Join 3,555 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"Did I make it? Is everybody pleased?"
December 16, 2009 12:52 PM   Subscribe

"Did I make it? Is everybody pleased?" (SLYT)
posted by mrducts (72 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Ron, now let's just get this quite clear - you're intending to jump across the English Channel?"
posted by Sys Rq at 1:01 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


(link)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:05 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


About the only thing I liked was the soundtrack which sounded like the colliery band from Brassed Off.
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:07 PM on December 16, 2009


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_at_Your_Heels
posted by anazgnos at 1:08 PM on December 16, 2009


OK, somebody HAS to add Keyboard Cat to this.
posted by castlebravo at 1:10 PM on December 16, 2009


Now all of a sudden she started to knockin'
And down in the dips she started to rockin'
I looked in my mirror; it was dinintegreencoln
That was the end of my Hot Rod Lincoln
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:12 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


nj_subgenius: "About the only thing I liked was the soundtrack which sounded like the colliery band from Brassed Off."

The soundtrack - which reminded me instead of Gil Mell├ę's work on The Andromeda Strain - was great, but I liked all of it.

The 70s were a golden age of death defiance. I fear we won't see their like again.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:13 PM on December 16, 2009


He broke his back in that crash -- for the eighth time.
posted by Malor at 1:15 PM on December 16, 2009


The 70s were a golden age of death defiance.

Brilliant.
posted by moxiedoll at 1:18 PM on December 16, 2009


He broke his back in that crash -- for the eighth time.

Yeah, that was what horrified me. How many times do you have to break your back before someone does an intervention?
posted by winna at 1:24 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Kenny Powers, the guy in the car in the video, was not even supposed to be the driver. The entire stunt was set up by Ken Carter, a different stuntman. He built the car, got all the sponsorship, etc. He was intending to do the stunt himself.

From the Ken Carter wiki page:
"Believing that Carter had lost his nerve, the film crew secretly arranged for another stunt driver, American Kenny Powers, to perform the jump while Carter was in his hotel room in Ottawa"

Here's why it all went awry: "Unfortunately, the bumps in the ramp have not been fixed, and as the car accelerates, it starts to shake itself to pieces and falls apart in midair." via the Devil at Your Heels wiki page. Maybe that's why Ken Carter hadn't been so keen on doing it.
posted by dammitjim at 1:28 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


About the only thing I liked was the soundtrack...

I... don't get it. What's not to like about this (totally awesome) video? The haircuts?

P.S. I think the haircuts are pretty awesome, too.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:29 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kenny Powers?! I bet he can throw the ball faster than fuck.
posted by Mach5 at 1:32 PM on December 16, 2009 [12 favorites]


The soundtrack is brilliant! I hope that someone composes a score like that for my greatest F*up ever.
posted by aquathug at 1:38 PM on December 16, 2009


This is one of my earliest memories. I can't tell when or under what circumstances this appeared on network TV, but I spent my childhood assuming that jumping a car a mile is a readily accomplishable feat. One need only bolt the hood down very securely.
posted by rlk at 1:43 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Supposedly the concrete base for the ramp is still there. I can't find it on Google Maps, but maybe someone else can. Here's Ogden Island.

Based on the wide shots at the beginning of the video, I'm guessing the base would be toward the northernmost portion of the island, on the Canada side, obviously.
posted by dammitjim at 1:43 PM on December 16, 2009


Here it is. You can see the runway and the pond next to where the ramp was.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 1:57 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't get how this went wrong. They painted the Lincoln yellow and stuck little wings on it and everything.
posted by The Bellman at 1:58 PM on December 16, 2009 [31 favorites]


Wait wait wait. You mean this is real?

I can't believe I'm so jaded that I thought this was a faux-70s viral video. I mean, a Lincoln Continental? Seriously? You might as well try the jump with an El Dorado, or a camper van.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:01 PM on December 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


He probably would've made it, too, if not for all that illegal contraband stuffed in the back.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:05 PM on December 16, 2009


I was enthralled the whole time.

It seemed to me almost as if the parachute deploying is what screwed it up, but I'm not a physicist, so what do I know?

I know that was awesome, though.

The 70s: When the word intervention still had negative connotations of unwelcome interference in someone else's affairs.
posted by yiftach at 2:07 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Turns out a Lincoln Continental is about as aerodynamic as, well, a Lincoln Continental.
posted by headless at 2:09 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Slower than a speeding bullet, less powerful than a locomotive, but just about as aerodynamic
posted by Cranberry at 2:10 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


great minds, headless
posted by Cranberry at 2:10 PM on December 16, 2009


This post has inspired me to attempt to become the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a lime-green, 4-door 1978 Chrysler New Yorker. If I can accelerate to a speed of Mach 11 by the time I hit the ramp I should be okay.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 2:14 PM on December 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


Metafilter: Great minds, headless.

I'm so, so sorry.
posted by dirtdirt at 2:16 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


***they're still not wrinkled ***
posted by Herodios at 2:18 PM on December 16, 2009


Is it ironic that the target audience for this sort of ... entertainment is amongst people most likely to reject Darwinism? Or not? I can't tell, and am probably going into some kind of intellectual-snob-gasm.
posted by Grangousier at 2:20 PM on December 16, 2009


Sys Rq: Ron failed to jump the Channel, as you know. His next project, however, found its way into AskMe.
posted by The Bellman at 2:20 PM on December 16, 2009


And they misspelled "die-ist" on the back of his boilersuit.
posted by Herodios at 2:22 PM on December 16, 2009


I look forward to the day Top Gear tries to recreate this.
posted by davejay at 2:35 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and Canada provides free doctor-to-daredevil healthcare!
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I look forward to the day Top Gear tries to recreate this.

The Stig would do this without a second thought, to be sure.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:40 PM on December 16, 2009


Is it ironic that the target audience for this sort of ... entertainment is amongst people most likely to reject Darwinism? Or not? I can't tell, and am probably going into some kind of intellectual-snob-gasm.

There's a fine line between "cheating death" and "receiving eternal life" that's invisible to certain segments of society.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:42 PM on December 16, 2009


I feel *so* much better about my failings right now.
posted by CaptApollo at 2:49 PM on December 16, 2009


Ok, now you have a hot 'n fancy wife and a broken back.
posted by longsleeves at 2:52 PM on December 16, 2009


The Stig would do this without a second thought, to be sure.

Some say what he has aren't, technically, thoughts.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:01 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm impressed he was able to hold that car steady and actually drive to the end of the ramp.
posted by zzazazz at 3:06 PM on December 16, 2009


Where there's a will, there's a wave.
posted by prinado at 3:11 PM on December 16, 2009


Didn't they have physics in Canada back then?
posted by cmoj at 3:17 PM on December 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


Physics did exist in Canada, but you needed to be bi-lingual in order to get permission to use them.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:22 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


YouTube comments are of course generally horrific, but this one's a gem:

supercharged stealth mode lincoln´╗┐ mother fucking continential sky rocketing over the tributary of the almighty lake dumbfuck. kenny powers is my hero.
posted by xmutex at 3:23 PM on December 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


Reminds me of
a) Evel Knievel (failed)
b) Hooper (worked)

The parachute deployed early, like Evel's, but it was looking unstable before it went off.
It did look like he had enough power to get there, though.
posted by MtDewd at 3:36 PM on December 16, 2009


a Lincoln Continental? Seriously? You might as well try the jump with an El Dorado, or a camper van.

I think you're overlooking the most cunning aspect of their whole plan... a jet engine in the boot!

The full documentary is an excellent tragedy. I just goes to show, if you can dream it, you can do it. Unless it involves trying to jump a river with a rocket powered car. The low-budget NZ parody movie The Devil Dared Me To borrows heavily from it because it is one of the greatest stunt stories ever told.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2009


Previously on AskMe.
posted by exogenous at 4:16 PM on December 16, 2009


Pro-tip: If you are a stunt man, and your last name is "Powers," your nickname is, by default, "super."
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2009


I am just so sad I can't make the comment:

"Oh my god! They killed Kenny!"
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:35 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a way to make a living.
posted by PhatLobley at 4:50 PM on December 16, 2009


30 Gs? How was he not Powers Paste that needed to be scraped off the seat?

Also, if MythBusters has taught me one thing, it's that aiming a high-speed (rocket) car is nearly impossible. But he was going laser-straight. How?
posted by DU at 5:09 PM on December 16, 2009


But he was going laser-straight. How?

It's a straight path; they probably just locked the steering and pointed the thing at the ramp.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:39 PM on December 16, 2009


It's a straight path; they probably just locked the steering and pointed the thing at the ramp.

And had perfectly matched rockets and tire diameters and no bumps on the road. (Actually, it looks like bumps on the ramp are what shook the car apart.)

Also: 30 Gs is not itself fatal but seems to need a special suit. Was he wearing one? Maybe he wouldn't have been doing too well even if he had somehow made it.
posted by DU at 7:01 PM on December 16, 2009


He broke his back in that crash -- for the eighth time.

Yeah, that was what horrified me. How many times do you have to break your back before someone does an intervention?


Apparently, it's at least 9.
posted by axiom at 7:04 PM on December 16, 2009


Gotta say, between this and the Disney decay thread, Metafilter is simply BADASS today. Not unlike a ninja.
posted by Bageena at 7:10 PM on December 16, 2009


YOU'RE FUCKING OUT!
posted by The Hamms Bear at 7:12 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think what really went awry is that shortly before this stunt took place, someone stepped on his mother's crack...
posted by hincandenza at 7:26 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hold my beer and watch this.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 7:29 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I feel *so* much better about my failings right now.

I know. I mean the guy didn't even make it ten percent of the way.

(actually 99 percent is probably getting behind the wheel and putting the pedal to the floor)
posted by clearly at 7:52 PM on December 16, 2009


Watching this brought back terrifying memories of trying to parallel park a 1974 Lincoln Continental.

"What? It's easy! It's got power steering!" "Please stop talking, Dad."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:00 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, that is one bad-ass Lincoln Continental.

I mean before it completely disintegrated, of course.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:02 PM on December 16, 2009


I'm headed over to Kickstarter with this one. If any of you want to chip in so I can try to do this, well, I'll paint your username on the car.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:23 PM on December 16, 2009


THere were so many factors there that could go wrong, it's amazing he even got off the end of the ramp. Just for starters, getting a Continental up to 200+ m/h...did he try it on flat ground to see if the car could handle that, or did he just balls it?

Then there's the question of keeping it straight in flight. Those little wings look completely decorative. I think a '59 Cadillac would have been a better choice.

The consensus seems to be that bumps in the ramp were the problem. Hard to test taht ahead of time, since something that's enough to get a 200 m/h projectile airborne probably wouldn't show to the naked eye.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:25 PM on December 16, 2009


I totally nailed that the other day in Burnout Paradise.
posted by kmz at 9:39 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Narrator: "Powers' jump was unsuccessful."

Understatement, anyone?
posted by Ghidorah at 11:05 PM on December 16, 2009


THere were so many factors there that could go wrong,

Jeezuz, yes. This footage boggles the mind. First thing that popped into my head was that the failure actually saved him from having to land a mile away. How was that supposed to play out, anyhow?

I'm also amazed that I had never heard of this endeavor before. Took me a while to believe this was a real stunt.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:26 PM on December 16, 2009


Jimmy Havok: “The consensus seems to be that bumps in the ramp were the problem.”

Oh, certainly. It must have been the bumps on the ramp. Heaven knows every time I look at a Lincoln Continental, I think to myself, "Good god, look at those curves! This thing was just built to fly! Why aren't more airplanes this shape?"

I can imagine that the sum and total of the scientific investigation into the physics this would involve that Mr. Powers did beforehand consisted in something like: Hmm. So... it's a mile across. And... I'll be going... uh... 300 mph... so... it'll only take 12 seconds to cross the river! This'll be easy - twelve seconds of soaring, a rough parachute-assisted landing, and I'm golden! Which seems sort of kind of intuitive, but... in four years, after spending a million dollars, that seems to have been all the thought he put into it physics-wise? Yowza. I mean, my immediate reaction is to note that at 300 mph a Lincoln Continental won't fucking soar; it'll flip, right off, no question about it, and whether it flips up or down it'll slow down really fast and the pressure will probably make chunks of it fly off in all directions. It's highly unlikely that there's ever been any car that could really soar like that, but if I had to go down a list and try to choose the last car for the job, it'd probably be a Lincoln Continental. So, good job on that, Kenny.

Somebody should write up a study sometime about the tremendous impact on society at large in the 70s caused by the simple fact that there was absolutely no social or professional circumstance in which people who knew stuff about physics on the one hand and people who liked spectator sports and stunts on the other were likely ever to communicate with one another.
posted by koeselitz at 12:15 AM on December 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


Holy cow that was perfect.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:16 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


look forward to the day Top Gear tries to recreate this.

The Stig would do this without a second thought, to be sure.
.

I dunno, I heard The Stig might have a new gig.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:19 AM on December 17, 2009


I suspect that someone did the basic ballistics calculation. Stunt jumps are a pretty mature craft, and somebody always has to work out the ramp angle and terminal speed to make them work. You can't just go for it and hope, you not only have to make the jump, you also have to avoid overshooting the landing ramp or you'll end up as paste.

But yeah, pretty ridiculous to think sheet metal would stay on at that speed.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:12 AM on December 17, 2009


sounds almost like raymond scott doing the music there. i like it.
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 2:00 AM on December 17, 2009


Guys, this was the 70's. If you looked up at the sky you were likely to see an F-4E or an A-10. A Lincoln Continental with some big damn rockets was nearly a NASA X plane!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:44 AM on December 17, 2009


Pearn and his Suzuki would have made it across.
posted by smoothvirus at 5:02 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I heard The Stig might have a new gig.

Mercedes, huh? Well, after Schumacher's DNF in the Reasonably Priced Car, I guess it's no surprise Suzuki didn't pick him up.
posted by Spatch at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2009


« Older AT&T's recent complaints about its mobile phone cu...  |  Roy E. Disney, son of Disney C... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments