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?

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.

VW Logo specification

Monday, November 4, 2019

Edwards Air Force Base 1953

The development of jets postwar were  exciting times in aviation. For no prize but self satisfaction, name these planes. 
From the lower left- Bell X-1A...

Mystery Motorcycle Monday

I have no information on this device, any guesses? 
Tank badge appears to read "6247".

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sidecar calf catcher Sunday

Does this modern mobile calf-catching cage qualify as a sidecar? Not really, I guess but close enough. 
 I happened upon this magazine, one of several of its type apparently and it appears that farm machinery is the last bastion of small fabrication shops. There is an endless of array of products from small companies, bale carriers, fencing, cages, tillage implements, etc. 
I picture a land of farmers getting creative, designing and fabricating some device that makes their life a bit easier, then deciding, hey! maybe someone else might want one too. 

Sidecar Sunday


thanks, Rolf!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Ron Wood's Norton Flat tracker

According to the July, 1975 Cycle article, Ron Wood designed the frame in 1971, this is a picture of the bike after the 1974 season. The frame is constructed of  a single loop of 18 gauge (.049") thick 3" diameter steel tube which doubles as the oil tank. The wheel base is 57", the rake 26°. The engine used early cases to allow a magneto to be fitted, 9.5-1 Hepolite pistons with C.R. Axtell's head and pipes. The carbs are 36mm Dell Ortos and the engine makes almost 77 hp. Rob Morrison rode in 1974, Alex Jorgenson was the rider for the 1975 season.

July 1975  Cycle