Friday, July 6, 2012

Q&A Power Wagons

Panamint Patty asked - There were three power wagons in The Family: one is now at Ballarat, one is at Barker's. What happened to the third?


Power Wagon at Barker Ranch. 



Bobby's Power Wagon at Ballarat with Evilz checking it out.






17 comments:

GrumpFromPahrump said...

Patty - in 1984 when I first saw the "Helter Skelter" truck in person, it had the doors on it. The wording on both doors were from a furniture store in Inyokern. So I believe that truck was stolen.

Panamint Patty said...

So, maybe recovered by the furniture store?

GrumpFromPahrump said...

No, no..what I am saying is The Heler Skelter truck we see now was obviously stolen in Inyokern. I don't know for sure if that is one of the 3 you mention. P.S. Answer your EMail if you have time. (Liz too!)

orwhut said...

This blog shows us current pictures of the girls and now Patty's tracking down the Power Wagons. What more could a man ask for?

Jesse2112 said...

orwhut says , This blog shows us current pictures of the girls and now Patty's tracking down the Power Wagons. What more could a man ask for?

The truth behind what happened!!

sunset77 said...

Found this on another blog from Watkins book, he's talking about Barker Ranch:

"Two days after our arrival, we sent someone down to bring back Juanita’s camper. The following week, Bobby Beausoleil showed up with a girlfriend called Sweet Cindy. Each drove a run-down Dodge power wagon, donations to the Family. By the end of the first month we had four vehicles: the bus, Juanita’s van (which we soon traded for a four-wheel-drive Jeep Scout), and the two power wagons."

Watson says in his book about his escape from Barker:

"I finally roared out of the Wash onto the unpaved road to ward town. About 3 quarters of the way there I realized I was running out of gas. I turned off the road and started out across the salt flats-a shortcut across an Air Force testing ground to the road to Trona, 18 miles or so to the southwest. Halfway across the flats the wagon died, bogged down in the salt and out of gas".

Panamint Patty said...

Hi Jesse, we are working on it! LOL

@Whut, Patty has not always been interested in cars but her Daddy was a car guy and then she married one, too. Patty is now his "wrench wench" and has not had to take her car to the shop in years. Bitchin!

PS does anyone know if The Bug is still kicking? Havent heard anything in days now.

orwhut said...

Jesse2112 said...
The truth behind what happened!!


That would be nice too.

orwhut said...

Patty,
When a wife knows a socket wrench from a pair of vice grips her husband is a lucky man.

Farflung said...

So that’s what happened to ‘Juanita’s’ new van. It was traded for another vehicle. I say vehicle since it was International Harvester that had Scouts. Perhaps the word Jeep back then, was used the way SUV is now.

The Power Wagon was a product of Dodge (I thought) so there are several brands at play with this latest mystery. I’ll bet there’s at least one Gear Head out there that can straighten this out. You know, someone that can double clutch with the high beam switch, where God intended, on the left side of the floor. With the ignition switch on the dash panel and where ‘three on the tree’ was not a new language like Esperanto or some weird code computer geeks find endlessly amusing.

Farflung said...

There are a couple geographical problems with Watson’s telling.

First, there isn’t an Air Force facility between Barker Ranch, Ballarat and the enchanted hamlet of Trona.

Secondly, the only shortcut would be over the Slate Mountain Range and that would be unlikely.

What was Tex referencing about that journey? China Lake Naval Weapons Center is to the west of Trona and Searles Lake is to the east. Oddly enough, those prospectors did manage to trail blaze the path of least resistance to these locations and weren’t driving or walking extra miles for the joy of it.

Ole J.C. said...

There's a powerwagon of about the same year outside of Shoshone near Tecopa... it is about the same state as the one in Balarat. It made me think...

Zarathustra said...

The Dodge Power Wagon at Ballarat is a 1942 half ton pick up, the earliest of the civilian models.

Farflung said...

According to Watkins’ book (Chapter 11), there were four vehicles at Barker ranch.

“Each drove a run-down Dodge power wagon, donations to the Family. By the end of the first month we had four vehicles: the bus, Juanita’s van (which we soon traded for a four-wheel-drive Jeep Scout), and the two power wagons.”

11th Paragraph down

Of the four vehicles, the two Power Wagons and the bus are accounted for leaving the slightly anachronistically named Jeep Scout.

Here are some possibilities with existing information. The mystery vehicle was an International Scout which was 4WD and produced in that era (location unknown). Or the Jeep was a Willys or Kaiser Jeep which was also in production and of the 4WD type as well. These vehicles are described as mechanically wretched with all of them suffering breakdowns at Barker ranch.

Here’s a photo of the dump near Barker ranch:

What a dump!

In the foreground is the unmistakable, albeit inverted, grillwork of a Willys Jeep. In the background on the right is an orange body tub of a Jeep CJ.

Willys Grill

Jeep body tub

Could the missing vehicle be accounted for in the dump? Was there three Power Wagons or two plus a Jeep-esque 4WD type rig? That’s all I got.

Panamint Patty said...

Copyright Steve Groppe! I know that dude...;)

Thanks Farf, you have come through for Patty yet again.

Zarathustra said...

In the 1970 Life magazine pictures of Barker Ranch there are 3 vehicles: the school bus, a 1964 GMC pick up (still at the junkyard) and a Power Wagon.

xJAKKNIFEx said...

It was at Briggs Mine camp. Owned by Briggs. It was a rusty maroon one.