Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Early cycling problems

Horseshoe nails were an issue.

People were different then, 1954

Save money,  do it yourself, rebuild that engine! Canadian Tire tool lending service, even back then.

Celebrities on motorcycles

Mohammed Ali on a Donaselli.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Old Postcards, The Lowry Building. St Paul. Minnesota

Designed by Kees and Colburn and built by Horace Lowry in 1911-12 as the Lowry Medical Arts Building. It was considered one of the loveliest buildings in downtown, built to fit in with the surrounding buildings like the Saint Paul Hotel across the street. 
It's been swallowed up by new construction in downtown St. Paul, renovated recently and converted to condominiums.

Google streetview

Stock Pusher

Stock pusher, the tag says- and who am I to argue?
For sale at Cardon's Tools in Perth Ontario

Grand Prix de Suisse, 1946

Poster by Noel Fontanet. More of his great work here
This was the first postwar motorcycle race held in Geneva, Switzerland, just a year after the end of the war. 

Monday... whatsit....

Your guess is as good as mine...

Apologies for the late post, I'm having difficulties with the blog interface.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

One of my vices is vises, James Smart

James Smart was an industrialist in Brockville Ontario , founding first the Brockville Novelty Works specializing in foundry work, and after acquiring his nephews company, Smart and Shepherd- renaming it the James Smart Manufacturing company.
Previous post here. The company made a wide variety of tools and iron products including the above vise.

Sidecar Sunday

Putting the lowly Honda Tinstar to work...

Saturday, November 16, 2019

1948 AJS 7R

1948 AJS 7R, a new design 350cc single with chain-driven overhead cam enclosed in a distinctive magnesium housing on the right side of the engine. These were difficult times for the British motor industry with restrictions on steel and other materials.  The use of magnesium for the engine crankcases, cambox and gearbox shell was quite an advance for a production machine, even as a racer produced in limited numbers. 

 The bike picked up the nickname "Boy Racer" early on and enjoyed racing success from its introduction. Development continued throughout 1950s and it was discontinued in 1963.

Lockheed, 1942

Friday, November 15, 2019

Oldsmobile Firenza

This is a 1976 ad, and clearly calls this version of the Chevrolet Monza a Firenza, when everything else I can find online says the Firenza was not produced till 1982 as a front drive J car. 

NSU cross section

This is  the mid fifties 250 cc single with the unique and interesting camshaft drive composed of two connecting rods running on eccentrics along side of the cylinder. Explained well here.
thanks, Rolf!

Suzuki 350 Goose

This was a basic road bike built in the 1990s, based on a tuned version of the DR350 engine. The name comes from the shape of the sidecover- supposedly imitating the Gooseneck curve on the Isle of Man. I think it's a pretty good looking bike aside from the weird crowded, kinked look of the headpipe. 
We never got it here in North America but I expect it would sell well today, maybe utilizing the DR400 engine. (and fix that exhaust pipe!)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Royal Enfield, 1960

The end of an Auxiliary Diner car

 The Waterloo Central had acquired this CNR auxiliary diner car in the hopes of adding it to the excursion trains.  Restoration was planned but unfortunately in the end it was considered to be too far gone to fix. Heavy equipment was called in and the car was soon reduced to scrap. The trucks will be reused.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

BSA Racing Equipment

Built for Looks, not for Speed

Rotary plough at the CPR

Not the most cheery bunch perhaps, but none of them have shovels in their hand, so that must make them happy. This picture was dated 1887, Rotary C might be one of the first rotary ploughs in service on the CPR, as they had only been invented a few years before.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Know your fishing lures

From a 1954 Canadian Tire Catalog. 
For those non-Canadians, Canadian Tire has been the go-to autoparts/ hardware/sporting goods department store in this country for more than 100 years. Recently it's been looking like Walmart with a few tools and some auto parts but I guess that's just a reflection of the times. I'll be posting more things we forgot that CTC sold! 
Meanwhile I think I'll need a couple of those Daredevils...

Walt Fulton, Mustang rider

A riding position reminiscent of the famous Rollie Free photo (though with more appropriate dress) as Walt Fulton takes his modified 370cc Mustang to 100 mph on a speed record attempt.   
More info on the photo here.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Mystery

Anyone with a guess as to its use?

Update; solved! Reader JP found this; "Newleva Patent Spanner". 
From the Spanner and Wrench Collector page.

Popcorn vendor, 1908

Popcorn must have been a lucrative business in Marblehead, Massachusetts as this man proudly poses with his converted (unidentified) automobile-based cart.

Remembrance Day

Torpedoed mechantmen in the Gulf of St Lawrence, 1942.

Below, monument in Coronation Park in Toronto designed by artist John McEwen
 Coronation Park was built as a Veteran's Memorial park in 1937, two years later WW2 began. The monument below was constructed in 1995 to celebrate the 50s anniversary of the end of WW2.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sidecar Scott Sunday

Harry Greensmith bought this bike in 1930 and owned it till he was 93. These are a few pictures of his various adventures, more in the album at this link 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Cagiva 1986

The Castiglioni brothers entered the motorcycle business by buying The Aermacchi factory in 1978 which continued building small 2 stroke motorcycles. In 1983 they started sourcing engines from Ducati for a line of bigger motorcycles and in 1986 they bought Ducati. The company continued to sell Ducati-engined bikes under their own name, the Alazzurra above and an adventure bike, the Elefant. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Shuttle trike

Apparently this thing, built in Ireland, was slated to be introduced to a hungry public in the spring of 1987. No technical details in the article, but I recognize a Suzuki mag wheel on the front. 
I don't believe it went much further than this photo...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Mosquito above the clouds

Stuart Howe De Havilland Mosquito, An Illustrated History, Aston Publications 1992

Mosquito B-XVI ML963 above the clouds. This plane flew with several squadrons from March 1944 till it went missing on April 11 1945.

Volkswagen-based MG replica

Options of rear engine or front, I wonder what the front engine version was based on.
Probably a lot of fun until you heard that characteristic VW sound...

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Motorcycles on Album Covers

Jeannie C Riley on a 305 Honda.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


Junior Star Chief Pontiac

Apparently these child-size electric vehicles were made as promotional items.  Story here.