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July 22, 2022 - Friday - Today we drove south to Santa Ana, CA to visit the Lyon Air Museum.  The museum displays authentic aircraft, rare vehicles and related memorabilia, with emphasis on the defining event of the 20th century World War II.  Their latest exhibit is called "War Surplus on Wheels" which showcases lakesters and belly tankers.  A Lakester is a car with a streamlined body but with four exposed wheels.  It is most often made out of a modified aircraft drop tank, or belly tank. The main attraction is the drop tank's excellent aerodynamics due to it being streamlined for its original use on aircraft.  When the fuel in the tank was used up, the pilot released or "dropped" the tank from the aircraft.  Building lakesters became popular after World War II when surplus drop tanks were available cheaply.

The belly tank for the Lady Bug was purchased for $7.00.

This American Airlines DC-3 Flagship is beautiful.

This is the vehicle Hitler rode in from Germany to Paris after its capture.

We watched a movie about the early hot rods in the theater.

This 1948 Helms Bakery truck means a lot to Judy and her sister Beverly.  Whenever the truck came to their neighborhood, their granny would buy them each a donut from the back.

This 1952 Belly Tanker/Lakester timed out at 214 mph in 1964.

This Belly Tanker came from a Lockheed P-38 fighter plane.

This 1929 Ford Bonneville was clocked at 159 mph in 1954.  Afterwards the owner mothballed it for fifty years.  What you see is all original, it was only dusted off and not restored.

This is a beautiful Lockheed P-38.

Bill Burke's Purple Belly Tanker held the world speed record in 1949 at 164.83 mph.

This is Steve McQueen's 1937 Panther.

This is a nice shot of the Lockheed P-38 and the American Airlines DC-3 Flagship.

This is a beautiful museum, and immaculate!  There isn't a spec of dust or a drop of oil to be found.

Before the museum, we had lunch at a nearby cafe called the Atomic Cafe.

The owners hand decorate each serving container.

Judy had their "Salyut" panini with turkey breast, basil pesto, spinach, tomato and provolone cheese.

I went vegan with their "Nucleus" panini with tomato pesto, spinach, mushroom, tomato and mozzarella cheese.

The bread is grilled to perfection, crispy and soft.  We loved it.

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Last modified: July 22, 2022