"Buddy Toomey's Howitzer - Studebaker Cannon" - HobbyTalk
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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"Buddy Toomey's Howitzer - Studebaker Cannon"

This is truly a genuine piece of Limited Edition Diecast Art.
Beautiful and awe-inspiring on its own, it is richly steeped in historical fact.


In the late 40's a daredeveil named Irish Horan led a group of stunt drivers in a travelling auto thrill show known as Irish Horan's Lucky Hell Drivers.
On June 29, 1950 local and national media were gathered in Trenton, N.J.,to film the first public display of a brand new stunt Horan dreamed up for his show.
The core of this new stunt was a recently built larger than life cannon with just enough room to allow a car to pass through it.

Seasoned Hell Driver Buddy Toomey was strapped in and about to drive a new Dodge convertible nicknamed the "Torpedobile" through the Howitzer for the camera crews on hand.
Horan,Toomey and several others had spent 6 months and $30,000 constructing the 55', 84" bore Cannon at a Baltimore steel plant.
With barely 3" of room on each side of the car the plan was to drive up the Cannon at 55mph and fire out the end at 65mph to land on a down ramp 80' away.
Two previous attempts had failed resulting in the total loss of two brand new Studebakers.

With the cameras rolling Toomey entered the barrel and emerged successfully from the other end but crashed face first into dirt when the landing ramp collapsed.
Luckily Toomey walked away but a third new Dodge was totalled.
However, the stunt became the highly anticipated finale of their events containing 28 scheduled stunts.

This 1:72 scale rendering of the Howitzer is 8-1/2" long and was made by Shrock Bros. Toys about 6 years ago.
The '51 Studebaker can be posed in different stages of exit from the barrel and the Cannon can be raised and lowered.
The Studebaker cab is detachable.

The picture is not mine so I can neither take credit or apologize for the fuzziness.

I'm not selling these.
I thought since all our HobbyTalk readers have a keen interest in automobiles that the story and picture would be enjoyed.

--CadillacPat the UnCustomizer--

Last edited by CadillacPat; 09-30-2008 at 06:27 PM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 06:08 PM
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Shrock does some nice stuff.............

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 08:11 PM
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Very cool diecast Pat. Over on the Garage, this '34 Studebaker from Dave Weber's collection was featured. Hope it's ok to post a link to Swifty's Garage on here.
http://swiftysgarage.net/index.php?showtopic=4688

Zach
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 08:32 PM
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That is a cool piece, and an interesting story! Thanks for sharing!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 02:58 AM
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Looks a nice set and your story makes it all fit together !!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 03:35 PM
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That is a really neat one a whole new way of storing little cars l.o.l.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 07:47 AM
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"Buddy Toomey's Howitzer - Studebaker Cannon"

My name is Helen Toomey Tassara. I was just a little girl when my father, Buddy Toomey, visualized and created the cannon. I am now almost 70 years old. I was there in Trenton when he first performed this stunt -- and failed the first time. The second try was successful. This is amazing when you realize that my father was blind in one eye (due to an injury early in his career) and there was only 3" of clearance. I love this recreation of his feat and would love to know who created it. Thank you for sharing!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 09:13 AM
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but it must have been a fun ride, I think I would try it, well maybe 35 years ago I would have, now all I could do is pull the triger
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 11:21 AM
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A W E S O M E ! ! !

The story, the model, the input from a family member who was there - everything! AWESOME! Thanks.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:10 PM
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This is so cool!
Thanks for digging this up Helen, it's so great to hear your story!!!

I think our friend and long time HT member STUTZ has met the Shrock Bros. and has a few pieces.

Breaker-breaker 1-9....calling Stutz!
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lummox View Post
This is so cool!
Thanks for digging this up Helen, it's so great to hear your story!!!

I think our friend and long time HT member STUTZ has met the Shrock Bros. and has a few pieces.

Breaker-breaker 1-9....calling Stutz!


I met Dave and Tom Shrock last year at their 177 acre property that has several buildings with 1:1 Studebakers and their amazing workshop that makes models.

You can see some pictures in the thread below.

Stude for the dude

The Shrock Maple Syrup Event is this Saturday, and I plan to buy one or two Shrock Brothers models.

I know two other Hobby Talk members will be attending this annual met Saturday.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 03:10 PM
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Helen, thank you for posting. Your dad was certainly an innovator in automobile stunts. I remember reading about your dad and Jimmy Lynch. They were known as the "Death Dodgers". Here are photos of them and their vehicles that I dug up from the New York public Library archives. It looks as though they wear catchers' shin pads under their pants to protect their legs. Helen, you may know a lot more about these photos...


Image ID: 1664623
Automobiles - Death Dodgers - Jimmy Lynch and Buddy Toomey


Image ID: 1664625
Automobiles - Death Dodgers - Car jumping over truck


Image ID: 1664627
Automobiles - Death Dodgers - Car jumping over truck

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 03:53 PM
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Thanks for posting the pics 54B.

Shock Brothers also made the Human Cannonball. I remember seeing a similar act at a local amusement park (Kennywood) when I was a kid. I can't remember the name of the daredevil, but I think the cannon was painted silver. I can't remember the color of the truck.



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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:36 PM
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Cool idea. And amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 05:08 PM
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Very interesting historical "specimens", 54B. Those are automotive awesomeness!

Have a great time and take some pix for us Ray, wish I could be there too!!!
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