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Fire at the Mine - Video 11 minutes

  This 1936 action film is about a "raging" fire at an isolated desert mine, and two gallant rescuers' who attempt to reach it by car with the "rescue apparatus" needed to free the trapped miners. Produced by Chrysler Corporation as a means to tout the many rugged features of what was then their new 1936 Dodge 4 door sedan.

  To prove its ability to perform even under the most extreme conditions, they took the car for an unbelievably wild ride through the one place in the United States which has historically been the most inhospitable to any form of transportation - Death Valley, California.

  Fire at the Mine has all the comically melodramatic action scenes and "He-Man" dialogue typical of the old Hollywood hero films. The viewer is also vicariously treated to a dangerously thrilling driving tour through Death Valley, that if attempted today, would land them in jail for recklessly joyriding through an environmentally protected National Park.

  But the real treasure to be found in this film is the spectacularly scenic and rare vintage footage of Death Valley of the 1930's, captured long before paved highways and modern conveniences tamed the remoteness of this fantastic desert region.

  So climb aboard this fateful rig, find a secure seat, and let out two intrepid "He-Men" rescuers race you on a white knuckle ride to the Fire At The Mine!



1938 Dodge - Slide Show

  For years I was told that this car was the Star of the above video, but the car in the video is a 1936 Dodge and this is a 1938 Dodge. Another Death Valley Myth shot down. "BUT ", this 1938 Dodge can still be seen today in Death Valley's 1938 Dodge Canyon Wash. There she was left to her fate most likely from the Travertine mining crew that worked the western side of the wash. Every few years a flash flood will pick her up and deposit her a little farther down canyon and closer to Furnace Creek Wash & Highway 190.

  A Few differences between the two vehicles are;
1936 Dodge 4 dr. sedan has a single rear window and no front door wing windows.
1938 Dodge 4 dr. sedan has a double rear window and front door wing windows.

photographs by Danny Ray Thomas