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The fate of Ford's Big Red ?


kscarbel2
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We had a lot of fun discussing Ford's highly advanced Big Red.

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/index.php?/topic/32038-fords-futuristic-gas-turbine-big-red/

One gentleman appeared claiming to own it, but................

Last year, one gentleman posted on the net:

i know where it is.....and its alive and doin fine in my dads garage....my brother owns it....it is now fully restored with the original gas turbine engine.....tbr24333@yahoo.com

And another gentleman posted:

We were researching that vehicle in December. AACA Hornets Nest Region member and local editor Jerry Clemmons talked directly with Lee Holman. Lee siad tht after Ford was finished testing, it was being towed back to Detroit. Its tow rig broke down, so Holman Moody towed it back to Charlotte as a favor to Ford. Henry Ford II told HM to keep everthing since the Ford contract was over. HM retained the cab (cab and chassis less engine) for some time, but the trailers were sold to the "Miss Bardahl" racing team to haul boats.

More recently a 1957 Thunderbird collector in North Carolina bought the cab. The turbine powerplant was an on-off deal, and parts were unavailable. The new owner installed an industrial turbine, bu it made the truck too heavy, and he couldn't get it tagged.

Slick Owens, who worked at Holman Moody for 15 years, said the "cab had bath, sink and all kinds of stuff ... had maps of U.S. that could move like a movie, cab was as high as trailer and inside was smooth like a room."

The picture below is visual proof that Bergdahl operated at least one of the Big Red Fruehauf trailers.

A true piece of America's trucking history, it's regrettable that if the tractor is still actually in existence, it remains hidden away. It belongs in the Henry Ford museum.

Or, Ford would impress if they rebuilt the truck to look as it originally did new, but installed a cutting edge turbine drivetrain based on the latest technologies. That is, like the Wal-Mart WAVE (http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/index.php?/topic/35200-walmart-debuts-futuristic-truck-at-mats/?hl=wave), create a modern hybrid drivetrain utilizing a micro-turbine.

An updated Big Red would, like the 2017 Ford GT, would send the message that Ford continues to be at the cutting edge of vehicle innovation.

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post-16320-0-76999400-1432801392_thumb.j

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As always, an interesting topic. and all of these people who seem to have first hand knowledge of Big Red's current location/condition seem to disappear. Would be nice to see a picture!

what is interesting to me is how some of this old technology just did not make it but with today's advances in materials and electronics for example, what could be done with something like the Big Red concept which was designed over 50 years ago.

Likewise, one of my neighborhood kids is going to attend Letourneau College in the fall to study engineering. School was founded by R. G. Letourneau who invented-or developed diesel -electric off road equipment- scrapers, dozers, rear dumps, loaders. This was back in the forties. I think diesel -electric traction motors are still used in some huge off road haulers but Letourneau the concept in smaller stuff too- like scrapers that were under 30 yards. His mfg co. was ultimately sold to Westinghouse I believe and that was soon the end of it I believe.

But again my point-what would a concept like that do today with the advances in materials and electric and hydraulic technologies

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As always, an interesting topic. and all of these people who seem to have first hand knowledge of Big Red's current location/condition seem to disappear. Would be nice to see a picture!

what is interesting to me is how some of this old technology just did not make it but with today's advances in materials and electronics for example, what could be done with something like the Big Red concept which was designed over 50 years ago.

Likewise, one of my neighborhood kids is going to attend Letourneau College in the fall to study engineering. School was founded by R. G. Letourneau who invented-or developed diesel -electric off road equipment- scrapers, dozers, rear dumps, loaders. This was back in the forties. I think diesel -electric traction motors are still used in some huge off road haulers but Letourneau the concept in smaller stuff too- like scrapers that were under 30 yards. His mfg co. was ultimately sold to Westinghouse I believe and that was soon the end of it I believe.

But again my point-what would a concept like that do today with the advances in materials and electric and hydraulic technologies

Here is the link to my album on most all the Turbine units including Ford and International Tractors.

Slide show takes a few minutes it is 164 pics. Paul

http://s890.photobucket.com/user/ptcheshire/slideshow/TURBINE%20POWER

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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Here is the link to my album on most all the Turbine units including Ford and International Tractors.

Slide show takes a few minutes it is 164 pics. Paul

http://s890.photobucket.com/user/ptcheshire/slideshow/TURBINE%20POWER

Paul-Very good. Big Red always gets a lot of press-as do the Ford W's that were in actual interplant service. But never saw the Dodge mediums before or the Ford C with a turbine.

Likewise I-H and Ford Farm tractors are rare birds!

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  • 3 weeks later...

They used Letourneau's at a lumber mill I used to work at to unload logging trucks with one bite. Pretty impressive machines.

The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by the people who vote for a living.

The government can only "give" someone what they first take from another.

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  • 4 years later...

Hey guys big red was given to h and m ,I was always told one trailer was there too but in very bad shape .big red had a 427 in it when bought at the auction at h and m  along with other hi po Ford stuff. The spare turbine which was in Henry Ford museum was given to new owner during restoration the bad one put back in museum. The truck was blue and white at h and m. When my friends painted it around 1985 they sanded thru many colors to get to the color as it was in 1964 , they painted it with dizler lacquer, the fenders that went from front to back were very heavy and thick as was body.a lot of emblems were impossible to get off making doing body work around them time consuming, most everything was still inside cab including the map.last I saw truck was all together but huge bumper needed to be put on.we have tried to get it to an aths show, but owner said no .that was years ago. I'm told it's fine but haven't seen since 80s.

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