The H.O. Beer Car Collectors Website

 This page last updated     03/07/2003
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Page Info

History of this Site



How this site has evolved


The Early Days

The original spreadsheet style website ( late 1997 ) was kept in my website account at in Michigan. was created in the early 90s for internet experimenters to get around the hourly internet costs that were in vogue at that time and disk space for pictures was sparse. The original website held a spreadsheet with data, but no pictures, and it was not indexed as a general website for the public. In late 1998, after discovering Ebay, I started to gather pictures, and sometime in early 1999 they were added ( with permission ) to the database and the the site was reorganized for general use on the internet. The gentleman that headed up the group liked my website, and told me not to worry about the amount of space that was being used for the pictures. My allocation of 2 megs of space slowly grew to almost 20 megs used. eventually purchased, and in a sit down meeting with the bignet people, they also told me not to worry about the size of the website. As bignet continued to grow and absorb other ISPs, they increased the size limit to 5 mb of website space, which was still way below the space that I was using, but they allowed me to keep the pictures in a separate account. 

The Pictures Disappear

Unfortunately, in early 2001, a much larger bignet went through all of the accounts that did not have index.html files. They erased all of the data in those accounts, which meant bye-bye to the pictures on the site. My repeated calls and emails were ignored.  I looked into various hosting sites on the internet, but the costs were exorbitant at that time. A new project at my place of employment combined with a personal building project,  were taking most of my time, and the website went on the back-burner for a while. 

The short lived Comcast Site

In September of 2002, I took the plunge into a cable connection with, and 25 megs of space was available with the account. I quickly started rebuilding the picture base at the new site, only to discover that 25 megs would not be enough. Comcast had no options to increase the website size, so the only options were to lower the quality of the pictures and make them smaller to save space, leave some pictures off of the pages, remove the thumbnails, or look for an alternative solution. is born

In late October of 2002, after looking at many hosting options, I found a viable option at based in San Diego. 200mb of space, and unlimited bandwidth downloading with a domain name, all for a very reasonable price. This would allow me to keep the quality of the pictures up, restore the thumbnails that were removed on the comcast site, and not worry about the size of the site as new information became available.

What's ahead ?

On October 26, 2002, the new site at was up and running. Redirects were placed on both the comcast and bignet pages to the new location. A lot of cleanup work still needed to be done. A few ( very few ) pictures are still not working, and there are many pictures that must be added. There are still a lot of cars to photograph, and the pictures must be sized, thumbnailed, assigned filenames, and uploaded. Each picture added to the website requires that changes be made to a minimum of five html files. I expect that this will take most of the winter. A lot of pictures still need to be added to the "Beer Type" side of the site, but the Manufacturers side is pretty much up to date with the current information that  is on hand with the exception of 75 or so photographs that have to be scanned and formatted for the site.

There are also many pictures that will be replacing the smaller, fuzzy, and/or, ill-formatted photos that are currently in some page locations. The "pictures" that were originally taken by laying the cars on a scanner ( before the digital camera arrived in a Christmas stocking ) , will be replaced with 800 pixel ( width ) digital photos.

A completely new Site Design

On top of all of that, It was decided to rebuild the site completely using a frame based web design and JavaScript navigation tools ... The new web design contains over 500 web pages and more than 700 photographs. The flavor of the site, and the way that it is organized remains the same so that those with previous experience will not have to learn new navigation procedures. Information pages have been added to over 90 percent of the pages in the site, which allows a more uniform method of organizing and presenting  information and help screens for each individual page. The new frames design came on line in late November of 2002.

The redirects on the old sites will eventually disappear, so please bookmark this new site location ....

How fast will Information be Updated ?

To those of you that sent me information and pictures, thank you, and I ask that you please be patient. They will be included on the website. Unfortunately, I still have to work for a living, so this website will have to play second fiddle to earning a living among other things, but I will continue to plug away at it. If you have more info to send, please do so. I will eventually get it installed.