Monday, September 30, 2019


Seen along the road in Northern New York State

Know your Lucas tail lights

From the 1968 parts book

JMB three wheeler

This charming little device, with wooden frame and rear-mounted 500cc JAP engine was introduced in 1933. It does like it would be fun. The name came from the last names of the partnership, Jones, Mason and Barrow. It was pretty good for a first attempt, but in the next year many "improvements" were incorporated including a move to a steel frame, and metal replaced the fabric body panels. This added weight and cost which which affected performance and sales. The company made about 250 units before closing in 1935.
 Apparently 4 remain in existence. More here.
 Images from the Oct 1986 issue of The Classic MotorCycle.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Ferrari 400GT

The Ferrari that blends in better than most, seen around the neighbourhood...

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Suddenly it's 1971 again...

500 Kawasaki, 500 Suzuki,
  both beautiful and we'll ignore the newer Astro in the background... 2019 Stouffville Motorfest.

1964 Russian Tractor Manual

 This maintenance manual in poster form is a little bit unusual, in that it is for an early 60s Russian T100 crawler tractor, not something you see every day, especially in North America. 
More T100 info here.

But if one owned such a thing, you'd need these to keep it running ( and you'd have to be able to read Russian...). 
The 29 poster collection is available for sale at $1500.00 US, contact me at for details.

VW powered snowmobile concept, 1950s

 This might work on hardpack like a ski hill but generally speaking I'd think 2 wheels- even as wide as drawn would not be adequate on loose snow. Below, how the 1950s German inventor visualized his creation in the early fifties...

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Just another Saab story

Saab 96 with the V4 engine rather than the 2 stroke triple. Rather an odd colour but it does match the corporate colours.

Monday, September 23, 2019

St Catherines Street Railway

Frank Rowsome, Trolley car Treasury, Bonanza books, 1956
One of the first electric railways in Canada ran in St Catherines from 1879 till 1882.  The track ran from St Catherines to Thorold- a distance of about 5 miles. In 1882 under new ownership, the name was changed (somewhat predictably) to the St Catherines, Merritton and Thorold Street Railway.
This 4 wheel car had the motor on the front platform with chain drive to the front wheels.

Monday Mystery, military "thing"

 A reader sends in this device, bought in Germany decades ago. It looks military, but by the colour, maybe not navy? No name on it anywhere, just the serial number. It comes in a carrying rack about 50x 50x 25cm in size, has a substantial mounting shaft and an ammeter. It might be a thrust motor of some sort, speed measuring device, or ????

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Planes in formation, Fleet Cornells

Larry Milberry, Aviation in Canada, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1979
Not sure of the "Denmark" name on the cowl, these are planes of the Norwegian Air Force, who operated training bases in Toronto and Muskoka during WW2.
 Pictured are 7 of the 1642 Cornells built by Fleet during WW2.

Cotal transmission

 Featuring a cute little gearshift mechanism, the French-designed Cotal transmission consisted of a epicyclic gear system activated by electromagnetic clutches. Maybe it could be better described as a semi-automatic system, as there was still a foot operated clutch. 
 During the 1930s, they were offered as an expensive option for expensive cars, Delage, Delahaye, Salmson, Bugatti among them.  As far as I can tell, North American manufacturers never used the system. A big part of the attraction must have been the avoiding of dealing with the non synchro gear change.  
Post-war, they could be had on some Peugeot, (French) Ford SFA, and Citro├źn Traction models but they were also used on trucks, buses and even railcars.
More here, Youtube

thanks, JP!

Sidecar Sunday

Isn't this fun?

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Bad eighties graphic design (Suzuki)

I like the cutaway of the Rg500 engine but the fact that the manual is for (highly stylized and almost unreadable) 4 and 2 stroke engines is not immediately apparent. Perhaps the original design had the text in a different colour?

Two thousand locomotives

Donald McQueen and William Thomson; Constructed in Kingston, Canadian Railroad Historical Association Kingston Div. 1999
The Canadian Locomotive Company of Kingston, Ontario paused briefly on July 28, 1942 to celebrate the completion of its 2000th locomotive. Looks like it was this Pacific destined for Canadian Pacific, temporarily decorated for the occasion. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Honda CB750 Custom

 There's been an awful lot of work done on this one. Note the magneto and also the Tonka logo on the engine.

Edsel, front view

Sidecar Sunday

Wrench by Penens Corp.

Here's another obscure name in wrench manufacturing.
 Penens Corporation of Cleveland was acquired by Proto Tools in 1942, and postwar the word Chicago was added to the tools. The Penens name continued to be used and in the 1950s produced wrenches under the Fleet Quality brand, ratchets and sockets under the Socketeer brand. 
Before the acquisition there appears to to be little information online available on the company or their tools.

It's the end of the world as we know it....

The tragedy of drug use are revealed in this 1968 movie... 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Paul Schultze cutaway engine

 Here we have a nice 16 inch tall cast-iron cutaway F-head engine produced commercially in Germany in the 1920s. The company Paul Schultze did not build working engines, but rather specialized in models as training aids.

This model is available for sale, located in Holland, priced at $950 US. Contact me at for more details...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Train set available...

Winchester Press photo
One more reason to need to win the lottery.
 The St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) has announced its intention to divest itself of the locomotive and cars located in Crysler Park near Upper Canada Village, Ontario.

The train, relocated to the SLPC in the late 1950s, consists of a steam locomotive, baggage/refrigeration car and passenger car. While the train provides a representation of transportation in the region during the late 1950s, it is not of the same style as the historic “Moccasin” train that operated in Eastern Ontario.

The SLPC is proceeding with a Request for Expression of Interest with more information available here.

thanks, Kevan

The locomotive on display was part of an order of 25 built in Kingston for the Grand Trunk. Another locomotive from the same order is pictured above as delivered. The biggest external visual change over the years is the cast one piece cylinders.
 This batch of Grand Trunk engines has the highest survival rate of any Canadian locomotives , 7 out of 25 remain today, according to the book  Constructed in Kingston.