vegetable, right ?

So- let’s talk about some
of the important criteria
that will give you a fighting
chance to make this thing
of ours work – which all
comes down to
research ahead of time.

1: Can You Get Parts?
By that, I mean, not
just the chrome hood ornament…

can you get rocker arms,
piston rings, differentials,
water pumps, etc, etc, etc.

Remember a lot of
cars before 1960
used a 6 volt
electrical system —
even this has to be
contemplated.

2: Can You Find A Car
Like You Want That’s
Worth Restoring –
— considering these
especially:

A: Rust and General Body Condition

B: Drive-train , Engine,
Suspension, Brakes

C: Interior, Electrics
and Accessories

In other words,
how much work
does it really need?

This is where you have to be
brutally honest and realistic
with yourself – can you really
replace a rocker panel in
your garage?

Do you have the capacity/desire
to remove an engine
and transmission?

Where you start is often
where it ends–
so, answer carefully.

So you want the best ‘starter’
car you can afford –
with those things you
don’t want to do/can’t do
already done.

The truth is, that the more
common the car is in the
collector market, the higher
the chances that there will
be a good one for a project
out there —
— if you’re thinking
late 1960’s Mustang or Camaro,
you’ll have a lot of good starting
points to choose from.

There are actually companies
that specialize in making
almost every conceivable
part for certain collector
cars like that –

and if you’re not
going to be a total fanatic
about ‘originality’,
it’s even easier.

3: And then — think —
After all the work and money-
Is this car really going
to make me happy?

For instance,
I like Studebakers.
Actually, I love em.
I love the way they look.
Very cool.
But, they were pretty much
rolling junk after 1956.
Honestly, you can throw an
awful lot of cash at one, and
still have something that
handles like their original
model of 1852 Conestoga Wagon.
Go west, young man.

Ok- we’re done with part one —

and hopefully, we’ll ready
to talk about which models
can fit into these criteria.

Next time.

( If you’re really
chomping at the bit,
maybe a clue or two
about the list
might be gleaned
from the cars
featured on this post,
but I dunno….
most of them
just wouldn’t work.)

!!!! HOY !!!!

.

Sunday Morning Music

Hi Y’all !

and

Welcome once again
to another Sunday
Morning Music Post .

” Apropos to nothing “….

– a phrase I seem to use
a lot these days,
applies especially to
our music selections today.

Very cool music.

But I’m feeling rather
direction-less, so I’m
thinking the post is
gonna wander a bit, too.

Ah well.

.

Chickenfoot —
Turning Left

.

Pat Metheny —
Last Train Home

.

Grand Funk Railroad —
Captain / Closer To Home

.

Mark Knopfler —
” Going Home

.

Taj Mahal , Keb Mo :
Don’t Leave Me Here

.

Murder By Death —
” Comin Home ” 

.

Blind Faith —
” Can’t Find My Way Home

.

Yes–
Roundabout

.

Audioslave —
” I Am The Highway

.

BB King and John Mayer —
Sweet Home Chicago

.

Gino Vannelli —
People Gotta Move

.

Deep Purple —
Highway Star

.

The Highwaymen —
The Road Goes On Forever

.

Willie Nelson —
On The Road Again

.

Wes Montgomery —
” Wind Song ” 

.

Ringo Starr —
We’re On The Road Again

.

Grateful Dead —
The Weight (from Easy Rider) ”

.

Ten Years After —
I’m Going Home

.

Iron Horse —
Fire On The Mountain

.

Sons of Anarchy —
We All Fall Down

.

Chickenfoot —
Running Out

.

!!!!!!! HOY !!!!!!!