Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sidecar Sunday



Off to a new home

 One 1944 South Bend 9" toolroom lathe with three foot bed, disassembled and up out of the basement. Very heavy cast iron stand included. Bottom, #158844 is a good looking and good working unit.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Boeing 247

When Boeing introduced the 247 in 1933 as a larger 14 passenger airlines, a preliminary design review by airline pilots did not go well, the pilots thought there weren't enough airports with long enough runways, that the engines made too much power and unanimously recommended it be reduced in size. It was reluctantly redesigned as a smaller craft with a capacity of 10 passengers. The aircraft shown is an early model with the forward sloped windshield, designed to eliminate the glare from the instruments. However, it instead reflected the glare from outside lights making landing and taxiing at night difficult. 

It was an advanced airplane, faster than the top of the one US fighter planes but when the 21 passenger Douglas DC3 appeared two years later, the 247 was obsolete.  With this many passengers, the flight could be profitable on passenger fares alone, no need to carry additional freight, mail, etc. Only 75 247s were built.


Friday, January 14, 2022

Aerial timetables


Motom- with fashion model

Someone sent me this pamphlet for a 48cc Motom moped, an interesting postwar design, unfortunately, not quite clear enough to attempt to translate the Italian text, but that's what the internet is for.   Fortuitously, a few days later I found the picture below of a very happy girl with her Motom 48. 
More here.

Sheldon's EMU

Thursday, January 13, 2022

End of an era, RM125

 Not the most attractive of the RM125s, this was the last year for the aircooled engine and the last year before the addition of the Full Floater suspension. Suzuki had won every 125 Motocross World Championship up till that point (4 of them), the 125 class had only started in 1975. Suzuki continued its winning streak for another 5 years, losing to Cagiva in 1985.

 Which year was the best looking? My vote goes to the RM125A.

Cars in the 'hood, LTD Crown Victoria

I was going to categorize this as an unlikely survivor, but it looks too well kept and loved for that... Complete with fold-down hood ornament. These cars are so square! 


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Wallis hub center steering

Although hub steering was not a new idea (the Ner A Car was a couple of years earlier) when George Wallis set to designing a better front end for motorcycles, he made a number of improvements and patented his system.

In 1925, funded by a well-to-do neighbour, he built several prototypes and racers to prove the design and publicize his development. Above is the first, with a rudimentary fuel tank and a horizontal Blackburne engine. The front end pivoted from the lower front of the dual tube frame that curved up to the steering head and also continued on to the rear axle. A rod connected the handlebars to the steering pivot which was suspended by leaf springs. Apparently the frame and front end consisted of about 350 separate pieces brazed and bolted together, simplification would be needed for production. I suspect some of the stability of the motorcycle was due to the rigidity of the frame. 

Below is one of the racers and below that, the machine is stable at speed at Brooklands even with a soft rear tire! 

At bottom is a machine nearing production trim. Unfortunately, Wallis's investor got cold feet, and the company folded in 1927.

Classic MotorCycle Mar. 1990

Okanagan Helicopters, 1954

 And here's a message from our sponsor; Buy Esso products... 
Okanagan Helicopters was a early entry to the helicopter business, starting in rural British Columbia in 1947. They used a Bell Model 47B3 (laminated wooden rotor blades!) for crop dusting. However, they moved with the times, got involved with construction and other jobs and it's good to see they're still in business today- as CHC, having merged with Sealand Helicopters in 1987. Company history here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Yamaha XS750

Buy it for the style, not for the performance.


Inselbric, insulbrick

LIFE-magazine May-17-1954

I suspect there were different brand names for the asphalt shingle-based siding nailed onto the sides of houses between about 1930 and 1960. In our area it was called Insul-brick (Insul-bric?). Whatever it's called, having observed and experienced later iterations of the cheapest possible siding you can put on a house, aluminum, vinyl, foam/stucco etc... this stuff is still holding up better on various old houses than many of its successors 70 odd years later.
It consists of some form of fibreboard in various sizes and shapes (an unlikely 14 x 43" on the ones I measured) covered with an asphalt shingle-style tar and grit, pressed and printed into something and nailed onto the existing siding, giving the look of a brick house from across the street.

Definitely nearing the end of its existence... 
but in looking around my neighbourhood, I see there is a variation that seems to be just a roll of asphalt shingle material 18" wide that people nailed onto the siding below. The lack of a fibreboard backing doesn't seem to have affected its longevity. Compare that to the life expectancy of "15-year" shingles available today.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Stanger patent, 1911

It appears David Stanger of Stanger V twin fame had an active mind and applied himself to many facets of vehicle design, this post covers one that seems a bit too "me too".

 Mr. H F S Morgan came up with the Morgan three wheeler in 1908, F.W. Watson patented his folding sidecar in 1910, so what if we came up with a folding three wheeler? 

To me, the most important and missing drawing is the top view folded...

Patent here.

thanks, Rolf!

Monday Mystery, Moffat dish

Here's a small enamelled cast iron dish of some sort, about 4 1/2 x 6" in size, apparently from the Moffat company, who were better known for their stoves and other appliances. Maybe it was a promotional item, possibly an ashtray? Ideas?


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Nathan Mfg. wrench

This is a nice heavy old hook type wrench. A quick google finds there are a couple of Nathan Mfg. companies but neither appear to have been in the tool business.


Sidecar Sunday

 Unusual techniques!

Suzuki for the sportsman

 Hunting and fishing on 80cc!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

One of my vices is vices, Star?

Here's a 4 inch vise, much resembling the Smart Mfg. type vise also appearing as a Hercules. However, the only identification is a star on one side, and R4 on the other, is that an old Communist Chinese star?

Friday, January 7, 2022

Cycle World, Feb 1983

 1983, The AMA has reduced their Superbike class to 750cc, so the US got a full size Katana. Other changes included a black engine, blue paint and stripes on the fairing and tank, aluminum footpegs and new style mags... There was also softer suspension and a 150 mph speedometer.

Motorcyclists are different...

 The freedom of the open road!

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Stanger V twin


The Stanger was built in London in 1921-23. It was powered by their own 538cc two stroke 45 degree V twin engine with a 3 speed transmission. The chassis featured a leaf spring suspension on the rear and girder front. 

David Stanger built various gas engines over the years for different uses. According to Sheldons Emu this one was originally intended only to be supplied to motorcycle manufacturers, but in 1921 he decided to build his own complete motorcycle. Apparently it was not particularly successful and was soon out of production.

 Road test here

Engine patent here.

Mercedes 300SL air brake

 Mercedes rigged up this airbrake for one of their cars in the 1952 Lemans, Pictured here in practice, it was considered to be experimental and was not used in the race. However, it was extremely effective, apparently cutting braking to a third of the distance at the end of the Mulsanne straight. The pylons supporting the wing were not strong enough and were damaged in use. Mercedes continued to develop the idea and they reappeared in modified form at LeMans 3 years later.

 Patent here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Commemorative wrench

 I thought this was an interesting find. The wrench is huge- 2 1/2",  made by Jonnesway, a Taiwanese brand I had never heard of, and there are initials scratched and punched in it all over the place. I'd like to know the story, I assume a joke retirement gift or something similar?