If it smells of oil or Petrol ...its in the shed.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Now where did i put that spanner ?

Just imagine taking part in the Isle of Man TT back in the 1920s and your engine starts to falter and lose power , well thers a good chance the Sparking plug could be the culprit . Maybe the plug was starting to get fouled or over oiled by the rudimentary lubrication system of the day , whatever the reason it was time to change the spark plug and be quick about it , after all you had a race to win ! So where should a rider store the all important plug spanner ? unfastening the straps on a conventional tool box would have taken valuable seconds , hence so many racers of the day are seen with a spanner tucked inside his riding boot , where said spanner could be used in an instant to clean or replace the a plug.

Photo, Charlie Dodson flat on the tank of his Sunbeam in the 1929 TT.
Images The illustrated history of Sunbeam by Robert Cordon Champ.
Motorcycling the Golden years a pictorial anthology by Rupert Prior.
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Victory for Stanley Woods.

Stanley Woods looking rather pleased just after wining the 1926 Senior TT, complete with a rather large adjustable spanner tucked in his riding boot.
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Expecting trouble sir ?

I had taken this photo a few years ago at check point while taking part in the VMCC relay rally , and the rider of this wonder full flat tank Norton certainly wasn't leaving anything to chance, nothing was going to ruin his day . And so in the spirit of the Vintage Racers a selection of spanners for any eventuality was close at hand ( on the front down tube) .
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Friday, 19 November 2010

Vintage Stock Car decals.

These stock car decals represent the early days of  British stock car racing, the chassis of the cars were starting to be of a separate construction with purposeful front and rear bumpers complete with Nerf bars. The original 'stock 'body's where now being  cut and shut  to create a lighter and narrower shape to clear the rear wheels. American V8s where becoming the engine of choice to give more power ,  with 4 short exhaust pipes sprouting from either side of the bonnet emitting  long daggers of blue flames clearly visible at night time races. No wonder when my dad dragged me to Coventry's 'Brandon' Stadium to watch my first stock car race i became so hooked , back at School i soon found i wasn't the only one interested in this fantastic  sport. Before long a group of us would cadge lifts to watch races at other circuits  around the country, Brafeild / Long Eaton / Belle Vue / and Harringay Stadium were  just a few. Posted by Picasa

Harringay Stadium.

Posted by PicasaHarringay Stadium  first opened its doors to Greyhound racing in 1927 along with the other London track White City.The first stock car race took place in 1954 and the last race in 1979 , by 1987 the Stadium was just another Supermarket and housing estate.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

What they wore ( part 1 )

Flicking through my copy of the ' Motor Cycle ' 1948 its hard to imagine why somebody would want to wear such strange outfits, but the answer was purely of necessity. With an economy trying to recover from the ravages of war people were thank full for any thing that kept them warm and dry, and that meant utilising the tons of ex MOD clothing , After all if it kept out the cold North Atlantic on a Submarine then it should keep out the worst of the British weather . Only Belstaff were making something that resembled Motor Cycle clothing modeled by the chap above ...possibly on his way to do " essential work " for the Post war Production drive.
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Dive ! Dive ! Dive !

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The perfect Motor Cycle Suit .

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Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Founder of Jaguar Cars.

Saturday morning found me riding the Norton through the leafy the lanes of Warwickshire making the best of the late Autumn sunshine, on my way home i came through the Village of Wappenbury just outside my home town. And because i had a camera in the pocket of my Belstaff i thought it appropriate to show the final resting place of the founder of Jaguar Cars. William Lyons started his Automotive career building Swallow sidecars at a Blackpool factory in 1922. However it wasn't long before Lyons had his sights set on Motor Car production and started manufacturing the Austin Swallow . By 1928 the company had moved to Holbrook Lane in Coventry after outgrowing there original premises in Blackpool . Soon the ever expanding company moved into the famous Browns Lane site an ex " shadow factory " used for important war work.
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The memorial to Sir William Lyons.

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Sir William Lyons with an E Type Jaguar outside Wappenbury Hall

New and Prototype Jaguars  where often viewed by Sir William in the private  grounds of Wappenbury Hall in Warwickshire. Posted by Picasa

The Norton outside Wappenbury church

Another few weeks and another few gales and all those loverly Autumn colours will be no more !    Posted by Picasa