Friday, April 30, 2021

1966 Barracuda

 Better than a Mustang because it's an SUV! 
But, 273 V8 with front disc brakes!

Seemed like a good idea...

 Known as the Vater und Sohn ( father and son) This awkward-looking combination of a DFS 230 glider powered with an attached BF109 was tested in 1943 and apparently worked quite well. The combination could be controlled using either the glider or the 109 controls or with both. Takeoffs and landings went perfectly. The only real issues apparently were when the 109 tried to release in flight, the glider pitched upwards, hitting the fighter plane. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Velocette LE


Chevrolet Flintstone


This apparently was an early sixties test vehicle to test the idea of small size front drive cars, the front-mounted engine was an opposed four of 1900cc, my quick calc says 2/3 of a Corvair motor.   I see certain similarities to the Cheetah and the later Opel GT. The chassis below seems to be a chassis prototype with different (temporary?) windshield. And aren't those Volkswagen wheels?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Villiers flywheel wrench

Finally a wrench made for me, one that's designed to be used with a hammer. I've never seen one. 

Actually images scanned just to enjoy the quality of the sketch work.


Another job you probably didn't want to do, Tech support

Along with the large showy new-bike displays at the motorcycle shows, the British motorcycle manufacturers also provided a small stand in an offshoot hall where the company service department staff provided mechanical and technical support, using cutaway engines as props. These setups were very popular and the exhausted staff was usually swamped for most of the day. 


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Wall Motorwheel

What'r you lookin' at?

June 1995 Classic MotorCycle

VW Rabbit pickup

 Volkswagen sees an El Camino, they make their own version. They definitely saw dirtbikers as a market.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Show bike

Not a motorcycle or car show, but a sideshow at the circus. For scale  the engine is a 50cc Flandria 2 stroke. Five of these bikes were manufactured by Lenaerts, possibly 2 remain.

thanks, Rolf!


Two place Hurricane

Chaz Bowyer, Hurricane Messerschmitt, Promotional Reprint Company, 1993

 This two seater Hurricane was built and converted for the Persian government (now Iran) in 1947 as trainer. I see there is now another one flying. 
Another post-lottery activity...

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sidecar Sunday

Jack Stocker in control, passenger less so, Classic MotorCycle

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Boys will be boys

April 5 1968, Pilot Alan Pollock flew his Hawker Hunter through the span of the Tower Bridge. He said he did this to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Air Force and in protest of the refusal of the Air Ministry to recognize the event.  He later said he did it on a whim.


Arctic Cat for the summer

Pontiac time traveller

Out on the highway keeping up with traffic, in Kensington market, stopping traffic...


Friday, April 23, 2021

Canadian Supercar, the Bernardi

 This is a promotional pamphlet for the next great Canadian Supercar, the Fortvac Bernardi, produced in the early 1980s. Despite the introduction and failure of exotic car startups like the Bricklin and Delorean, and the number of kit cars available at the time, founder Richard Fortier developed and built this car in Quebec. He took a different route than the others in that he started with his own steel tube chassis and actually put the car through all of the rigors of official safety testing and gained the Canadian DOT's seal of approval.  For the body, instead of starting from scratch, he used a kit car body already in production and sold under several names, including the Cimbria or Sterling. The Bernardi company brochure boasts of a long process of "redesigning an existing body" in which the basic (and attractive) lines of the Cimbria SS were preserved, but the car's wheelbase and width were stretched a little and extensive ground effects were added. Apparently the interiors were well appointed and appropriate to the exotic car status. Various engines were used, from a V6 to the Olds 455ci. 

Apparently there was a total of 18 cars made, only 5 or 6 are accounted for. Information is sketchy and scattered for this rarity, but this seems to be as close to the source as I could find. 

"I am the son of the creator of this car which will seek so many answers from you. My father, the creator of this car `` La Bernardi '' is called Richard Fotier and yes we are a native of St-Henri de Levis on the South Shore of Quebec where this car was built. Where does the name Bernardi come from? not from St-Bernard lol but from Bernard one of my father's friends who kindly financed the project. The car was completely handmade in St-Henri in my father's warehouse, the car is fiberglass and it came with 4 original Corvette disc brakes, the frame was completely handmade as well as the benches and the rest of the interior and no, they do not come from a Fiero as mentioned in other, moreover the original wheels its forge in 2 pieces and yes it came with the basic v6 or the 455. It is far from being comparable to what is done today in 2007 but for the 80s coming from a Quebecois creator who has practically done everything with these hands I think it's still rather impressive. If ever they interest you to see more photos or even the Bernardi leaflets you just have to mention it and I will put them on the forum."

thanks, Rolf!


Below is one of the Cimbria kit car variations. This was intended to be assembled to a VW Beetle chassis. It was also the photo model used for a kit car supply house. Definitely one of the better-looking kit cars.

 Oh no! Looking online for more Bernardi pictures... Lifetime imprisonment I say...


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

S S Juniata

 The SS Juniata was launched in Cleveland as part of a set of three for the Anchor Line, For the first 30 years the boat sailed between Buffalo NY to Duluth. New regulations following the Morro Castle fire disaster caused the boat to be retired in 1937. 
In 1940 she was bought by the Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Lines who removed the wooden cabins and rebuilt the boat in the Streamline style. It was rechristened the Milwaukee Clipper and put to work sailing between Muskegon, Michigan and Milwaukee until 1970. Once again laid up, it languished about in various places till it was declared a National Historic Landmark. Eventually it was returned to Muskegon, Michigan where it is being restored as a museum ship. Visit it there.
The whole entertaining story of the adventuresome life of the ship is told here

Meanwhile Annie Griffin of Eagle, Ontario continues to get boat postcards from friends, this one from Delia in 1910.


Jaguar factory front door

In the March 1987 issue of Thoroughbred and Classic cars, there was a story about visiting the Coventry address of Jaguar. Above is the unassuming factory entrance with a fancy front door, still there even after Dunlop had owned the building for 35 years. 

 Below the same entranceway in the mid 1930s with a nice new SS sports car on display. Note the Standard Swallow badge above the door (missing in the 1987 view). The company occupied the building from 1928 till 1951.

Dunlop bought the building in the fifties and in 2001 donated the door to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Museum. By the Google map view of the area (Swallow Road, Coventry), the building has likely now been demolished.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Vanished hobbies, collecting matchbook covers


Covel Manufacturing Saw sharpener

This large-diameter saw sharpener was built by Covel Manufacturing of Benton Harbor, Michigan. The company made many types of machinery but specialized in grinders and sharpeners, starting business in the late 1880s.  This device was rescued from an abandoned sawmill deep in the woods and was reconditioned and put back to work. Age is unknown but as it was intended to be run by the shaft and belt systems must be at least hundred years old, well outlasting the manufacturer,  the Covel company was bought by Hanchett Mfg in 1945. History at the excellent Vintagemachinery site.


thanks, Reg!

Monday, April 19, 2021

AJW Super Four

Along with the gorgeous V-twins the company was making, AJW decided that they would chase speed records. This streamlined bike with supercharged Coventry Climax (or Anzani) engine and funny front end was shown at the Olympia motorcycle show in 1928 catching George Brough quite by surprise. It was a huge hit, though when actually out on the track, it handled so badly, the attempt was abandoned and nothing was heard of it again.