Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fiat Giardiniera

 Enjoying an 18 year production run after being introduced in 1960, this little wagon was the utility version of the Fiat 500.  The rear mounted engine is a horizontal variation of the aircooled 2 cylinder engine and is located under the rear cargo area. Looks like a ton of fun! And boys being boys, if the stock 19 horsepower isn't enough, people are hopping them up to 30

Henderson Excelsior double brake system model

Although there are no identifying marks on this lovely model, this is a demonstrator or patent model of the unique double brake system developed for the Henderson motorcycle in 1918. One brake acts on a pulley, the other a drum. The case on on the other side is the chain drive mechanism. The hub on the extension arms apparently represents the front wheel. 

thanks, Rolf!

 From History of the Henderson 1918 ~ 1931 
In 1918, Both William and Tom Henderson were now employees of Excelsior.  William had taken the role of Factory Superintendent at $5,000 per annum and Tom the position of General Sales Manager at $10,000 per annum plus a one-off payment of 200 shares of stock worth $25,000 to be held by Schwinn for five years.  These would be forfeited if Tom was to leave Excelsior on unfriendly terms within this time.  Finally, Tom was receiving a royalty of $2 for every motorbike sold over the next five years or until the design was changed.  The manufacture of the 1918 Model H had been moved from Detroit and the Chicago built models were distinguished by a serial number beginning with Z rather than H.
Hendersons were still hitting the headlines.  Notably, August E. “Blick” Wolter knocked 32 seconds off the 9.3 mile Mt. Wilson Hillclimb record on a stock Henderson.  Wolter followed this some weeks later by driving his Henderson round two laps of Los Angeles’ highest rollercoaster.
The 1919 Model Z still used the Detroit designs.  Improvements included a GE generator on the Z 2 electric model.  The 4-cylinder engine now had a 70 cubic inch capacity and developed 14.2 H.P.  It sported a new Henderson logo incorporating the red Excelsior “X”.
On December 2, 1918 Tom Henderson tendered his resignation with effect from January 1, 1919 to join Melchior, Armstrong and Dessau to export Henderson and Excelsior motorcycles to Europe.  He received the $25,000 from the shares less a $62.50 interest charge.  However, the $2 royalty was stopped from December 31, 1918 due to changes in the rear hub and double rear brake.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Christmas Bullet by Cantilever Aerial Company

This poor photo came from an old book and I was drawn to the name, "Christmas Bullet". A little googling and a crazy story comes out.
Billed the worst airplane ever constructed, Dr, William Christmas in 1919, convinced a senator, enough people in the military and an airplane company that this was the future. The wings had no struts as the wings were intended to "flap", and had not enough strength, both prototypes killed their pilots when the wings broke off. Read the whole story here.

Move to Pontiac in 1955

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Scuderia Cemetori

I can only find one reference online to this vehicle, an article in the Dec 1955 MotorCycling magazine.  This was a one-off three wheeler built by a C. T. Alderton of Harpenden in the UK. Powered by a rear-mounted Norton ES2 engine the chassis was a one-off utilizing a Austin Seven front axle. The body was hand formed aluminum.  Only one prototype was made.

Happy Birthday!

Enzo Ferrari was born on this date in 1898 and passed away on the 14th of August 1998.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Ski-doo for 1968

Fondation Armand Bombardier , Ski-doo, As long as there is winter, 1999
Both the Super Olympique and the workhorse twin-track Alpina sported 18.5 horsepower!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

1948 Packard

Yarloop Steam Workshops

  According to Wikipedia page for Yarloop, Western Australia, two brothers started a lumber business in 1894, it grew until  "At their peak, they employed over 500 people in the Yarloop area. By the 1930s, they boasted the largest private railway in the world with eight railway systems and 25 locomotives."
 The Yarloop Steam Workshops built and repaired everything needed to keep the mills and railways operating. Up until recently everything was still there in place on the site, just as it had been for a hundred years.
Jon, a reader and visitor to the site says, "What we saw was as though the workers had just moved out, leaving everything behind. There had been some conservation work done on the site but when we visited the old chaps were saying that they couldn't get enough volunteers to keep the place going much longer as a visitor attraction.  If this place was in Britain it would have been thriving. 
 Just everything was still there including a lot of paperwork still under the benches in the store rooms.  As you can see all the patterns and coreboxes were there in abundance.  It was such a shame more wasn't being done with it all." Photo essay here.

 Unfortunately on January ,7 2016 the whole town was burnt down by a bush fire, including the workshops.  There is a hope that the workshops can be rebuilt as a museum and plans are in process, but what a loss!

Thanks, Jon!

Sidecar Sunday

James Norton, founder of the motorcycle company takes his father- James, a cabinetmaker- for a ride. Son- also James- not pictured.