Thursday, October 14, 2021

Baltimore Arms Co.


The Baltimore Arms Company manufactured side by side shotguns at 1300 South Sharp St. Baltimore, starting in January 1900. This is the cover of their 22 page 1904 catalog, they certainly present well- but they closed in October of that year. According to, over the company's lifespan they made about 6000 shotguns before going bankrupt. 

 The site is located under the freeway near the M and T Bank stadium, nothing to see there... 

Question that no one asked

 This image was found on a tumbler somewhere, a bit of googling finds that Mick Fish was a builder of choppers in England during the 80s. Now we know the when and where, still need the WHY.

And another pic.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Austin Healey Streamliner

Underneath the swoopy bodywork (and subjectively corny fin) is an Austin Healey 100, its supercharged engine took Donald Healey to 192.6 mph at Bonneville in 1954

In 2009 a group of Healey enthusiasts returned to the salt flats to do a reenactment of the event.


Kenny Roberts flat track frame


Cycle Magazine 1976

Thanks, James...

Kenny Roberts parlays his Flat track victories into commercial products. According to The Dan Rouit Museum gallery page Kenny Roberts, Sparky Edmonston and Jerry Griffith developed the frames.
With a lot of consideration for rigidity, this must have been a very heavy frame, compare to the Harley Davidson XR750 frame of the time- that one seemed to work well with a lot more power. I haven't seen many pictures showing KR on that bike so I wonder how successful it was.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

We used to make things in this country; Netherlands edition

Thanks, Rolf!

 Shortly after the Netherlands Navy bought and tested the first steamship made by J.H.& J. Duke shipyards in Dover, England in 1825, the company Machinefabriek Werkspoor was founded in order to bring the technology to the Netherlands. The company was successful, becoming the largest machine factory in Holland, building ships and ship components, later adding railway steam locomotives and rolling stock to the product line. The company went through several iterations over the years and after a reorganization in 1890, it became a major manufacturer of all sorts of machinery, their first marine diesel engine was installed in 1908. The railway portion of the business also did well, supplying locomotives and rolling stock for railways in South Africa and Indonesia as well as the Dutch railways.

 The company merged with another large manufacturer Stork in 1954 and that concern was taken over by the Finnish concern Wärtsilä in 1989. 

Wikipedia page

Unfortunate hood ornament

Classic and Sportscar , August 1989

LaSalle hood ornament. The LaSalle was considered by some to be the "poor man's Cadillac" and the joke at the time was that the man was holding out his hat for donations to buy a real Cadillac.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Parilla 175

 Another lovely Italian motorcycle.

Unlikely survivor, KZ750

Looking like a neglected 10 year old beater, with the period plexi windshield, deteriorating King Queen seat and weeping head and valve cover gasket this bike is still a daily rider in the 'hood.


Sidecar Sunday

 George Weiss and passenger charge up Tirrach Hill in the 1953 Austrian Alpen Trial in their KS601 combination.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Hispano-Suiza hood ornaments

The stork (Cigogne) in flight as sculpted by Francois Victor Bazin.


We used to make things in this country #329 York Gears

 Nice trendy graphics in this 1957 ad for what appears to have been a substantial Toronto factory "specializing in the production of complicated assemblies". The company seems to have completely vanished, on the site these days is a Home Depot, and I can't find anything online at all.

 Graphic designers might wonder how they might have treated the airplane image differently, it doesn't quite line up with the arm of the Y and why does the wingtip contact the corner of the large rectangle?

Friday, October 8, 2021

Canadian Pacific to the Orient, 1930s


Advice on vises

 From Machine Shop Training second edition, by S.F. Krar and J.E. St. Amand. Published by McGraw Edison, 1967. 


Mosport Motorcycle Grand Prix, 1979

 Posters never seem to give the year, but this was a Mosport Raceway event in 1979. Note the creative treatment of the sponsor Molson Export's logo morphing into lens flare.
Thanks Glenn

Thursday, October 7, 2021

1971 CB500

 Spring 1971, we heard that this bike was at a nearby dealer- Ramsay Hardware in Napanee, Ontario to be specific. Dealerships were different in those days, the motorcycle section of the store was in a back room of the ancient hardware store with the creaky wooden floors. There was the bike in the middle of the floor, leaning on the sidestand. Awestruck, we circled it. 

"Want to hear it run? the owner asked. He hit the button and there it idled in the small echo-y room. After a minute or two, he shut it off. "Sounds like a V8", he commented. We at 16-17 years of age had no answer.

Which brings me to this. Remember this cover? June 1971? Sure, the bike was awesome but the blonde!

Who she was was Mary Cathleen Collins, an aspiring model and actress. You may remember her from a later movie named "10"? Later known as Bo Derek. But she was "ours" first :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Interoceanic Railway Concept

 This marine railway was proposed as an alternative to the Panama Canal in this 1884 Scientific American illustration. Note the huge fanciful double ended steam locomotives.

thanks, Dave! (See comments)

A view of the Fowler steam tractor works

 I guess the workers were all shooed away for this 1912 photo of the erecting shed..

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Super Broussard by Nord Aviation

Following on the success of the twin-tail Nord Noratlas transport- looking like a Flying Boxcar, the Super Broussard (Super Bushranger) was introduced in 1960. Powered by two 1000 hp turboprops, it was designed as a 23 passenger utility aircraft for short and rough airfields. After the first prototype was tested, the government ordered ten for themselves- only eight were built,  no other orders were taken. This 1962 ad, showing 1/3 of the total production was still hopeful of more.

 Nord Aviation was a French aircraft company, organized immediately after WW2 as a state owned manufacturer. Over the years the company built a wide variety of aircraft from light trainers to cargo planes, even missiles. Does the name Exocet ring a bell? 

Nord was merged in 2000 into the European Aerospace Corporation which was renamed as the Airbus Group.

Silly Vespa tricks

Imaginative motorcycle show display from Vespa. Not sure of the concept, is she tossing the scooter in the air, is it levitating?

Monday, October 4, 2021

1976 Moto Morini 3 1/2

 These bikes always appealed to me, fitting into the category of "if one appears cheap enough..." Still waiting... and oddly I don't have any more or nicer pictures of the bike.

Royal Enfield Crusader engine


This Tony Lofthouse drawing shows the engine of the 1950s 250 Crusader. It was Royal Enfield's "modern" unit construction engine, developed during the early 1950s but not put into production till 1957. This cutaway shows a chain driven camshaft, unusually for the British, on the left side. The dual row chain is shown, right next to the single row primary chain. Despite going halfways to an OHC design, the valves are still pushrod operated. 

On the other side of the globe, by the late fifties, Honda was just starting to build their twin cylinder OHC electric start Dreams.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

1923 Bradbury Sport 750

  Bradbury of Oldham, England started business in 1852 making sewing machines. Business expanded during the rest of the century, their products extending to bicycles, toys and machine tools. They started building motorcycles in 1901, a variety of models were made over the years using sidevalve singles or twins, usually designed and made in-house. Just before WW1, the line had settled down to just a 550 single and a 750 V twin. These models were produced through the war for the services. After the war they came back to the civilian market and by 1923 along with 350 and 550 singles, were producing the handsome machine above. Unfortunately, the postwar slump did them in and the company went out of business a year later.

Sidecar Sunday

 A good time was being had by all- which is what it's all about. 
Don in Oregon sends in this picture of L) Mom and R) himself setting off for a ride on his BMW rig about 20 years ago. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Cars in the 'hood.. Jaguar E Type

Series 2 car, possibly 1969? As the song goes, "Black cars look better in the shade..."


One of my vices is vises, 58-7843-6

Nothing very special about these, I was poking around antique markets and found these at different locations many miles apart. No other identification than that number, but who would cast in a stock number instead of a name? The name Canadian Tire came to mind, but their vise stock numbers start with 57 - .  I expect these are made in China, but can't confirm.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Gaylord Gladiator

In the early fifties brothers Jim and Ed Gaylord, sons of the man who had invented the bobby pin, decided they should build the world's most spectacular cost-no-object car. They commissioned Brooke Stevens to style the body and the car was shown at the 1955 Paris Motor show. The car, with strange radical front fender cutouts, resulted in negative feedback and a refined design (above) replaced it. Is this where the Corvette got its scalloped sides? 

The car was supposed to be a blend of American styling and European sportiness. It was powered by a Cadillac V8 and was to be manufactured in Germany by the company that had built Zeppelins. The partnership did not work out, only four prototypes were built and the project was abandoned.

More here.

Beating people