Friday, July 29, 2022

XT500 Cutaway


Taco Autotrac

In the 1941 Taco farm year book, all sorts of products and equipment were being offered by the Tudhope Anderson Company but judging by the number of times a full page was devoted to the Autotrac, this is what they wanted to sell you the most. By 1941 there were 20 or so years-worth of obsolete cars around and they made good candidates for a cheap farm tractor conversion.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Ford Model Y

Model Y

Although the Ford Motor Company started manufacturing Model Ts in Britain in 1911, it wasn't till 1932 that they designed and built the Model Y specifically for Europe, In 1935 the company got the price of the car down to £100. (About £6700 or $8200 USD).

Below, Model Ts being made at the Trafford Park factory, Manchester. 

Tecomaster Level

Tecomaster was the brand name of the tool line at the Canadian T. E. Eaton department store chain, tools were sourced from various manufacturers over the years.
 This level is the same design and configuration as one made by John Rabone in Birmingham, but with a cheaper painted body and the name stamped crookedly, giving it a cheap and nasty look.

Thanks, Inno!


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Period custom CB750

 This looks like a recent barn find, it was at a local motorcycle dealer, maybe with an eye to get it back on the road. It looks like it was a well loved motorcycle back in the day with tasteful mods like the Shelby Dowd wheels, cafĂ© seat, allen head engine screws and the period custom paint licks. Hope to see it on the street!

Osaka '70 World Exposition

We in Canada had a serious case of exposition-exhaustion after Montreal's Expo '67 so we didn't pay too much attention to Japan's World Fair 3 years later. It however, was well attended, setting a record that wasn't surpassed till the Shanghai World Fair of 2010.

The poster is by Yusaku Kamekura, a prominent Japanese graphic artist of the time. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

First woman pilot in Canada

 In Los Angeles in 1912, the Bryant Brothers Flying School placed an ad for a woman to teach to fly, their ulterior motive was to feature a woman pilot in their barnstorming act. Alys McKay impressed Johnny Bryant enough, having ridden a motorcycle and displaying the most enthusiasm, beat out 17 other women, and  became an accomplished pilot. She participated in a number of airshows along the west coast, setting an altitude record for a woman of 2900 feet. In July 1913 they crossed the border into Canada and performed for royal visitors in Vancouver, BC, being the first woman to fly a plane in Canada. A month later at another flying demonstration in Victoria BC, strong winds cut her flying short. Her new husband Johnny Bryant flew in similar conditions the next day. The plane suddenly went into a dive and crashed into a building, breaking his neck and killing him. She was devastated and gave up flying for a year. She resumed her career in aviation by going to work at Benoist Aircraft, where she helped construct and design aircraft, and became a flying instructor. Alys McKay Bryant died in 1954 at 74 years of age.

And there you have it, the first woman pilot in Canada wasn't even Canadian!

Otaco walking ploughs, 1941

 This is a page from the 56 page Otaco (Tudhope-Anderson) Farm Year Book from 1941. With practical tractors being introduced over the previous decade, its easy to forget that horses were still the preferred choice for many farmers.

Streetcar envy


By the turn of the last century, having a streetcar line was such a status symbol that any town without, was having feelings of inadequacy. The village of Croghan, in upstate New York, was one such town, so a local photographer/darkroom artist put together this postcard, which was a local hit.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Spoke pointer

I hadn't realized that the ends of wooden wheel spokes or chair rails had to have a shallow point on them, but this bit inserted in a brace, should do a good job after cleaning and sharpening. 


Monday Mystery, BMW motor

BMW flat twin, but the cases and intake don't look like the usual motorcycle.
Might be from one of their first cars?


Lightning rocking plate valve engine

 In a world searching for a poppet valve substitution in 4 cycle engines, rotary valves, sleeve valves etc. all had their supporters. This is a new idea, well, new to me, it was patented in 1919 and shown at the London Motor Show that year. The oscillating or rocking idea was simple enough, the actuating mechanism wouldn't be complicated and with piston ring technology sorted out pretty well, you'd think we might have seen more of this arrangement.  

Classic MotorCycle, Dec 89

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Hawkeye Alligator wrench


This is the first alligator wrench, made by the Hawkeye Wrench Co. in Marshalltown, Iowa: 
“The company was founded in 1904 by G.H. Ruth and L.R. Willard to make the Hawkeye combination alligator wrench and thread re-cutter., patented February 17, 1903. Later production included the crocodile wrench (Schultz No. 7), which added a screwdriver to the original design. The company appears to have ceased operation in 1923.”

D type Jaguars in formation

Photo finish! At the 1956 12 hours of Reims sports car race Jaguar works cars came in 1-2-3. 

Production of the D Type ran from 1954 to 1957 and only seventy five were constructed.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Early trolley power units

 Ok, we have electricity, electric motors and tracks, in the mid 1880s, Frank Sprague worked hard at combining the three. The 40th trolley pole and shoe design worked well enough to transfer the current while not jumping off or overheating.  Several iterations of motor and gearboxes were required to come up the right combination to have enough power to climb the grades of streets and roads and to survive the environment under the vehicles in which they worked. By 1888, he had the first trolley system working in Richmond, Virginia.

Haynes Manuals ad, 1982

 Haynes manuals, we all have some on our shelves, I'm sure. This ad in a Cycle magazine shows a disassembled Suzuki X7, a model that was never sold on this side of the pond, but no matter, Haynes manuals and the Clymer competitor product probably saved us more times than any other single thing. 

Last gasp Triumph Trident


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Drop Forged Steel wrench, West Germany

 No idea who the manufacturer of this wrench is, these are the only markings, but its probably the West German competition to this one made in East Germany posted a couple of days ago. If this came out of a vehicle tool kit what company used inch measure tools from Germany?

Value? Who cares when you've got horsepower...


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Bimota at Daytona 1979

June 1979 Cycle
For the 1979 Daytona 200 George Vukmanovich put together this Bimota-framed Yamaha TZ250 special for Randy Mamola to ride.  The front brakes were the undoing of the effort, the small diameter discs overheated early and pads wore out completely. Randy finished third. The frame was pressurized to 60 psi, with the gauge positioned for the rider to see, the idea being that any cracking would show up immediately.

Radebuel wrench

This is a wrench that appears to be of indifferent quality. I've never seen another one here in Canada but possibly it's from a vehicle toolkit. 

Coming from the DDR (East Germany) we can date it  roughly between the late 40s to 1989. During that era all industry was VEB- Volkseigener Betreib- meaning State-run industry, the acronym also acquired a tongue in cheek translation- Vatis ehemaliger Betrieb-  Daddy's former business...

With Rolf's help, I found the listing below but I did not find much more info. 

 VEB tool factory Radebeul, Belongs to Combine VEB tool combine Schmalkalden

address: Wilhelm-Pieck-Strasse 11, PF 46, DDR-8122 Radebeul

phone: Dresden 79931   telex: 028943, 025221

Products and services; wrenches, pruning shears


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Greeves Challenger

In the fifties and early sixties, British offroad motorcycle manufacturers generally based their product on the readily available Villiers 197cc 9E engine, but more power and reliability was required. In 1964 Greeves built their own 250 cc engine, the Challenger. Basically a crankcase bolted to an existing Albion gearbox, it worked quite well. The limiting factor was the dated Albion box and compared to the new unit construction CZ it didn't quite do it. Joel Robert won the championship on the CZ.


Simca run, 1958 Cannonball precursor

 Cannonball-type run in a little import car- no names are given, but in a rough calculation, the car averaged about 60 mph for the duration of the run. Fast forward to 2020, the record is now down to about 26 hrs.

1965 Ford Falcon

That's a sharp looking car, it would be sweet with the optional 289 V8.