PDA

View Full Version : Not about guns, but.....



mturner
10-26-2010, 09:55 PM
I know most of you have never heard of Herb Grasse, but he was responsible for a lot of the design work that we have all admired in the automotive industry. He designed the Brickilin back in the 70's. He also did the Dodge Challenger and the Dart, along with many other designes he was involved in like the Batmobile.

Since my father was the inventor of the rotary vee engine, I found myself around some very interesting people like Herb Grasse, and Malcolm Bricklin. I remember spending the majority of a summer in Pheonix while dad was in business meetings with Bricklin, and particularly remember being at Herb's house.

I called to talk with Herb tonight, only to hear from his wife that he passed away this August 24th. from cancer. I told her that I remembered three things from my visit at the age of 10 (36 years ago), that I wanted to mention. I remembered he had a Mangusta in his garage. She said "yes you remember right". I said I'll never forget Herb sitting down in front of my brother and I, and painting us a picture of a sports car. I told her I still have the painting. Then I told her I remember a third thing that might sound a little strange, but I remembered that they had an aligator in the bathtub. She confirmed this to be true. She said they kept it for some friends while they were on vacation. She then told me how her and Herb took turns holding the aligator while the other took a bath.

During the conversation I emailed her the painting that Herb did for us long ago. She was very blessed to be able to add this to her collection of his work. I have attached it in memory of a great concept designer that we have all looked on his work in our daily lives when out on the road.

Michael

Gene Beggs
10-26-2010, 10:24 PM
Very Interesting Mike. I enjoy things like this.

Gene Beggs

Donald
10-26-2010, 10:37 PM
Michael.
When I met you 2 years ago at the Rattlesnake in Raton and looked at your 30-30 I knew I had just met a very talented craftsman. You are indeed blessed to have been in the presence of Malcom Breslin and others of his like. Your dad must have been one heck of a guy. Who would ever thought that a guy from Cloudcroft, New Mexico, a very small town, would have a background like yours. Is this not a wonderous world we live in? Hear, Hear, to your dad and guys like him. Not a lot on this forum are old enough to know what your are talking about. But I am. Dang it!!!!!!

Donald

Butch Lambert
10-26-2010, 10:59 PM
Very interesting to me. I have a similar story of Eddie Miller. He was the nephew of Harry Miller of Offenhauser engine fame. Harry developed the Miller engine that became the Meyer-Drake and then Offenhauser engine. I met Eddie about 30yrs ago. At the time he was an engineer for Rockwell International. Eddie worked for Pachmayer for several years. He was team manager and engineer for Lance Reventlow's Scarab. Eddie developed a 4cyl. desmodromic engine for it. He built an Austin Healy that he said he sold the design to Donald Healy. He built and developed the car for Studebaker and they didn't want to build it. He had the car when I visited him in Richardson, Tx. It had a much modified Studebaker engine. He piped nitros to it in a way that you couldn't see. The transmission was a series of sun gears activated by electrical solenoids. He hand built the frame from heavy wall sheet metal and hand formed the aluminum body. Eddie had three 3/4 scale HiWalls that he built from scratch. They were chambered in 22 Mag. After working for Pachmayer for so long he was acquainted with the Winchester folks. They roll stamped the Winchester markings on the octagon barrels. He gave up after 6 months of weekends trying to teach me to gas weld thin aluminum sheet metal.
Eddie has been gone about 12 years and I really miss him. I need to check in withe the folks in Dallas that knew him from the Austin Healy club meetings. I believe his son in Calif. probably has the car.
Michael, sorry to jump in on your topic, but it just brought back fond memories.
Butch

Donald
10-26-2010, 11:15 PM
Butch,
You bring back some old memories of my early days. I never raced but was a total race fan idiot. I remember the Offie engine. Not many people would believe that the engine was machined completely with a four valve head and had no head. The head was machined as part of the block as I remember. Am I right?

Donald

Butch Lambert
10-27-2010, 09:19 AM
All the photos I've seen support what you are saying. I believe Scott Hunter and his Dad raced them in midgets in the olden days.
Butch