Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Brooklands International

 The image comes from a very optimistic article in the April 1982 issue of Classic Bike, Ian Thompson's company was making an all new cafe racer, using a replica Norton Featherbed frame and running gear, using a derivative of the Weslake DOHC speedway engine converted to dry sump form. Power was described as "adequate" and any minute now anyone with about £5000 would be able to take one home. Unfortunately, Weslake went into receivership just after an order for twenty five engines had been made. End of venture.
 I hate to say it but the Weslake doesn't have the visual presence of the Norton engine at all.

There is a bit of info online on a similar cafe racer project with a 5 valve Weslake engine installed, and an article on the Brooklands company adventures in the Feb 2020 issue of Classic MotorCycle.

Flying building, CNE 1929

A view of the exhibits, before the crowds arrive.
The Flying building was situated in the Transportation building.


Monday, August 30, 2021

Cast Iron Jack

A nice sturdy and decorative cast iron jack, maker unknown, the only identification is on one leg; AT FEB 5 1902


Fun on the Ferris Wheel

 The Canadian National Exhibition has been cancelled for the second year due to Covid, the grounds are a lonely place... But here's a view of the Ferris Wheel attraction in 1897, I wonder who those formally attired lads are in front, maybe security?

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Harley Davidson shorttracker

 Jay Springsteen hard at work on the HD (Aermacchi) Short track bike.

McCandless on four wheels again

 In the late forties, motorcycle racers Freddie Dixon and Rex McCandless were doing engineering work in between racing motorcycles. Dixon was soon working on developing a 4WD utility vehicle for the military under the auspices of Harry Ferguson Research Inc. This machine had a rear mounted 4 cylinder engine and powered all four wheels through 3 differentials. As the machine developed it got heavier and more complicated. McCandless thought he could do better. He went back to his shop and built his 4wd Manx powered racer as a test bed for his ideas (not just for fun). At the same time he worked on a utility vehicle variant. This machine, the Mule, had a rear mounted, fan cooled 500cc Norton Dominator twin which drove the rear wheels by chain, then using another chain and sprocket system drove the front wheels. The two centrally mounted drum brakes- later discs- are visible below.  The drive was enclosed in a box frame. The Mule weighed only 800 lbs and in Harry Ferguson sponsored offroad tests, easily outperformed Jeeps, Land Rovers, tractors and the Harry Ferguson Research Inc. machine. When it finally did get stuck it was light enough that it could be extricated easily.
 Harry Ferguson, seeing that this looked to be the more successful device, started supplying financing to this one too. He apparently was a very difficult man to deal with, and the two men could not reach a deal. McCandless showed the machine around to various other manufacturers but no one had the courage to take on Harry Ferguson. Eventually, McCandless gave up on trying to get the Mule manufactured. More here,

Friday, August 27, 2021

One of my vices is vises, Sargent & Co Saw Vice

That is a heck of a saw clamped in place ready for sharpening! I like vices but have never been tempted by the saw sharpening vices. Sure, they're nice examples of cast iron or steel, but I really can't picture myself learning to sharpen a hand saw and I can't figure out another use for them. Even this article isn't going to persuade me... 

Thanks, Reg!


Personally guided tours to Alaska

CPR's personally guided tours to Alaska were a popular attraction at the end of the 19th century. For your $375, about $12,000 in today's money, The 35 day trip started in either New York or Boston, and all details of transportation and accomodation were looked after by your personal company representative. Stopovers in Montreal, Banff and Glacier were part of the trip west, and on the 13th day passengers boarded a CPR steamer which traveled to Alaska with brief stops in Juneau and Wrangell before visiting Glacier Bay for views of the Muir Glacier, a wall of ice 2 miles long and several hundred feet tall rising out of the ocean. On the 23rd day, the ship returned to Tacoma and from there a Great Northern train returned back east with a stop in Minnetonka, Minn. and in Niagara Falls. 

Fashion corner, 1942

I save a lot more time, I don't buy white shoes...

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

1950 Manx Norton

 Factory introductory shot of the new Featherbed Norton Manx. Note the elaborate backdrop and pristine floor of the photographer's studio. No expense spared.
 Below, Norton race chief Joe Craig (left) and Rex McCandless of Featherbed fame pose with the bike.

Mick Woolett Racing Motorcycles Hamlyn 1973

Flug Turnier 1927

The Cologne Air Races, restricted to civilian planes only.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Plymouth XNR

Another unique car design by Virgil Exner in 1960. The asymmetric theme works well from the rear, it's a bit weird from the front (should have left the license plate off it, it was a show car after all...) and for the side- go here.


Sterling tongue and groove pliers

This is another antique market find, a set of ordinary tongue and groove (channellocks to you and I) made by a company named Sterling. The spelling of Chrom -- Vanadium might indicate a European manufacturer, but the only thing I found online was this Australian company
Update: (see comments) Well, I made the 120km trip (each way) back to the antique market, purchased the things, after a good solvent bath and some vigorous wirebrushing I see you guys are absolutely right. It's not two dashes, it's a hidden "E". So, we used to make things- in Australia?

Monday, August 23, 2021

1955 Ford

This looks worth saving!


Windup motor mystery

Here we have a clockwork motor, part of an elaborate model or toy. These are the only views unless we want to disassemble it. The motor is apparently made in Germany, possibly prewar and activated by a Märklin key. That would indicate the manufacturer is Märklin, but can anyone confirm?


Saturday, August 21, 2021

1991 Suzuki TS200R

I just picked up this little beauty a month ago, hard to believe it's 30 years old. A 200cc liquid cooled two stroke single, 6 speed, fully road legal with about 10 inches of suspension at both ends. It was only imported to Canada for a couple of years, and not to the US at all. I think it was designed to one up the Yamaha DT200, a tough act to follow. It supposedly makes about 35 horsepower and it's happy cruising at 1010-120 kph.
It looks like a motocrosser, sounds like a motocrosser and is as happy in an urban environment as it is on the trails.  My wife describes it as the Ikea bike, but I think Legobike is equally as applicable. 
Members of the general public seem to like it, they point and give the thumbs up. Best reaction comes from middle aged men, who probably grew up with an RM 80 or CR80 and they know that sound! They whirl around to watch it accelerate by. Lots of fun...


Structo Corvair pickup truck.

I found this nice big toy truck based on the rare early-sixties Corvair rampside pickup at a local antique market, another one that would have made my day when I was a kid...


Crane refurb?

This crane has been a fixture along the road for decades, it seemed to have been abandoned where it was last used, boom up at 45 degrees, and weeds growing up around it. Today there is a change, The machine appears to have been started and run a few feet, rotated and the boom lowered to the ground. I hope someone is planning to restore it.  Yes, there are Youtube videos on the subject.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Pennsy T1 in colour

Rare to see locomotives of that era in colour, but when this project is completed, we'll be able to see this locomotive in person. A very ambitious project, but if the British can do it... https://www.a1steam.com/

Keen Hand drill

Manufactured in Croydon, England by M. C. Gooding & Co.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Four Roses Motorcycle

 Advertising for Four Roses during their "blended era" when the whiskey was marketed as a lower end product. I have no idea of the relevance of the motorcycle in the ad, nor do I recognise the brand. I see a dual exhaust port single and fat tires, maybe something German?

Alloy castings for the missile industry

This ad is posted here solely for the graphics, I think it would be perfect for a modern T shirt. 

 Be that as it may, William Mills Foundry was started in the 1890s, and soon added aluminum casting to its business. The company produced aircraft engine parts during WW1 and expanding into pressure diecasting in the 1920s when iron casting was discontinued.  During WW2 they once again were a large supplier of aircraft parts. After the war they continued supplying castings to the automobile and airplane industries. The company seems to have disappeared some time in the seventies.  

More here.

  Graces Guide.