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Mystery Men (1999)

 
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject: Mystery Men (1999) Reply with quote

Looks like I'm kicking off this thread. So I'll start it with something you haven't seen before. Here's my just-finished drawing (initial release) of the Herkimer Battle Jitney, by far and away the most accurate representation found on the Internet:


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In gratitude for initiating a thread on this enjoyable movie, and for the fine drafting you did on the Herkimer Battle Jitney, please accept our prestigious Emerald Duck Call Award.
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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Owing to the enthusiastic interest in this thread, I wanted to share the latest news about the current location of the Herkimer Battle Jitney. Following up a lead posted on the Hemmings vehicle site, I scoured the Street Views on Google Maps and found these images.





Address: 13990 Valley Blvd., Fontana, CA
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are photos from the friend of a friend who visited the property on 29 Dec 2015, subsequent to our determining the location. The work done on the vehicle is a refit or revamp rather than a restoration. Alterations include the following —

CHANGED/ADDED:
front grille frame
side windows
entry hatch
tail lights
backup lights
license plate frame and light
tires and rims
misc diamond plate panels
rear suspension

REMOVED:
"nuclear magnet"
front bumper and lights
misc grab handles
gladhands
"Pakawalup" nose art
side mirrors
front fender middle panels
"Herkimer" emblem
roof vents
jerry cans
running lights












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Last edited by orzel-w on Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll just bring this up to date with the latest background info.

The vehicle was built on the frame of a 1979 Ford C-series semi tractor by the former KPK Truck Body Manufacturing & Equipment Distr. Co., 3045 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, CA, according to Richard Iniestra, son of the former owner of the shop. Richard supplied these photos of the Battle Jitney under construction.











This model of the Ford truck had only a single rear axle, so KPK added a Peterbilt second rear axle.

The customary Internet "authorities" have had a field day posting rumors about the origins of the Herk. One of the more notable rumors was that it was one of a few actual military vehicles built during WWII (or in the 1950s), the six remaining now worth $30million apiece. Now that the actual build photos have been posted, the rumor has morphed into it being a replica of the original military vehicles using a truck frame with an Airstream top (this is from a "reliable source").

Curiously, no one has ever produced or turned up even one photo of such a vehicle on an assembly line, at a military base, deployed in the field, or in a car collector's collection.
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Krel
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the movie came out, I read that it was a modified GM Futurliner. Comparison photos of the Futuliner, and the Battle Jitney quickly killed that.

Some photos: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=gm%20futurliner&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=gm%20futurliner&sc=8-13&sp=-1&sk=

David.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

___________________________________

Hot damn, now THAT'S what I'm talkin' 'bout, folks! Very Happy

Wayne, I love those "work in progress" photos, and after seeing those sad pictures you posted earlier, showing the poor Herk in her declining years in the parking lot, rusting away in obscurity, it's great to have these shots that show the proud birth and development of the machine.

And damn, it looks so solid! Movie props are famous for fooling us into thinking they're well-made and fully functioning mechanisms, when they're actually constructed just well enough to look good on camera until the movie is finished — and sometimes they've fallen apart before shooting has even been completed!

The Herk is a fine example of something that was built with pride and professionalism. Getting to know this prop better (thanks to you) raises our enjoyment of the movie.

Keep them updates a'comin', Wayne! We're a captive audience. Very Happy

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krel wrote:
When the movie came out, I read that it was a modified GM Futurliner. Comparison photos of the Futuliner, and the Battle Jitney quickly killed that.

Yeah, that was another popular rumor, as if the studio would acquire a really expensive collector's vehicle and trash it, when it could very easily be built from a variety of base vehicles in abundant supply available at practically no cost. ...And avoid the wrath of rabid Futurliner collectors.

A number of vehicles have been claimed as the original base vehicle. Any unusual, preferably older, van or truck with a high cab and tall radiator grille, or even most anything with twin rear axles is eligible. ("It's a deuce-and-a-half!") What's really been annoying in conducting online searches to collect what information about the Herk is available are the countless "It's a Herkimer Battle Jitney!" comments posted about any unusual rugged-looking vehicle, whether there's the faintest resemblance or not. They all turn up in the searches.

I did run across an old custom-built vehicle that I thought might have served as an inspiration for the look of the Herk. It was a 1938 Seagram's delivery van built by Diamond T.



Compare that with the conceptual artwork for the Jitney:



I even found photos of its rusting hulk in some salvage yard.



Bud Brewster wrote:
...after seeing those sad pictures you posted earlier, showing the poor Herk in her declining years in the parking lot, rusting away in obscurity, it's great to have these shots that show the proud birth and development of the machine.

Those photos actually show the Herk in a partially refurbished condition. The "classic" post production photo that's commonly seen shows how bad it actually got:


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

orzel-w wrote:
Bud Brewster wrote:
...after seeing those sad pictures you posted earlier, showing the poor Herk in her declining years in the parking lot, rusting away in obscurity, it's great to have these shots that show the proud birth and development of the machine.

Those photos actually show the Herk in a partially refurbished condition. The "classic" post production photo that's commonly seen shows how bad it actually got.

Ah-ha! So, those aren't pictures of it's birth, their pictures of it's salvation — a born-again Battle Jitney.

Praise the Lord . . . and pass the ammunition!
Very Happy
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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
Ah-ha! So, those aren't pictures of it's birth, their pictures of it's salvation — a born-again Battle Jitney.

Yes. The photos in the parking lot are the refurb condition. Check out my post of Fri Jan 01, 2016. The photos in the workshop are its birth.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I am SO ready to watch this one again, since I realized I had sold it short in the past and gained a new appreciation for it. Here's a great trailer.

If you're into streaming and downloading, Watchfree.to offers quite a few sources, including one of my favorite sites, Vidzi.tv, the link below.


________________________________


___ Mystery Men (1999) Original Theatrical Trailer


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_____________ Mystery Men 1999 from Vidzi.tv


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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time for an update.

On 8 Nov (last month) two cohorts and I got permission from its current owner to visit the former Herkimer Battle Jitney at its present location. We collected several photos and measurements and were able to explore it thoroughly. It had been modified quite a bit by its former owner, but I've been able pretty well to parse out the modifications.

Here are my two friends really "getting into it".




From the front they look more like this (Dennis on the left, Mikel on the right)...



Here's proof that I was there as well.



From the photos and measurements I was able to update my drawing to a more accurate representation. (All you 3D artists, start reworking your virtual models. I pretty much had to redraw my 2D.)



A larger version can be downloaded here:
https://orzel-w.deviantart.com/art/Herkimer-Battle-Jitney-491541116

The current owner's employee showed up after awhile and offered to start it up for us. We said, "I don't know; let us think about it." (Right, uh-huh.) So for some action videos, check out these (Sorry, Imgur doesn't seem to preserve the sound.):
https://i.imgur.com/zEZjXyE.mp4
https://i.imgur.com/pzUSmrL.mp4

Mikel runs a blog here with more comprehensive coverage of the Herk:
https://tinyurl.com/y9sdonfn
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Last edited by orzel-w on Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

A fantastic post, Wayne! Very Happy

The photos are great, the CAD is remarkable, and those videos are astoundingly sharp. Good job.

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Maurice
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Battle Jitney" always struck me as an odd name, like someone heard of a "jitney bus" and decided to play with the name, not realizing that a "jitney bus" is a "nickel bus" that, as its name suggests, has a fare of 5₵.
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Custer
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maurice wrote:
"Battle Jitney" always struck me as an odd name, like someone heard of a "jitney bus" and decided to play with the name, not realizing that a "jitney bus" is a "nickel bus" that, as its name suggests, has a fare of 5₵.

How interesting. I had come across the word "jitney," and would if anything have connected it to a rather informal, unlicensed or shared taxi, but it does look as if the nickel-fare bus use came earlier. "Speculated to originate from Louisiana Creole French jetn??e, from French jeton ("token, coin-sized metal disc")," Wiktionary tells us.
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