Thursday, June 30, 2022

One of my vices is vises, Stanley No 700 corner vise

Designed to clamp on the corner of a work bench, this vise seems like a handy way to stabilize a board or similar object in various configurations. The person who does the demonstration in this YouTube video seems to think they are generally available at flea markets etc, but this is the first one I've seen.  

Thanks, Glenn!


Thunderbolt land speed record car

This not-particularly-appealing blob is Dinky Toys rendition of George Eyston's world land speed record car which held the record of 312 mph in November 1937 and again at 345 in August, 1938. In a competitive flurry with John Cobb's Railton Special they exchanged records till when, in August 1939, Cobb set the record at 369.7 mph. 
WW2 put an end to the fun and unfortunately the Thunderbolt was lost in a warehouse fire in New Zealand while on a promotional tour. 
 The Thunderbolt was powered by two supercharged Rolls Royce aircraft engines and weighed 7 tons. That massive bulk was carried on 6 wheels all running in different track widths for stability.
 Dinky Toys didn't bother with the 6 wheel layout when it made several versions of the car from 1938 till 1957.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Carousel scooter

Here's a carousel scooter made by MiniAtura of Erembodegem in Belgium, probably in the fifties. perfect for the living room.


Garrington wrenches

Garringtons was an English company, starting as a forging company in 1837, making a wide variety of forgings for industry. By the end of WW2, they were producing a line of their own hand tools. Interestingly, they named each tool type after a bird. These two wrenches- Merlin and Kestrel- were Whitworth but AF and metric types were also made, some of the other wrench names were Grebe, Heron, Jackdaw, Jay, Lapwing, Puffin and Wren. Sounds like a good subject for a Quest to me! 
Company history at Motofaction.


Monday, June 27, 2022

Vintage flattrackers

 On display at the Lima Half Mile last weekend.

We used to make things in this country, Netherlands edition. Morris Minors

 Now better than ever! proclaims the ad. The Morris factories in England were working at full production in the postwar years and it became practical to manufacture components for shipment overseas to be assembled in other countries.

 In Holland a car could be imported if it cost less than £420 so CKD (Completely Knocked Down) cars were assembled by the Molenaar company. Production started in 1949 but as production increased, a dedicated factory was soon built at Amersvoort. Molenaar used as many local parts as possible, sourcing tires from Vredestein, glass from Staalglas, lighting from Philips and paint from Valspar. The company produced Morris Minors till 1966. I've not been able to find production numbers.

 As an aside, the cars were built down to a price to the extent that although the CKD cars were built as left hand drive, the single door lock remained on what was now the passenger side. 

  Below, crates of parts and completed cars fill the factory yard.

In the paint drying booth.

Planes in Formation, Seamews?

 Camel train... Probably the biggest collection of the things ever seen...

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Wrench, Action USA 1019A

 Action was a name for a cheaper line of tools made by Thorsen Manufacturing, starting in the mid fifties. This has to be the worst looking example I've seen, compare to the ones shown at Alloy Artifacts

Oct 2022 Update. A much nicer looking example.

Indian board tracker

Paris 2022


Friday, June 24, 2022

Opportunities for all! 1954


Postwar, the Canadian aviation industry was a pretty good place to be.

Bristol Mk1 450 Coupe

Bristol used this strangely shaped car with enclosed cockpit for the Le Mans in 1953 and 54, finishing 7th and 8th in 1954. Despite its ugliness, the car was apparently quite stable aerodynamically, though for the 1955 season it lost the roof and gained scalloped fender wells for brake cooling and it looks quite a bit nicer.

The earlier models were scrapped, though we can still get one, Dinky Toys introduced a diecast toy in 1956.


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Suzuki GS750

 Paris Vintage Meet, looks showroom condition!

Homemade Yamaha four

Motorcycle Repair Manual, Petersen Pub. 1968

 Pardon the page break in the picture. The rider of this machine, described only as a young Japanese motorcycle mechanic, built his own inline 2 stroke four out of two Yamaha twins. Long before Allen Millyard. Chain alignment is not mentioned.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Garnet wrench

This fancy (nickel or chrome plated) but simple tool would have been supplied with a Garnet anthracite coal burning stove and would be used to turn and empty the grates in the firebox. Very little information online on the company or their stoves.



Tillotson Diaphragm Carburetors

I was leafing through this old Petersen motorcycle mechanics book, when I came upon a picture of Jerry Branch using a Tillotson diaphragm carburetor on a Rapido hop up. This brought back some ancient not so pleasant memories of a rescued Sears moped amateurishly outfitted with a chainsaw carb. At the time, at 14 or 15, we knew even less about a diaphragm carb then we did about the Mikuni carbs on the little Japanese bikes we were playing with. The moped ran only once in our care, wide open till it stopped by itself. My next experience with diaphragm carbs were the $50 non-runner snowmobiles that we could never make run long enough to foster anything but utter hatred for the things. 
In retrospect if we had just installed a new set of points/condenser and a new diaphragm, I'd probably still be riding the them. But at the time... puller? ignition? carburetion? all black magic...
 So I googled a bit and found that that type of carb was used in karting and even original equipment on Harleys. Lots of info out there... and the most amazing thing is now you can buy replacement Chinese diaphragm carbs for chainsaws, $20, just bolt on- they don't even need adjusting.

Yep, pretty straightforward...

Tillotson HD here

Harley HD

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Another job you might not want to do, camshaft timing on an Aston Martin DB2

 All of a sudden a timing belt looks good...

Planes in formation; Vampires!

 De Havilland Vampires served with the RCAF from 1949 till 1958. When they were retired one was saved for posterity, but several from different sources have been preserved. More Canadian Vampires here.