Sunday, May 30, 2021

Felixstowe F3 Flying Boat

 The Felixstowe F3 was a development of the F2, being larger and less maneuverable than its predecessor, it was not well liked by crews despite its greater range and greater bombload capacity. About 100 were produced during WW1 and it became the RAF's standard postwar flying boat.

 In 1920, the Canadian Air Board used one during its experiments in Trans-Canada passenger and mail service, flying from Riviere du Loup to Winnipeg.

The Portuguese Naval Aviation used one for its first flight from Portugal to Madeira in 1921.

Canadian history here.

Sidecar Sunday


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Step inside your new 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air!

Everything about a 56 Chevy, reprinted for Sueed's Enterprises, Cal Central Press. Sacramento


 It's always a good time to post images of Spitfires...

Friday, May 28, 2021

Cool Special, That Imp Thing.

thanks, Bevin!

 Here's a bike we need more pictures of. This is a Royal Enfield with a Rootes Imp 1000cc 4 cylinder engine. The engine feeds through a Norton transmission and seems to fit nicely in the available space. The Imp engine was a 45 degree OHC inline 4, the first with aluminum block and head. There seems to be a great following online.


Old school, 305, 4bbl Rochester...and a 5 speed!


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Vincent trials bike

 Apologies for the poor quality photo, but it was scanned from a postage stamp-sized photo in the April/May 1980 issue of Classic Bike and "enhanced" in Photoshop. 
This Vincent powered trials bike was an entrant in the Talmag Trial of that year and might be the most ungainly Vincent ever built. 

Railroad bicycle


In the mid 1870s George S. Sheffield, a Michigan farmer, invented and patented a three-wheeled railroad hand-car propelled by a combination of hand and foot power. Twenty years later a man from Kalamazoo, Michigan came up with what he thought was a better idea. I suspect the railways were not as enthusiastic.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Norton single in a featherbed frame

 A Model 50 (350cc) or an ES2 (500cc), I'm not fussy, I could find room for either in my garage.

George Massey combination tool

Yet another combination tool idea, this time from Australia, no evidence that it ever made it into production.
thanks for the find, Rolf!


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

We used to make things in this country, #324, James Swetman planes

 According to Yesterday's Tools, this is the first documentation of a planemaker in Canada. The ad ran in local newspapers for a couple of years. James Swetman had been a plane maker in England before he emigrated to the US. He shows up as a partner in the planemaking company of Swetman, Hughes & Co in Pittsburgh around 1820 before he moved on Cincinnati and soon to Montreal. For a man involved in the solid business of making edged tools, he seemed to move around a lot.  He died in the Cholera epidemic of 1832.

Subaru Brat


Subaru on their way to mainstream... 4WD on demand was a step in the right direction. And in the same magazine, a feature on the soon to be introduced Audi Quattro.

But the Brat- we like smaller pickup trucks, but maybe not this small. 

Bradley GTE electric

Ahead of their time, apparently. 
According to Wikipedia, 50 were built.

Monday, May 24, 2021

One Thousandth postwar BMW

 After the war BMW got back to motorcycle production as quickly as possible. Although they were restricted to producing only the R24, a 250 cc single, by 1949 a thousand had been made, an event worthy of the lavish and joyous celebration we see here. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Douglas Digby

Twenty Douglas Digbys served on the east coast with the RCAF as anti submarine patrol aircraft. During Canadian service, eleven attacks on submarines resulted in the sinking of one, the U-520 east of Nfld.
The Digby- known as the B-18 Bolo in the US- was a development of the DC-2.  Despite entering service in 1937 as a heavy bomber, it was already obsolete by the beginning of the war, finding use as a patrol craft till they were mostly replaced in 1943.

Sidecar Sunday


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Flash Four

Thanks, Bevin!

Continuing our series of Ariel engines on the loose, this is the Flash Four, a Square 4 installed in a BSA frame. Very nicely done, it looks like it belongs there.


Standard Rhyl


Gianni Marin, The Motor Car, London House and Maxwell 1963

In 1913 Standard Motor Company introduced a light two seater car named the Rhyl. Sporting a 9 1/2 hp engine, it was in production for 3 years before the company shut down car production for the war effort.  More on the car here.

What do you make of the photograph? The car, looking quite sporty, is posed before what looks to be the abandoned ruin of a mansion in probably mid-spring. A couple of black-clad men lurk ominously at mid distance... 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Square Norton

 Barber Vintage weekend, some years ago... 

Amelia Earhart arrives in Ireland, May 21, 1932

 "For the first 4 hours out I had beautiful weather and I could see the sky and ocean. Everything was lovely. Then all of a sudden I ran into rain squalls and heavy wind. Then my exhaust manifold burnt out and bright red flames began shooting out the side. I was not frightened, but it isn't any fun to have those flames so near you. If there were an oil or gas leak it might cause trouble.
 Then my altimeter went wrong- the first time in ten years of flying. It was dark and cloudy and raining and there was nothing for me to do but start climbing. I fixed an easy gradient and kept it up for some time.
Then I discovered my tachometer had frozen, so I knew I was high enough. Ice formation on my wings made me drop lower. It was only twice after that I caught glimpses of the ocean. Once I dropped down and saw little white waves under me, but looking down on mountains when man is missing from the picture I had no measure to tell how high they were, or high I was above them- maybe 100 feet, maybe 300. When the morning of Saturday came I was flying between two layers of clouds. The one below me was composed of little white wooly ones. After awhile they all joined together and formed just a big white blanket like a snowfall stretching in every direction.
When the sun broke through the blanket above me it was so blinding that, even with my smoked glasses, I had to come down and fly in the clouds for awhile so I can see again.
It was here that I caught my second glimpse of ocean. I saw waves running before a northwest wind and thinking I was pretty far south, I turned due east. The result was that I hit Ireland in about the middle, whereas if I had gone on I probably would have passed the southern tip. There must have been some errors in the weather bureaus calculations, because they thought I would miss the rain all together. When I got into the squalls I suppose I was to the south and kept correcting to the north. I had plenty of fuel and could have kept right on to Paris but my motor was straining so after sighting land, which I knew must be Ireland, I decided to come down.
I could see peat bogs and thatched huts below me. I headed north along a railway track and and after awhile flew over Londonderry. Fifteen minutes later I had landed."

Thursday, May 20, 2021

May 20, 1932, Harbour Grace Nfld

Amelia Earhart arrived unannounced in Harbour Grace, Nfld on May 19th 1932, in her plan to be the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. News soon soon spread and everyone came down to be part of the action.

 At 7.20 pm May 20 she took off heading, well... as she said later, "My start from Friday in Newfoundland was delayed a little bit to have time to fix up all the customs requirements. They gave me clearance papers just as if I was the captain of a ship and I filled a blank space saying I was going to Paris. I wasn't sure where I was going, but that did just as well as any other."

Photos by Bill Parsons from The Challenge of the Atlantic, Robinson-Blackmore Publishers, Nfld. 1983


Lycett Saddles


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Messerschmitt 109 decoy

 At least one of these three 109s is a decoy.

Car ferry, Ontario No 1

Port Charlotte is a located near Rochester NY. More on the boat here.
 Note, Annie Griffin does not appear on this postcard.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Velocette Roarer cutaway

 Another beautifully done cut-away. This was offered as a poster by Classic Racer magazine.

Suzuki X-6 1966

 Newly introduced and already people are modifying them.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Monday Mystery; pressed steel adjustable wrench

This is an odd one, a stamped steel adjustable wrench of unknown provenance. It looks reasonably well made (but with a small capacity for such a large size head.) but we have no idea of the maker. Guesses?

From Garagejournal

 Update, That didn't take long!
 The owner of the wrench has added information that it is a Steelcraft tool from Spiegel Brothers. see comments below.

King of Brands

British road racing, 1973
 Below, Number 11 in 1966, the real King of Brands!