Thursday, March 31, 2022

Jordan Playboy lifestyle advertising

The Jordan Playboy got its name from the title of John Millington Syinge's 1907 play, The Playboy of the Western World. The idea of the advertising campaign happened spontaneously (according to Edward "Ned" Jordan himself) who said "I was dancing with a real outdoor girl, Eleanor Borton, who said, Why don't you build a swanky roadster for the girl that loves to paddle, swim and shoot... and the boy who loves the roar of the cutout?
I said, Girl, you've given me a million dollar idea, thanks for the best dance I ever had!"
 The campaign, aimed at the young, confident (and wealthy) woman, was extremely successful, resulting in the sales of 2000 cars in the first year...

From an article in Dec 1980 issue of Collector and Classic Cars


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Habasit Quickmelt cutter

More a 1950s hood ornament than a hand tool, this is apparently a belt cutter by Habasit, who (though you never knew it) is a world leader in conveyer and other belts.


Ernie Earles' alloy frames

 The cover bike for this 1987 issue of Classic Bike was a new acquisition and restoration by the Sammy Miller Museum. The radical new bike had been built by Ernie Earles of Earles fork fame in the early 1950s, whose company Elms Metals was working hard on bring the aluminum construction expertise from the aircraft industry to the motorcycle industry. This BSA powered motorcycle utilized a welded aluminum tube frame, possibly the first of its type, though the short production Mercury had a cast aluminum frame in the thirties. Aluminum welding was brand new, having only been introduced in 1944. 
The idea faded after a few prototypes, probably a case of too much, too early and the first production aluminum frame had to wait for the Suzuki RG250 in 1983.
The Earles fork (usually done in steel) was much more successful, becoming a staple for BMW.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Unlikely survivor, XJ12

 Someone once said, "Every man should own a 12 cylinder car at some point in their life".
 If so, this one might be in my price range. I'm uncertain of the age of this car, but parked on the remains of a snowbank in late winter, its paint probably never having seen wax (the last picture is the actual condition of the paint...) it seems it's more of a driver than a show car.

Whitman's Temple of Mysteries

Japanese Magic and Novelty store.
Just the thing for the aspiring magician!


Monday, March 28, 2022

Swamp Roadless tractor

Looks like a fun day out for the boys at the Roadless factory. This was a design for traversing swamps with each tread tapered to present an edge for traction. Apparently it wasn't successful. 
Another Roadless post here


Columbian Exposition souvenir, John Hope and Sons Ltd

thanks, Peter!

John Hope had been making engraving drums for fabric printing as far back as 1780, by the time the House of Hope was established in 1810 in England, they was already the leader in the technology. The company expanded or moved to Rhode Island in 1847 under the care of the son, also John Hope, bringing their expertise to the thriving fabric mills of New England.   John Hope (and later his sons) continued to develop engraving technology, perfecting pantographing technology, becoming the authority for all types of engraving, not just fabric. The company was finally incorporated in 1890 as John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing. From Grace's Guide.  Googling the company name shows entries into the 1920s, but it's uncertain how long the company survived.

The small handout 3" scale above was an advertisement for their capabilities.  

Below is a 1910 article from American Machinist reporting on the process. Pantograph patent here.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Leytool wrench

 Leytonstone Jig & Tool made jigs for the aircraft industry in the 1940s, as the war ended, they started a line of hand tools, Leytool, including this wrench, their hand drills seem to be much more common. The company seems to have been in business at least into the seventies. 

Sidecar Sunday

 Ride the plank- sidecar edition...

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Otter on patrol, Suez 1957

 Below, other de Havilland products patrolling earlier...

BSA MC1 250

Racer with larger TT tank.

The original concept drawing from Bert Hopwood.

Here's an early fifties BSA development project for a proposed horizontal 250 cc 4 radial valve race bike. BSA was looking for a forward thinking design to carry on the success of the Gold Star. The original concept came from Bert Hopwood in 1949, Doug Hele did much of the following development. It featured an interesting frame design with leading link fork and a cantilever rear suspension with a single shock. The engine had twin carbs and twin exhaust and revved above 10,000 rpm. 
 By 1954, the design was ready, it was planned to introduce the bike at Silverstone but perhaps recalling the 1920 BSA disaster in the TT,  management wanted a promise that it would win. Because of that impossible promise it was never raced.

Bruce Main-Smith, The First Classic BSA Scene

April/May 1980, Classic Bike 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Lindstrom slip joint pliers

 This good quality set of pliers doesn't seem to be in the current catalog from Lindstrom, but the company is alive and well making pliers and cutters, now part of the SNA Europe company.

The first Suzuki RM125

 This was big. Long travel suspension!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

1982 F body GM

Road and Track

 This is the third generation of the Camaro/Firebird, restyled and shrunk from the previous generation but still rear drive, unlike most of GM cars to the period.

Norton Challenge

The Norton P-86 Challenge made its debut in 1975 and it was hoped to be the successor to the long-in-tooth Commando motor. Cosworth had been contracted by Norton to build the next British world beater and it was essentially a couple of cylinders from the successful F1 Cosworth 4 valve V8 adapted to a motorcycle engine. It was advanced for the time, with liquid cooling, balance shafts and a belt driven cam train. But the brief wasn't clear, it was to be a racer and a streetbike, the crankshaft was the familiar (and obsolete) British two outside bearing unit with center flywheel, The resultant engine weighed 195 lbs. with 75 lbs of that being rotating parts.
 NVT was in the process of dying while the engine was being developed so the project was underfunded and after a few unsuccessful races, all was abandoned.  Ten years later it would reappear as the Quantel, developed and modernized with FI and the bugs worked out and it would have success as a BOTT racer. 
Much has been written about the whole sorry tale and people continue to argue about it, lots of info online.
 Once again I'll be shallow and note that it was certainly never going to be known for its beauty.
 Kevin Cameron's analysis here.


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Municipal Airports of New York


Aermacchi racer

 I've always felt the Aermacchi four stroke singles looked a bit ungainly. Here's the second one in two days that is less homely than most... But still, that seat!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Monday Mystery

Here's a device I found at Cardon's at Perth, Ontario on the weekend. No idea what it would be used for, but being all stainless steel and with a handle like another medical tool I have, (bottom) I would guess it's something from the medical world... opinions welcomed!