Thursday, October 31, 2019

Polaris Sno Traveller

Available in northern New York State (at least it was last month) but don't knock on the door...

Gasparin CO2 motor

Stefan Gasparin was a Czech builder of miniature CO2 powered engines of all descriptions, including a two row 18 cylinder radial. His smallest engine weighed just one gram! Link here

Hamilton pedal car

Model USAF 3521, seen at Davenport swapmeet.

Schneider Cup 1925

Replacing the flying boat style racers, this is the first of the experimental Supermarine Monoplanes with two floats. 
There was no exterior bracing, a steel tube structure connected the engine, one-piece wing, floats and a mount for the rear portion of the fuselage. The rest of the plane including the skin, was made of wood. The engine was a 700 hp Napier Lion. Although the aircraft had set a British seaplane speed record of almost 227 mph before the race, it was wrecked during pre race trials- wing flutter was suspected- and never took part.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Streetcar named Desire

No, not the Tennessee Williams play, this one was seen running in Lowell, Massachusetts and was visiting from New Orleans..

Hanomag 2/10 PS

This miniature car was produced in Germany by steam tractor and locomotive producer Hanomag. Nearly 16,000 were produced from 1924 and 1928. Produced in both closed and open forms, the car weighed under 800 pounds and was powered by a 500cc single mounted behind the seats.
 It was one of the first production cars without running boards and its rounded shape soon earned it the nickname 'Kommissbrot" (army loaf) and it attracted the same kind of rhymes and jokes as did the Model T, ie 
 " As only tin and paint are used,
the  Hanomag is soon produced..."
The car was not very profitable and was replaced by the more conventional 3/16 PS model.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Aircraft radial diesel

Nine cylinder radial diesel by Guiberson, designed for aircraft use. It was demonstrated in a Stinson Detroiter in 1928 and '29 but doesn't seem to have caught on. 
 More here.

Duro streamlined showroom

From the book Ford Trucks Since 1905 (Crestline) “The custom-built integral display van was inspired by the new streamlined M10000 passenger trains placed in service by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1934.  It was built on a 157-inch wheelbase Ford truck chassis, sported air conditioning and utilized DeSoto Airflow headlamps. It was owned and used by Duro Metal Products Company of Chicago.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Boating in Canada book cover

Garth Griffiths, Boating in Canada, U of T Press, 1966
That's a nice Mid-Century Modern book cover, I think it would be perfect for a poster on a cottage-country restaurant wall.
 I wonder if it influenced the (unnamed) cover designer for this 2018 book!

Another World beater.... 1967 FHS-Merlin Special

I found this photo in a Cycle Magazine from 1966. Basically a modification of a Villiers 250 engine, the Cycle article states that this engine design by kart engine expert Chris Merlin utilized a new right side engine case casting, incorporating a disc valve, carb mount and ignition. A modified Greeves Silverstone cylinder topped the cases and the crankshaft was a modified Alpha unit. The bike also used a custom spine frame by Frank Higley, presumably the FH in the name.
There does not appear to be any info on this bike online, despite mention in the article of units being offered for sale. Were any actually sold?
 Fortunately, racer Peter Crew, who was involved with this project saw this post and sent in some more details on the story. 
Thank you Peter!

Regarding the 250cc Merlin story, the story begins with Frank Higley who thought it was a good idea to contact Chris Merlin, a clever and capable engineer who raced karts. Chris used the standard Villiers engine but cast his own crankcase half to convert the engine to disc valve, and using this engine in 200cc form was unbeatable and won the 200cc British Kart championship.
 Frank asked Chris to convert the engine to 250cc with the intention of putting it into a bike race frame, so they fitted a 250 Greeves Silverstone barrel with the inlet blanked off and the offset exhaust. Frank commissioned Denis Evans to build the frame and complete bike, this is the bike in your photo. Subsequent developments were a proper barrel with a center exhaust and no inlet and a copy of the Silverstone cylinder head. The bike was tested by Bruce Main Smith from the Motorcycle magazine and I have a copy of the racer test, but it seems despite some capable riders the bike didn’t achieve much. I have been friends with Denis for over 50 years and he lives near me so I knew of the bike. Denis told me that he built a 350cc version, his own engine and chassis and wished he could find it again.
 Jump forward several years and in 1983 I decided I wanted to get back into racing again, and found a 250 Merlin engine for sale in Scotland, I contacted Denis and he was dead keen and said buy it, it was only £50! Denis has an unfinished chassis in the workshop and so the Merlin was reborn. It was a horror story getting it competitive and reliable but once we changed the Villiers parts for Jap parts it was semi reliable but very fast. From 1984 to 1998 I won over 100 races on it, club level and National, and as a consequence Classic Racer magazine did an article on the bike and Denis, and this led to an amazing coincidence where I got a phone call from someone who said that he had been reading about the bike and that his brother has a barn full of them. I got Denis and we travelled to the location (not 12 miles from us) and there behold was the original Merlin plus his 350 together with many other bikes that belonged to Frank Higley. So that is how we got them back, Denis is over 90 years of age now and still reminisces about these bikes, we had fun.


SS Sidon

Frank E. Dodman Ships of the Cunard Line; Adlard Coles Ltd.1955

The SS Sidon was a 2000 ton iron ship launched in 1861 and entered Liverpool-New York service in 1863. Passenger accommodation was 69 1st Class and 550 3rd Class. (what about 2nd class? Mr G)

134 years ago today the ship was wrecked in a storm off Malpica, Spain.

Sidecar Sunday

thanks, Jon!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Everest #222 wrench

This is another random wrench found in a bargain bin, a name I had not seen before. A Google search finds that, intriguingly, the company supplied wrenches as part of Ferrari tool kits, but possibly not the #222? 
Other references point to a Indian company, incorporated in 1962 under the name of Hindustan Dowidat Tools Ltd. in collaboration with Dowidat Werke Wille Dowidat of Federal Republic of Germany. 
 An Everest Tool website shows they manufacture and export high quality hand tools. However the logo on the wrench does not match the company logo.
In 1974, the Company changed its name to Hindustan Everest Tools Ltd., until then, the Company was marketing its products in 'Dowidat' brand.  Ever since, the Company's products are being marketed both in India and abroad in 'EVEREST' brand.

Using an outside caliper

Just a little refresher for you.

Friday, October 25, 2019

McDougal shapers

Located in Galt, Ontario (now part of Cambridge) McDougall was one of many long-gone heavy wood and metalworking tool-making companies located there. Why that machinery industry grew up in the remote and rural Galt, Preston and Hespeler area is somewhat of a mystery but perhaps the early (1854) railway connection to Hamilton was a factor.
The beginnings of the R. McDougall company are obscure but seems to have grown out of another business in the 1880s and it lasted till shortly after WW2 when the company was sold. During that time they were known for their very heavy duty machine tools for industry.
 I was unraveling bits and pieces of the story when I chanced upon a history at the tremendous site.  Rather than attempting to retell it, the long convoluted story is here.

Alfa Romeo 6C 100 Super Sport

Designer Vittorio Jano was responsible for this shapely sports car which was sold in 1928 and 29. Eighty four horsepower from a supercharged 1500 cc twin cam six made sure it went as good as it  looks. 
Cyril Posthumus, Vintage Cars, Hamlin, 1973

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Volvo Hot Rod

 Pretty sure this is a Volvo 122- hotrodded. And why not? Be the first one on your block!

Kreidler racers


Cunard Paddlewheel Boxes

Ritchie Compass

The company is still around today. From their webpage;

 E.S. Ritchie & Sons, Inc. was formed in 1850 by Edward Samuel Ritchie. Today still privately held by the Sherman Family in Pembroke, MA, Ritchie Navigation continues to be the Marine Industry leader in the manufacture of recreational and commercial magnetic compasses.

De Havilland Mosquito Prototype returns

Somehow the first Mosquito prototype survived for 18 years and the aircraft was returned to its birthplace in 1958, and put on permanent display. At that point in its life the top surfaces had been painted camouflage over the original trainer yellow. The aircraft was soon returned to its original colour scheme and can be seen at the De Havilland museum at Salisbury Hall.
Stuart Howe De Havilland Mosquito, An Illustrated History, Aston Publications 1992

Monday, October 21, 2019

Yamaha TZR 125, 250

Pegaso show car

thanks, Rolf!
Sports cars built by Pegaso are rare enough,  the Z-102 having sold less than 100 units during the 7 years of production- beginning in 1951. 
This one-off promotional model with body and frame in plexiglass was built for the Paris Motorshow in October 1954.
 Does this showpiece still exist?
Update, A reader points out that in the second image, a headlight is missing and the wheels seem to be turning! 

Sunday, October 20, 2019