- Aug 14, 2009
- Reaction score
Vintage Lockheed/Smith Miller Hybrid Missile Launch Truck
The father of a friend worked for Lockheed Corporation's space and missile program for 35 years, during the 1950's-60's arms race of Cold War, when plans were being made to produce land-based mobile Polaris nuclear missile launchers, which were to look like normal civilian tractor trailer rigs. They never went into production, but this was a scale demonstrator model prototype example of what they proposed. Using the cab, axles, and wheels manufactured by the Smith Miller Toy Company, Lockheed engineers designed and fabricated the trailer and launch mechanism out of of aircraft aluminum. The missiles, which measure 21 in. in length x 3 1/4 in. in diameter are made of fiberglass with a Styrofoam core. The missiles are launched using a co2 cartridge, which is hand activated by a spring-loaded "firing pin" (see pic of control center). I haven't test fired the misslie, but there are few moving parts integral to actual firing. The launch tube is made of a PVC type of composite. The rest of the trailer, and launch tube lifting mechanism is of various metals, mostly aluminum, including countersunk aircraft type screws. This model was carried in a custom fitted Samsonite suitcase to transport for demonstrations. Although the case has protected the vehicle from damage, for the most part, the polyurethane foam used for cushioning has degraded over the years of storage, stuck to, and compromised the paint finish, mostly to one side. Looks like rust, but it is actually foam (see pics). Polaris missile decal is in good shape. The only real damage I see, outside of a seam split to the fiberglass covering of one missile, and some dings from missile landings, is broken/loose top hinges on the rear doors (We'll call it "light play" by rocket scientists). Truck measures approximately 31 in. in length, and weighs about 18 lbs. Will be shipped in suitcase. International bidders please email for shipping quote prior to bidding. Please email any questions prior to placing bid. Buyer to pay shipping.