Friday, May 14, 2021

Jim Balchin's 350 BSA sprint bike


Classic Racer, Summer 1991

A mostly homemade (including the aluminum fairing), supercharged, nitro-burning 350 BSA which enjoyed success setting speed records in the 1970s. 

Rendering to production, Turnstile

A 1932 John Vassos rendering"Turnstiles in motion" for a design for the Perey Turnstile Company. The rendering led to the production version in the highly stylized photo below.  And in actual use, bottom.

OHC Square 4 cutaway

This would be a good cutaway to inspect in person, there is a lot going on in a small cube of space.
And here's the "other" side, that never gets shown.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Outside Lightnings

 I hear it never rains in southern California...
 In Burbank, California, some of the P-38 production line was located outdoors.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Roadrunner, 1970


Douglas Dragonfour Special

This motorcycle project was featured in the December 1990 issue of Classic MotorCycle. Don Brown had done some work on the engine of his Douglas flat twin and visualized a conversion to four cylinders by stacking a second motor above the original. It apparently went together logically and the crankshafts were coupled together on the front of the engine using an larger diameter idler. The upper engine does not use a flywheel. 

 It seems an unconventional solution and looks a little odd. At least he didn't pull the BMW trick of installing a VW Bug motor.  I've not ever seen a Douglas engine apart so I can't visualize how this was done, in fact I think I've only seen one Dragonfly in my life!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Insert tab A...

Mick Walker, Cafe Racers of the 1960s, Windrow and Greene, 1994

 Inspecting the Rickman Metisse kit... I hope my wife doesn't see how much I paid for this!

Planes in formation, Messerschmitt Me-110


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Opel Rocket Car

 In 1928 Fritz Opel achieved 135 mph with his Rak 2, powered by 24 Sander designed rockets. It may have been the first use of a negative lift wing as an aerodynamic aid.

Sidecar Sunday


Mrs Jennison storms up Bwich-y-Groes on her Brough Superior during the 1923 ACU Six Days Trial. Mr Jennison minding the route cards. Mrs Jennison liked her fast motorcycles, the family was all involved. 

She held a record of 70 mph on a 200cc Velocette in 1922. About the Brough, she said "It's not a beginner's motorcycle, the motor is a big lump of joy. If it doesn't break your neck it will break your heart."

 Also, (and I know this audience might disagree about this statement on motorcycling in general), she said, "Even though you might be wet-through at the end of the day, there are feelings of well-being that just can't be duplicated by crocheting."

Saturday, May 8, 2021

One of my vices is vises; Hollands vise

 This is an unusual and quite lovely piece of machinery. Currently for sale in Hamilton, Ontario, on Fbk Marketplace. 

Longuemare Carburetor


The French Longuemare, introduced in 1901, was billed as the first automatic carburetor. A big improvement over the previous attempts, it introduced the idea of a jet that was designed to spray fuel into the airflow. A float chamber kept the fuel level at the correct level in the choke tube, fuel was drawn in through grooves in the nozzle (L). Different nozzles with more or less grooves provided some measure of adjustment. Now we're getting somewhere, though it was really only tuneable for a narrow range of speed and engine rpm. The above sketch shows the basics.

 The Holley engine company immediately obtained a license for the United States as the two pages below show. The Longuemare below seems rather more complicated than the sketch above with different jets for different speeds. The plunger in the top of the float chamber would seem to be a tickler to flood the carb for starting.

The Krebs that is mentioned was a similar-type carburetor that used a complicated system involving air valves, and a diaphragm acting against a spring. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Yamaha XS400

 In the town where I grew up, the Yamaha dealer sold about a zillion of these things, it was a starter bike for a whole generation. A perfectly good bike with power enough, but overshadowed by the RD 350 and 400. The engine, based on the XS250, was hugely oversquare at 69 x 52.4 but redline was 9500, same as the other 400s of the day.

Chrysler Saratoga, 1951

I'd describe the styling as "staid".


Thursday, May 6, 2021

MG for 1970

Road and Track Feb 1970
And for an enhanced viewing experience of this ad, we'll provide a link to MGB-GT by Richard Thompson. Thanks, Rats!

Hohner Echo Elite


Hohner commissioned John Vassos to redo the look of their harmonica for the 1933 Chicago World Fair. The result was this sleek art deco-styled Echo Elite. Production was stopped when Hohner geared up for munitions during WW2. The design was popular enough that production was restarted after the war.

From the German magazine Hobby.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Ithaca Guns, 1910

For your barrel, do you prefer Krupp Fluid steel or damascus?


Speedway Rudge

In the late 20s Speedway was brand new in England, demonstrations with the Harley Peashooter set the pattern for following race bikes including this 1930 twin port Rudge with asymmetrical exhaust pipes. 

Feb 1985 The Classic Motorcycle 


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Girder Fork Find

Here's a set of girder forks that turned up at a friends place, searching around online brought no identification but finally someone had determined they're from a Montgomery motorcycle, a make that seems to be extremely rare. 
Wonder how they made it to western Ontario...

Thanks, Fred!

Horex Cutaway Engine

I do like the two port exhaust. 

Thanks, Rolf!