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Four-Links – Armenian dreams, dream Packards, Honda at Isle of Man, Pittsburgh’s auto row

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Photographer Lilia Li-Mi-Yan spent about a week in Armenia a few years back documenting Armenians’ love of their ErAZ vans, vans whose names resemble the Armenian word for “dream.”

Built to resist, they can carry up to 3 tonnes of cargo and are mainly used to transport construction material. “I have seen owners of ErAZes pass away, but the vehicles are still up and running and have been handed down to their children,” says Lilia Li-Mi-Yan.

Intrigued by the tender way in which the owners talked about their vans, Li-Mi-Yan photographed them with their vehicles in Yerevan and its suburbs for about a week. After spotting the vehicles in the street and identifying their owners, she asked for permission to photograph them. “Most often the owners agreed on having their picture taken and invited me to their houses, introduced me to their families and were happy to tell me stories about their vans,” says Li-Mi-Yan.

* Speaking of automotive dreams, John Bridges dreamt of an alternate universe where Packard continued use of its upright tombstone grille through the Packardbaker years, as Richard at Legendary Collector Cars wrote.

Mr. Bridges is a long time lover of the Studebaker and Packard brands of the early 1960’s. He believes that Studebaker, and later Packard when they joined up with Studebaker, could have survived if they had improved their automobile designs just a little.

To demonstrate his point, Mr. Bridges took it upon himself to suggest how these two manufactures should have designed there cars of the period. He began his task with complete design sketches and followed that up with hand carved wooden scale models of his proposed designs. But still not satisfied with models he undertook the construction of several several full size versions of his dreams.

* Mat Oxley spent some time this week going through a scrapbook of Honda’s trip to the 1959 Isle of Man TT race and tweeting some interesting factoids.

The big surprise that awaited Honda when they arrived on the IoM was that the riders had spent months learning the Mountain Course, using a translated Geoff Duke TT riding guide, only to find out that the 125 race would be run on the completely different Clypse course!

* As we saw when researching the Pittsburgh Ford Model T plant, Baum Boulevard has a long history as Pittsburgh’s automobile row, and the Post-Gazette‘s Marylynne Pitz explored that slice of the city’s history this week.

Americans’ auto fever spiked in 1913, the year Baum Boulevard became part of the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental road that linked New York’s Times Square with San Francisco’s Lincoln Park. The highway entered East Liberty via Penn Avenue, continued on Baum Boulevard and ran through Friendship, Bloomfield and North Oakland.

The first architect-designed, drive-in filling station once stood at Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street. Now there’s a blue historic marker noting that the long-gone landmark was built by Gulf Oil.

* Finally, Mac’s Motor City Garage recently pointed to this FordHeritage video of Ford and Ghia’s 1981 concept car, the reverse-trike scooter-powered Cockpit. We’re more intrigued by the other tricycle it encounters in this rather bizarre look at the car.