Friday, February 10, 2017

Autopia & More

Here are two LEFTUGGIES™ featuring images from the land of Tomorrow! 

First up is this great shot of a Mark V Autopia car - you can tell the Mark V's because of their headlights and distinctive "eyebrows". They were introduced in 1959, and while this particular design was problematic due to excessive weight, they have a look that I find very appealing. I wonder if any Mark V bodies have survived?

That kid looks pretty pleased with himself! I like that the word "Disneyland" is on the hood. Notice the manhole cover in the lower right - presumably there were storm drains in case of heavy rains (rare, but they do occasionally happen in SoCal).

And here is the last of my slides from November, 1955; it's a nice pre-Skyway look at the Space Bar. Those colorful shapes on the "scaffolding" obviously spun in the wind - one can't help but be reminded of the much more elaborate whirligigs on the "Tower of the Four Winds" at the 1964 World's Fair (designed by Rolly Crump).


Nanook said...


Interesting how both shots of the Autopia only have one car visible. Love the slightly rakish angle of the Space Bar sign. And I see as an added bonus, two of the three images 'feature' telephone poles-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Aha! There's a partial Autopia car barely in the image to the right. I like the grade where the Autopia road travels over the Submarine Voyage show building.

I never noticed the atomic symbol before on the letter block that separates "Space" from "Bar. Very cool! That whirligig tower is one of the many reasons I appreciate the architecture of the original Tomorrowland.

And yes! Telephone poles! Great set today! Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm glad to see that you finally had "Leftuggies" trademarked! Now you need to pitch the concept on Shark Tank.

Not to nitpick, but I believe that first image is of the Fantasyland Autopia! :-)

Chuck said...

I agree with TM! - that's the Fantasyland Autopia. The "kink" in the road after it passes under the overpass and the bridge over the motorboat waterway are the key identifying features in this photo. But, as freeways were still in the future for most of America, we can still say that this is from the "land of Tomorrow."

Look at how worn and chipped the leading edges of that Mark V car are. I guess the old Autopia traveled a lot faster than I realized. Funny how we tend to complain today when we see less-than-perfect theming and maintenance, yet here's proof that things didn't always look showroom-new during the Walt era, especially in the early years.

I sure hope there's a Mark V body laying around somewhere. Even with the "used" look, that one sure is a beaut.

Thanks, Major!

Unknown said...

Love the last picture of the Space Bar! Definitely the best close up picture I've ever seen of the marquee. As mentioned earlier, I also never noticed the atomic symbol in between the text.

Anonymous said...

Great pics today, Major. Details never before seen (or noticed).


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’d like to believe that the “rakish angle” was intentional, but… probably not. I have LOTS of Disneyland slides that are at a rakish angle!

K. Martinez, even so, the Autopia looks great with light traffic. Yes, I’d noticed that awesome atomic symbol - so great. I guess telephone poles have replaced babushkas in popularity? Wonder where Melissa went.

TokyoMagic!, my team of lawyers recommended that I trademark “Leftuggies”. Think of the millions of dollars I will make! And way to go, you are the first person EVER to nitpick on GDB. :-P

Chuck, listen, I don’t need to hear about kinks. This is a family blog. I wonder how that paint got so chipped, since the vehicle is surrounded by that protective, springy (?) metal bumper. By now we’ve seen lots of proof that things were not always perfect during the Walt years - very worn paint on the turntable of the Teacups, boats with outboard motors in Frontierland, landscapers clomping around the Storybook Land tableaus in broad daylight - but at least it felt like they were generally trying.

Brad Abbot, yeah, that’s a good one, I was definitely happy to find it!

JG, thanks!

Unknown said...

Wowza! Let's find us a Mk V body and hand it over to this friend of mine who does after-market fiberglass and carbon fiber car accessories. We'll rent some shop space at our mutual geographic center and start selling electric Autopia cars for good, green transportation.

Melissa, Melissa,
Your poetry I miss-a.

TokyoMagic! said...

Upon second glace at that last pic, it looks like the guy dressed in white is attempting to "push" on the wrong side of that trashcan. I'm sure it's probably just a "perspective" thing. And I'm wondering what the man on the right is getting from the "automat"....a sandwich? Ice Cream? Or a soft something or other?

Unknown said...

TM!, your remark made me take a second look at the last picture and I just realized something. I had always read that the original Space Bar was an automat. I can see the ice cream machine just in frame and had the flash-back to those very same ones (with the three doors and the elevators inside for the ice cream sandwiches) being out at my Dad's workplace in the 60s. Good memories...

Chuck said...

TM!, your comment made me think of this Far Side cartoon...

Nanook said...

@ Major-

Remember when chatting with your attorney, re: 'Leftuggies', to include 'Richer Deeper Clearer' into the pantheon of "exclusives" to GDB.

TokyoMagic! said...

Patrick, I had forgotten about those ice cream vending machines with the three doors! Didn't some of them having three varieties of ice cream, like fudgesicles, fifty-fifty bars and ice cream sandwiches? Ahhh, the good ol' days!

Chuck, I remember that Far Side cartoon! I still miss the Far Side!

Anonymous said...

Useless Disneyland Fact #131: TokyoMagic! the young man in white is a sweeper and he's opening the side door of the receptacle so he can access the hard plastic liner inside. Since it appears he has his pan and broom in his right hand, he probably couldn't fit his pan through the swinging "Push" flaps (perhaps a few crumpled popcorn boxes he'd swept up made things a little tight)… or he's working a Tomorrowland trash shift and will drag the liner over to the out-of-shot liner cart and swap the full one for an empty one.

There was a trash compactor located behind the Space Bar back then where all the liners he'd collected would be emptied. After the TL '67 redo, a spanking new space age hydraulic (!) compactor was placed in the below-ground tunnel which could be accessed via a trash chute at Coke Terrace. As only the janitorial busboys at Coke were supposed to use the chute (although lots of TL sweepers ignored that directive and tossed full liners-worth of garbage down the slide!), there was also a "packer" behind Moon/Mars. I tried to warn you… much more than you EVER wanted to know about Tomorrowland trash! ;)

TokyoMagic! said...

Anonymous, that does make sense about him accessing the side door on the trashcan. I had thought that he might be a sweeper since he was dressed in all white, but then I saw his rolled up sleeves and thought that maybe Disney wouldn't allow such rebel or individualistic behavior. Thanks for the info!

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, if ONLY they made modern electric cars with a fraction of the style that the Mark V Autopia had!

TokyoMagic!, I’ve read ahead so I see that somebody was on my wavelength - I thought that the guy in white was possibly an employee, but like you, I agree that those rolled up sleeves look way too “Fonzerelli” to be Disney-approved.

Patrick Devlin, I’ve always wished that I could have experienced one of those great old Automats, such as Horn and Hardart - it sounds like so much fun.

Chuck, a classic.

Nanook, I thought it should say, “So round, so firm, so fully packed”.

TokyoMagic!, I swear I used to get the L.A. Times in large part so that I could read “The Far Side” and “Calvin and Hobbes”.

Anonymous, please provide many more useless facts. Thank you.

TokyoMagic!, maybe the sanitation guys got a little bit of a break, having to deal with trash and such?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 02, re: rule 131. I find this fascinating. I spend much of my time at Disneyland now wondering how things like trash, custodial and food/goods inventory are managed, to say nothing of landscaping and maintenance. There should be an entire library of books about Disney Facilities Management, and I would buy every volume.

I echo the Major, more useless facts please, the more useless the better!