Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Velocette Viper cutaway


Velocette Viper 350 cutaway, another drawing by Bill Bennett. Just the ticket if you can't get the real thing.

We used to make things in this country #350 The Yarrows Ltd. Shipyard, Victoria BC

 The shipyard in Victoria was started by William Bullen in 1893 as a marine railway for hull repairs. The business grew and when Mr. Bullen suffered a stroke, the company was sold to Yarrow & Co. of Scotland just before WW1. The shipyard continued to expand and constructed a number of frigates and other ships during WW2. During the seventies, with shipbuilding on the decline, they took on a variety of non ship-related work to remain viable. The company passed through several investors hands until it was closed in 1991.

A short comprehensive history of The Yarrows Ltd. Shipyard here.

Shipbuilding history

Monday, January 30, 2023

Monday Mystery #2 Bell pliers

More pliers, more electrical! We're finding a lot of Bell System pliers online, ebay and such, the Bell system seems to be about 24 AWG sized notches in the cutting area for stripping wires...(someone correct me if I'm wrong!). 
These pliers seem to be of indifferent quality, have no manufacturers name or a notch but are labelled Bell, Hi Carbon ZO. Any thoughts from anyone?


Monday Mystery, Kondu 23WX Wrench


While looking for information on the Kondu Manufacturing Company I found this wrench on Ebay. The seller describes it as a Western Electric 1/2 & 3/4 Open End Wrench part number KONDU-23WX. Measures 8" long. The open ends measure 1-1/8" and 1-5/16", note the curious stepped and round-ended jaws. The wrench is numbered 1/2 and 3/4. My guess is that this wrench might be related to the Kondu company and the 1/2 and 3/4 refers to conduit sizes in inches? Anyone with ideas? 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Graham Blue Streak Convertible

David Gartman, Auto Opium;A Social History of American Automobile Design, Routledge 1994


We used to make things in this country #349, Kondu Manufacturing, Preston, Ontario

 The Kondu Manufacturing Company in Preston made a variety of electrical products such as conduits, outlet boxes and light fixtures. This 1944 ad promotes their marine electrical products.  Catalog below, year unknown but there is evidence the company was around in the early 20s at least. Also no information on when the company disappeared... 


Sidecar Sunday


Grass Track! Bill Dent and Mike Rogers race a 1928 Douglas. 

Classic Bike Jan 82

Friday, January 27, 2023

Daytona 1965

The Harleys of 5th and 6th place would have been the Aermacchi four stroke horizontal singles i.e. H D Sprints... The writing is on the wall.


Trans Europ Express 1964

The CC40100 was the first locomotive to be able to run on the different currents of different countries, allowing a straight run with the same locomotive.  Poster by Albert Brenet

Thursday, January 26, 2023

1970 Yamaha RD350

Iron Rooster restaurant


Rob North Triumph frame

I always thought the Rob North Triumph frames looked "correct" with those top tubes wrapping around the engine heading in a straight line to the swingarm pivot, allowing a great big triangular tank to sit on top- perfect for roadracing. With all the mechanical and cosmetic things removed it almost looks modern. 

But, bottom pic, how well did it work as a dirttracker, I wonder?

Lindsay Brooke, Triumph Racing Motorcycles in America, Motorbooks 1996


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Gold Wing project

 Ran when parked?

Von Ruden Hydra-flex chainsaw

We visited the Wheeler Maple Products (located slightly south of the middle of Nowhere, Ontario) on the weekend. Certainly a backwoods business done right. Pancakes and sausages were great but part of the attraction is the forest-farm (chainsaw) museum. Lots of old mechanical things to admire and ponder.

 This device is a whole ungainly saw system that would attach to the back end of a tractor. The pump would be run by the PTO, tank hung wherever was convenient and any log within 10 or 15 feet could be cut. Setup time would suggest it would not be for casual use, but if you were the kinda guy that hated pulling starter cords... Made by the Von Ruden Manufacturing company in Claremont, Minnesota, which is still in business today, located in Buffalo. Another one here.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Cycle Canada, Magic of Motorcycling 1975

 A little tattered maybe, but this must have been Cycle Canada Magazine's first Buyer Guide. I'm not sure when the magazine started but at that point it was in a glossy-covered newspaper format (I'll ask John Cooper the next time I see him). This magazine continued the newsprint-quality pages but was mostly a directory of all the 1975 model year motorcycles available in Canada. A big deal! 

The lineup was pretty much the same as the US except there was a special name for a Yamaha for the Quebec market. (Bottom)

FS1E Quebecois moped

Empress of Britain

The Empress of Britain was constructed over a three year period at John Brown Shipyard in Scotland. Owned and operated by Canadian Pacific, the ship was launched in 1931 and was used for Transatlantic service between Quebec City and England for three seasons of the year, becoming an all first class cruise ship in winter when the St. Lawrence was frozen.

 At the beginning of the war it was painted grey and did duty as a troop ship until being attacked on Oct 26, 1940 near Ireland by a patrolling German Condor. The ship caught fire and was evacuated. The next day a German submarine arrived to attack with torpedoes and the Empress of Britain sank at 2:05 on October 28. 


Monday, January 23, 2023

Double claw carpenter's hammer

 Patented Nov. 4, 1902 https://patents.google.com/patent/US712983

Messerschmitt 108 on tour

 As part of the sales promotion of the plane, this Bf 108 B, D-IONO, is loaded into the LZ 'Hindenburg' on May 25, 1936 for a flight to South America.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

KD piston ring pliers

 If you used your finger nails for any task at all, someone makes a tool for that. I'd never considered that a tool was needed to spread piston rings but of course...

Correction; Thanks Vector Warbirds (in comments), this is part of a ring compressor set, missing the actual compression bands. See below.

Messerschmitt M37. ( Bf 108)

Messerschmitt designed the M37 (officially named Bf-108) as one of the German entries in the FAI International Tourist Plane Competition for 1934. Its German competitors included the Klemm KI 36 and the Fieseler FI 97. Looking at them, there was definitely a theme going on. 
The Bf 108 was a thoroughly modern all-metal aircraft with monocoque construction, retractable landing gear and even folding wings. The 240 hp engine gave a cruising speed of 165 mph and great fuel economy. However, the Competition was won by the Polish teams and the first Bf-108 came in 5th. 
It was an excellent sport-recreation aircraft, and soon had several record breaking flights to its credit. The famous female pilot Ellie Beinhorn used one to fly from Berlin to Istanbul and back in one day. she gave the name Taifun to her personal craft- that became the name the company used for sales. In all 885 were built, with many being exported. The design led directly to the Bf 109, which was started in late 1934.

Friday, January 20, 2023

1977 RM370 chassis geometry

I dunno, someone might need this kind of information...
Wheelbase 56.7 inches. Suzuki RM370 fork with 315 oil Fork travel, in.: 8.5 Engagement, in.: 5.5 Spring rate, lb./in.: 20/25 progressive Compression damping force, lb.: 11 Rebound damping force, lb.: 21 Static seal friction, lb.: 4 
Kayaba gas/oil shock Shock travel, in.: 4.6 Wheel travel, in.: 8.3 Spring rate, lb./in.: 90/200 progressive Compression damping force, lb.: 52 Rebound damping force, lb.: 134 


Canadair- Sub hunter!

 The CL-28 was the most modern sub detecting aircraft in the world when it was introduced. Modified from the Bristol Britannia passenger plane, it was modified for low altitude operation and used Wright radial engines for economy.  It was designed for long patrols- rated for 26 hour flight duration but one set a record in 1959 of 31 hours without refueling. Thirty three were built to patrol Canadian waters. The last CL-28 flew in 1982, they were replaced by the Lockheed Aurora.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Montesa King Scorpion

About eight years late to the party with oil injection- finally!, the Spanish companies were struggling for sales against the rapidly improving Japanese dual purpose bikes. Weird seventies graphics in this ad, but a good looking bike. More here.

HPW pliers

 Canadian Tire Corporation pliers with stock number stamped in (58-4677 maybe?) sourced from the German company HPW GmbH, dating back to times when tool manufacturing for Canada’s department stores was outsourced to German, Swedish, and other west European tool manufacturers. HPW is Harry Paul Will which became Will Tools and is still around as OrbisWill. Previous post here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Reims 1938

Another great poster from Geo HamThe Auto Club de France hosts the French Grand Prix- held on a public roads circuit on July 3 1938. The race was dominated by the Mercedes Benz W154 race cars, taking the top 3 places.

Smallest traction engines

Live steam model traction engines, if you can't afford or don't have room for the real ones!

Floyd Clymer, Album of Historical Steam Traction Engines, Bonanza 1949