We're racing through history!
During their nearly 5-year restoration of the “Blue Blaster” the team often used old photographs to check for accuracy. As work began on the cockpit cowling we started to notice in a particular photo a small square decal below the ever-present “Pennzoil” logo on each side. The magnifying glasses came out and eventually, after enlarging the photo, we noted a word or name, “Rosan” on a black background and what appeared to be “fasteners” near the bottom. Other objects were too small to identify.
As typically happens at the inception of a search the Internet was consulted. “Rosan” was found, but discovered the company no longer existed. A further search disclosed that the company had been purchased by Alcoa’s fastener division some years earlier. Alcoa was contacted and as helpful as they were, they were unable to provide any “Rosan” stickers. Some days later we received an Email from our contact at Alcoa to tell us they had found a former Rosan employee who just happened to have one of the decals on his toolbox. He gave us the name and contact information for the employee, Doug Pyle who, though he no longer had any duplicates or unused examples agreed to provide photos of his toolbox with close-up attention to the sticker.
Team leader Don Mock took the photos and with the help of wife, Kathy, managed to recreate full size renderings of the sticker. Using Photo Shop software, Don then added the yellow, white, and black colors as on the original. Oh, those “other” items we were not able to identify from the old photos turned out to be images of specialty fasteners. Museum member, Mike Gossler, took the colorized photo and transferred the images to vinyl which now grace the cockpit sides as they did when Bill Muncey drove this iconic Thunderboat.
Like so many things that challenged the team during the project, the “difficult” became common, the “Impossible” simply took a bit longer.
Special thanks to Doug Pyle of Alcoa Fasteners and to Mike Gossler for their incredible assistance in assuring the accuracy of the restoration.